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Most Super-Productive Wood Lathes 2018
Without a shadow of a doubt, it’s all so magical. It’s like you have a powerful carpet to send you off to any place you like on the planet. That’s how the working of wood lathes can be described to any first-time wood worker. And it’s nothing short of the truth.
You may think it’s an exaggeration. But the act of ‘wood turning’ has brought upon so many wonderful things to the industry. It’s hard to imagine what anyone can do with wood without it.
We’re talking about the best of designs. And you can thank the Egyptians of long ago for conceptualizing the device. A design which eventually caught the attention of the Romans, improving it in the process and showing the world why their race has become superior both in engineering and in conquest.
The concept is simple. By employing the best midi lathe, you free your hands. In doing so, you focus yourself on the essential: creating wonderful designs as the wood keeps turning. Yes, the wood is set to turn. Reason why people who use wood lathes are sometimes called ‘wood turner’.
And the concept has affected a whole new generation of designs. Not only through the medium of wood. But also through glass and metal. Chances are, the most intricately-done drinking glass you’ve seen pass through the auspices of a lathe machine.
Yes, no kidding.
And the best part’s you can just set up a midi lathe on one small stand if you like. Or your favorite workbench. It won’t take up so much space.
Technology has made it a lot easier for you to operate them too. Today, you’ll find lathes flaunt as electronic-variable speed machines instead of the old-school pulley-and-belt style. That means a lot more convenience for you. Easier ways to make those jaw-dropping designs happen.
Of course those pulley-and-belt style are a lot cheaper compared to the more technologically advanced speed machines.
If you want to make the most of wood lathes but don’t know where to start, read on. We’ve worked the field and gathered the most relied-upon models this side of the planet has seen.
Even better, we’re showing you how each one stack against one another. So you can put up a wiser decision to get you more bang for your buck.
Jet 708359 JWL-1642EVS
Welcome to the big guys. Yes, indeed these machines, wood lathes, are the best and biggest of their kind. So you should be ready to pay premium. We’re not kidding! Your eyes may pop out of their sockets if you think we’re talking peanuts here.
It is paramount therefore that your workload should be most pronounced. If you have but scarce need for lathes, buying this Jet would be a mistake. But if you are really into great wood designs then this one could be as spot on as you want it.
There’s lots of power here. No doubt. What do you expect with 1 ½ HP motor. Nothing but great things right? That’s zero to 3,200 RPM under your disposal. What’s amazing is you get unsurpassed controls here. Plus, the fact that this one is meant to handle bigger wood makes this one tough to resist. And yes, the 5-year warranty is unbeatable.
Powermatic 1352001 Model 3520B Wood Lathe
That yellow machine is one great find, if you ask us. Of course, that price tag tells you this one means business. And fast. This Powermatic is made to deliver quality and it shows.
It’s big. Imagine 34.5 inches between center with a whooping swing of 20 inches. And it’s top of the line. For one, you’ve got digital readings here. No analog.
What may be head-turning about this 600-plus pound behemoth is its raw power. You’ve got 2 HP under your disposal here. Complete with an inverter, this one allows you to operate from either your three-phase or your single-phase input. And take note, you won’t experience much tremor here, thanks to the stable make. That’s truly amazing.
Shop Fox W1758 Wood Lathe
Motor for this Shop Fox is 2 HP, pretty powerful indeed. But you won’t find it possible for a 3-phase input. Only single-phase input will do. Still, this one is worth the serious attention. Why? This is by far the cheapest of the bunch. If you just look at the price, you might think this one is a mini lathe. But no, here’s one for the big boys.
There’s as much as 2400 RPM waiting for you here to make the most of. And yes, forget those tremors. Stable construction should get you minimum vibration. Cool, right? Best of all, the price.
Nova 24146 1624-44 Wood Lathe
And then there’s this Nova. Certainly, worth looking into. Not as powerful as the biggest offering here. But pretty solid. You have a 1 ½ HP motor here giving you 8-speed choices. Not bad really. Knowing you’ve got full swivel of the head at 360 degrees. Indeed, this machine is worth looking into. Especially if your need for wood designs is not too much.
Let's Compare the Most Super-Productive Wood Lathes 2018
Detailed Comparison List
20 x 50
27 x 31
18 x 16
19.5 x 12.8
Jet 708359 JWL-1642EVS
First on our list is an amazing product from Jet brand. If you’re quite familiar with this brand it wouldn’t be a surprise to you that it’s first on our list. But if you’re not then it’s all well and good. Because you would soon find out just how good this brand is.
