Top 5 Best Wood Lathe For Beginners

If you’re a woodwork enthusiast, you already know the importance of a good wood lathe. It helps create artistic and functional items that catch the shoppers’ eyes. Whether you want to start a woodworking business or just as a hobby, you should buy the best wood lathe for beginners. Here is a detailed guide of the best benchtop wood lathes that will give you the most bang for your buck.

Top 5 Best Wood Lathe For Beginners


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The 342T model is a superbly powered machine designed for beginners in woodwork. Your purchase will include a wood lathe, knockout rod, a tailstock cup center, and 5” faceplate (for non-spindle workpieces).

 Adjustable speed

WEN 8-inch benchtop comes with a variable speed of 3200 revolutions per minute. And the great thing is that you don’t have to turn it to full speed once you power it on. The start is slow, and then it increases gradually. Even better, this unit comes with a knob for adjusting the speed. This is a great safety feature because you can decide on the speed that you want.

 Working surface

The lathe measures 26” by 10” by 12” and weighs slightly above 40 pounds. On top of the compact size, it can accommodate a wood with a length of 12 inches.


WEN 3420T boasts of a 2amp motor that keeps the machine in tip-top shape while avoiding any mishaps or damage. This is the best wood lathe for beginners as it decides how fast you can cut the wood. The power of the motor is crucial as it decides how the final project will look.

In addition to that, it comes with an MT1 spindle that helps you to tightly grip your projects. The package also includes a punch-out tool that helps to carve out small projects like pens and bowls.


  •  Comes with an on/off safety lock
  •  Fits in any workstation
  •  Budget-friendly
  •  The cast-iron guarantees low vibration


  •  Cannot handle big projects

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This product stands head and shoulders apart from other products thanks to the brilliant engineering. It features a sturdy and easy to use design to maximize your woodworking ability. If you’re just getting started, you can use this model to design bowls, chess pieces, pens, and other small workpieces.

WEN holds the workpiece tightly and can rotate at a high speed. The variable speed is between 700 to 3500 RPM. And because it allows the user to adjust the speed, you can complete tasks fast. As far as durability is concerned, this lathe comes with a cast iron body, so it will stand the test of time.

This brand stands behind its products, and that’s why the 3421 model comes with a 2-year warranty. They also have a nationwide network of technicians. The package will include an 8” by 12” lathe, tailstock taper, MT1 spindle, 2.3-inch faceplate, and interchangeable tool rest.


The 3421 model has a stunning build design for various workpieces. It’s equipped with a 2.3-inch faceplate, tailstock taper, MT1 spindle, and two interchangeable tool rests.


Just like other WEN power tools, this unit doesn’t compromise on power. It’s equipped with a 2AMP motor and has two tool rests to support the chisels during operation. The manufacturer recommends that you don’t overuse the machine because it’s prone to overheating.


  •  Solid construction for beginners
  •  Lightweight design
  •  Generates a smooth speed
  •  Comes with a 2-year warranty


  •  May not be suitable for high speed

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Delta 46-460 is what you need to turn your woodwork into a masterpiece. It features 1 HP and produces 1750 RPM for all your woodworking needs. But what makes this model the best wood lathe for beginners is that it comes with two ways of changing speed. You can go for the manual belt speed adjustment or automatic speed control.

And because it comes with two-speed settings, you can choose the one that suits you best. The first setting does 250-750 RPM, while the second setting allows up to 1800 RPM. Finally, the third setting has the smallest gear and does 4000 RPM.


The mini lathe comes with a swing size of 9.25 inches. This means that you can turn long pieces of material comfortably at this size. The unit is also very accurate – it touches the center of the tailstock perfectly. Don’t be surprised by the compact size- it doesn’t sacrifice on functionality.

Reversible pulley system

This mini lathe features a variable mini speed and a pulley system to minimize vibration. But what is even more interesting is that the tensioning system allows for maximum power transfer.

 Belt speed controller

The headstock allows you to customize the speed and improve versatility. There’s also an electronic speed knob that helps you adjust the speed and gives more versatility from start to finish.

