Wood Lathe Ideas

A woodworking space to craft wood lathe ideas

Working with a wood lathe has some versatile use but there are a lot of potential wood lathe ideas that you can bring to life. Whether you’re a beginner at working with a lathe or you’re just looking for some new ideas to switch it up a bit, this guide is the place to be!

We’ve put together a number of wood lathe ideas to give you some fresh inspiration and perhaps help you get started in the world of wood turning.

Related: Best Carbide Woodturning Tools

JET JWL-1221VS, 12"x21" Variable-Speed Woodworking Lathe (719200)

Why We Like It:

In terms of midi lathes, the JET JWL is made with solid cast iron that really sets it apart. It is one of the best wood lathes you will find with quality speed control and a measure of simplicity that really can’t be beat.

10 Wood Lathe Ideas to Try

1. Wine Cup or Goblet

Wine Cup or Goblet
Image by Alexander Andrews from Unsplash

This particular idea might take some skill and practice to really be able to do. It probably shouldn’t be your first project. However, when you feel you’re ready it’s a really great project to try out and this is an item that can sell as well if you’re wanting to make a business out of wood-turned items.

You can check out this video that shows a quick process for a goblet with a ring around the stem and also walks you through a variety of other projects as well. The video is fairly fast-paced and does not walk you through step-by-step but it can certainly give you some valuable ideas.

Things like cups and goblets are always popular because they tend to be unique in that type of market. They are also solid and take a considerable amount of skill to turn and shape so people are intrigued by them. This is a great challenge and an idea that others will love as well.

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2. Bowls

Wood bowl made with one of the best wood lathe machines
CTTO

Wood turning a bowl is another project that might take some practice to get just right. Bowls are another popular item. People love wooden bowls and you can make them in so many different ways and styles.

You can make serving bowls, soup bowls, large bowls, small bowls, and so much more! Not to mention, you can make them with creative sizes and styles and they don’t have to be perfect. If you’re looking for something popular to sell or you want a challenge, definitely try out a wooden bowl.

If you’ve never turned a bowl before but you really want to try, you can check out this awesome YouTube video on turning your first bowl. It’s incredibly helpful and it walks you through the entire process from start to finish. You can follow along as you work even.

3. Sports Items

Wooden sports car made from wood lathes
Image by vinsky2002 from Pixabay

Yes, you read that right. Wooden sports items are a big deal. Some of them are more usable than others so choose your sports items wisely. Things like bats and pool cues are really great here because they are specialized items that are commonly made from wooden materials anyways.

Of course, there are items like balls or rackets and other fun things that you can make as well but they might not be as popular simply because they don’t cover as much need or usefulness. These specialty items are one of a kind items so hand-making things like bats and pool cues can really set you apart.

The nice thing about some of these is the overall design is fairly basic if you can get the shape and sanding down. It’s not like bowls and cups where you have to be able to clear the center out so it’s a whole different style of project and they tend to popular in the industry.

Related: Best Bench Chisels In 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

4. Box and Lid

A box with a lid made using one of the best wood lathe tools
Image by Pixabay from Pexels

We tend to think of rounded items as being what you make on a lathe but that simply isn’t always true. You can make plenty of other items as well. Try making a box with a lid on your lathe.

Turn a chunk of wood into a gorgeous jewelry box or a simple box with a lid that you can use for anything. This particular wood lathe idea is really meant for a small or decorative box of some sort but you really can open this up to a lot of possibilities and options to consider.

5. Pens and Letter Openers

Letter opener and pens made using midi and mini lathe machine
Image by bluebudgie from Pixabay

Pens are a really neat item to make on a lathe and if you have a mini or midi lathe, this could be a really great option. Pens and letter openers both sell really well when you list them or perhaps take them to a craft show. Everyone loves a nice pen, right?

This is a project that you can be creative with because there are so many different styles and colors and designs that you can use so it’s always something different and unique in its own way.

You really can’t go wrong with making pens, particularly if you are looking for something simple or something that you can sell. These will forever be a popular go-to

6. Chess & Other Game Sets

Chess pieces sports item on the table made with one of the best wood lathe
Photo by Abdiel_Ant on Unsplash

Looking for a challenge that will still be valuable? Try making games, particularly a chess game. There are a lot of wooden games that you can make but this one is a classic and it will certainly always be a hit if you’re making items to sell.

