When you are in your woodworking station, you would require multiple instruments to get the job running. Among everything, a wood lathe is a vital item that basically gives shape to the wood, you are working on.
If you look online or in stores, you will find a huge number of these instruments being sold. But do not turn blindsided and get the first item you see. Not every one of them is worth your money.
So, which ones are worth the purchase? Keep on reading to figure out the best full size wood lathe according to your taste and preferences.
Let’s get started.
5 Best Full Size Wood Lathe Reviews 2020
Don’t waste your money on a product that is of poor quality and functionality. Read more to learn about 5 of the best wood lathes that are totally worth your money.
1. Jet JWL-1440VSK Wood Lathe – Best for Multipurpose Projects
The company Jet is quite popular among woodworkers for consistently bringing out highly functional and good quality products. Their topmost priority is to keep their customers happy, so the brand never compromises with quality. The Jet JWL-1440VSK Wood Lathe is no different from their other products in terms of efficiency and quality.
When it comes to design, this product steals the show with its sliding headstock. You can get exactly 7 different locking placements at 270, 180, 120, 90, 60, 30, and 0 degrees. This has been made available for the comfort and flexibility of the woodturner.
Since its base is composed of cast iron, the item can be classified as durable. The strong metal allows minimum damage to the product and increases its longevity. Hence, you’ll be able to use the item for a very long time.
Another important feature of the lathe is that the speed variable is from 400 to 3,000 RPM. Because of this, your wood shaping experience would be smooth as you can set the speed according to your liking.
The locking system is quite impressive due to the high-quality clamps. Your machine will stay put and won’t rattle while you are using it.
And lastly, the tailstock is installed with an anti-rotation key. This would allow the component to stay in place and holds the spindle securely so that the wood turns uniformly.
2. Jet JWL-1015 Wood Working Lathe- Best Budget Option
Are you a novice who is held back from buying top-notch wood lathe due to high cost? If you are, then worry no more as this jet wood lathe promises to provide all the functionalities of an expensive wood lathe at the most affordable price.
The product comes with an advanced setting system! This system allows you to position the material you are working on in 24 orientations. Hence, you are given numerous positional options to do your carpentry.
Furthermore, the product comes with 6 spindle speed options, which are 500, 840, 1200, with a maximum limit of 3975. This means that the product has a high output speed which means that it can work on all types of material. And, its 15 and a half centers provide better drilling, sanding or any form of carpentry work.
Lastly, its bigger bed prevents your working material form wobbling and ensures a steady and smooth working experience. In addition to that, its stronger tensioning system allows easier access to the machine’s belt and, hence, enhances your woodworking experience.
3. Grizzly Industrial GO462 Wood Lathe- Best Option for Beginners
It is always to get a machine that is uncomplicated and cheaper if you are an absolute newbie. Particularly, the Grizzly’s GO462 is just the one for you if any of the requirements stated above fits the bill.
The grizzly wood lathe has two high powered motors which can produce a speed of 2400 rpm. Hence, it is more than enough to carve, drill, or do all sorts of wood-crafting works.
This machine can swing 16-inches from the bed and has a tachometer with a digital readout. So, switching speeds from 600 rpm to 2400 rpm can be done without breaking a sweat as you’ll know exactly how fast it is running.
Also, changing the orientation of the outboard is relatively easy with this. Just unfasten the headstock and spin it to the desired angle for enhanced flexibility.
Apart from remarkable functionality, the product is made of cast-iron. This alloy is one of the strongest materials on the planet and, hence, grants the machine extreme durability.
Furthermore, the cast-iron makes the product heavy, which allows you to carry out your work with little or no hindrance caused by any vibrations. And, all the necessary accessories are provided during purchase so you don’t have to buy anything separately.
4. Powermatic 3520B Wood Lathe- Best for High-Power Woodturning
Powermatic has been making top-notch wood-crafting machines and accessories for years now. And, their products are highly praised for the speed and power, and they possess. This Powermatic wood lathe also follows the same principle and is arguably one of their best product so far.
The product’s 22 volts motor produces 2-horsepower which is more than enough to do all kinds of wood-crafting work, including carving, drilling, etc. Also, the motors have an advanced option which lets you have control over the rotation. This way the desired speed can be chosen for better control and precision.
Apart from remarkable torque, the product has numerous interesting and advantageous features. One such feature is its digital readout system. The system allows you to monitor and control the rpm to the required rate.
Different materials require different rpm and, the product allows you to monitor and control that through the digital readout.
