7 Best Wood Lathe Under 500 in 2022

The wood lathe machine is one the most crucial things for wood-crafters and builders who make things out of wood. Your garage must require good quality and efficient wood lathe machine to support your wood-crafting job. That’s why, if I am not mistaken, you must be looking for the best wood lathe machine.  

For shaping woods into a cylindrical profile, good surface finishing, cutting, sanding, knurling, deformation, facing, and turning of woods, the wood lathe is the perfectly suitable machine you are looking for. But, if your budget is tight, like around $500, then you are the one who is looking for the best wood lathe under $500.

In keeping the mind your concern and budget, we have come up with the seven best wood lathes under $500 in 2022. This review recommends the best wood lathe machine based on the opinion of experts.

This review organizes the seven best lathe machines conveniently, which is easy to skim through. After going through the whole article, I believe you can select a suitable wood lathe under your budget.

NameBest for
1.RIKON Power Tools 70-105 10″ x 18″ 1/2 hp Mini Lathe  Best for handy use and easy functionality
2. SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe  Best for effective performance
3. WEN 3420 8″ by 12″ Variable Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe  Best for precision work
4. RIKON 70-100 12-by-16-Inch Mini Lathe  Best for unique features
5. PSI Woodworking KWL-1018VS Turncrafter Commander  Best for versatile working performance
6. Excelsior 5-Speed Mini Lathe  Best for mini wooden piece artwork
7. JET JWL-1015, 10″ x 15″ Woodworking LatheBest for heavy-duty woodwork

Let’s start with our review of the best wood lathe under 500 in 2022

Best Easy Functionality

RIKON Power Tools 70-105 10" x 18" 1/2 hp Mini Lathe

RIKON Power Tools 70-105 10″ x 18″ 1/2 hp Mini Lathe

I chose this product as one of the best wood lathe machines available in the market because of its easy usability and functionality. Moreover, it has five easily accessible speed-changing ranges, self-ejecting tail stock, and a safety switch system, making it handier to use and safe.

Product Specifications and Descriptions

  • The Manufacturer is RIKON.
  • The Weight Distribution of the lathe is 74 pounds. 
  • The Dimension of the lathe is ‎ 35.5 x 10.5 x 14.75 inches.
  • The main Material of the lathe is cast iron.
  • The Voltage requirement of the motor of this lathe machine is 120 volts.
  • The Motor’s Power is 1/2 hp (3.7 amperes, 375 watts).
  • Included items with the lathe are Spur center, Wrenches, Rubber Feet, Live center, Manual, and 6″ tool rest.
  • The Warranty for this lathe machine is five years.

Key Features

  • This lathe has six easily accessible speed-changing ranges, from 450 rpm to 3200 rpm. 5 rpm ranges are 500, 1175, 1850, 2225, and 3200. This rpm range is efficient enough for making boring barrel holes, roughing pen billets, turning to shape, and finishing.
  • This lathe machine has self-ejecting tail stock, which saves the time for removing the center because the knockout bar doesn’t become necessary in the self-ejecting tail stock system.
  • This lathe machine has the feature of adjusting belt tension according to the need of the job.
  • The 6-inch tool rest of the lathe machine is adjustable according to the size of the wood.
  • 18-inch distance between centers and a 10-inch swing over the bed (10-inch x 18-inch) opens the scope of dealing with various sizes of woods. A maximum of 10-inch x 18-inch volumed wood capturing quality enables a user to perform heavy-duty wood shaping works.
  • Included spur center and the live center provide different types of gripping power to the machine according to the need of the job.
  • This lathe machine has a safety switch system. If the power of the engine gets cut, it will not start by itself when the power comes again unless the user switches on the start button again.

Special advantages of the lathe machine

Because of the cast iron material, this machine is almost vibration-proof and provides stability while rotating. That is why this machine offers better accuracy and smoothness while shaping woods.

The safety switch system prevents the risk of accident due to sudden power restoring to the machine after a power cut while shaping woods on the lathe.

This design of this lathe machine is favorable for the pen turning job. Its performance in terms of pen turning job is quite impressive and efficient. As the turning job requires precision and accuracy, this lathe machine never fails to fulfill these demands.

Pros

  • Ideal option for beginners
  • Made of cast iron
  • Vibration free and stable
  • Five different speed range
  • Self-ejecting tail stock
  • Safety switch system.