Woodturning a chess game will definitely take you some time and skill. This will be a challenge and it will not be a short and quick project. This is the wood lathe idea for someone looking for a challenge or wanting to test your skill in wood turning.

Creating a chess board will most likely not happen on your lathe but chess pieces absolutely are a lathe project and there are a lot of little pieces and shapes to create here. The pieces and the spheres are unique and intricate so put your skills to the real test here!

This is another piece that you can make on a midi or mini lathe if that is what you are limited to as well.

7. Legs for Days!

Many wooden chair legs
Image by Vorsen Furniture from Unsplash

While you certainly could use this for an opportunity to make a peg leg for a pirate theme, that is not what we meant. Chair legs and table legs are another really great wood lathe idea that you can put to use. Whether you decide to turn this woodworking into a business and make custom pieces or you just offer the opportunity to redo these for people, it’s a great undertaking.

The thing about chair and table legs is that they can be incredibly unique but also are not overly challenging to make. You can make table legs as a beginner or as a seasoned woodworker. You can also make the entire chair or table as well but the legs will be the only part you make on the lathe most likely.

This is a great project for the lathe that is versatile but can be unique. You can use this in a lot of different ways without having to worry about being able to find somewhere to put the legs. There is a hearty demand for refurbishing furniture or making new furniture so this is a good contribution.

8. Vase or Flower Pot

Wooden flower vase or plant pot made using wood lathe
Image by
Tara Winstead from Pexels

Looking for something unique that you can sell on places like Etsy or perhaps take to your favorite craft shows? Vases and flower pots are a good wood lathe idea to consider. Not only will these be shaped and created but they also might be painted or decorative to add some additional creativity to them.

The cool thing about this type of project is you can sell them or distribute them as is right off the lathe or you can go one step further and paint them up or add some design to them for some extra appeal. Both ways are popular solutions that are always a hit.

People love homemade items like this that can be used for decorative purposes in their home. It takes your skill and ability to turn them and they are willing to pay to add the beautiful piece to their décor and fill their home with something special and unique.

9. Salt & Pepper Mills

Salt and pepper shaker made of wood using the mini and midi wood lathe
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Did you know that you can make pepper and salt grinders on your lathe? These decorative pieces will be another popular item. You simply need to purchase the additional hardware to make them functional and then piece it all together for a valuable and unique product.

Yet again, this wooden tool sells well at craft shows and listings and they are absolutely gorgeous when set in a kitchen or on a table. You can make sets or simply just make pepper grinders, it’s totally up to you! You will find that these can be on the challenging side because of the centers but the exterior can be versatile.

You can keep it simple or you can add intricate designs to the structure to really get a great look!

10. Rolling Pin

Wooden rolling pins made using one of the best mini and midi lathe machines
Image by flockine from Pixabay

Let’s finish off with another kitchen item! Have you ever used a wooden rolling pin in the kitchen? There is just something about it that makes it perfect for baking and rolling. When made correctly, they have the perfect weight and they just don’t stick as bad.

A rolling pin is a simple project that a beginner can handle most likely. They are beautiful and every kitchen should have a wooden rolling pin so this could be another good seller if you’re looking to make money from your work.
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Summary

In closing, if you’re looking for some really great wood lathe ideas, don’t stop here! These are some unique and interesting options that are popular and just might put your skills to the test but the options are pretty much endless.

If you can think of it, you can most likely make it. Whether you’re a beginner or you have a lot of experience, these will give you a challenge and the opportunity to really show off your skills.

