What Size Lathe Should You Buy?

(Last Updated On: June 14, 2020)

A lathe is a powerful machine which can be used to shape wood, metal and other materials. It is one of the oldest tools which can efficiently help in woodturning. There are various tools in the market, and each one of them has its features. It can be not very clear when you think about choosing the right size of the lathe. This buying guide will help you solve these issues altogether. Here’s how you can find the right size lathe.

Type Of Lathes

Nowadays the lathes come in three different types that are mini, midi and full size. Each lathe has its strength and weaknesses. You have to see which type is most suitable for your projects. The mini lathes are commonly used for turning all the smaller items. Midi lathes are an excellent choice for turning wood and making furniture. The full-size lathe can handle any task efficiently. It is important to note that if the features increase the price will also increase.

Size & Capacity

Most of the mini and midi lathes are equipped with one spindle, and it can turn the rods of furniture which are 12 inches in diameter. It can also handle hard faceplate work and make your task very easy. The large lathes usually have 33 mm spindle it will increase the power of the machine, and one spindle will handle a variety of woodworking projects. If your primary goal is to turn furniture parts, you need a lathe which has 4-6 inches diameter. You also have to check the centre to centre distance between each spindle.

The supplied centers of most mini and midi lathes are less superior to full-sized cutters. The centre distance should be 3 inches wide at least. Otherwise, you won’t be able to handle your tasks. If you are purchasing a lathe for your home workshop and have to spindle various furniture parts, it is better to buy a machine with 29-36 distances between centers.

You also need to check the horsepower rating and look for a lathe which has a powerful motor. A motor which can deliver 100-200 V will be the right choice. The mini lathes are powered with ½ HP, but the mid cutters have ¾ HP. The machines which have a variable speed spindles are a better choice. Modern full-sized lathes are robust and deliver excellent performance for every type of task.

The spindles of a mini lathe will swing 12 to 15 inches between centers, and they have a DC motor. The machines which work on electrical power is more durable and sustainable, what size and capacity of the lathe you choose are depended on the kind of projects you are handling. Midi lathes are suitable for home woodwork shops, and some of them do have a variable speed feature which is making customers delighted. It is an excellent choice for furniture makers which can turn the bowl for about 12 inches diameter. You can produce beautiful chairs, stairs and table legs with delicate and smooth surfaces.



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