10 Best Wood Lathes Under $500

The Best Wood Lathe under $500 is the Rikon mini lathe, known for its high-quality construction, five-speed range, and 460-3900 rpm production capacity with a ½ HP motor.

Looking for a low-cost lathe for woodworking? This list makes finding an excellent wood lathe easy. Find which wood lathe is suitable for you with this comprehensive guide. This list has everything you need to make an informed choice, from budget-friendly options to high-end machines.

The woodworking industry relies on lathes, and they are essential. With a variety of features, these lathes are ideal for a variety of tasks. Choosing a suitable Lathe can be challenging. Various sizes and prices are available for woodworkers. This list includes affordable, reliable, and versatile lathes.

Best Wood Lathe Under 500: A Head-To-Head Comparison

Need to read from top to bottom quickly? Here are 10 affordable budget wood lathes with essential features. Depending on your preference, pick one of them.

Wood LatheTypeMotor Power Speed RangeCenter DistanceSwing BedWarrantyPrice
RIKON Mini LatheMini½ HP460- 3900 RPM18”10”5yearsCheck Here
WENLA3421 Benchtop Wood LatheBenchtop½ HP750-3200 RPM13” 8”2 yearsCheck Here
Mophorn Wood LatheBenchtop0.73HP500- 3800 RPM18″10″  NoCheck Here
Grizzly Wood LatheBenchtop1/2 HP826-3337 RPM 18″ 10’’ 1 yearCheck Here
WEN 3420T Mini Wood LatheMini0.3HP750-3200 RPM13’’ 8’’ 2 yearsCheck Here
Excelsior Mini Wood LatheMini1/2 HP760-3200 RPM18″10″NoCheck Here
SHOP FOX  Benchtop Wood LatheBenchtop1/3 HP700 and 3,200 RPM12’’8’’2 yearsCheck Here
XtremepowerUSBenchtop Wood LatheBenchtop½ HP1100-3400 RPM,40” 14’’NoCheck Here
WEN LA3424 Benchtop Wood LatheBenchtop0.7 HP520-3400 RPM18”12”2 yearsCheck Here
Wen 34027 Multi-Directional Wood Lathe Multi-Directional 0.7 HP500-2500 RPM16’’12’’2 yearsCheck Here 

10 Best Wood Lathes Under 500: Details Review

The 10 best budget wood lathes are reviewed here. Each will be analyzed for pros, cons, and features. Read on whether you’re a beginner or an experienced builder.

1. RIKON Mini Wood Lathe: Best For Craft Woodworking 

You need to check out the RIKON Mini wood Lathe if you’re looking for a mini lathe perfect for your craft woodworking projects. It was specifically designed for pen turners looking for a sturdy, dedicated machine.

Features With Benefits:

  • Five-Speed Ranger:

With a five-speed range and 460-3900 rpm production capacity. The machine can bore barrel holes, rough out pen billets, turn, and polish. The Taper-Lock and Tool Rest features allow quick changes between stock sizes and depths.

  • Power Rating:

The Rikon mini wood lathe is an excellent choice for a compact, affordable Lathe with all the features they need. This machine features a ½ motor that provides ample power for all your turning needs, making it perfect for both hobbyists and professionals. 

  • Swing Over Bed:

A self-ejecting tail stock and easy access to speed change make this 10″ swing and 18″ between-centers Lathe perfect for your projects. Make delicate jewelry or simple tools with this Lathe.

  • Self-Ejecting Tailstocks:

The mini wood Lathe has a self-ejecting tail stock, making it easy to change speeds without removing the chuck or cross-threading your tool. This makes it perfect for creating miniature items or making simple repairs on larger projects.


  • Vibration isn’t an issue with cast iron mini-wood lathes;
  • Easy speed change;
  • User-friendly;
  • High-quality construction.


A protective cover is difficult to close.

2. Wen LA3421mini Benchtop Wood Lathe: Best For Beginner

Want an affordable wood lathe as a beginner? You should check out the WEN LA3421 Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe. If you wish for affordable woodworking tools, this Lathe is perfect for you.

Features With Benefits:

  • Soft Start Motor:

The WEN Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe is an excellent addition to any woodworker’s tool arsenal. This Lathe features a soft-start 3.2-amp motor that starts gradually to prevent damage and maximize safety. 