Amazon Recommends:

Bestseller 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
Grizzly Industrial G0842-14" x 37" Wood Lathe with Copy Attachment
  • Motor: 3/4 HP, 110V, single-phase, 11A
  • Swing over bed: 14"
  • Swing over tool rest base: 9"
  • Distance between centers: 37"
  • Distance between centers with copy device: 32"
Bestseller No. 3
WEN 34034 6-Amp 14" by 20" Variable Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe
  • Attack workpieces up to 20 inches long and 14 inches wide
  • Adjust the variable speed anywhere from 250 to 3550 rotations per minute
  • Includes 4 inch Faceplate for turning bowls, cups and other workpieces
  • MT2 tailstock and headstock tapers, along with 1"- 8 spindle thread, allow for compatibility with a wide variety of Lathe Accessories
  • Features a 6A motor, MT2 spur center, MT2 live center, 8-inch tool rest, and an onboard accessory holder

Best Wood Lathe Chuck in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Best Wood Lathe Chuck

If you’ve been turning wood for any length of time, you know that a wood lathe chuck is an essential tool for your work. This simple accessory mounts to the headstock of your lathe so that you have total control of your project. It’s more than just a clamp but rather something a tool that gives you more control over any type of project.

While you can probably do some of your work without lathe chucks, it’s designed to simply give you more control and more flexibility with the lathe and the item you are working on, leading to more accurate work and better results in better timing.

In this guide, we will share with you the best wood lathe chuck options on the market. We don’t choose these at random, there is much that goes into the process. From testing and research to reading what others also have to say, we have done all of the groundwork for you to find the best wood lathe chucks available.

When we searched for the best options, we used details like the overall quality, the design and shape of the wood lathe chuck, and even ratings and buyer reviews to help narrow it down. Check out our top picks to find your new lathe chuck below.

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Best Wood Lathe Chuck
Photo by m0851 on Unsplash

The Best Wood Lathe Chucks Reviewed

In this part of our guide, we will share with you the lathe chuck options that we have found to be the best. Each review will share a comprehensive overview of the product, our rating for the specs, and a list of pros and cons. These details are shared in an effort to provide you with all of the details you need to make an informed decision when you are ready to buy.

1. Best Overall: PSI Woodworking Barracuda Wood Lathe Key Chuck System

PSI Woodworking Barracuda Wood Lathe Key Chuck System

First up, is our best overall pick, the PSI Woodworking Barracuda Wood Lathe Key Chuck System . The CSC3000c Barracuda wood lathe chuck key system is one of the top choices in the industry for a number of reasons. The key has included jaw slides, spindle adapter, self centering jaw sets, a chuck body, allen wrench, screws, and even a storage case for all of the parts and pieces. Your PSI Woodworking CSC3000c Barracuda wood chuck comes fully loaded and ready to get to work.

This tool has threaded chuck jaws that allow you to mounts just about anything you might need to your lathe with ease. It’s great for a variety of projects and all sizes as well. This is a high-quality chuck and it’s really nice that it comes with the full set of tools and the jaw teeth so that you don’t have to worry about the accessories to make it work.

The PSI Woodworking CSC3000c Barracuda wood lathe chuck key is great for beginners and experienced woodturners as well. It has a high gripping power so you know things will stay where they are supposed to. This can handle projects from turning bowls to turning pens and it is even self-centering. We really like the storage case to keep all of the things together as well.

Spec Ratings (On a Scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Versatility: 9
  • Jaws: 10
  • Self-Centering: 10
  • Grip: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

The PSI Woodworking CSC3000C Barracuda wood lathe chuck system stands out to us for its versatility and value. The four jaw chuck design, complete with pin jaws gives you a lot of functionality for wood lathes so that you can simply do what you need to do easily.

2. Budget Pick: Vinwod Wood Lathe Chuck, 4 Jaw Chucks with Thread

Vinwod Wood Lathe Chuck, 4 Jaw Chucks with Thread

If you’re looking for a good option that is both reliable and budget-friendly, take a look at this choice from Vinwood. Vinwod Wood Lathe Chuck, 4 Jaw Chucks with Thread is a self-centering chuck with four jaws and a secure clamping system that you can depend on. It’s a complete set so it comes with tightening levers, a T allen wrench, screw chuck, adaptor converters, and even an automatic spring loaded center punch.

The internal jaws are step jaws that give you a range of sizes from 1 1/2 inch to 3 7/8 inches. The external grip of this four jaw combination also has pilot holes to help guide you and give you more support while you work. Unlike other chucks, the steel body and the scroll chuck let you hold and manage some of the most challenging and unwieldy projects out there. You can use this on midi lathes and mini lathes alike.