Cons

  • Occurring balancing issues sometimes.
  • Quite heavy to carry

My opinion

In my opinion, this is the best choice for professionals and beginners to perform any wood crafting and turning job. I would recommend this lathe to those engaged in wood pen turning.

User’s Experience

Rikon Power Tools 70-105 Mini Lathe: Great little machine that not only turns pens. I make bowls on this lathe. The only drawback is that I am limited to around 9 inches in diameter before I start cutting the bowl. It is plenty powerful for almost any job within the size limit of the lathe.

Best Performance

SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe

SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe

I mainly chose this product as one of the best wood lathe machines available in the market because this lathe machine is lightweight and portable. Besides, its performance is precise and impressive because of its high RPM-providing motor, including face plate and self-ejecting tail stock.

Product Specifications and Descriptions

  • The Manufacturer is Shop Fox.
  • The Weight Distribution of the lathe is 49.1 pounds. 
  • The Dimension of the lathe is ‎7.1 x 27.9 x 13.7 inches
  • The main Material of the lathe is cast iron.
  • The Voltage requirement of the motor of this lathe machine is 110 volts.
  • The Motor’s Power is 1/3 hp (250 watts).
  • Included items with the lathe are an MT No. 1 spur center, an MT No. 1 live center, 4-1/4-inch, and 7-inch two tool rests a 5-3/4-inch faceplate and a 3/4-by-16-inch TPI RH spindle.
  • The Warranty for this lathe machine is two years.

Key Features

  • This lathe’s adjustable speed ranges from 750 rpm to 3200 rpm. This rpm range is efficient enough for making boring barrel holes, roughing out pen billets, turning to shape, and finishing.
  • This lathe machine has quick & self-ejecting tail stock with an adjustable knob.
  • This lathe machine has two adjustable tool rest, one is 4.25-inch, and another one is 7-inch. Two adjustable tool rests provide various turning applications according to the sizes of the wood.  
  • Included 5-¾ -inch faceplate threads onto the headstock spindle for non-spindle turning
  • 13-inch distance between centers and an 8-inch swing over the bed (8-inch x 13-inch) opens the scope of dealing with various sizes of woods.
  • Included spur center and the live center provide different types of gripping power to the machine according to the need of the job.
  • This lathe machine has a safety switch system. If the power of the engine gets cut, it will not start by itself when the power comes again unless the user switches on the start button again.

Special advantages of the lathe machine

Because of the cast iron material, this machine is almost vibration-proof and provides stability while rotating. That’s why this machine offers better accuracy and smoothness while shaping woods.

The safety switch system prevents the risk of accident due to sudden power restoring to the machine after a power cut while shaping woods on the lathe.

Included 5-¾ -inch faceplate enables a user to make bowls or other round-shaped bowl-type wooden objects. The support of tails stock is not necessary while performing woodworks with faceplates.

Moreover, because of the lightweight and easy portability, it can be placed and carried anywhere.  

This lathe machine never disappoints a user by providing precision and accuracy while shaping woods or performing wood crafting.

Pros

  • Enormous rpm providable motor.
  • Vibration free and stable
  • Adjustable, different speed ranges
  • Quick adjustable tail stock and knob.
  • Safety switch system.
  • Lightweight and easy portability.

Cons

  • Ineffective for heavy wood shaping.

My opinion

In my opinion, this is an exact choice for both professionals and beginners. I recommend this lathe to those who want to perform small-sized wood shaping jobs perfectly and precisely.

User’s Experience

Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop lathe: The Shop Fox @1704 1/3-Horsepower benchtop lathe is a fantastic machine easy to learn and use. I have been using it for about four weeks. I needed to purchase chuck and large and small wood chisel sets; I am happy and highly recommend this machine.

Best Lightweight

WEN 3420 8" by 12" Variable Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe

WEN 3420 8″ by 12″ Variable Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe

I specially chose this product, wood lathe machines, because of its safety measure and high-performance motor. Moreover, this lathe machine’s design is favorable for making bowls, cups, or other round wooden products. Besides, this lathe machine is lightweight, and anyone can carry it anywhere.