  • Variable Speed:

The WEN Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe is excellent for woodturners of all levels. With its variable speed, you can easily adjust the Lathe to match your needs. It also has a 0-2,000 RPM range, making it perfect for high-speed turning and intricate work.

  • Tool Rest:

For simple tasks such as turning parts or bowls quickly and easily, this may be the Lathe for you. Its compact design and high-quality components make it ideal for detailed work in narrow spaces. The tool rests are interchangeable.

  • Swing Over Bed:

An 8-inch swing over the bed makes it easy to work on larger pieces. The 13-inch distance between centers lets you make intricate details without moving your piece too much.


  •  The center distance is 13 inches;
  •  Faceplate, 2.3″;
  •  An MT1 spindle and tailstock;
  • Perfectly turn pens, bowls, cups, and chess pieces;
  • Lever clamps make tailstock and tool rest adjustments easy.


The precision of the tail stock is limited.

3. Mophorn Mini Wood Lathe: Best For Large-Scale Projects

Trying to find a lathe that is perfect for large-scale projects? The Mophorn wood lathe is a good choice. Due to its speed and accuracy, it is ideal for creating high-quality objects quickly, even with the largest pieces of wood. 

Features With Benefits: 

  • Large Work Capacity

The machine can perform a lot of work despite its size. Its 18″ / 460 mm distance between centers, 10″ / 254 mm swing over the bed, and moving tailstock make it perfect for any project. In addition, its high concentricity ensures precision.

  • Unrivaled Speed Control:

It provides unprecedented speed control with its high-speed wood lathe. You can adjust the spindle speed between 500 and 3800 RPM with the MT2. Keep track of your progress with a digital speed display.

  • Powerful Motor:

Powerful and versatile, the Mophorn Wood Lathe handles medium-sized materials with precision and efficiency. A robust, long-lasting 550W motor ensures maximum security, performance, and low noise. For small or large projects, the Mophorn Wood Lathe is ideal.

  • Tool Rest:

Tool rests on Mophorn Wood Lathes can be adjusted in multiple directions. Consequently, you can customize your work area to meet your specific needs. The tool rest on this Lathe measures 6″ (150 mm).


  • Smooth and stable cast iron mini lathe;
  • A lathe is suitable for cutting, sanding, knurling, and drilling wood;
  • A convenient accessory;
  • Stainless steel material;
  • Sturdy base with rubber feet.


  • Poor after-sales service.

4. Grizzly Wood Lathe: Best For Small Woodturning Projects

This is for you if you’re looking for a benchtop wood lathe. Benchtop wood lathes from Grizzly are innovative. Due to its precision and turning capabilities, this machine is ideal for intricate pieces.

Features With Benefits:

  • 5 Spindle Speeds Ranging:

The Grizzly Wood Lathe easily turns on wooden parts and pieces. You can control speed and torque easily with the Lathe’s easy-to-use controls. Five spindle speeds range from 826 to 3337 RPM, so you can quickly turn anything.

  • Single Phase Motor:

Grizzly Wood Lathe is an excellent option for those looking for a high-quality lathe that is affordable. It has 1/2 HP of 110V power and can be used with single-phase electricity which is perfect for all woodworking projects.

  • Tool Rest Width:

With this lathe machine tool’s width of 5-3/4″, it can handle nearly any task you put it through. Plus, the live rolling center ensures accurate measurements every time you work. In contrast, the spur center provides precision when cutting curves or diameters. 

  • Swing Over Bed:

A 10″ swing over the bed makes it easy to get close to your project without moving the whole machine. A distance between centers of 18″ makes it easy to create intricate cuts.


  • Adaptable leveling feet;
  • Heavy cast iron bed;
  • Affordable;
  • Vibration-free and quiet;
  • Runs very smoothly.


  • The motor turns a bit hot;
  • Slowly changing speeds.

5. WenLA3420T Mini Wood Lathe: Best For Small Workpieces

Making pens and chess pieces is your goal? The WEN3420T Mini Lathe is perfect for small workpieces. The work area is 12 inches long and 8 inches wide, perfect for pens, chess pieces, cups, and bowls.

Features With Benefits:

  • Variable Speed Operation:

WEN Wood Lathe allows woodworkers to turn small pieces of wood easily. It’s perfect for miniature furniture, jewelry boxes, ornaments, and other small items with its variable speed and turning radius of 12″.