The steel quality is something you don’t see a lot with many chucks. It even has electric plating so that it doesn’t rust and can be used for the long term. The inner workings of this jaw chuck are machined with precision and they hold up well and are consistent over time with both use and safety features.

Spec Ratings (On a Scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Versatility: 10
  • Jaws: 10
  • Self-Centering: 10
  • Grip: 8

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

This woodturning chuck isn’t perfect but it comes to us with a really great price and an impressive chuck system that gives you versatility and reliability. You can use the wood turning chuck on mini and midi lathes as well as other lathes and have smooth movement while you work.

3. Best Value: Delta Industrial 46 461 Reversible Nova G3

Delta Industrial 46 461 Reversible Nova G3

The G3 reversible wood turning chuck offers an exclusive Delta feature that you simply won’t find easily anywhere else. With auto stop jaws, extra smooth jaw movement, enhanced jaw gearing, and reverse motion capabilities really set the Delta Industrial 46 461 apart in many unique ways. Delta Industrial 46 461 Reversible Nova G3 is made with high grade steel so that it will resist wear and it comes with all of the pieces, including a T Bar handle for T bar operation.

The Delta 461 Reversible Nova G3 reversible wood turning chuck is one of the few reliable reversible wood turning chuck options that you can depend on for smooth transition, The threaded stepped jaws provide a better clamp from the jaw chuck and better external grip as well.

The most exclusive feature you will find here is the spindle adaptor anti release spindle lock that gives the lathe spindle and the woodturning chuck a higher level of safety beyond the traditional auto stop safety feature that many chuck system options boast of. It’s also a four jaw independent chuck self centering chuck, providing you incredible value for the money.

Spec Ratings (On a Scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Versatility: 10
  • Jaws: 10
  • Self-Centering: 10
  • Grip: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

This Delta Industrial 46 461 woodturning chuck works for mini and midi lathes or full-sized lathes and it’s a really great value for the money. We love the added safety features, the smooth reversible nature, and the simple features that really set it apart from the competition with versatility.

4. Nova 48232 G3 Reversible Wood Turning Chuck

Nova 48232 G3 Reversible Wood Turning Chuck

The Nova 48232 G3 Reversible Wood Turning Chuck is another really great option that we couldn’t pass up here. Nova has recently improved jaw gearing and updated a lot of their lines so if you see the model 48291, it is essentially the same as Nova 48232 G3 Reversible Wood Chuck. Regardless of the old or new model, this is a great hardened metal chuck that won’t let you down. They have a spindle lock that perfects your forward and reverse motions.

These round jaws are slightly limited on what wood lathes they can be used on. They were made for the Nova lathe but they do fit other models in a limited capacity so just be sure to check whether it will work for you or not.

This model is pretty unique. The back is open, which is a nice concept that gives you the ability to easily clean out wood fibers that sometimes get jammed in there. You can use this chuck with all of the Nova chuck accessories, including their turned shaped tenon, which is a nice addition. The tightening key is simple with a T and you get a supreme grip from this chuck as well.

Spec Ratings (On a Scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Versatility: 7
  • Jaws: 10
  • Self-Centering: 9
  • Grip: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

While this key chuck system isn’t quite as versatile as we like, there are a lot of things that make it a great choice. It does work with a lot of accessories and tools and gives you a dependable and strong wood lathe chuck when you have the lathe it is compatible with.

5. Phukimlong CKSN375 Wood Lathe Chuck Set

Nova 4600 Comet II Variable Speed Mini Lathe

This best wood lathe chuck is pretty cool because it has 5 jaws in the set, compared to the usual 4. Phukimlong CKSN375 Wood Lathe Chuck Set has a handy lathe chuck wrench, T bar, spindle adapter, and more so you can do just about anything you possibly need thanks to these wood lathe chucks. You have a lathe chuck for just about everything.

These are very easy to use and one handed action will be fine, giving you just a tad more versatility but also control that you can depend on. It’s a self centering chuck so your work will be accurate and can handle a wide range of products.

