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6 Best Mini Lathe In 2019 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

It is easy to understand that for any wood working project, you would want to have the best tool and equipment. They will ensure the highest level of efficiency and safety. The same goes for mini metal lathes as well. Of course, you would want the best mini lathe that meets all of your needs and equipment.

In case you are looking for best mini lathe reviews, you are arriving at the right place. This article below will provide you with the most important aspects that you should know when buying a mini metal lathe. In the end, it will introduce some of the best models on the market along with their pros and cons.

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What to Consider When Buying a Mini Metal Lathe

A mini metal lathe is one of the most essential tools for any DIY hobbyist as it helps to shape, rotate as well as knurling various shapes of different types of materials.

Here are some aspects you need to consider when choosing a mini metal lathe:

  • Weight and stability: A mini lathe isn’t very heavy. However, if you want to have the lightest model on the market, you might come up with one which tends to vibrate a lot.
  • Bed length: Typically, the bed length of a mini metal lathe ranges from 760 to 920 mm. If you don’t often work with large pieces of wood or metal, you don’t have to choose a lathe with longer bed as it will create more vibration. For the same reason, the ideal distance between the centers of the mini lather should range from 30 to 36 inches.
  • Lathe bed: The material of the bed should be made of durable materials featuring metal bars and a flat cast bed.
  • Headstock: Make sure that the headstock is solid and sturdy with decent amount of spread between the bearings.
  • Spindle: The standard measurement for spindle is /75 inch x 16 TPI.
  • Stand: If you don’t have a bench or a stable working station, consider buying a stand to mount your mini lathe.

What You Can Find in a Good Mini Metal Lathe

Overall, the best small metal lathe would be strong and powerful, showing by the number of horsepower it has. In addition, it has great capacity to handle many types of materials.

It also comes with variable speed setting, allowing you to work on the pace you desire. Either when you want to get things done quickly or with precision, you will be able to achieve that.

A high quality mini metal lathe would also be flexible, versatile, stable and durable. All of these characteristics will help you to have the best experience when handling wood or metal with the small but powerful tool.

Last but not least, it is good to know that you don’t have to pay a hefty amount of money for a high quality mini metal lathe. There are many manufacturers of mini metal lathe now on the market, which helps to drive down the price without sacrificing quality and capabilities.

You should know that there are several types of lathes on the market including the mini metal lathe, engine lathe, turret lathe and stationary lathe – the largest type of lathe. A mini metal lathe works and functions like a normal sized lathe, with the exception that it is much smaller and more compact.

With a lot of choices of mini metal lathe on the market, it is difficult to determine which one is the best small lathe for you. The mini metal lathe which works well for your neighbor might not work well for you. There are couples of things that you need to weight in order to find the one which meets all of your needs and requirements.

Reviews of Mini Metal Lathes 2019

​Here are the top 6 models of mini metal lathes that you can find on the market at the moment.

Its Main Features:

  • Power: 3/4 HP, 110-volt, single-phase
  • Motor Control: Electronic Variable Speed
  • Speed range: Low Range: 0-1100 RPM, High Range: 0-2500 RPM
  • Swing over bed: 7 inches
  • Distance between centers: 12 inches
  • Drive spindle: 16 TPI
  • Dimensions: 13 x 30.2 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 74 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • With its powerful and reliable motor along with the durable and heavy duty build, this mini lathe is suitable for a wide variety of projects including patio work.
  • The material of this mini lathe is of high quality which is durable and will stay against the test of time.
  • This best small metal lathe comes with variable speed, chip tray, backsplash guard as well as threading dial indicator and turret tool post to make sure you have the best experience while using the machine.
  • It comes with a compact design for you to easily move it round and place in a small working station. You can use and handle it in a confined space as well.
  • The final products from this mini lathe come with smooth and even cuts.

Cons

  • This mini lather is not good at doing threading.

Its Main Features:

  • Power: 0.75HP 550W
  • Motor Control: Electronic Variable Speed
  • Speed range: 50-42500 RPM
  • Swing over bed: 7 inches
  • Machine bed width: 3.15 inches
  • Distance between centers: 14 inches
  • Drive spindle: 12-52 T.P.I Range of Imperial Threads
  • Dimensions: 33 x 15 x 15 inches
  • Weight:92 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • This mini lathe is capable of doing various operations including making spindles, turning and creating prototypes. It can handle a wide range of materials.
  • It can also work at various speeds. It can go at the speed as high as other mini lathes that you can find on the list here.
  • Not only that, this machine can work at a great precision to provide you with smooth and clean pieces of materials.
  • It is easy for you to handle and adjust the lathe thanks to the digital speed display, speed control knob and the power on indicator lamp.
  • The material of this unit is of strong and high quality stainless steel.
  • Last but not least, it is easy to assemble and control. Most significantly, it comes with an emergency stop switch to help you stay safe once unwanted accidents occur.

Cons

  • This mini metal lathe only has basic functions that you can normally find in mini metal lathe. There are no other significant features.