When it comes to quality materials and durability you would always find Jet products on the list. And this is simply because jet brand has been proven and tested. They have proven to produce one of best wood lathes in town.
With the top quality material used in building this piece you would most likely not have any problem while using it. The fact that this particular model is made of cast iron beds and legs offers durability.
That’s why this wood lathe is known to withstand so much stress and compression without any problem. And as such lasts for a very long time.
So if you are very particular about the lifespan of your woodworking equipment then this would be a good option to opt for.
Interestingly, this unit right here also has a powerful motor. With its powerful motor this piece is able to perform more than your expectation. It also has a electronic inverter that makes it easy for you to convert from 1 phase to 3 phase.
At the same time this electronic inverter provides varying frequency for your motor. So your motor tends to move at different speeds depending on how fast you would like for it to move.
That just makes it a lot easier for you to control your wood lathe.
All thanks to its cast iron castings it provides long term accuracy. And also allows for the smooth operation of your project. Interestingly, it eliminates vibration. So you can be sure that you would have a vibration free operation.
And this in turn makes your work much more comfortable and easy.
Similarly, it has a large tailstock that allows for great stability while you work. This is a great advantage because the stability of your equipment would also determine your stability. And at the same time determine how fast you can go while working.
At the same time it makes it convenient for you to carry out heavy duty jobs. You would be able to carry out such jobs without your equipment collapsing.
Also, with a large handle you would be able to lock tailstock very well and put it in place.
There’s another good news. This particular Jet model has a 5 year warranty in its belt. So you can be sure that you have 5 years worry free.
One thing though is that some customers have complained about this unit having a poor quality control. And this isn’t so good for maintaining this product.
Things We Liked
- Three phase motor
- Cast iron material
- Heavy gauge wire
- User friendly controls
- LED light
- Toggle switch
- Large tailstock
Things We Didn't Like
- Poor quality control
Powermatic 1352001 Model 3520B Wood Lathe
Next on our list is a Powermatic product. Well, from its name you can deduce that this one right here is a strong and powerful unit. That’s not mere deduction though it’s for real.
This unit right here is known to be one of the most powerful wood lathes out there. With a very strong motor this guy right here is able to perform wonders. It’s driven by a two-horsepower. And you would be able to connect it to a 220 volt power outlet.
With this powerful motor it moves it at a very fast speed. And makes your work a lot easier.
Similarly, this unit has an inverter that helps the motor operate at the both a single phase or a three phase input. Although the motor comes with a three phase output. But you can easily switch.
Another interesting thing about this unit is that it’s highly durable and also resistant to vibration. Being highly durable it is able to withstand so much stress and compression. At the same time it makes it last for a very long time.
So you can be sure that you wouldn’t have to worry about buying a replacement anytime soon.
Similarly, its strong construction makes it vibration free. So you can be sure that while working you wouldn’t have a problem handling your work piece. And with this doing your projects wouldn’t be a problem.
Also, this Powermatic model is a versatile one. It is able to perform well in varying projects. Which is why many wood workers opt for this. Simply because it begs you to attend to a wide range of projects from customers.
It also has a headstock that is well-built for easy adjustment. This sliding headstock uses electronic speed that varies and also has a digital read out rpm. With this adjusting within a short period of time wouldn’t be a problem.
This way you wouldn’t waste unnecessary time trying to adjust your wood lathe instead of working.
Also, if you’re considering getting this lathe for wood for heavy duty jobs then that is a good idea. Why? This unit has a tailstock that is able to withstand heavy duty workloads without breaking.
What’s even better is that this tailstock has a storage compartment. So you would be able to store the equipment you would be needing while working. And wouldn’t have to keep going here and there while working.
This way you get to at least safe some time that can be used for doing other projects.
The faceplate of this Powermatic model can be improved if it’s made a bit bigger. Its small size does not make it suitable for all kinds of projects.
Things We Liked
- Digital rpm readout
- Variable speed motor
- Heavy duty cast iron material used
- Highly versatile
- Easy to adjust
- In built storage
Things We Didn't Like
- Faceplate is too small
Shop fox W1758 Wood Lathe
Next on our list is indeed one of best wood lathes in the industry. With this wood lathe in your home you may never go wrong. And this is because it has features that make it very distinct.