These chucks have interchangeable jaws as well as a woodworm screw. Everything secures easily and securely. The grip is powerful so nothing is just going to slip out. This wood lathe chuck key is also versatile so you can easily use it with a lot of different lathes, rather than being limited to just one model or brand.

Spec Ratings (On a Scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Versatility: 10
  • Jaws: 10
  • Self-Centering: 9
  • Grip: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

These wood lathe chucks offer you 5 jaws and all of the accessories and versatility that you need. They are compatible with many machines and they have a great grip and solid centering so that they can be used for a variety of items as well.

6. Hurricane Turning Tools HTC100 4-Inch Woodturning Jaw Chuck

Hurricane Turning Tools HTC100 4-Inch Woodturning Jaw Chuck

Finally, this best wood lathe chuck is one for the books. This is a 4 jaw lathe chuck with spindles but it also has dovetail jaws, which are unique accessory jaws that a lot of these sets simply don’t have in them. This particular option is 1 x 8 TPI but there are other TPI spindles available if you need something different, giving you options and versatility.

Hurricane Turning Tools HTC100 4-Inch Woodturning Jaw Chuck is a simple tool that really delivers in terms of quality and functionality. The copper composite jaw slides are high-quality so you know that you can depend on these to last for a good long while. They are reliable and versatile all at the same time.

With the ability to work using a dovetail angle, you get a bonus feature here. These are simple but also very nice, making them a premium option that you can depend on. It comes with the keys and bar so that you can work and use it simply and easily. The grip is awesome as well and the woodworm screw holds.

Spec Ratings (On a Scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Versatility: 9
  • Jaws: 10
  • Self-Centering: 10
  • Grip: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

This is a premium quality option. The dovetail lathe chuck can sometimes be challenging to find but it’s simply a part of this best wood lathe chuck system. You get all of the versatility and quality that you would expect and you have TPI options to choose from.

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Buyer’s Guide to Wood Lathe Chucks

Now that you have seen a few of the very best options out there, it’s time to consider how to make a decision and know what to look for. There is a lot of detail that can go into these small tools so we thought it might be helpful to share some of those details with you in a buyer’s guide to simply give you valuable information.

Capacity

Something you should always look for before purchasing a lathe chuck is the capacity. Different options will have different capacities and functionality. What you need to understand is that it is the capacity that will allow you to actually do your work.

In addition to just size and form capacity, consider the material capacity. Some chuck tools can handle metal, some can handle wood, and some can handle both materials. If you generally work with wood you probably won’t have a problem here but if you work with metal, you need to be sure the chuck can handle metal when you need it to.

The other side of capacity is the distance between the points. Understand what you will be using the chuck for and the type of work you will be doing so that you can make sure the capacity and capability of the chuck is sufficient for your needs.

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Jaw Chuck Details

Wood Lathe Chucks
You will notice here in our top picks that there are several different assortments. Most chuck kits have an average of 4 jaws but you can see anywhere from 2 to 6 for a decent range. When it comes to the chuck, 2-6 jaws are ideal for wood, especially if you want self-centering as a part of the deal. Some 4 jaw chucks don’t have that self-centering but this is the norm for most of them now.

Apart from the number of jaws, you also want to know that you have a secure grip. It’s not just that it fits or holds but that it will hold tightly and securely while you work. You certainly don’t want your materials to slip out of the chuck or move and wobble when you are turning the wood and working with it, as this will lead to not only a lack of quality but also a lack of safety since the item is not fully secured as it should be.

Safety – Auto Stop Jaws & More

We touched slightly on security a moment ago but there is more to consider in security when it comes to chuck design. While the chuck needs to be able to maintain a firm grip and hold your item securely, this is just a piece of it.

There are other safety considerations that you might want to look for as well. Safety considerations ensure the safety of you as well as the safety of your machine and the project you are working on. An essential safety function that you will often see is an auto stop ability. We definitely recommend looking for this function as it is really important.

Auto stop allows the chuck to stop rotation so that damage to you and the machine and the project do not occur if something is off with the settings or the functionality in general. Ensuring that the grip is designed for the RPM is a must as well so you know the grip will hold even when you move at fast speeds.

