Best beginner wood lathe

Are you a woodworking enthusiast who has just embarked on their journey in the craft? One essential tool that every aspiring woodworker needs is a wood lathe. A wood lathe is a versatile machine that allows you to shape and turn wood into intricate designs and functional objects. Whether you want to create beautiful bowls, intricate furniture legs, or even custom pens, a wood lathe is a must-have for your workshop.

However, with so many options available on the market, finding the best wood lathe for beginners can be a daunting task. That’s why we have put together this comprehensive guide to help you choose the perfect wood lathe that meets your needs and budget. We have carefully reviewed and compared various models to bring you our top picks for the best beginner wood lathes.

When selecting a wood lathe, there are several factors to consider, including motor power, spindle speed, swing capacity, and weight. Our list features lathes that excel in these areas and offer great value for money. Whether you have limited space in your workshop or are on a tight budget, we have something for everyone.

Best Beginner Wood Lathe

If you are a beginner woodworker looking for the best wood lathe to start your woodworking journey, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, you’ll want a lathe that is user-friendly and easy to operate, with clear and intuitive controls. Safety features are also important, so look for a lathe that includes a guard to protect you from flying debris and a switch that can quickly turn off the machine in case of an emergency.

Another important consideration is the size of the lathe. As a beginner, you may not need a large or heavy-duty lathe, so a smaller, compact model may be more suitable. Additionally, a variable speed control is essential for a beginner wood lathe, as it allows you to adjust the speed of the lathe to suit different projects and wood types.

When it comes to the best wood lathe for beginners, some notable options include the Jet JWL-1440VSK Wood Lathe, the Nova Comet II Variable Speed Midi Lathe, and the RIKON 70-100 Mini Lathe. These lathes offer a good balance between affordability, user-friendly features, and quality construction.

In conclusion, the best beginner wood lathe is one that is user-friendly, includes safety features, has a suitable size, and offers variable speed control. Consider options like Jet JWL-1440VSK, Nova Comet II, and RIKON 70-100 for a well-rounded choice that will help you get started on your woodworking journey.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Beginner Wood Lathe

When starting out in the world of woodturning, it’s important to choose the right wood lathe that suits your needs and skill level. There are several factors to consider when making this decision, which can help ensure that you find the best beginner wood lathe for your woodworking projects.

1. Motor Power

1. Motor Power

The motor power is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a beginner wood lathe. The power of the motor determines how well the lathe can handle different types of wood and the size of the projects you can undertake. A more powerful motor will allow you to work with larger pieces of wood and will provide a smoother and more consistent turning experience.

2. Size and Weight

The size and weight of the wood lathe are important considerations, especially for beginners who may not have a dedicated workshop or a lot of space. A smaller and lightweight lathe is easier to move around and store, making it more convenient for those with limited space. Additionally, a compact lathe can also be easier to operate and control, which can be beneficial for beginners who are just starting to learn the woodturning techniques.

3. Variable Speed Control

3. Variable Speed Control

A wood lathe with variable speed control is highly recommended for beginners. Different types of wood and different projects require different turning speeds, and having the ability to adjust the speed of the lathe will provide you with more versatility and control over your woodturning projects. This feature will allow you to work on a wider range of projects and experiment with different techniques.

4. Construction and Durability

The construction and durability of the wood lathe are essential factors to consider, as they will determine the longevity of the machine and its ability to withstand the demands of woodturning. Look for a lathe that is made of sturdy materials and has a solid build quality. This will ensure that the lathe can handle the vibrations and pressures that come with turning wood and will provide you with a reliable and long-lasting tool.

5. Budget

5. Budget

Your budget is another important factor to consider when choosing a beginner wood lathe. Wood lathes can range in price, so it’s important to determine your budget and find a lathe that offers the best value for your money. Consider the features mentioned above and prioritize the ones that are most important to you. It’s also recommended to do some research and read reviews to find out what other woodturners have to say about the lathe you are considering.

By considering these factors, you’ll be able to make an informed decision when choosing a beginner wood lathe. Take your time to evaluate your needs, explore different options, and choose a lathe that will help you develop your woodturning skills and bring your woodworking projects to life.

Top Brands of Beginner Wood Lathes

When it comes to choosing a wood lathe for beginners, there are several top brands to consider. These brands have gained a reputation for producing high-quality, reliable and user-friendly lathes that are perfect for those who are new to woodturning.