Product Specifications and Descriptions

  • The Manufacturer is WEN.
  • The Weight Distribution of the lathe is 44.1 pounds. 
  • The Dimension of the lathe is 26 x 10 x 12 inches.
  • The main Material of the lathe is cast iron.
  • The Voltage requirement of the motor of this lathe machine is 120 volts.
  • The Motor’s Power is 2 amperes (1/3 hp, 240 watts).
  • Included items with the lathe are a flat wrench, a headstock spur center, one live center, a tailstock cup center, a knockout rod, a 5-inch faceplate, 4-1/2 inch and 7-inch two tool rests.
  • The Warranty for this lathe machine is two years.

Key Features

  • speed ranges from 750 rpm to 3200 rpm. This rpm range is very proficient for jobs like making boring barrel holes, roughing pen billets, turning to shape, and finishing.
  • inch faceplate threads onto the headstock spindle for non-spindle turning
  • maximizes safety measures, reduces the accidental possibility, and prevents the engine from being damaged.
  • 2-inch distance between centers and 8-inch swing over bed (8-inches x 12-inch) opens the scope of dealing with various sizes of woods.

Special advantages of the lathe machine

Because of the cast iron material, this machine is almost vibration-proof and provides stability while rotating. That’s why this machine offers better accuracy and smoothness while shaping woods.

8-inch by 12-inch wood gripping feature with two adjustable tool rest provides needed support for chisels and tools during operation.

Included 5-inch faceplate enables a user to make bowls, cups, and other round-shaped bowl-type wooden objects. The support of tails stock is not necessary while performing woodworks with faceplates.

Moreover, because of the lightweight and easy portability, this lathe machine can be placed and carried anywhere.  

In the requirements of accuracy and precision during truing woods, this lathe machine never disappoints its user by providing satisfaction.

Pros

  • Enormous rpm providable motor.
  • Adjustable, different speed ranges
  • Two adjustable tool rests of different sizes.
  • Slow and soft start of the motor.
  • Lightweight and easy portability.

Cons

  • Ineffective for heavy wood shaping.
  • The spindle doesn’t turn fast enough sometimes.

My opinion

In my opinion, this is the correct choice for beginners. I recommend this lathe to those who want to perform small-sized wood shaping jobs like bowl, cup, or chess piece making with perfection and precision. 

User’s Experience

WEN 3421 3.2-Amp Benchtop wood lathe: If you are an experienced machinist, this lathe is not for you. If you are comfortable with the various tools you use to turn a wooden or acrylic blank, this lathe is not for you. But if you are just beginning and are a novice at turning wooden or acrylic blanks, this lathe is appropriate for your needs.

Best Heavy-Duty

RIKON 70-100 12-by-16-Inch Mini Lathe

RIKON 70-100 12-by-16-Inch Mini Lathe

I chose this product as one of the best wood lathe machines available in the market because of its excellent proficiency and simple design, which makes the lathe easy to use, even for beginners. The most helpful feature of this lathe is a user can extend the lathe machine’s bed for heavy-duty work if required.

Product Specifications and Descriptions

  • The Manufacturer is RIKON.
  • The Weight Distribution of the lathe is 74 pounds. 
  • The Dimension of the lathe is ‎ 35.5 x 10.5 x 14.75 inches.
  • The main Material of the lathe is cast iron.
  • The Voltage requirement of the motor of this lathe machine is 115 volts.
  • The Motor’s Power is 3/4 hp (5.7 amperes, 560 watts).
  • Included items with the lathe are spur center, live center, 3″ faceplate, knockout bar, adjustment wrench, one 9.5-inch tool rest, spindle lock assembly, pan head screw, and tool holder.
  • The Warranty for this lathe machine is five years.

Key Features

  • six different easily accessible speed-changing ranges, from 430 rpm to 3900 rpm. Those 6 rpm ranges are 430, 810, 1230, 1810, 2670, 3900. This rpm range is way too efficient for the job like roughing billets, turning to final shape, and then finishing projects on the machine.  
  • This lathe machine has the feature of adjusting belt tension according to the need of the job.
  • Users can extend the bed of this lathe machine. That means, if it requires, you can adjust the extra lathe bed with the existing lathe bed for shaping large wood.
  • The 9.5-inch tool rest of the lathe machine is adjustable according to the size of the wood.
  • 6-inch distance between centers and a 12-inch swing over the bed (12-inch x 16-inch) opens the scope of dealing with various sizes of woods. A maximum of 12-inch x 16-inch volumed wood capturing quality enables a user to perform heavy-duty wood shaping works.
  • This lathe machine has a safety switch system. If any reason, the power of the device gets cut, it will not start by itself when the power comes again unless the user switches on the start button again.

