Whether you are a beginner or enthusiast of woodworking, picking out a woodturning lathe for your experience level is of utmost priority. There is a wide variety of wood turning lathes available on the market. As a result, it can be difficult deciding which wood turning lathe to purchase as there are many factors to consider such as budget, model, brand, size, and the features that you are looking for. It is also important to pick the right lathe that works for you as the lathe works at various speeds to assist the woodworker in woodcarving. Every woodworker has their own project and skill level and here are some things to look for in getting a lathe for your personal use.
What Factors to Consider
As they say, “try before you buy”. This is no exception to wood turning lathes as different machines may or may not be to your liking. It is best to get reviews from family, friends, or people on the internet for good advice on what their favorite wood turning lathe is and experiences with any other lathe that they may have used before.
What to Look for as a Beginner
If you are new to purchasing wood turning lathes, you should seriously consider how much you want to spend and whether you feel this is going to be a life-long hobby. If you are uncertain, you may consider purchasing a hobby woodworking lathe. These are suitable for those who are a beginner, or for those unsure of whether they will truly indulge in this hobby for years to come, or for those who rarely use a lathe but just want to have one. It is much cheaper than any other lathes on the market, but it is not as good as a more expensive lathe can be.
There are many different niches when it comes to woodworking, so lathes can be purchased to specially suit those needs. The bigger the project, the larger the wood turning lathe you need. The larger machine you need the higher price you pay. There are three main wood turning lathes available on the market. These are the pen, mini, and the full-sized one. If you usually do small projects such as making table legs or pens, a pen lathe is suitable for your needs. Pen lathes are small in size and limited to a swing radius of 2 inches.
If this is a bit small for you, a mini lathe is suitable for wood turning small to medium sized wooden pieces and small bowls. Like the pen lathe, it is small and can fit into a limited area. However, extensions can be purchased to lengthen the bed.
The largest one is called a full-sized lathe, also called a floor lathe. As mentioned above, it is the most expensive out of the lot. It also takes up a large amount of space. The full-sized lathe is best for those who are very serious about woodworking, such as professionals. Any woodworking project is possible with this machine.