Best Mini Wood Lathe 2021: Buyer Guide With Recommendation

Best Mini Wood Lathe

Budget Mini Wood Lathe: One of the most important pieces of equipment that a woodworker can have on hand is a wood lathe. While sawing and planning are both important, so is the ability to turn wood while you turn it on. A wood lathe offers the option to create beautiful work that would not be possible in any other way.

However, choosing the right wood lathe to buy can be a challenge. There are a lot of lathes on the market, and each of them comes with different features. You can choose to spend a ton of time studying and researching all the options out there to find the right lathe for your needs. However, it’s a lot easier to look at a compiled list of the best options where the homework is already done for you.

We offer a guide to a few of the top wood lathes so you can see what to expect when buying one for your workshop. We’ll also offer some insight into the things to think about when purchasing a wood lathe in case you aren’t sure where to start. Either way, you will end up with the equipment you need to quickly and efficiently get your work done.

Top 7 Best Mini Wood Lathe 2021 with Pros & Cons

1. Rikon Mini Lathe:



  • Rikon 70-105 Mini LatheView on Amazon Motor Power: 1/2 HP
  • Swing Over Bed: 10 inches
  • Distance Between Centers: 18 inches
  • Speed Range: 5 speeds (500, 1,775, 1,850, 2,225, 3,200) RPM
  • Warranty: 5-year

Rikon 70-105 is a 1/2 HP mini wood lathe that still has what it takes to handle most of your woodturning needs in the workshop whether you are a hobbyist or professional.

This handy lathe comes with a swing over bed of 10 inches and the distance between the centers is 18 inches which makes it great for turning small bowls and pens.

Also, it gives you more speed options as it is a 5-speed lathe that allows you to choose from 500, 1,775, 1,850, 2,225, or 3,200 RPM depending on the project requirements.

You will also not have to worry about vibrations when using this benchtop lathe as it features a heavy-duty cast iron bed, headstock, and tailstock. And it will also not scratch the bench or table where you place it as it has rubber feet.

  • Heavy-duty cast iron bed
  • 5-speed ranges
  • Machines bed with matching components
  • Relatively lightweight and portable
  • 5-year warranty
  • Replacement belts are hard to find
2. Delta 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Lathe:




  • Motor Power: 1 HP
  • Swing Over Bed: 12-1/2 inches
  • Distance Between Centers: 16-1/2 inches (42 inches with extension)
  • Speed Range: 1,725 RPM
  • Warranty: 5-year

With the powerful 1 HP motor on the Delta 46-460 turning should be relatively easier for you regardless of what piece you are working on. The wood lathe comes with a swing over bed of 12-1/2 inches and with 16-1/2 inches distance between the centers which you can expand to 42 inches using the extension. This lathe uses an electronic speed control, and it provides a maximum speed of 1,725 RPM that will provide robust performance. And there is also a patented belt-tensioning that makes speed changes fast and also makes the tool last longer.

With this wood lathe, you can always be sure of getting a superior finish as it has forward and reverses functions that ensure accuracy and precision when turning. Stability should also not be a concern when using this tool as it has an all cast iron construction that makes it highly stable and highly durable. The lathe will come with a 3-inch faceplate, and both 6-inch and 10-inch tool rests to provide support for your turning tools in a variety of positions. And the manufacturer will back it with a 5-year warranty.

  • Powerful 1 HP motor
  • Electronic variable speed
  • Reversing function
  • Onboard storage
  • 5-year warranty
  • Relatively expensive

3. Rikon 70-100 12×16 Inch Mini Lathe:




  • Motor Power: 1/2 HP
  • Swing Over Bed: 12 inches
  • Distance Between Centers: 16 inches
  • Speed Range: 6 speeds (430, 810, 1,230 1,810, 2,670, 3,900) RPM
  • Warranty: 2-year limited

For the turners that do a lot of detailing work often, Rikon 70-100 will be an excellent choice, and this is because it comes with a unique 12-position indexing head that is very handy for detailing.

It is larger than most mini wood lathes and with more capacity. And it will also allow for multiple extensions so that you can work with large pieces.

The 12-inch swing over bed lathe offers 6 speeds options (430, 810, 1,230 1,810, 2,670, 3,900 RPM, makings it even more versatile and has a self-ejecting tail stick to save you time.

The easy access speed change is also a great feature as it ensures you never have to waste time trying to change the speed. Also, you can use various tool rests and faceplates with this wood lathe which helps to make it even more versatile.

  • Self-ejecting tailstock
  • 12-position indexing head
  • 6-speed ranges
  • Allows for additional extensions
  • Easy access speed change
  • Relatively short warranty
4. JET JWL-1221VS 12×21 Inch Variable Speed Wood Lathe:


  • Motor Power: 1 HP
  • Swing Over Bed: 12 inches
  • Distance Between Centers: 21 inches
  • Speed Range: 60 to 3,600 RPM
  • Warranty: 5-year

JET JWL-1221VS has one of the most powerful motors on our wood lathe reviews and so you can be confident it has all it takes to handle most of your turning projects.

