Best Mini Lathe: Review 2020

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Looking for the best mini lathe?

In A Rush? Check Out The Number 1 Pick Here:

Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe Variable Speed 2500 RPM & Digital Readout with 5 pc. Cutter Kit
  • Includes the lathe, chuck key, five-piece carbide tipped cutter kit, internal chuck jaws and external chuck jaws, 11 feed rate gears and owners manual
  • Drill, cut and turn metal, wood and plastic parts with precision.
  • Erie Tools variable speed 7 in. x 14 in. benchtop mini metal lathe creates precision parts.
  • Variable speed motor adjusts to 2500 RPM in either rotational direction allows left-handed threads.
  • Thread indicator helps users turn screw threads anywhere from 12 to 52 TPI. Metric or imperial.

Be it metalworking or woodturning; mini lathes are nothing short of multi-purpose mini monsters. Not only do they save a ton of space, but they can work effortlessly with almost all materials, like brass, steel, wood, or aluminum.

Never go by the size when it comes to mini lathes; they are packed with power and flexibility to meet all your creative projects. When you only have a dozen options, ask questions like how they are different from each other, and which is the best one for you?

To make things easier, we have compiled a list of five mini lathes, their excel points, and drawbacks that’ll help find the best mini lathe for you.

Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe Variable Speed 2500 RPM & Digital Readout with 5 pc. Cutter Kit
Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe, 7 x 12-Inch
BestEquip Metal Lathe 7" x 14",Mini Metal Lathe 0-2250 RPM Variable Speed,Mini Lathe with 4" 3-jaw Chuck,Bench Top Metal Lathe,Benchtop Lathe, for Various Types of Metal Turning
Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe Variable Speed 2500 RPM & Digital Readout with 5 pc. Cutter Kit
Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe, 7 x 12-Inch
BestEquip Metal Lathe 7" x 14",Mini Metal Lathe 0-2250 RPM Variable Speed,Mini Lathe with 4" 3-jaw Chuck,Bench Top Metal Lathe,Benchtop Lathe, for Various Types of Metal Turning
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Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe Variable Speed 2500 RPM & Digital Readout with 5 pc. Cutter Kit
Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe Variable Speed 2500 RPM & Digital Readout with 5 pc. Cutter Kit
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Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe, 7 x 12-Inch
Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe, 7 x 12-Inch
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BestEquip Metal Lathe 7" x 14",Mini Metal Lathe 0-2250 RPM Variable Speed,Mini Lathe with 4" 3-jaw Chuck,Bench Top Metal Lathe,Benchtop Lathe, for Various Types of Metal Turning
BestEquip Metal Lathe 7" x 14",Mini Metal Lathe 0-2250 RPM Variable Speed,Mini Lathe with 4" 3-jaw Chuck,Bench Top Metal Lathe,Benchtop Lathe, for Various Types of Metal Turning
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Best Mini Lathes: 5 Top Picks

We have listed five of the best mini lathes in the market, considering the price, sturdiness, automatic and manual features, motor speed, and many others. 

1. Erie Tools Benchtop Mini Metal Lathe | Best Overall

Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe Variable Speed 2500 RPM & Digital Readout with 5 pc. Cutter Kit
  • Includes the lathe, chuck key, five-piece carbide tipped cutter kit, internal chuck jaws and external chuck jaws, 11 feed rate gears and owners manual
  • Drill, cut and turn metal, wood and plastic parts with precision.
  • Erie Tools variable speed 7 in. x 14 in. benchtop mini metal lathe creates precision parts.
  • Variable speed motor adjusts to 2500 RPM in either rotational direction allows left-handed threads.
  • Thread indicator helps users turn screw threads anywhere from 12 to 52 TPI. Metric or imperial.

The Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Benchtop Mini Metal lathe is our best pick from the lot. This metal lathe works on a single-phase motor, with 2500 RPM turning power. It is one of the best metal lathes under 2000 that also comes with a variable speed.

The Erie Tools Mini lathe has 7-inch SOD and 14-inch DBC, which is good enough for average metalworking. Moreover, the digital readout displays the current RPM output of the machine, and it also allows the left-hand threading option.