Special advantages of the lathe machine

Because of the cast iron material, this machine is almost vibration-proof and provides stability while rotating. That’s why this machine offers better accuracy and smoothness while shaping woods.

The safety switch system prevents the risk of accident due to sudden power restoring to the machine after a power cut while shaping woods on the lathe.

Unique 12-indexing head positioning allows the user to lock the workpiece in multiple positions for improved accuracy in detail work. Anyone can perform detailed pattern work on projects such as straight fluting, grooving, drilling, layout, etc. The 12-position indexing head also allows the spindle to be locked in place for easy removal of face plates, chucks, and other accessories.

Several convenient features make the lathe easy to use. For instance, a flip-up handle for mobility and a nylon face plate washer that prevents accessories from sticking to the spindle make this lathe easy to use. Similarly, a tool holder near the back of the machine gives you easy access to your centers and knockout bars.

Pros

  • 12-position index head
  • Made of cast iron
  • Vibration free and stable
  • Six different speed range
  • Self-ejecting tail stock
  • Safety switch system.

Cons

  • Occurring balancing issues sometimes.
  • Quite heavy to carry

My opinion

In my opinion, this is a suitable choice for both professionals and beginners to perform any job regarding wood crafting and turning with maximum precision and accuracy. I recommend this lathe to beginners engaged in medium and heavy-sized wood crafting.

User’s Experience

Rikon 70-100, 14-inch Mini lathe: This product is incredible. My husband loved it. He has made some super bowls with it and is still learning new things.

Best Performance

PSI Woodworking KWL-1018VS Turncrafter Commander

PSI Woodworking KWL-1018VS Turncrafter Commander

I mainly chose this product as one of the best wood lathe machines available in the market because of its excellent proficiency in the aspect of heavy-duty wood turning work. Besides, this lathe machine has 24 indexing position heads and a digital RPM displaying meter.

Product Specifications and Descriptions

  • The Manufacturer is PSI Woodworking Products.
  • The Weight Distribution of the lathe is 82 pounds. 
  • The Dimension of the lathe is ‎ 32 x 9 x 17 inches.
  • The main Material of the lathe is cast iron.
  • .
  • The Motor’s Power is 3/4 hp (560 watts).
  • Included items with the lathe are a tool storage rack, work light with 18″ flex cable, 6″ tool rest, 12″ tool rest, and 3″ Faceplate. Besides, there are Spur Drive Center, Tailstock Live Center, Hex Wrench (set of 4), Rubber feet (set of 4), Knockout Rod, Phillips Screwdriver, Tailstock handle & bolt, and Safety Goggles.
  • The Warranty for this lathe machine is three years.

Key Features

  • This lathe two belt position is for adjusting speed ranges. One belt position can create an rpm range from 500 to 2000, and another belt position can create 1500- 3600 rpm. These rpm ranges are very much proficient for the job like making boring barrel holes, roughing out pen billets, turning to shape, and finishing.
  • This lathe machine has two adjustable tool rest, one is 6-inches, and another one is 12-inch. Two adjustable tool rests provide various turning applications according to the sizes of the wood.  
  • Included 3-inch face plate threads onto the headstock spindle are present for non-spindle turning.
  • Users can extend the bed of this lathe machine. If required, the user can adjust the extra lathe bed with the existing lathe bed up to 42-inch for shaping large wood.
  • This lathe machine has 24 indexing position head with spindle locking. It is a locking mechanism of wood pieces on the lathe.
  • 18-inch distance between centers and a 10-inch swing over the bed (10-inch x 18-inch) opens the scope of dealing with various sizes of woods. A maximum of 10-inch x 18-inch volumed wood capturing quality enables a user to perform heavy-duty wood shaping works.
  • This lathe has a digital layout that shows the accurate rpm while rotating.
  • Included spur center and the live center provide different types of gripping power to the machine according to the need of the job.