First thing you would notice about this unit is its well-structured design. This is one of best midi lathes when it comes to design. You might not be able to resist taking a closer look at this beauty right here.
With just a quick glance you can easily tell that this is indeed one of the best. Starting from its top quality material that gives it a strong build. It has cast iron legs and cast iron beds that makes it very stable while working.
Which is why when you place heavy woods on this unit it doesn’t collapse. That’s one reason why many woodworkers say this is one of best wood lathes that you can ever use.
That’s not all that its quality material has got to offer. All thanks to its quality material this unit right here is also very durable. Even when you use it for heavy duty jobs for a very long time it still remains intact.
And this way you wouldn’t have to replace this unit anytime soon.
Also, this wood lathe has 10 different speed settings ranging from 600 rpm to 2400 rpm. This way you can be sure that you would be able to maximize the use of this wood lathe.
And similarly, it provides for a better control while working on this wood lathe.
This is one of the many reasons why customers can’t stop saying this is one of best midi lathe in town.
Also this Shop fox model operates under a very strong motor. The motor is a 2 HP, 110 volt single phase motor. With these features the motor works at an incredible rate to make your work a lot easier. And at the same time to make your work much more fun.
If you’re also looking for one of best wood lathes when it comes to vibration control you are at the right spot. This guy right here boasts about being able to handle so much vibration. Well, that’s all thanks to its cast iron material.
One interesting thing is that this wood lathe comes at an affordable price. You wouldn’t have to break into a bank to be able to get this wood lathe. And what’s even better is that it doesn’t get to compromise its price with its quality.
And with this you get to win on both sides.
Even though this is indeed one of best wood lathes it has its own downside. One of which is that it does not offer a dual voltage motor. You can only use it with a 110 volt outlet. And this restricts usage by some woodworkers.
Things We Liked
- Strong motor
- 10 speed settings
- Suitable for heavy duty jobs
- Quick lock
- Adjustable tailstock
- 6 inch face plate
Things We Didn't Like
- Does not offer dual voltage motor
Nova 24146 1624-44 Wood Lathe
This is the last product on our list but is certainly not the least. With this Nova product you are in for an entirely different experience. Just by going through customers reviews you can easily tell that this Nova model is well appreciated.
With its amazing features this guy right here has gained the trust of people and is well recognised among its competitors.
The very first unique feature of this unit is its 1.5HP motor. With this strong motor this Nova model performs wonders.
It moves this unit at an amazing speed. And causes every other part to also function properly. That without doubt is one of the greatest asset of this wood lathe.
And that’s why you would always find this product on every review list for best wood lathes in town.
Its next amazing feature is its 8 speed setting which ranges from 215rpm to 3600rpm. This gives you a wider range of speed to work with. Thus giving you a better control of the unit as a whole.
At the same time it helps you attend to a wider range of projects within a short period of time.
Also its quality cast iron material allows for its durability. It is able to withstand so much stress, tension and external force. And the good thing is that it still remains intact even after going through all this it is also known to last for a very long time.
So you can be sure that you would keep seeing this unit in your workshop for a very long time.
Similarly its cast iron material makes it suitable for heavy duty jobs. So if you plan on getting one of best wood lathes for your heavy duty jobs this would be a very good option to opt for.
Maneuvering this unit is also very easy. All thanks to its 360 degree swivel head you wouldn’t have a problem handling this unit right here. This way you would find it a lot easier to do your job.
For its price this is known to be one of best wood lathes that you can ever come across. Why? The reason is because this unit right here comes at an affordable price. You wouldn’t have to pay through your nose to have this in your workshop.
And the good thing is that it doesn’t compromise its price with its quality. This still remains one of best midi lathe when it comes to quality.
That way it’s a win-win situation for you.
One thing though that can be improved in this unit is its headstock. This wood lathe has a bad headstock design. And this in a way discourages some buyers.
But given its other amazing features you have right here one of best wood lathes out there.
Things We Liked
- Powerful motor
- Easy to maneuver
- Strong cast iron material used
- Suitable for heavy duty jobs
Things We Didn't Like
- Bad headstock design
Top 6 Reasons Why Wood Lathe is Irresistible!
The same way using distinct knives in a kitchen is unavoidable, using different tools in woodworking is unavoidable. The art of wood working isn’t something that can be achieved with just a single tool.
Using a saw is good but not good enough for an exceptional wood work. This is where wood lathes comes in play. When it comes to smoothening and sharpening your wood you can always count on it.
