What Is The Best Entry-Level Lathe For Beginning Woodworkers?
Are you an aspiring woodworker looking to brush up on your skills? Then an entry-level wood lathe is what you need! Most wood lathes available on the market are usually too expensive and too complicated to operate.
If you have no previous experience with wood lathes, you might find it daunting to get the hang of it. Even if you get the best wood lathe for the money, you might open up the package and realize that you can’t also assemble it.
Well, fret no more as there are some wood lathes out there that are suitable for beginners. In fact, some of these tools are made specifically for woodworking hobbyists.
Our job is to help you find a wood lathe that inspires you to follow your dreams rather than forcing you to quit. Therefore, we have accumulated the five best entry-level lathes for beginning woodworkers. These tools have specific features that will make it easier for you to learn on the job, and have fun doing it.
Best Entry-Level Wood Lathes
In this day and age, there is no lack of choices when buying a woodworking tool. The same goes for wood lathes. There are several promising models out there, but it’s tricky to find the perfect one for a beginning woodworker.
To make your choice more accessible, we have handpicked a few entry-level wood lathes that are perfect for amateurs. Feel free to choose one that is most suitable for your skillset.
1. NOVA 46300 Comet
The NOVA Comet has a decent range of speed from 250 to 4000 rpm. It has a 12-inch swing over bed and a 16.5-inch swing between centers. The speed ranges can be altered using a pulley system.
You can easily switch between low, medium, and fast speeds. It makes it easier to control for any amateur and makes your hobby less complicated. The motor runs at 3/4 horsepower, which is pretty powerful. It comes at a reasonable price and is easy enough to be used by a beginner.
What makes it even better is it can be easily assembled all by yourself. The NOVA 46300 works consistently at variable speeds, which makes the work more fluid. It allows you to get a smoother end result without much effort.
The specially modified belt is perfect for changing speeds instantly using the pulley system. Moreover, the power of the motor is capable enough to turn a considerable amount of weight.
2. NOVA 46301 Comet II
The NOVA 46301 runs on a 1.75 hp DirectDrive DVR motor. Powerful and efficient, it provides this entry-level wood lathe with constant power. It also has a speed range of 250 to 4000 rpm, which can be controlled manually.
The DVR motor is more intelligent than regular ones. It makes woodworking more efficient and less time-consuming. The stand is sold separately but works in unison with the wood lathe. It makes it more stable, which ensures more accurate results. Weighing 82.4 pounds, it is pretty light for a wood lathe.
Also, it doesn’t take up much space. Thus, it can fit comfortably in your garage or any other workplace. Storing this tool isn’t much of a hassle. Despite its robust motor, it works in silence and lets you concentrate on the work at hand.
The rigid design minimizes vibrations and, therefore, increases the woodworker’s precision. As it runs on DirectDrive, it doesn’t consist of belts. The speed range can be easily altered due to this feature.
Moreover, you can make larger bowls due to how easily its speed can be controlled. It has high torque, and its simple design allows you to learn on the job.
You can easily rotate the headstock if you wish to increase its capacity more than 16 inches. Low vibration means that you don’t need to bolt down this wood lathe. It will surely give you a run for your money.
3. Shop Fox W1758 Wood Lathe
Next up is the Shop Fox W1758 wood lathe. This incredible beginner’s tool consists if a robust 2 HP motor and runs flawlessly on 110 V. The ground cast iron bed, along with the whole design, is made of heavy-duty materials.
It brings durability to an entire new level. The heavy-duty material doesn’t wear out easily and stands strong even after regular use. The most intriguing feature is that it has a lever controlled speed adjuster.
It can run at ten different speeds between 600 to 2500 rpm. You will not get an easier speed adjusting system than this. Now you can easily alter between different speeds to achieve variable results.
It also has a quick lock/release mechanism, which allows you to clamp any given material in place. Despite all its remarkable features, it comes at a fairly reasonable price.
Therefore, Shop Fox W1758 is one of the best wood lathes for aspiring woodworkers. It is powerful enough to carry out most of your woodworking projects effortlessly.
Furthermore, its weight enables you to work on more substantial materials. It also has a large headstock, and their provided instructions make assembling the tool a breeze.
4. Jet 719600 JWL-1840EVS Wood Lathe
Jet 719600 is made of specialized heavy-duty material and weighs about 331 pounds. It’s run by a 2 HP motor on 230 V. This unmatched power makes it a powerful ally for any amateur woodworker.
Not only that, it runs at variable speeds, which can be determined by its user. It introduces a special grade cam lock lever mechanism, which makes it easy to use. Moreover, the legs have special webbings that grip the floor while you’re working on it, significantly reducing vibrations.
It has a remarkable finish that will leave you in awe. On top of that, they have fantastic customer service and will tend to any problems you’re having with their product. Setting up this wood lathe is also pretty easy despite its stature.
The motor keeps noise pollution to a minimum and gives you the pleasure of working in complete silence. The vibrations are significantly reduced due to its stable design.
You can produce precise works of art on this wood lathe. Even at low rpms, the high torque is impressive. The design is so well-built that the ram lines up perfectly with the spindle. The monitor displays the variable speeds in digital, making it less complicated. Even when dealing with bigger loads, the speed of this wood lathe stays constant.
5. PSI Woodworking 10-inch
The next addition to the list is the PSI Woodworking 10-inch. It runs smoothly on a whopping 3/4 rpm motor that provides it with enough speed to carry out the heavy-duty tasks.
It can also be run on a wide range of speeds between 150 to 4100 rpm. It’s equipped with a digital readout that tells you the exact speed it’s running on. The simple interface makes it more suitable for learning woodworkers.
Furthermore, it runs on SBC microprocessor technology, which is more intelligent than any other wood lathe.
It makes your job easier and carries out all its functions more effectively. It is also equipped with a user-friendly carrying handle and 24 indexing positions with a spindle lock system.
The PSI wood lathe doesn’t even require you to set it up manually as it comes pre-assembled in the box. Just take it out, place in your garage or workplace, and start working.
As it’s specially manufactured to carry out smaller projects, it is safe to say it has been built for beginning woodworkers. It’s a great wood lathe for making pens and more detailed projects as well.
Due to its heavy stature, it stays more stable and doesn’t need to be held down on the table. Moreover, the belt can be changed easily. Even a person with no prior experience with wood lathes can do it.
It can be pretty surprising that even with having such a powerful motor, it doesn’t make a sound. It lets you work uninterrupted, and with a clear state of mind. The reduced vibration also contributes to the accuracy of your projects.
As an additional feature, PSI has also added a small light that gives you a clear vision in the dark. It is as safe as it is efficient.
The aforementioned lathes are the best wood lathe for the money you can get. It’s hard to choose the perfect one as each woodworker has different needs. Every person has a different type of project to work on, and only a certain type of tool can help them achieve it.
The wood lathes mentioned above are the most cost-effective and user-friendly ones available on the market. It makes your job easier and also lets you learn fast as you operate them.
It will surely boost your skills and help you progress further quickly. All of the above can carry out different types of projects, so pick the one that caters to your needs. Don’t forget to take the necessary safety measures when working with wood.