  • Mt1 Spindle And Tailstock:

The MT1 spindle and tailstock allow for various accessories, making it versatile enough to tackle any project you might want to undertake. Plus, the included 1-inch by 8 TPI threads make it easy to start your next project.

  • 2A Soft Start Motor:

The WEN Mini Lathe has a powerful two-amp motor that starts gradually to prevent damage. The soft start variable speed motor adjusts anywhere from 750 to 3200 RPM for ultimate precision in your work.

  • Tool Rests:

The Wen 3420T lathe is an excellent option for those who want an affordable but high-quality lathe. It has two tool rests (4-½” and 7“) to provide needed support for chisels and tools during an operation, making it easier to produce precision cuts.


  • Swing over 8″;
  • 2.3″ Faceplate included;
  • User-friendly;
  • Affordable.


  • The tail stock is limited.

6. Excelsior Mini Wood Lathe: Best For Small Table and Chair Legs, & Decorative Wood-turning

If you are looking for a lathe perfect for decorative wood-turning, it is an ideal choice. For chair legs, tiny table legs, and decorative woodworking, these lathes are perfect.

Features With Benefits:

  • 5-Grade Speed:

With this Wood Lathe, woodworkers can create precision pieces. Easily attach accessories with the Lathe’s 1-inch by 8 TPI threads. The MT2 spindle and tailstock are also versatile and adaptable.

  • Power:

It has a cast-iron construction, and a 1/2 horsepower motor. A ball-bearing live center makes this machine rugged. These features make it a workhorse that rivals features in much larger lathes. 

  • Tool Rest:

Excelsior Lathe is ideal for decorative wood-turning projects. Its 18-inch distance between centers makes it suitable for a wide range of turning tasks. Moreover, the 10-inch swing over the bed allows you to turn your project quickly. The tool rests 6 inches.

  • Durable Construction:

A cast-iron body provides firm turning, high durability, and low vibration, making this lathe suitable for precision and accuracy projects. The small size makes it easy to store and transport.


  • Easy belt access;
  • Non-slip safety switch;
  • 3-inches faceplate;
  • spindles up to 17-3/4″ in length;
  • Affordable.


  • Unsturdy power cord.

7. Shop Fox Benchtop Wood Lathe: Best For Small Cutting Or Shaping Projects

Need a wood lathe for small cutting and shaping? It’s smart to choose Shop Fox benchtop wood lathes. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a small business owner, this benchtop lathe is perfect.

Features With Benefits:

  • Single Phase Motor:

A 1/3 HP single-phase motor delivers plenty of power for most tasks. You can turn large pieces quickly with the 2 amp draw. In addition, this machine is 110V compatible, so you can use it anywhere.

  • Variable Speed:

This Benchtop Wood Lathe offers an infinitely variable speed from 700-3200 RPM, which comes in handy when turning hard or soft species of wood. Plus, their small size makes them easy to transport and use anywhere you need them.

  • Tool Rest:

This benchtop wood lathe is ideal for turning projects. Tool rests are 4-1/2 and 7 inches. A 13-inch distance between centers makes it suitable for turning. A swing over the bed of 8 inches allows you to turn your project quickly.

  • Safety Paddle Switch:

With its safety paddle switch, this Lathe makes it easy to start turning your projects without worrying about accidents. It also allows you to stop the machine instantly if something goes wrong.


  • 5-3/4-inch Faceplate;
  • Designed in cast iron;
  • User-friendly;
  • Affordable.


  • It was not concentric with the hand knob hole;
  • The power isn’t great.

8. Xtremepowerus Benchtop Wood Lathe: Best For Home Use

Looking for a lathe but don’t have the space? Xtremepowerus Benchtop Wood Lathe might be a good fit for you. With all the necessary accessories, you can create your unique pieces of furniture.

Features With Benefits:

  • 4 Speeds Adjustable:

This machine features adjustable speeds of 1100/1600/2300/3400-RPM, making it perfect for efficiently tackling different tasks. Its 1/2HP setting is powerful enough to tackle most beginner projects easily. 

  • Single-Phase Motor Power: 

The XtremepowerUSBenchtop Wood Lathe offers high performance and simplicity. Single-phase motors with 350 watts turn projects smoothly. Moreover, it has a 1/2 HP rating, so even stubborn wood can be turned. Use DC or AC electricity (120v or 60hz).