1. WEN: WEN is a well-known brand in the woodworking industry and offers a range of affordable and versatile wood lathes for beginners. Their lathes are known for their durability, ease of use, and smooth performance. They often come with additional accessories and have a good customer support service.

2. Jet: Jet is another reputable brand that offers a variety of wood lathes suitable for beginners. Their lathes are known for their precision and reliability, making them a popular choice among woodturning enthusiasts. Jet lathes often come with advanced features, such as variable speed control and digital readouts, allowing users to make precise cuts with ease.

3. Grizzly: Grizzly is a trusted name in the woodworking industry and is known for producing high-quality wood lathes at affordable prices. Their lathes are designed with the beginner in mind and offer a great balance between price and performance. Grizzly lathes often come with heavy-duty construction, variable speed control, and a range of useful features.

4. Rikon: Rikon is a brand that focuses on producing wood lathes specifically for beginners. Their lathes are known for their smooth and precise operation, making them ideal for beginners who are just starting out. Rikon lathes often come with features such as adjustable tool rests, convenient controls, and a sturdy build.

5. Record Power: Record Power is a well-established brand that offers a range of wood lathes suitable for beginners. Their lathes are known for their solid construction, smooth performance, and user-friendly design. Record Power lathes often come with unique features, such as adjustable speed control and ergonomic handles, making them a great choice for beginners.

Overall, when choosing a wood lathe for beginners, it’s important to consider factors such as reliability, ease of use, and features. These top brands offer a variety of lathes that meet these criteria and are trusted by woodturning enthusiasts worldwide.

Best Wood Lathes for Turning Bowls

When it comes to turning bowls, having the right wood lathe can make all the difference in achieving the desired results. A wood lathe specifically designed for turning bowls will have certain features that are crucial for this type of project.

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a wood lathe for turning bowls is the swing capacity. The swing capacity refers to the maximum diameter of the wood that can be turned on the lathe. For turning bowls, a lathe with a larger swing capacity is preferred, as it allows for the turning of larger bowls. Look for lathes with a swing capacity of at least 12 inches or more.

  • Variable speed control: It is important to have a wood lathe with variable speed control when turning bowls. This allows you to adjust the speed of the lathe based on the size and type of wood you are working with, resulting in a smoother and more controlled turning process.
  • Sturdy construction: Turning bowls often requires working with larger and heavier pieces of wood, so it is important to choose a wood lathe with a sturdy construction. Look for lathes made of durable materials, such as cast iron or steel, that can withstand the weight and vibration of turning bowls.
  • Large turning capacity: In addition to swing capacity, consider the distance between the lathe’s headstock and tailstock. A longer distance, known as the bed length, allows for the turning of larger and longer bowls. Look for lathes with a bed length of at least 36 inches or more.
  • Tool rest and accessories: When turning bowls, having a stable and adjustable tool rest is essential. Look for lathes that come with a sturdy tool rest that can be adjusted to different angles and positions. Additionally, consider the availability of accessories such as faceplates and chuck systems, which can be useful for holding and turning bowls securely.

Based on these factors, some of the top wood lathes for turning bowls include models with a swing capacity of 12 inches or more, variable speed control, sturdy construction, large turning capacity, and included tool rests and accessories. These features ensure that you have the necessary tools and capabilities to successfully turn bowls of different sizes and shapes.

5 Best beginner wood lathe

Wood Lathe 1m Woodturning Machine Variable Speed Work 400 W, Maximum Turning Diameter 350mm, Adjustable Tool Support, Tailstock with Spindle Tip, Torsion-Resistant Incl. Front End Driver, Chisels

as of November 18, 2023 3:51 pm


  • Powerful: The 400W motor gives you the option to spin the wood even quicker to get the most precise and beautiful finish on your creations as possible.
  • Versatile: With four different speed settings, ranging from 810 to 2480RPM, the lathe can be used by those new to the craft or experts looking for that cutting edge in wood turning.
  • Portable: This metre-long lathe is fully portable, coming apart into two pieces for easy transportation. With its power coming from the mains, you can plug it in anywhere and get to work.
  • Free Chisels: We’ve included six high-quality woodturning chisels that are perfect for creating beautiful top-notch objects with your lathe up to a diameter of 350mm.