The mini lathe comes with a multi-jaw chuck, which helps hold the workpieces in their place steadily. The jaws are numbered, making it easy to put them in order. The chuck also supports auto-feed, which means you can adjust the tools as per requirement even when working with the lathe.

Further, the 5/16-inch tool post lets you mount four cutting tools simultaneously. This is an excellent feature if you need to make adjustments in the work during an on-going project.

Given the power and features of this mini lathe, we suggest that this product be apt for experts or intermediate metalworkers. They are often compared to Warco mini lathes.

Pros
  • Digital RPM readout

  • Multi-jaw chuck with auto feed

  • Multiple cutting tools mount option
  • Versatile metalworking
Cons
  • Plastic gears are not sturdy
  • Customers often complain of motor burning issues

Erie Tools Benchtop Mini Metal Lathe

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2. Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal-Lathe

Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe, 7 x 12-Inch
  • Variable Speed
  • 16 TPI Reversible Lead screw
  • Forward and reverse in all speeds
  • Chip Tray and Backsplash Guard
  • Threading Dial Indicator

Priced decently, the Grizzly G8688 mini lathe is both performance-oriented as well as affordable. One of the features that stand out in this metal lathe is the both-way forward and reverse rotations.

The SOD and DBC of this metal lathe are 7-inch and 12-inch, respectively. It further comes with a 20mm spindle bore, a 2-3/4-inch cross slide travel, and 2-1/2-inch tailstock travel.

The thread range of the lathe provides ample flexibility with its ten standard pitches and ten metrics. The machine can pull off 12 to 52 TPI threading tasks, which is exceptional given the price.

Speaking of the motor speed, the Grizzly mini metal lathe supports two-speed settings, low up to 1100 RPM and high up to 2500 RPM. Power is undoubtedly not an issue with this lathe as it comes with ¾ HP single phase, making it perfect for extensive metalwork.

Pros
  • Variable speed settings
  • Threading dial indicator
  • Forward and reverse rotation options
  • Durable material usage
Cons
  • The plastic parts are short-lived
  • Customers often complain about motor issues

Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal-Lathe

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3. Mophorn Small Metal Lathe | Best Value

Sale
SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe
  • Motor: 1/3 HP, 2 Amp, 110V, Single-phase, 60 Hz
  • 12-inch distance between centers
  • 8-inch swing over bed
  • Cast iron construction and infinitely variable speed control
  • Includes two tool rests

Undoubtedly, one of the best mini-lathes available in the market is this one from the house of Mophorn.

One of the primary features of this Mophorn mini lathe is its infinitely variable speed setting ranging between 50-2500 RPM. Not only that, but it also supports forward and reverse rotations in all speed settings. It can be operated both manually as well as with the auto-feed feature.

The Mophorn mini-lathe has a SOD and DBC of 7-inch and 13.78-inch, respectively. Further, it comes with a 20 mm spindle bore, and a threading dial indicator. It has a thread range of 12-52 TPI with standard and metric handwheel graduations.

One other distinctive feature of this mini lathe is the high-accuracy chuck. The 3-jaw chuck comes with a backsplash guard while the spindle has tapered roller bearings with accuracy within 0.01mm. Additionally, it also comes with an adjustable lamp.

The Mophorn mini-lathe comes with a single-phase 550W DC motor, which can be a turn down if you consider the other products in this range. It has a substantially low HP if you want to work on extensive projects and is thus, not suitable for experts.

It may not be the best mini lathe, but the Mophorn is one of the most competitive and feature-packed products in the market.

Pros
  • Highly affordable
  • Variable speed settings
  • Backsplash guard with the 3-jaw chuck
  • Movable lamp
Cons
  • The motor is not competent or suitable for extensive projects

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4. BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe

BestEquip Metal Lathe 7" x 14",Mini Metal Lathe 0-2250 RPM Variable Speed,Mini Lathe with 4" 3-jaw Chuck,Bench Top Metal Lathe,Benchtop Lathe, for Various Types of Metal Turning
  • 【STURDY ALUMINIUM CONSTRUCTION】- The mini metal lathe bed is made of high grade iron. Equipped with nylon gears, this lathe machine is wear-resistant, durable, more accurate rotation and professional. Mini metal lathe power of motor: 550W. The full-length splashguard provides maximum protection.
  • 【INFINITELY VARIABLE SPEEDS】- Variable speed from 50-2500 Rpm. Forward and reverse in all speeds. Operate either manually or with the adjustable auto feed rate. The handness and accuracy of the v-slideways are obtained by raw material, heat hardening and grinding. Emergency stop buttom included.
  • 【ACCURATE 3-JAW CHUCK】- Mini metal lathe chuck, 3-jaw self-centering chuck, for setting cylindrical materials steadily. Backsplash guard included. Spindle is supported by precision tapered roller bearings, spindle accuracy within 0.0004"(0.01mm).
  • 【PROFESSIONAL COMPOUND REST】- The mini metal lathe quick change tool post can achieve positions of internal cutting, face cutting and bevel cutting by changing the tool post angle and adjusting the compound rest. Professional cross slide is designed with abrasive resistance, moving blades freely with feed rod.
  • 【WIDE APPLICATION】- Driven by DC motor, this mini metal lathe cut off tool can be used in areas such as mini precision parts processing, sample processing and modeling works.

This BestEquip lathe is rated as one of the best mini wood lathes. It comes packed with features like variable speeds, 3-jaw accuracy chuck with backsplash guard, cross slide for abrasive resistance, and many more.

One of the best features of this mini lathe is the four-way tool post. With this, you can quickly change the tools and adjust the compound’s angle with the rest of the lever. It has a SOD of 7-inch, and the DBC is 14-inch.

The mini lathe comes with an MT3 spindle taper, tailstock taper, and tool rest. One of the turn downs for this lathe is the weak HP. The single-phase 550W DC motor is only suitable for delicate or small projects.

Pros
  • Accurate 3-jaw chuck
  • Infinite variable speed
  • Durable aluminum make
  • Four-way tool post
Cons
  • The motor is not powerful enough for extensive projects

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5. Shop Fox M1015 Mini Metal Lathe

Shop Fox M1015 6-Inch by 10-Inch Micro Lathe
  • 4 hex wrenches, 100-2000 RPM spindle speed:
  • MT #2 spindle taper, MT #1 tailstock taper
  • Double ended wrench, socket head wrench
  • Oil cup, stand Included
  • Chuck key, 3 external jaws

Like the previous, the ShopFox mini lathe is also one that is primarily made for delicate or small projects. It is also much smaller and lighter in size and weight, making it a great pick in the micro metal lathe section.

The ShopFox mini-lathe comes with 1/5 HP single-phase motor that does not provide sufficient power for big projects but can effortlessly pull off precise ones. It has four hex wrenches and a speed range between 100-2000 RPM.

Its other features include a 3-inch 3-jaw chuck for both internal and external jaws. It comes with an easy-to-use control panel where you can use functions such as speed dial, rotator selector knob, and also clutch knob.

Pros
  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • Auto and manual feed
  • Different thread cuttings
Cons
  • Poor built quality
  • Low HP

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FAQS

Q: Why Can’t I Use My Metal Lathe Properly?

A: It is primary for the lathe to be in the correct position that is the center. Overheating of the machine can also make it less precise.

Q: Which Lubricant Should I Use With A Metal Lathe?

A: Picking the right lubricant majorly depends on the type of project the lathe is going to be used for. Using a cutting oil is always advisable over coolants.

Q: Why Is My Lathe Cutting Taper?

A: If your lathe is cutting taper, the lathe bed has probably twisted. Check and adjust the tailstock end and try to make another cut.

BOTTOM LINE

You’ve probably realized that there are lots to know before you finally make a buy. But if you ask me, I would go for the Erie Tools Benchtop Mini Metal Lathe. It is undoubtedly one of the best mini lathes, given its digital RPM readout, variable motor speed, multi-jaw chuck, and versatile applications.