Included Accessories

Do you know that your lathe chuck is not really just about the chuck? The accessories that come with your chuck make a significant difference. This is why you see full kits with a myriad of accessories. And there is no formula that says all chucks come with these set accessories so it’s important to pay attention to what is included.

You might see T bars, wormwood screws, Allen wrenches or another wrench style, the box itself, the chuck, a gear key, and sometimes more items even beyond these. The accessories can vary and you might get several with your chuck or just get one or two chuck accessories as well.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Wood Lathe Chuck?

Our top pick for the best wood lathe chuck is the PSI Barracuda that is listed as our best overall option in the reviews above. You also can’t go wrong with the Delta Industrial if you want a solid selection that is an awesome value for the money. Both of these are standout. However, if you’re looking for something else, all of the options in our guide are quality choices as well.

Do I Need a Wood Lathe Chuck?

A lot of woodworkers assume that a lathe will be sufficient. In some cases, it might be but a chuck is designed to really give you the best grip for your project. The chuck will help you to be able to do your work more accurately, more quickly, and more safely in the end.

With a chuck, accidents are less likely to occur as well. The jaws on a chuck allow you to get the most out of your woodturning. You get speed, performance, centering, and a grip from this simple tool. Wood chucks have auto stop functionality that can really help with safety but also maintain a firm and solid grip on your project.

The chuck can help with vibration issues as well. If your lathe tends to have heavy vibration, a chuck can help to offset that and keep your work smooth and reduce the vibration of the wood as well as the noise from vibrations.

A chuck can be versatile and work for a lot of different uses and needs, so you don’t necessarily have to spend a ton of money buying a chuck in 20 different sizes in order to have a workshop ready to go!

Who Makes the Best Wood Lathe?

There are a lot of really great wood lathes out there. You will find that we like options from brands like JET, Delta, Rikon, Grizzly, and more. If you want a good value for the money and good quality, steer towards a brand you are familiar with.

Conclusion

We hope that this guide provides you with a valuable resource for finding the very best wood lathe chuck that you can find. These tools are incredibly useful and most of them are also very versatile so you should have good luck with just about anything you choose.

Expert Tip

When considering your wood chuck, try to find an option that is lightweight, specifically under 10 pounds. The more lightweight and compact the chuck is, the more versatile and useful it will most likely be.

Did You Know?

Most wood lathe chucks are designed to be universal so the brand of the chuck might be irrelevant to the brand of your lathe. There are some chuck models that do have more limited compatibility so just be sure to watch for those specifics.

Amazon Recommends:

Bestseller No. 1
PSI Woodworking CSC3000C Barracuda Wood Lathe Key Chuck System
  • Includes: (1) Barracuda2 chuck body, (4) self-centering jaw sets, (1) woodworm screw chuck, (1) spindle adapter, (1) gear key, (1) Allen wrench, (8) screws, (1) storage case
  • Barracuda2 chuck body is 3. 5" Diameter and weighs 4 lbs. ; pre-threaded to 1" X 8TPI and includes 3/4" X 16TPI spindle adapter
  • #1 step jaws: 3/32" To 1-3/8" & 11/16" To 2-3/8"; #2 round jaws: 7/8" To 1-1/2" &1-1/4" To 2"; #3 wide bowl jaws: 3-1/16" To 4-3/8"; pin jaws: 1" To 2-1/4"
  • With the variety of included jaws, The CSC3000C will mount most turning projects onto your Lathe; including bowls, spindles, pens, other small turning projects, and much more
  • This is a C-Series Chuck; Compatible with all additional C-Series Jaws and accessories: 7-3/4" Jumbo Flat Jaws (CJAWFJ2), 5" Small Flat Jaws (CJAWFJ1), Set of 2 Alligator Jaws (LCALJAWS), Pen Blank Drilling Jaws (CJAWPEN), 8-1/4" Super Finishing Jaws (CJAWXL), and more!
SaleBestseller No. 2
VINWOX Wood Lathe Chuck, 4-Jaw Self-Centering Chuck, Utility Grip 4-Jaw Lathe Chuck with 1"x8TPI thread
  • Products include: Included Chuck body, a set of Tightening Levers, T allen wrench, Screw chuck, adapter converts 1'' x 8tpi to 3/4" x 16tpi and Free Automatic Spring Loaded Center Punch
  • Internal jaws tighten around workpieces varying from 1-1/2" to 3-3/8". External jaws spread inside of workpieces with pilot holes ranging from 2" to 3-7/8" Included screw chuck provides even more options for supporting your projects
  • 4" sturdy steel body with electric plating for long term anti-rust performance. Both sides of jaw teeth and guides are ground and hardened for long and stable service life. All guideways and bearing surfaces are precisely machined
  • Scroll chuck perfect for holding bowls, spindles, and other unwieldy wood lathe projects. Widely used for machine tools and accessories for general lathes and industrial machines
  • Worry-free shopping: if you have any questions about the product, please contact us, we will provide you with a satisfactory answer
Bestseller No. 3
PSI CMG3C Mini Grip 4 Jaw Wood Lathe Chuck System
  • Basic Straight Jaws for 1-inch stock, square or round
  • Bonus jaws to hold dowels 1-1/2-to-2-3/8-inch to grip internally 2-to-3-inch
  • Stepped jaws for small dowels 3/8-to-1-1/4-inch to grip internally 1-to-2-1/2-inch
  • Adapts to both 3/4-inch-by-16 tpi and 1-by-8 tpi spindles, and contains 2 open/close levers
  • Flat jaws to handle bowls up to 5-inch diameter are available (#CJAWFJ1)