With this single tool you would be able to perform way more than your expectation. That’s why we have come up with 6 reasons why the wood lathe is irresistible.
Here you would find out reasons why you need wood lathes in your workshop, read on.
1. Highly versatile
One of the advantages of wood lathe is that it’s highly versatile. With it you would make a wide variety of objects. And the good thing is that you can make it a cinch too.
Ranging from toothpick to candle holders to bowls and other objects. With just this single tool you can to make as many projects as you want.
Do you know what’s even more interesting? Such a lathe helps you bring out the beauty of your project. It makes it easy for you to achieve just about any design you want.
With it under your wing, you would be able to easily convert an imagination into something real.
With this you can be sure that the sky is your starting point when it comes to doing projects.
This way attending to the needs of so many customers wouldn’t be a problem. That way you get to increase the line of customers you have.
2. Gives a Fine Finish
Another good thing about wood lathes is that they help give a fine finish. What such wood lathe does is to help smoothen and help sharpen your wood work. That’s something that a chisel can also do. But you can be sure that wood lathe is more efficient.
With a good wood lathe you would be able to get a nice output. And that’s something that every wood lathe looks forward to.
The important thing is that is using the right tool for the right job. When it comes to finishing you would have to use a separate tool. And not just any tool but one that works best for you.
So you should use a separating tool for this purpose.
3. Greater accuracy
It’s true that you can use a chisel for getting a good shape out of your wood. But the truth is that it isn’t so easy. You would have to exert so much force before you can get the desired result.
And even when you get the desired result it isn’t that accurate.
That’s the problem you get with using a chisel. But the good news is that this can be solved with the use of lathes.
You would be able to shape out whatever you want out of a wood. And the good thing is that you get an accurate result. The result is usually so accurate that you would get the exact shape you want.
And the end product is usually without dents or marks.
4. Better profits
One good thing about using lathe for wood is that you get a lot of profits from the work you do. So how does this happen? Well, using this tool is a lot easier and more controlled. And the result is usually faster and more accurate.
Which is why you would be able to accommodate more customers with lathe . Because you would be able to attend to a variety of projects.
And when this happens you can do more. That’s a great advantage for you as a wood worker.
Not to worry, with a lathe for wood you would be able to do your work a lot faster. So meeting deadlines wouldn’t be all that difficult for you. That way you would still maintain credibility among your customers.
5. Modify chiselling
It’s no doubt that a chisel is good at shaping out a wood. With a chisel you would be able to get the desired form in wood. But it can be a bit stressful.
That’s where lathe for wood comes in place. With the lathe you get to modify what a chisel can do. And get to do the work better than a chisel.
So according to the types of projects you have you can easily cut out the right shape with a chisel. And then make accurate smoothening with the lathe.
Either way if you get to use the chisel or wood lathe, the important thing is getting the accurate result you desire.
6. Handles a lot of work
This is one great advantage of a lathe for wood over a chisel. With a chisel you would have to carefully do the work. And this in turn can be time consuming. That way you wouldn’t be able to attend to a lot of customers.
But with lathe it’s a whole lot different.
You get to do a lot of work within a short period of time. And with this you can attend to a lot of customers.
And the good thing is that even after a lot of exhaustive work a lathe is still very accurate. So you would get the same result every time you keep using this wood lathe.
7 Steps You Have To Bear In Mind to Remain Safe While Using Wood Lathe
In life you are faced with a lot of danger and harm. And this starts from even using a small blade in your home. That’s why it’s important to always use sharp objects carefully. And this also applies to the lathe for wood.
Not to digress too much, using the lathe is very easy. And at the same time requires a lot of patience and care. You would be making a big mistake if you are care free with using your wood lathe.
To make things a lot easier we have come up with this section. Here you will learn 7 steps on how to remain safe while a lathe.
Let’s quickly dive into these steps.
1. Inspect before you start working
You would be making a very big mistake if you don’t inspect your machine before you start your work. That’s because a part might actually be malfunctioning. And if you don’t detect it before you start working it can destroy your work and can even injure.
So to avoid this you always have to make a quick check before you start working. No matter how much you’re in a hurry to have to do this.
If a part is not functioning well you can either replace it or fix it. This way you would get a better output.
2. Check screws and bolts
Just as important as checking the parts are, checking screws and bolts are equally important. If the part is functioning well but the bolt is loose then it can cause a damage. Not only to that part but also to you.
So to stay safe while working you have to do this every time you want to use your machine.