SaleBestseller No. 1
WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8" by 12" Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe
  • Perfect for pens, bowls, cups, chess pieces, and other small workpieces
  • Fits workpieces up to 12 inches long and 8 inches wide
  • 3.2-Amp motor provides over 50% more power than most 8-inch wood lathes
  • Adjust the soft start variable speed motor anywhere from 750 to 3200 RPM
  • Features a 2.3-Inch face plate, an MT1 spindle and tailstock taper, and two interchangeable tool rests
Bestseller No. 2
BestEquip Metal Lathe 7" x 14",Mini Metal Lathe 0-2250 RPM Variable Speed,Mini Lathe with 4" 3-jaw Chuck,Bench Top Metal Lathe,Benchtop Lathe, for Various Types of Metal Turning
  • 【STURDY ALUMINIUM CONSTRUCTION】- The mini metal lathe bed is made of high grade iron. Equipped with nylon gears, this lathe machine is wear-resistant, durable, more accurate rotation and professional. Mini metal lathe power of motor: 550W. The full-length splashguard provides maximum protection.
  • 【INFINITELY VARIABLE SPEEDS】- Variable speed from 50-2500 Rpm. Forward and reverse in all speeds. Operate either manually or with the adjustable auto feed rate. The handness and accuracy of the v-slideways are obtained by raw material, heat hardening and grinding. Emergency stop buttom included.
  • 【ACCURATE 3-JAW CHUCK】- Mini metal lathe chuck, 3-jaw self-centering chuck, for setting cylindrical materials steadily. Backsplash guard included. Spindle is supported by precision tapered roller bearings, spindle accuracy within 0.0004"(0.01mm).
  • 【PROFESSIONAL COMPOUND REST】- The mini metal lathe quick change tool post can achieve positions of internal cutting, face cutting and bevel cutting by changing the tool post angle and adjusting the compound rest. Professional cross slide is designed with abrasive resistance, moving blades freely with feed rod.
  • 【WIDE APPLICATION】- Driven by DC motor, this mini metal lathe cut off tool can be used in areas such as mini precision parts processing, sample processing and modeling works.
Bestseller No. 3
200W CNC Mini Lathe Machine Tool DIY Woodworking Wood lathe Milling machine Grinding Polishing Beads Drill Rotary Tool Set
  • Specially designed for the home DIY enthusiasts and hobbies,small and portable size with strong power.
  • Super large torque ball bearing motor, maximum rotating speed up to 8000RPM providing ultra strong cutting power with low noise, you can use it at home.
  • Transparent organic dustproof glass cover with super convective cooling hole, the welding line is covered with a full heat shrinkable tube.
  • With 7 levels of power adapter enable you to adjust the rotating speed easily to meet different cutting speed.
  • High quality aluminum alloy base and pure steel structure drill chuck.
Bestseller No. 4
RIKON Power Tools 70-105 10" x 18" 1/2 hp Mini Lathe
  • Rikon mini lathe: This Rikon mini lathe features a ½ motor that provides ample power for all turning needs. With a 10” swing and 18” between centers, this mini lathe also has a self ejecting tail stock and has easy access to speed change.
  • Sturdy and Dedicated: Designed specifically at the request of pen turners who wanted a sturdy, dedicated machine for their craft. This scaled-down, basic mini lathe is made from cast iron, so vibration is not a factor, unlike other lathes made of aluminum.
  • 5 speed ranger: This mini lathe has a 5 speed range that covers the bases for boring barrel holes, roughing out pen billets, turning to shape and finishing.
  • Includes: This lathe includes a live center, tool rest, knock-out bar, and wrenches.
Bestseller No. 5
WEN 3420T 2-Amp 8 in. x 12 in. Variable Speed Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe
  • Perfect for pens, chess pieces, and other small workpieces
  • Soft start variable speed motor adjusts anywhere from 750 to 3200 RPM
  • Includes a 5-inch face plate for turning non-spindle workpieces
  • Fits workpieces up to 12 inches long and 8 inches wide (max recommended working diameter: 5 inches)
  • Features a 2-amp motor, an MT1 spindle and tailstock taper, and two interchangeable tool rests

About the Author Gregory

Hi, my name is Gregory! I have been welding practically all of my life and love it. As I have gotten older I have started to weld less and less, so in order to continue my love for welding I created this website. I like to write about my experiences and help you all become welders. I hope that you enjoy the site!

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