Special advantages of the lathe machine

Because of the cast iron material, this machine is almost vibration-proof and provides stability while rotating. That is why this machine offers better accuracy and smoothness while shaping woods.

Unique 24-indexing head positioning allows the user to lock the workpiece in multiple positions for improved accuracy in detail work. Anyone can perform detailed pattern work on projects such as straight fluting, grooving, drilling, layout, etc. The 24-position indexing head also allows the spindle to be locked in place for easy removal of face plates, chucks, and other accessories.

The digital rpm display feature enables the user to set the rpm at the exact rpm he desires to work.

Pros

  • 24-position index head
  • Made of cast iron
  • Vibration free and stable
  • Digital RPM showing display meter
  • Extendable lathe bed

Cons

  • Quite heavy to carry
  • Expensive
  • Motor runs slower with extended bed

My opinion

In my view, this is the perfect choice for both professionals and beginners to perform any heavy-duty job regarding wood crafting and turning with maximum precision and accuracy.  

User’s Experience

PSI Woodworking KWL-1018VS Turncrafter Commander: Powerful motor. It’ll snap a tool rest immediately if a gouge hits a knot. It’s no wimpy! Overall, very great lathe it is.

Best Artwork

Excelsior 5-Speed Mini Lathe

Excelsior 5-Speed Mini Lathe

I chose this product as one of the best wood lathe machines available in the market because of its effectiveness in performance, even in extreme conditions. Besides, this lathe has five different RPM speed ranges, an extendable bed feature, and chrome-plated hardware.

Product Specifications and Descriptions

  • The Manufacturer is ‎Rockler Woodworking and Hardware.
  • The Weight Distribution of the lathe is 80.5 pounds. 
  • The Dimension of the lathe is ‎ 32 x 9 x 17 inches.
  • The main Material of the lathe is solid cast iron.
  • The Voltage requirement of the motor of this lathe machine is 110 volts
  • The Motor’s Power is 1/2 hp (370 watts).
  • Included items with the lathe are a 3″ Faceplate, Knockout Bar, 3mm Hex Key, 6mm Hex Key, 8mm Hex Key, Spindle Washer, and 6″ tool rest.  

Key Features

  • This lathe has five speed-changing ranges, from 760 rpm to 3200 rpm. Those 5 rpm ranges are 760, 1100, 1600, 2200, and 3200 RPM, accessible through the convenient mini door, adjusted with the lathe machine.
  • This lathe machine has a convenient mini woodworking lathe door which provides easy access to the belt.
  • 18-inch distance between centers and a 10-inch swing over the bed (10-inch x 18-inch) opens the scope of dealing with various sizes of woods. A maximum of 10-inch x 18-inch volumed wood capturing quality enables a user to perform heavy-duty wood shaping works.
  • The lathe has a spur center on the headstock and a ball-bearing live center on the tailstock.
  • The cam-locking ratcheting levers are adjustable according to the size of the wood.
  • The hardware of the lathe is chrome plated. 

Special advantages of the lathe machine

Because of the solid cast iron material, this machine is almost vibration-proof and provides stability while rotating. That is why this machine offers better accuracy and smoothness while shaping woods.

Similarly, as the hardware of this machine is chrome plated, it increases the hardness and durability of the surface, prevents corrosion, and even makes it easier to clean.

This huge rpm range generated from the motor is efficient for jobs like making wooden chair legs, small table legs, & any kinds of decorative woodturning.

A heavy-duty knockout bar for the spur center will save the inside of the lathes’ spindle from marring while removing collets, centers, or sleeves.

This machine’s feet are non-slippery, making it more stable when shaping any wood.

Warning: Always turn off and unplug the mini lathe turning machine before adjusting the belt to change the spindle speed. Always use the lowest rate (rpm) when starting a new workpiece.

Pros

  • Made of cast iron
  • Vibration free and stable
  • Chrome plated hardware.
  • Non-slippery feet
  • Five different rpm ranges.
  • Extendable lathe bed

Cons

  • Quite heavy to carry
  • Speed changing is not easily accessible.

My opinion

In my opinion, this is a suitable choice for both professionals to perform any heavy-duty job regarding wood crafting and turning.

User’s Experience

Excelsior 5-Speed Mini Lathe: An excellent solid starter or second lathe, it runs smooth, adequate speed range. I would like to see more clearance between the motor and the bottom of the legs.