  • Solid & Steady Frame:

This reliable machine is made from solid steel to provide stable performance, no matter how challenging the task. Its steady frame will also help reduce vibration for an even smoother experience. 

  • Perfect for Home Use:

You can use the XtremepowerUSBenchtop Wood Lathe for straight fluting, grooving, drilling, and layout work. Small and compact, this Lathe is ideal for home use. Plus, it comes with everything you need to get started.


  • The distance between centers is 40’’;
  • Accessories allow customization;
  • Solid lathe body;
  • Turning without vibration;
  • Moving adjusts speed.


  • Little Heavy;
  • Bad packaging.

9. Wen La3424 Benchtop Wood Lathe: Best For Non-Spindle Workpieces

The Wen La3424 benchtop wood lathe is an excellent option for non-spindle workpieces. This machine has multiple speeds and feeds for creating joints or other intricate woodworking projects.

Features With Benefits:

  • 5 Different Operating Speeds:

The WEN LA3424 Benchtop Lathe makes turning wood into beautiful artwork simple. Depending on their task, anyone can select from five different speeds (0.52k, 0.9k, 1.4k, 2.15k, and 3.4k RPM). In addition, switching between these speeds is simple.

  • 4.5A Motor:

Wenlathe’s LA3424 Lathe offers everything anyone needs to start woodworking. Precision turning and machining is ensured by the motor’s 4.5A output. Also, it’s highly stable during operation – even when using hardwoods.

  • Tight Holding Ability:

Cutting intricate details is made easier with MT2’s tailstock taper and spindle. Additionally, this machine has a comfortable seat, making operating it a pleasure.

  • Tool Rest:

Any woodworker can benefit from the WEN LA3424 Benchtop Wood Lathe. This tool rest holds chisels and tools and measures 7-7/8 inches long. By using a lever clamping unit, the tailstock and tool rest can be adjusted easily and precisely.


  • 3-⅛” faceplate; 
  • Suitable for non-spindle workpieces;
  • Onboard accessory storage;
  • Affordable;
  • Easily change the speed.


  • For beginners, it’s a bit fast.

10. Wen 34027 Multi-Directional Wood Lathe: Best For Small Woodwork

If you are looking for a wood lathe perfect for small woodwork, you can choose Wen34027 multi- Directional wood lathe. Whether you are a beginner, this multi-directional Lathe is ideal for you.

  • Variable Speed Operation:

The Wen 34027 Multi-Directional Wood Lathe machine has a unique design. The process is easy and fast, no matter how complex the project is. A variable speed range of 500-2500 RPM is available on this Lathe.

  • Slow Start Motor:

With the 34027 Multi-Directional Wood Lathe, you can turn anything. A 4.5 Amp motor starts slowly to prevent damage, and the rotational direction can be changed with a switch.

  • MT2 Spindle & Tailstock:

For woodworkers who want to create precision pieces, the Wen 34027 Multi-Directional Wood Lathe is ideal. The Lathe’s 1-inch by 8 TPI threads make attaching accessories easy. In addition, the MT2 spindle and tailstock are versatile and adaptable.

  • Variety of Accessories:

The WEN Lathe is a versatile, high-quality lathe that includes a 7’’-⅞’’ tool rest, face plate, center spur, and digital speed display. This Lathe is perfect for spinning projects in multiple directions. 


  • Digital speed display;
  • Easy to change the speed;
  • Great for multi-directional woodwork;
  • Safety power switch.


  • No mounting holes are available.

Things To Consider Before Buying Wood Lathe Under 500: Buyer’s Guide

If you’re considering buying a wood lathe, there are some things you should keep in mind. The following buyer’s guide will assist you in making the best decision. 

1. Type Of Lathe:

The size of the wood lathe(1)s varies from mini/benchtop to midi to full-size. You must choose the appropriate type according to your project requirements and garage space. Alternatively, you can attach a wood lathe to a drill press to turn wood vertically. Let’s look at its types in more detail.

  • Mini/Benchtop Wood Lathe: 

A mini or benchtop lathe has a DBC (distance between centers) of less than 20 inches and an SOB (swing over the bed) of less than 12 inches. Unlike larger wood lathes, this type can fit in small garages and workshops. Large items can be embellished with a mini lathe. Due to its low price, beginners can learn and improve their skills with it.

