Guide to select the best wood lathe

Woodturning is an important operation for woodworking. The wooden piece is rotated on its axis while it is imparted asymmetrical shape using various kinds of tools. Woodturning is used to make various kinds of wooden objects such as bowls, handles, table legs, spoons, bangles, and a plethora of wooden tools. A wood lathe is a machine that turns the wooden piece while the woodworker works on it using tools. Thus, the wood lathe is an important machine in any woodworking workshop. In order to select the Best Wood Lathe, there are certain features of the machine which must be taken into consideration.


The base is the horizontal beam present at the base of the wood lathe. The base should be heavy so that the lathe does not vibrate when the wood is being spun. Vibrations adversely affect the quality of woodturning and also makes it dangerous for the worker. Thus, wood lathe with a heavy base is recommended as opposed to a wood lathe with a light base. Such a wood lathe is heavy but the best in terms of stability. Cast iron is the most suitable material for the base.


Motor power of wood lathes ranges between 1.8 HP to 3.0 HP. The speed of turning ranges between 500 and 4000 RPM. The Best Wood Lathe, in terms of motor power, depends upon the size of wooden pieces you will use. For turning larger pieces, wooden lathes equipped with high power motors are suitable while for making small wooden items such as pens or spoons, wooden lathes having lower power motors are sufficient.

Headstock and tailstock

The headstock is the point where the power of the motor is imparted to the wooden piece. The headstock can be fixed in place, rotate by 360 degrees, or move down the length of the lathe. If you want to turn large wooden pieces, the headstock should be able to rotate away from the base to provide good clearance. For turning small bowls and spindles, the headstock must have a faceplate to hold the wooden piece.

The tailstock is present at the opposite end of the headstock. It is a rotating pin that keeps the spindle centered and also maintains its even rotation. The tailstock must lock firmly at any position along the bed.

Tool rest

The tool must always be rested into the tool rest when working on the rotating wood in the lathe. The tool rest must lock into any position along with the lathe. Strong locking is required because loose tool rest exposes you to injuries.