Best Brand

JET JWL-1015, 10" x 15" Woodworking Lathe

JET JWL-1015, 10″ x 15″ Woodworking Lathe

I chose this product as one of the best wood lathe machines available in the market because it provides versatility in turning, sanding, knurling, deformation, or any kind of shaping job of woods. Besides, this machine has 24 indexing position heads, and an adjustable belt tension system, and suitability for dealing with heavy wood shaping tasks.

Product Specifications and Descriptions

  • The Manufacturer is JET.
  • The Weight Distribution of the lathe is 77 pounds. 
  • The Dimension of the lathe is ‎ 35 x 18.1 x 14.56 inches.
  • The main Material of the lathe is cast iron.
  • The Voltage requirement of the motor of this lathe machine is 115 volts.
  • The Motor’s Power is 1/2 hp (5 amperes, 375 watts).
  • Included items with the lathe are Live Center, Spur Center, Knockout Rod, 6″ Tool Rest, and 3″ Face Plate.

The Warranty for this lathe machine is five years.

Key Features

  • This lathe has six different easily accessible speed-changing ranges, from 500 rpm to 3975 rpm. Those 6 rpm ranges are 500, 840, 1240, 1800, 2630, 3975. This rpm range provides excellent efficiency in a job like roughing billets, turning to final shape, and then finishing projects on the machine.  
  • Users can extend the bed of this lathe machine. If required, the user can adjust the extra lathe bed with the existing lathe bed up to 21-inch for shaping medium-sized woods.
  • This lathe machine has an adjustable belt tension system. That means the user can adjust the belts’ tension according to the job’s needs.
  • 15-inch distance between centers and a 10-inch swing over the bed (10-inch x 15-inch) opens the scope of dealing with various sizes of woods. A maximum of 10-inch x 15-inch volumed wood capturing quality enables a user to perform heavy-duty wood shaping works.
  • This lathe machine has 24 indexing position head with spindle locking. It is a locking mechanism of wood pieces on the lathe.

Special advantages of the lathe machine

Because of the cast iron material, this machine is almost vibration-proof and provides stability while rotating. That is why this machine offers better accuracy and smoothness while shaping woods.

Unique 24-indexing head positioning allows the user to lock the workpiece in multiple positions for improved accuracy in detail work. Anyone can perform detailed pattern work on projects such as straight fluting, grooving, drilling, layout, etc. The 24-position indexing head also allows the spindle to be locked in place for easy removal of face plates, chucks, and other accessories.

Due to the broader bed ways of this lathe machine, it has increased rigidity. Similarly, this rigidity provides extra stability while performing any wood shaping task.  

Note: The price of this lathe may vary from time to time based on its demand. Sometimes, its price may go beyond $500 and around $600.It is advised to check the price on the website before deciding to purchase.

Pros

  • 24-position index head
  • Made of cast iron
  • Vibration free and stable
  • Six different speed range
  • Adjustable belt tension system.

Cons

  • Quite expensive

My opinion

In my opinion, this is a good choice for both professionals and beginners to perform any medium-sized wood crafting and turning task with maximum precision and accuracy. I recommend this lathe to those who want versatility in their wood crafting work.  

User’s Experience

JET JWL-1015, 10″ x 15″ Woodworking Lathe: I think beginners and pros alike will like this lathe. Easy to set up and get started right out of the box. The adjustment handles are friendly with the spring-loaded lever to get them out of the way. The tailstock moves and adjusts smoothly. The motor runs smooth and quiet.

Safety Guide: Precautions you must follow before using a wood lathe machine

Before you start working on a lathe machine, it is mandatory for your safety that you must comply with several safety guides. Precautions will reduce the possibility of accidents and improve safety while operating the lathe.

  • Always wear certified safety glasses.
  • Remove all kinds of jewelry before using it.
  • Wear fit clothes during work
  • Tie all your hairs while working on the lathe
  • If you are doing a work floor, ensure it is not slippery and free from all obstructions.
  • In case of emergency, press the button of an emergency stop.
  • Do not lean on the machine
  • Always stand in a straight position
  • Always use a lifter to lift all chucks
  • Once you adjust your chucks, immediately remove all your chuck wrench.
  • Always use a barrier guard while operating the lathe in automatic or semi-automatic mode.
  • Sharpen all the cutting tools related to the lathe machine before working on the lathe.
  • Avoid taking any measurements when your lathe is rotating.