  • Midi Wood Lathe:

Their DBC drops below 20 inches, while their SOB remains the same or exceeds 12 inches. A mid-size lathe is compact like a benchtop lathe but delivers some power as a full-sized lathe. This allows them to be used on larger projects with less floor space, especially in a crowded garage. Its size will also increase its cost, but it is still an affordable alternative to a full-size lathe.

  • Full-Size Wood Lathe:

The SOB diameter and DBC length differ considerably. Large lathes have potent motors and occupy a lot of space. Therefore, you can easily make an outdoor bat or create detailed table legs. Full-size wood lathes are more expensive due to their power and size. It is recommended for anyone needing a large capacity or with some experience.

2. Power:

Power output is measured in horsepower (HP), whether it is a wood lathe. A wood lathe’s power output ranges from 3/4 HP to 2 HP. Mini wood lathes produce 3/4 HP, whereas full-size lathes feature an average of 2 HP.

As a result of the motor’s power, the Lathe spins faster, making the project more manageable. For heavy wood, two-horsepower lathes are best. It is, therefore, ideal for large/industrial projects. For light-turning projects, one HP motor is sufficient.

Pay attention to the voltage to determine whether a 120V outlet can power the wood lathe or a 240V outlet is necessary. A wood lathe’s power switch location does not directly affect its speed or power.

3. Speed:

In terms of speed, wood lathes operate at 250 – 4000 RPM. Speed is essential when purchasing a wood lathe since smaller pieces require more delicate cuts and must rotate more quickly than large, heavy parts. 

With the best wood lathe, shaping different woods or materials is straightforward as your preference. It ensures correct control of the cutting instrument as it moves through the wood. Different materials require different speeds – more complex materials require faster speeds, while softer materials require slower speeds.

4. Capacity:

The distance between centers (DBC) and the swing-over bed (SOB) determines a wood lathe’s capacity. Wood lathes can have DBC ranges between 12 (small) and 40 (large) inches. By measuring this length, you can determine the maximum size of wood that can be turned on this wood lathe.

Wood lathes can turn a maximum diameter of wood based on this measurement. In this case, a mini wood lathe’s SOB may be as low as 6 inches. Full-sized wood lathes may have an SOB as high as 15 inches, allowing you to handle much larger jobs.

5. Size: 

Suppose you are considering purchasing this wood lathe. Then consider the space available in your garage or workshop, and it will fit. Mini and midi wood lathes are compact, lightweight, and portable. Power tools are heavy and won’t push wood.

Full-size wood lathes are typically placed on the ground at four feet height, making them neither compact nor portable. This model requires a large amount of floor space if you are interested in purchasing it. To determine whether or not it will fit in your area, measure your available length and check its dimensions against the product specifications.

6. Base:

Wood lathes can make unintentional cuts and gouges due to vibrations. Vibrations are prevented by heavy metal construction. Using a wood lathe with a cast iron base is recommended when working with wood to absorb vibrations effectively. Many mini and mid-sized wood lathes are made of cast iron, but ensure it won’t affect the machine’s mobility.

7. Stability:

Applying constant force with precision while shaping a workpiece is vital when purchasing a wood lathe. An unstable wood lathe will destroy the workpiece. Generally, wood lathes use cast iron for many of their components and the base to absorb vibrations caused by the rotation of the spindle and motor. Including non-slip feet and the ability to bolt the Lathe to a floor or bench will enhance its stability.

8. Headstock and Tailstock:

A wooden lathe’s headstock consists of a converter connected to the motor, which allows you to control its speed. The headstock spindle is a small metal piece that extends easily from the headstock to the center of the Lathe. The purpose of this device is to penetrate the project to provide necessary rotational power.

It is easy to adjust the tailstock of the wood lathe to fit the wood length, which we place in the center. The tailstock is locked after positioning to prevent the wood from moving horizontally or vertically. The wood will ensure symmetry with this pincer-like grip. Before the results resemble the actual design, some skill and experience are required.

9. Tool Rest:

All your cutting tools can be placed on this horizontal bar tool rest. Using that to cut rotting wood will keep them stable. The tool rest must be set at the appropriate distance from the rotating wood. With this feature, it will be easier and safer for you to work with wood. If the tool rest is too far away, it may not be able to provide the necessary support.