It’s quite simple, all you have to do is tighten the screws and bolts. And ensure that every other thing is in place.
3. Keep your work area clean
Working in an untidy place is not only unhygienic but also unethical. Yeah, that’s the truth and here’s the reason why. With an untidy place you get to constantly inhale dust while you work.
And that isn’t so good for your lungs.
At the same time if so many things are placed on the floor, you could trip while trying to pick something you would need. And this can lead to an injury. So to be more careful you have to make sure everywhere is tidy.
Not only would you feel comfortable to work there but you would also feel safe while working there.
4. Keep the device sharp
One other thing you would have to do to ensure safety is keeping the device sharp. That’s because while working you would have to keep the wood lathe so that you would be able to cut through easily. That way you wouldn’t waste so much time while working.
Also you wouldn’t need to exert so much force before you can get the desired result.
Also this reduces kickback action. If the device is very sharp it easily smoothens the wood without throwing back large pieces at you. This way you wouldn’t ne injured in any way.
5. Keep your working area lighted up
You might be asking “how can this even keep me safe?” Well, you might not know it but this also has a role to play in your safety. While working it’s important that you have enough light source.
And this is because you would need to see clearly while cutting. Well, if you’re lucky enough with a dim light you wouldn’t harm yourself. But with can’t say that for your wood work. It might get damaged.
So that none of this would happen you have to light up your workshop enough. So that you’re easily guided while you work on your next project.
6. Don’t wear loose clothing
As simple as this might sound it’s actually a big deal. Wearing loose clothing as a wood worker is one of the most dangerous acts you can do. And here’s the reason why. With loose clothing, it can easily come off.
This applies most to jewellery. If you’re wearing something that can easily get trapped in the machine then it’s dangerous. When it’s trapped in there you could get injured or even worse it could damage the machine completely.
So to avoid any of these from happening always wear fitted clothes and always avoid dangling jewellery.
Also while working if you have a long hair ensure it’s always packed up. This way it wouldn’t interfere with you while working.
And with these you can remain safe while you do your work.
7. Buy quality wood
This might actually sound unimportant but it’s actually very important. The quality of the wood would determine how well the machine can cut through. If the quality of the wood isn’t that good then the machine would have a hard time cutting through.
And this can cause the kickback action. Which can end up injuring you. And also destroy the machine.
So to remain safe and also to keep the machine safe it’s important the wood quality is good. This way you wouldn’t have to worry about how well the machine would be able to cut through.
It certainly pays to be a lot more tech-savvy. And this holds true when you’re in the prowl for the most reliable wood lathes to get you those awesome wood designs. And doing due diligence certainly pays.
If you’ve been working with wood for some time now, you know how hard it is to put all those concepts you have in your head into reality. While all the power tools can certainly be of help, there simply is no tool that can give you the efficiency of a lathe for wood.
As we said before, it’s magical. The ability to free your hand to be able to focus on creation is what makes the lathe so effective. You’re at greater liberty to accomplish. Greater liberty to achieve.
All those stunning designs made possible via superb lathes in the market, attest to how much you gain with such a powerful tool at your disposal. On second thought, it also will show you how much you lose when you’re without the device.
Of course, you need to do some introspection before you put yourself in a position to buy. Some people sit on the fence thinking how much they’d lose if they stop their woodworking projects. Well, that’s part and parcel of your internal process.
If you want to accomplish much with a lathe, you have to look at your workload. How much work with wood would you like to achieve? What are the usual sizes of those pieces that you’d like to accomplish? And yes, how much budget are you willing to set aside to own one?
It’s well within all these things considered that we tip our hats to Jet 708359 JWL-1642EVS . For sure, all the products we listed are top of the line. No doubt about that. Some of them may very well be worth having.
But we certainly put greater emphasis on the Jet 708359 JWL-1642EVS . Manufacturers can lay claim to a lot of things. Marketing can certainly do their part to make things look good. But above and beyond, it’s always those people who have tried the products that speak the truth.
And offer more clarity on the subject.
That’s exactly what we’ve seen in this product. The products we have on the list have all been tried and tested. But there is no product that has earned the admiration of its users more than Jet 708359 JWL-1642EVS .
And to think this model from Jet carries a hefty price tag. That tells you, this one is truly dependable when you need the job done.
Fact is it has garnered more praise and adulation than any on the market today. And that cannot be ignored. For that’s first-hand knowledge on how good the product truly is.
In reality and not just in marketing.