Another amazing feature is in the build of the machine. Highly durable and damage-resistant cast-iron was made in the making of this masterpiece. This gives it an edge in durability, making it a good long-term investment.
Furthermore, it lets the machine to have more weight, which helps to lessen the impact of the vibration caused during the spinning process.
5. Shop Fox W1758 Lathe Wood- Best for The Money
When you are in the woodworking business functionality along with cost-efficiency is something that most woodworkers prefer. But, this might not be true most of the time. Purchasing something at a higher price means that it will provide better service, and Shop Fox W1758 ensures the perfect results every time it is used.
Changing orientation or speed is a piece of cake for this bad boy. This is because of its quick-lock and release levers on the tailstock and headstock which allows you to completely rotate the material you are working on.
And, the machine’s easy to use lever allows you a range of speed from 600 to 2400 revolution per minute.
Its 2 horsepower, single-phase 110V motor, provides a big torque. This means that the machine can output a whopping 2400 revolution per minute. Hence, is more than enough to drill, carve, sand, etc. on the material that you are working on.
Moreover, all the necessary accessories such as a 6-inch faceplate, spur, and live center, etc. are provided during purchase. So, you won’t need to purchase anything separately.
Therefore, for all of the amazing features and high quality of the product, many excuse its high price tag.
The Ultimate Buying Guide for a Full-Size Wood Lathe
You should always spend your money wisely. It is better to jot down your needs and the purpose behind buying a product before you go ahead and purchase it. Here is the buying guide you need to look at before you start emptying your wallet:
Bed Base and Design
For a full-size wood lathe, it's important to get a machine that is made up of a heavy component such as cast iron. This would hold your device in place when the wood is being turned on the motor. The tiny disturbance could disrupt the spinning process altogether and also will put your safety into risk.
So, do not settle for a lathe that is very light just because it would be more portable. Heavier ones are more durable and can efficiently get your job done.
You also have to make sure that the height of the lathe at least matches the height of your elbows. If the machine is too tall, then you’d have problems while setting up your tools properly with the tool rest. A shorter lathe would make your muscles tired for bending for a long period of time.
Usually, most of the lathes come with variable speed settings ranging from 300 to 5000 RPM. It doesn't take much to realize that a lathe that has a higher speed setting is more powerful. So, you'd be able to spin more wood.
When you want to spin smaller objects a faceplate and a drive center is an absolute necessity so that the item being turned remains in position without the help of the tailstock. Now, when it comes to bigger objects, you would require a headstock that is able to rotate in larger degrees and away from the bed base.
This is important because you’d be able to access the toolrest while having enough clearance for the bigger object.
The wood that is being turned needs to be kept in place and has to rotate uniformly for a desirable end product. A tailstock is a pin-like structure that is responsible for maintaining the even rotation. The bed and the tailstock have to be pinned tightly so that you get the most resourceful results.
Saved the most important one for the last. Your tools must use the toolrest as support for safety purposes. It also must be adjustable to accommodate the wood close to the tool. Further, the component has to be securely locked into place so that nothing topples over.
Be sure to place more than 2 interchangeable tool rests when you plan to spin bigger objects. This way, you’ll get more space for giving shape to those items.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What lathe should one go for if one is planning to do woodturning?
Well, there is no definite answer to this but it depends entirely on the type of work you are planning to do. All professional lathes should give you great results, but our pick would be more powerful lathes as they provide enhanced accuracy.
2. Does a lathe machine only work on circular surfaces?
Lathe machine is generally used for doing work on circular surfaces and is probably the best type of machine for this work. But, the recent lathe machines are also capable of working on numerous surfaces like curvilinear or flat.
3. When should one use a lathe machine?
These machines are generally used to produce cylindrical objects. They normally work on the external part of the project and can also do internal work due to its boring option.
4. What type of material can a lathe machine work on?
A lathe machine can work on almost all kinds of material as long as it is not tougher or harder than the machine itself.
5. How to fix the spur with a faceplate?
It is always wise to use a spur with a faceplate, and installing it is an easy deal. Drive the spur out of the faceplate from the threaded side along with the brass hammer and punch.
While all the products mentioned above are the best you can find in the market, our favorite is the Shop Fox W1758. Though it is towards the higher end of the spectrum in terms of price, its efficiency and turning capability are unmatched. This is the best full size wood lathe, according to our opinion.
Which one is your absolute favorite? Let us know in the comment section below.