Working on small projects using the tool rest on the mini and midi wood lathes is possible. Although larger wood pieces are used, full-size wood lathes offer extending tool rests that fold out from the Lathe.

10. Variable Speed Control:

Suppose you are interested in controlling the speed of the Lathe at different times. In this case, variable speed control is the best feature as it allows you to adjust the speed, either slowly or quickly, and thus provides more flexibility.

If your wood lathe does not have a variable speed control feature, you must change the belts to achieve different speeds. Even though it costs a little more, it will provide a faster and more accurate result.

11. Reverse Spin Function:

A few lathe models allow you to reverse the spin direction because sanding against the grain will result in a smoother finish. As a result, it proves to be quite helpful when sanding. Without this feature, it may not be possible to switch the entire piece around on a wood lathe.

12. Safety:

Wood lathes are powerful and dangerous tools that must be handled carefully. Injuries and accidents result as a result. Even simple mistakes like wearing jewelry or loose clothing can cause you to be pulled into the woods by the lane rotation. 

Using a wood lathe requires personal protective equipment (PPE) and a face shield (to prevent flying wood chips). Work gloves also protect your hands without interfering with woodworking. You might damage your hearing with these power tools. To protect your ears, earplugs (or) any other hearing protection is essential.

13. Accessories Availability:

Many accessories available for wood lathes can help you get the best results from your work. Therefore, their importance cannot be overstated. Having Chisels, Gouges, Spring Calipers, Hones, and Other Safety Accessories available when using a wood lathe can be helpful.

14. Price:

The price of the wood lathe is the next factor to consider. Make sure you buy something cheap only because it’s cheap, as the cost of an item depends on its quality and features. A wood lathe with more unique features can be purchased for more money if money is no object. If you are on a budget, you should be willing to compromise some of these extra features for affordability.

Advantages of using a wood lathe in a woodworking project

A wood lathe is a precision machine used for various purposes(4), such as creating furniture, appliance parts, ornaments, and more. The benefits of using wood lathes are numerous:

  • User Friendly: 

For hobbyists and beginners, wood lathes are an excellent tool because they are easy to use. A wood lathe allows you to create intricate shapes from wood with just your hands. The process is easy to learn, so it’s a good option for anyone who wants to sharpen their tools or make small wooden objects.

  •  Better Profitability:

A wood lathe can be beneficial to any woodworker. They offer better quality and greater profitability than other tools. Compared with other methods of producing high-quality pieces, lathes enable them to be made faster and more economically. Additionally, they offer more creative expression when designing furniture or custom items since they do not require as much precision as other tools.

  • Better Consistency:

Consistency is one of the most attractive features of wood lathes. Despite the complexity or intricacy of the project, you can create items with accurate dimensions every time. As a result, this is a unique feature if you seek high-quality products that will not require significant customization or adjustment in the future.

  • Highly Productive:

The wood lathe is a highly productive tool that can be used to create beautiful furniture, home decor, and more. Even the most complex shapes and designs can be easily turned on a wood lathe with a properly designed project.

  • Increases Efficiency And Reduces Costs:

The advantages of lathe machines have led to a considerable amount of time being saved due to their use. Consequently, fewer operators and turners are needed, which reduces the cost of machining and labor and saves both time and money.

  • Easy Rotation Control:

Wood lathes are an excellent tool for creating beautiful pieces of furniture, decorations, or other projects. Because of the pulley system, precise cuts can be made without worrying about overturning the workpiece due to the easy rotation control. 

Precautions Before Using Wood Lathe Machine While Working

Wood lathes are versatile tools that can be used for various projects. However, it is crucial to take some precautions before using a wood lathe machine.

1. Do Not Use Excessive Force: 

While working at the Lathe, it is essential to maintain a balanced stance so that you don’t fall or lean against the lathe workpiece or any other part of the Lathe that may move as you work. As you operate a machine, avoiding overexerting yourself or using excessive force is essential.  

2. Wear Eye Protection:

It is highly recommended(3) to wear a face shield to thoroughly protect your face. It is a minimum requirement for all workers to wear safety glasses certified by ANSI. It is impossible to predict when you will be struck in the face or eye by a piece of your stock that will fly off and hit you. As it stands, if the whole work were to fall off, it would cause eye damage or other injuries.