Delta lathe allows you to change the rotation of the spindle with a simple touch of a switch on the headstock. That’s not all- the handwheel is easy to operate. The wood lathe comes with few interesting accessories like wrenches, a knockout bar, a tool rest base, and a detailed user manual.


  •  Allows you to connect multiple extensions
  •  Provides stability to master different creations
  •  Gives an unmatched measure of precision
  •  The forward and reverse function allows for a smooth finish
  •  The patented belt systems give three-speed variations


  •  A bit expensive

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04. SHOP FOX W1704 BENCHTOP LATHECheck Price On amazon

Made of cast iron, this unit has everything you need to tackle small projects. It’s equipped with a 1/3 HP motor that delivers a speed of 700-3300 revolutions. Your package will include a wood lathe, 7-inch tool rests, TPI RH spindle, and 5-3/4 inch faceplate. If you’re a serious woodworker, you can’t go wrong with this benchtop lathe.


The benchtop lathe is built with cast iron. If you take care of this machine, you can be sure it will stand the test of time. The safety switch is located within an arm’s reach to ensure your safety. And despite its small size, it can help you create amazing metalwork projects.

It weighs 45 pounds and can be transported from one place to another. It also comes with a safety feature that makes it beneficial for beginners.

Another important feature is the 9-inc power cord. You don’t have to worry about keeping the unit close to a power outlet. However, before you switch on the power, you should make sure the power off.

The unit comes with a tool rest. This is where you place the tools when you’re not using them. And because it’s strategically placed, you don’t have to worry about causing injuries.


The variable-speed rate allows you to compliment and adjust the speed on the wood you’re working on. Be sure to go through the manual, to see what speed works best for you.


While there are many units with this kind of power, it remains the most practical option for the price. But just because it comes at a lower you shouldn’t think that it will give unsatisfactory results.


  •  Perfect for tackling small projects
  •  Variable speed control
  •  Stable and accurate
  •  Budget-friendly


  •  No speed readout

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The 71118 model is a portable yet handy tool for woodworkers and hobbyists. It comes with a switch to alternate forward and reverse functions. This is the flexibility you need to achieve a superior finish.

 Space-saving design

The compact design makes the lathe to fit in small spaces. Also, it can be a great unit to keep in a multifunctional workshop and a great travel companion. Without a doubt, this is the most versatile midi lathe in the market today.

Speed range

This midi lathe has an electric speed motor that generates 250-4000 RPM.

 Digital readout

The quick readout allows the user to check the speed when using specific materials and conditions. This limits the potential dangers caused by high speeds.

 Three-step pulley system

It offers different speed ranges and gives a good turning range when working on different applications. The additional two steps will give you enough torque when dealing with demanding wood applications.

 Swing capacity

This model has a swing capacity of 12” and can extend the bed extension accessories. With this in mind, you can use the unit to tackle longer spindle projects.

 Exceptional structural strength

The cast iron construction makes the unit tackle different projects stress-free. And because it’s strong enough to absorb vibration, you can work on your projects without worrying that flying objects will land on your face.

 Nova adaptable technology

The NOVA Versaturn Adaptable technology makes this the best wood lathe for beginners. It gives more adaptability than what you’d expect from a midi lathe. You can also attach accessories like a grinding wheel. If you want to take an additional grinder, there’s no need for traveling to sharpen your tools.

This lather comes with a manual to help you put everything together. If you’re not sure of the steps to take, you just refer to the instructions, and you’re good to go.


  •  The body is made of cast iron to ensure durability
  •  Fitted with quick action cam controls
  •  Features strong CMT spindles
  •  Comes with a large swing capacity
  •  Gives a wide range of speed variations


  •  The reverse function doesn’t work without a faceplate

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Wrapping it up

If you’re new to woodworking, it can be tempting to buy any turner – this can be a mistake. You should pay attention to the space of your wood lathe and accessories to use. Without a good model, your ability to create beautiful pieces would be limited. If you choose any of the above models, you’ll be on your way to becoming a professional woodworker.

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