Buying Guide: Things you must keep in mind before purchasing a lathe machine

Before purchasing the best wood lathe for under $500 in 2022, you must consider a few factors about the lathe machine. These determining factors will help you select the perfect one per your need and use.

Best wood lathe under 500 buying guide
Buying Guide

Motor Power

The Power of a motor is the primary element responsible for all of the functionality of a machine. For a wood lathe, the engine’s power is an essential factor, as it is accountable for torque and RPM. Powerful motors generate higher RPM, which results in higher precision and accuracy in cutting, shaping, and turning the wood.

So, before you purchase a lathe machine, you must ensure that the motor of that lathe generates higher RPM. You need to pick motor power according to the task you will do with your wood lathe.

Material

The second most important thing to look for is wood material. The best-recommended Material for the wood lathe is the complete iron cast material. The iron cast material will provide fewer vibrations and better stability than the aluminium material wood lathe.

Maximum Length and Width Capturing Capacity

Before purchasing a wood lathe machine, you must check the maximum length and width of the wood capturing capacity of a lathe. You must choose under your job requirements.

If you want to deal with heavy and lengthy wood pieces, then you must go for those lathe machine which has the feature of adding an extendable lathe bed with the existing one.   

Speed Changing Option

Many users find difficulty in changing the speed of the wood lathe. For changing speed, there are different options. For instance, you can change the speed by changing the pulley, dials, and adjusting belt tension. If you are comfortable with any of the methods you have used already, you can go with that specific option.

However, if you are a beginner or looking for the easiest way to change the wood lathe’s speed, then go for the dial option. The other methods are also not so brutal. You can perform all functions by getting instructions from the user manual.

Weight

It is also good to look at the wood lathe’s weight. The best wood lathe under $500 usually weighs around 80 pounds. Always pick a weight you can manage, assemble, and disassemble easily.

Reverse Direction

You can use the reverse rotating function with a more advanced wood lathe. However, many wood lathes don’t offer this feature. The reverse direction means you will flip the switch, and everything will go in the reverse order. This feature is excellent for cleaning wood lathes. Moreover, it offers more flexibility for your work.

FAQs on the best wood lathe under 500:

How much HP does a wood lathe need?

To perform wood crafting or any kind of shaping on a wood lathe machine, the horse-power Motor’s Power of the wood must be a minimum of ½ HP. But the horse-power of good quality lathe machine’s motor will range from ½ to 2 HP.  

Is a wood lathe hard to use?

Using a wood lathe is not that much difficult. It requires a minimum duration to learn the basics and working knowledge on the lathe. But it is not encouraged to operate a lathe machine with zero knowledge about the lathe. You must have basic knowledge about the working and handling procedures of a lathe before the switch on the START button of a lathe machine.

What is the best speed for turning wood?

The speed of the lathe depends on the requirements of the work. When dealing with small-sized wood, the reasonable RPM range must be around 750 to 1000 RPM. If you are a beginner, you must stay with this RPM range.
The reasonable RPM must not cross 1500 RPM to deal with medium-sized wood. In this case, beginners are discouraged from dealing with this range.
And to deal with heavy-sized wood, the reasonable RPM must not cross 2400 RPM. But the range varies from the demands of the working need. This RPM range is only for experienced professionals.

What is the best height for a lathe?

The standard placement height of a lathe machine must be at an equal position of the elbow or below the elbow position of the user. Apart from the standard height scale, the placement of the lathe machine must be in such a place where the user feels comfortable while operating.

Final Insight

Using a wood lathe machine varies from the working arena and expertise of different wood artisans. But specifically, if you are looking for the best wood lathe under $500 in 2022, I believe you have already reached your concluding decision.

This review recommends the seven best wood lathes under $500 in 2022. Now, considering the buying guides’ determining factors, it is your discretion to purchase the one which mostly meets your requirements.

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Oliver is an efficient interior designer and part-time content writer of TopToolsLab. He has strong research skills about tools, accessories, and products such as drills, saws, air composers, cutting machines, etc. He knows the correct uses of the part of every tool. He can give proper information and meaningful description to find out the perfect result of the tool.

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