3. Dust Protection:

There is no doubt that dust harms your lungs and long-term health. The dust generated by sanding is carcinogenic, and a dust mask must be worn when sanding. Tropical and spalted woods can cause respiratory distress. You should wear a dust mask when turning and grinding these woods.

4. Hearing Protection:

Because the lathe and dust collector must run continuously, wearing hearing protection is crucial. Continuous exposure to high noise levels may not immediately affect your hearing, but ringing may eventually occur. 

5. Secure The Workpiece To The Lathe:

Identify the best way to secure the wood on the Lathe for the project at hand. The key is to train and understand the hardware’s capabilities and potential hazards. Set your Lathe’s RPM (revolutions per minute) according to your stock’s diameter. Ensure your workpiece is seated correctly and aligned before increasing the RPM. Lathe chucks, tailstocks, tool rests, and other parts should also be tight. Avoid stock with a lot of cracks or knots.

6. Aware About Turners:

In turners’ terms, the “red zone” is the “firing zone.” This is where pieces travel, most likely when they come off the Lathe. Step out of this zone when turning on a lathe while keeping your hand on the switch in case you need to stop it. Stay out of this zone when observing someone else turn.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Brand Of Wood Lathe Is Best?

Rikon, Mophorn, Grizzly is a well-known brand that produces quality wood lathes. It is available in a variety of models that are designed to handle a variety of woodworking tasks. 

Additionally, their lathes are very affordable, making them an excellent choice for woodworkers who are just starting or on a tight budget. In addition, they have an outstanding customer service team that is always more than happy to assist customers.

What Is The Best Wood-Turning Lathe For A Beginner?

For beginners, the best choices are the RIKON 70-100, the WEN 3421, and the Shop Fox W17204. 

The high performance of this Lathe makes it an intelligent choice for those seeking high-quality lathes. Its lightweight design and ease of movement make it easy to move around and find a space to work in. With the included stand, it is easy for the user to turn any workpiece while it is in place.

Which Size Wood Lathe Is Considered Standard?

It is considered standard for mini and midi lathes to have spindles with a 1″- 8 TPI diameter. This spindle size can be used to do small projects such as making boards, ornaments, plaques, or other small items by using lathes and spindles of this size. 

They also make handy hobbyists and beginners comfortable using a lathe because it allows them to quickly turn smaller objects without worrying about damaging them.

What Does A 7×14 Lathe Mean?

Using this method, a workpiece is held between a center on the headstock spindle and one on the tailstock spindle.  

There is a 14-inch distance between the centers of a 7×14 lathe. It is the maximum diameter of a workpiece that a lathe can rotate due to its rotational speed. In other words, this value measures how long it takes to turn a piece of work between two centers.

What Kind Of Lathe Do You Need To Turn Bowls?

Some lathes are specifically designed to turn bowls. Like WEN3420T Mini Wood Lathe, SHOP FOX Benchtop Wood Lathe, andWEN LA3424 Benchtop Wood Lathe.

They usually have fewer or no bed rails, making it easy to access the bowl. The length of the bed is excellent when using these lathes. A shorter bed makes turning the bowl interior easier, and less leaning is required to turn the bowl.

Final Recommendation:

It’s time to wrap up. There are many wood lathes available due to their popularity. This article lists the 10 best wood lathes under 500. Different brands trust all these models for their quality, speed, and performance. A detailed buying guide is included with this article about wood lathes.

After looking through all these top models, RIKON wood Lathe has made some extra efforts to make this tool one-of-a-kind. In the end, they’ve managed to ensure that they are not just reliable but also powerful and user-friendly.

If you are a beginner, You can also pick the WENLA3421 Benchtop Wood Lathe. This high-quality, affordable wood lathe can be used for many tasks. It’s the perfect tool for anyone looking for a reliable, affordable way to upgrade their woodwork skill quickly.

Undoubtedly, all the above products are the best available on the market. To achieve the expected result, you can choose any of them. However, remember to follow my tips when choosing a Wood lathe.


Wood Lathe Safety Rules. (n.d.). Valley Woodworkers. Retrieved October 14, 2022, from https://valleywoodworkers.org/wp2/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Wood-Lathe-Safety-Rules1.pdf

Wood Lathe Vs Metal Lathe. (2021, June 9). Electronics Hub. Retrieved October 14, 2022, from https://www.electronicshub.org/wood-lathe-vs-metal-lathe/#Advantages

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