Also, it has an impressive 24-position indexing head which is higher than what many other wood lathes will offer, and so it will make detail work way much easier for turners.

And it also allows you a wide speed range as you can vary the speed between 60 and 3,600 RPM. The mechanism for changing the speed is also quick and easy to understand even for beginners.

You will also not have to worry about noise when using this lathe as it is super quiet and runs smoothly. And with the 5-year warranty, you can be sure that your investment is safe.

  • 24 position indexing head
  • Wide speed ranges
  • Super quiet and smooth operation
  • 5-year warranty
  • Relatively heavier and harder to move around
5. Jet JWL-1015 Wood Working Lathe:



  • Motor Power: 1/2 HP
  • Swing Over Bed: 10 inches
  • Distance Between Centers: 15-1/2 inches
  • Speed Range: 6 speeds (500, 840, 1,240, 1,800, 2,630, 3,975) RPM
  • Warranty: 5-year

Whether you are a novice turner looking for an affordable and reliable wood lathe to buy as your first or a pro looking to add a mini lathe to your collection, the Jet JWL-1015 will be a great choice.

This lathe runs on a 1/2 HP motor which might not be as powerful as other models on our list but it should be enough for most small and medium-size turning projects.

The spindle provides for 6 different speeds which are 500, 840, 1,240, 1,800, 2,630, and 3,975 RPM which makes this lathe suitable for a variety of turning applications. But, adjusting the speed takes more time as you have to switch off the tool first.

It is also a great tool for detail work thanks to the 24-position indexing head. And it has a sturdier and wider bed that promotes rigidity to keep the lathe in place when working.

The manufacturer will back this turning tool with a 5-year warranty which is long enough to give you some peace of mind.

  • 6 spindle speeds
  • Easy belt access
  • 24-position indexing head
  • Sturdier and wider bed
  • 5-year warranty
  • Speed adjustment takes long
6. Shop Fox W1758 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe:



  • Motor Power: 1/3 HP
  • Swing Over Bed: 8 inches
  • Distance Between Centers: 12 inches
  • Speed Range: 600-2400 RPM
  • Warranty: 2-year

Here is the best wood lathe for the money for any craftsperson that is into pen turning and other small projects. It is the most affordable wood lathe on our list but it still offers decent quality.

This lathe comes with an 8-inch swing over bed and a 12-inch distance between centers which are just perfect for small turning projects. And the small 1/3 HP motor will provide more than enough power for this.

And with a total weight of just over 50 lbs, this compact lathe is also lightweight enough for easy transportation from one worksite to the other. The 600- 2400 RPM variable speed is also quite useful for this tool’s functioning as it makes it possible to work on both hard and soft materials.

  • Durable cast iron construction
  • Relatively affordable lathe
  • Compact and highly portable
  • Safety paddle switch
  • Significantly less powerful motor

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7. Nova 71118 Comet II DR Mini Lathe:



  • Motor Power: 3/4 HP
  • Swing Over Bed: 12 inches
  • Distance Between Centers: 16.5 inches (expandable to 41 inches)
  • Speed Range: 250-4,000 RPM
  • Warranty: 2-year limited

The Nova 71118 Comet II is the priciest lathe on our list and also one of the strongest structurally. It features a solid cast iron construction which makes it strong and rigid while also absorbing most of the vibrations.

It also has a wide speed range as it allows for both super low speed (250 RPM) and super-high speeds (4,000 RPM) depending on the project. The wide speed range makes this one of the best lathes for bowl turning and also for other projects like turning pens.

The distance between centers on the lathe is 16.5 inches but you can expand it up to 41 inches with the bed extension accessory, and the swing over bed diameter is 12 inches.

Including the space-saving design makes this a great wood lathe with other things. The forward and reverse switch that offers flexibility as you always get a superior finish. The manufacturer backs the wood lathe with a 2-year limited warranty.

  • Solid cast iron construction
  • Up to 4,000 rpm max speed
  • Space-saving design
  • Forward and reversing switch
  • Relatively pricier lathe

Verdict: Best Mini Wood Lathe 2021

If you are a craftsperson or carpenter that is into woodturning you probably already know the importance of a wood lathe to your trade. But what is even more important is getting the best or at least something that suits your needs.

Our mini wood lathe reviews above showcase some of the best in the market and so they will give you some idea of the brands and models to buy.

Knowing what kind of wood lathes are available is a good start to choosing one for purchase. Take heed of the more important things to you and look for them when browsing different lathes you might purchase. Taking a look at our suggested lathes and the guide to choosing one of your own will set you on the right track. Woodworking can be a lot of fun so take time to choose one that fits your needs! Lastly, once you find that perfect wood lathe you should also take good care of it by checking the drive belts for wear and tear often and by vacuuming the dust off to keep it in peak working condition.

Home Experts (Josh, Micheal, Dewan, Micky, Tim)

We are a team of professionals very passionate about, DIY projects, Home Equipment, Home Needs & love sharing everything we learn about them. Informative articles are written by our team of passionate & knowledgable experts, including professional plumbers, expert woodworkers, contractors, & nurserymen.

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