Axminster Workshop AW305WL Woodturning Lathe - 230V

as of November 18, 2023 3:51 pm


Part Number MC1218VDA

Mini Lathe Beads Polisher Machine DIY CNC Machining for Table Woodworking Wood DIY Tool Lathe Standard Set 6 in 1 (Black)

as of November 18, 2023 3:51 pm


  • Specially designed for the home DIY enthusiasts and hobbies,small and portable size with strong power.
  • Super large torque ball bearing motor, maximum rotating speed up to 8000RPM providing ultra strong cutting power with low noise, you can use it at home.
  • Transparent organic dustproof glass cover with super convective cooling hole, the welding line is covered with a full heat shrinkable tube.
  • With 7 levels of power adapter enable you to adjust the rotating speed easily to meet different cutting speed.
  • High quality aluminum alloy base and pure steel structure drill chuck.

Learn to Turn, 3rd Edition Revised & Expanded: A Beginner's Guide to Woodturning Techniques and 12 Projects (Fox Chapel Publishing) Step-by-Step Instructions, Troubleshooting, Tips, & Expert Advice

14 new from £12.26
6 used from £7.43
Free shipping
as of November 18, 2023 3:51 pm


Part Number 9289
Release Date 2018-04-02T00:00:01Z
Edition 3rd Revised ed.
Language English
Number Of Pages 144
Publication Date 2018-04-02T00:00:01Z
Format Illustrated

Axminster Workshop AW205WL Woodturning Lathe - 230V

as of November 18, 2023 3:51 pm


Part Number MC0812


What are the best wood lathes for turning bowls?

Some of the best wood lathes for turning bowls include the Jet JWL-1440VSK Wood Lathe, the Nova 46300 Comet II Variable Speed Midi Lathe, the Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe, the RIKON 70-100 Mini Lathe, and the Powermatic 3520B Wood Lathe.

What features should I look for in a wood lathe for turning bowls?

When choosing a wood lathe for turning bowls, it’s important to look for features such as a powerful motor, variable speed control, solid construction, a large swing capacity, and a spacious work area. Additionally, a lathe with a swiveling headstock can be beneficial for bowl turning.

Are there any budget-friendly wood lathes for turning bowls?

Yes, there are several budget-friendly wood lathes available for turning bowls. Some options include the WEN 3420T Benchtop Wood Lathe, the Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Wood Lathe, and the Grizzly Industrial G0462 Wood Lathe.

What is the difference between a midi lathe and a mini lathe for turning bowls?

The main difference between a midi lathe and a mini lathe for turning bowls is the size and capacity. Midi lathes generally have a larger swing capacity and more power than mini lathes. Midi lathes are a popular choice for woodturners who need a balance between size and power.

Are there any specific brands that are recommended for wood lathes for turning bowls?

Some reputable brands for wood lathes for turning bowls include Jet, Nova, Delta, RIKON, Powermatic, WEN, Shop Fox, and Grizzly Industrial. These brands are known for producing high-quality lathes that are suitable for bowl turning.

What are the best wood lathes for turning bowls?

There are several wood lathes that are highly recommended for turning bowls. Some of the top options include the Jet JWL-1221VS, the Nova 46300 Comet II, and the Powermatic 3520B. These lathes are known for their sturdy construction, variable speed controls, and ample swing capacity, making them ideal for bowl turning projects.


In conclusion, selecting the best wood lathe for turning bowls requires careful consideration of several factors, including size, power, and features. Our top picks for the best wood lathes for turning bowls are the [lathe A], [lathe B], and [lathe C]. Each of these lathes offers excellent performance, precision, and versatility, making them suitable for both beginners and experienced woodturners. When choosing a wood lathe, it’s essential to match your specific needs and budget. By investing in a high-quality wood lathe, you can enhance your woodworking skills and create beautiful and intricate bowls that will impress both yourself and others. Happy turning!

Harrison Clayton

Harrison Clayton

Meet Harrison Clayton, a distinguished author and home remodeling enthusiast whose expertise in the realm of renovation is second to none. With a passion for transforming houses into inviting homes, Harrison's writing at brings a breath of fresh inspiration to the world of home improvement. Whether you're looking to revamp a small corner of your abode or embark on a complete home transformation, Harrison's articles provide the essential expertise and creative flair to turn your visions into reality. So, dive into the captivating world of home remodeling with Harrison Clayton and unlock the full potential of your living space with every word he writes.

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