Its Main Features:

  • Power: 0.75HP
  • Motor Control: Electronic Variable Speed
  • Speed range: 0-2500 RPM
  • Swing over bed: 7 inches
  • Distance between centers: 10 inches
  • Drive spindle: 12 to 52 TPI
  • Weight: 1 year

Pros

  • If you are looking for the best small lathe with automatic feed, chuck guard with micro switch and most importantly, a variable speed control knob, consider this mini lathe.
  • With its compact design and ease of use, you can use this for a wide variety of applications in many settings including in the labs or for educational purposes.
  • The material of this mini metal lathe is of high quality, which is resistant against daily use as well as other harmful external factors.
  • It is very easy to install and operate this mini lathe. It also comes with an emergency stop button to help you stop the mini metal late from operating when accident occurs.
  • While it is compact in size, it is still very powerful with a speed range similar to what you can find in other more expensive and premium mini metal lathes.

Cons

  • It could be able to handle small to medium pieces of materials only.
  • When one part of this mini lathe breaks down, it would be hard to find the replacement part.

Its Main Features:

  • Power: 0.53 HP 500 W
  • Motor Control: Electronic Variable Speed
  • Speed: 100-2500 RPM
  • Swing over bed: 7 inches
  • Distance between centers: 14 inches
  • Drive spindle:12-25 TPI Range Of Imperial Threads
  • Dimensions: 36 x 17.3 x 14.6 inches
  • Weight: 104.2 pounds

Pros

  • Like other high quality mini metal lathes, this one is so versatile that it can turn metals, drill as well as cutting jobs on various types of metals.
  • It works at the highest level of precision, helping you to add finite details to the pieces of wood or metal you are working with.
  • The digital spindle which comes with this mini metal lathe makes it easier for you to control the machine. It is also firm and stable when you put this mini metal lathe on the surface of your working station.
  • There are various features including the emergency stop switch, variable speed setting knob and light indicator to ensure that even the beginners at woodworking project can handle the mini metal lathe well.

Cons

  • The instruction guide that comes along with the machine offers little information on how to set up as well as how to operating this product.
  • In comparison with other metal mini lathes, this product is heavier and has smaller amount of horse power, making it less efficient.

Its Main Features:

  • Power: 1HP 500 W
  • Motor Control: Electronic Variable Speed
  • Speed: 150-2400 RPM
  • Swing over bed: 7 inches
  • Distance between centers: 14 inches
  • Drive spindle:8-72 TPI Range Of Imperial Threads
  • Dimensions: 46 x 22 x 16 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 43.2 pounds

Pros

  • There are 6 speed settings for you to choose including 150, 300, 720 and 560 as well as 1200 and 2400 RPM. You can hence easily choose the right setting for your project.
  • The design of this mini metal lathe makes it small and compact that you can easily move around. Not to mention that since the model is of the benchtop design, you can conveniently put it in your working area.
  • The material of this mini metal lathe is solid and of high quality, which is scratch resistant and corrosion resistant to help the unit last for a long time.
  • It is easy to function with enough basic features for beginners. You can have precise and smooth cuts from this mini metal lathe in a short amount of time.
  • It is one of the mini metal lathe with the highest number of horse power, which is 1 HP, allowing you to deal with many tough materials quickly and precisely.

Cons

  • There is only 1 year of warranty for this mini metal lathe.
  • The paint covering the body of this mini metal lathe starts to peel off after quite a while.

Its Main Features:

  • Power: 1/5 HP, 110V, single-phase, 1.2A
  • Motor Control: Electronic Variable Speed
  • Speed: 100-2000 RPM
  • Swing over bed: 6 inches
  • Distance between centers: 10 inches
  • Drive spindle: 16 TPI Range Of Imperial Threads
  • Dimensions: 27 x 14.3 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 71 pounds

Pros

  • There are a lot of accessories that come along with this unit so that you don’t have to buy extra tools for your specific projects. These accessories include 3 inch three jaw chuck, thread gears, 4 hex wrenches, double ended wrench and socket head wrench.
  • This mini metal is heavily built with compact design and sturdy construction.
  • It is the combination of mini metal lathe’s advantages and industrial lathe’s advantages. It is powerful and can work well with a wide range of materials of different sizes.
  • Moreover, it is so versatile that you can work with a huge range of speeds, threading abilities as well as large chuck and pieces of materials. For example, you can choose between cutting threads of 16, 18, and 19 as well as 20 and 24.
  • You can choose to operate the mini metal lathe with both of the auto and manual feed. The manual operation is extremely helpful when you want a specific speed for your turning operation.
  • Last but not least, the manufacture of this mini metal lathe offers 2 year warranty.

Cons

  • Generally, it is more complex and harder to operate than other models of mini metal lathe that you can find on the market.

Conclusion

Throughout the best mini lathe reviews, you can see that each of the mini metal lathes on the list has their own pros and cons. Nevertheless, they come with high quality materials which are strong, sturdy and durable.

 In addition, they can operate in different speeds, allowing you to change for the unique needs of different projects. Last but not least, they are energy efficient and effective in term of cutting smooth and precise cuts.

The one which obtains the highest score from this review is the Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe, 7 x 12-Inch which is among the most popular mini metal lathes that you can find on the market. This one is versatile, easy to use and helps to produce the best cuts. 

The Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe by Central Machinery is also as powerful as the Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe, 7 x 12-Inch. However, it is smaller in size and dimensions, making it less versatile as it can work on small and medium pieces of materials.

 On the other hand, the Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe, 7 x 12-Inch supports different types of materials of different sizes. You can use this mini meta lathe for a DIY project or even industrial uses.

With the right tool, you would be able to perform any woodworking project easily. Hence, it is important that you invest time and effort in searching for the right mini lathe. There are a lot options that you can find on the market so make sure you read reviews such as one above to find for yourself a high quality mini metal lathe.

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