Best Mini Wood Lathe in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Best Mini Wood Lathe

If you simply don’t have a lot of extra space to host a full sized lathe or perhaps you only do small projects and a small lathe will be sufficient, you should take a look at mini wood lathes. The best mini wood lathe will be suitable for a variety of projects and not just limit you to pens only, although those are a great project as well.

How do you choose from the best mini wood lathes? Ultimately, you want something that is small but mighty. You need to consider the power of the lathe, the size of the lathe, and the features that the mini wood lathe offers you so that you know it will really work for your needs.

Photo by Adam Patterson on Unsplash
Photo by Adam Patterson on Unsplash

In this guide, we will walk you through a variety of the best mini wood lathes on the market. We’ve searched and sorted and tested the options to bring you the very best choices available. We used specific details like the power, the swing, the overall construction, and even the price to make our decisions.

You will find a good variety of options for the best mini wood lathe here, complete with all of the details that you need to know in order to make a fully informed decision for your wood lathe needs.

Let’s get started!

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The Best Mini Wood Lathes Reviewed

In this part of our guide, we will focus on our top picks for mini wood lathes in the industry. We’ve done all of the background work and research so that you don’t have to spend hours doing that yourself. These reviews will share a comprehensive overview of each lathe as well as some spec ratings and the pros and cons as well. We hope you find something here that sticks out to you.

1. Best Overall: JET JWL 1221VS Variable Speed Wood Lathe

JJET JWL 1221VS Variable Speed Wood Lathe

In terms of small wood lathe reviews, the JET JWL 1221VS Variable Speed Wood Lathe always seems to rule as one of the the best performing mini lathes out there. It has a variable speed range that is superior to mini and it is perfect for all of your smaller projects from turning pens to making chess pieces and several other detailed projects as well.

With a solid foundation cast iron construction, 24 integrated indexing positions, and a unique ratchet style belt tension system, and even a dual tool holder for your convenience. Smooth operation is a guarantee and it’s nice to be able to handle most woodturning projects thanks to how much power this small lathe has sporting a 1 HP motor power range.

This offers one of the widest variable speed operations you will see with low speeds of 60 RPM clear up to high speeds of 3,600 RPM. Reverse to forward transition is very smooth and the self ejecting tailstock is pretty great as well.

Finally, you can track the RPM on the digital with a convenient control location and setup that slightly mimics full sized lathes and their design. Your swing is 12 inches with a distance of 21 inches between centers.

Spec Ratings (On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Motor: 10
  • Swing: 10
  • Speed Range: 10
  • Construction: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

If you want the best wood lathe from top to bottom, this one certainly beats a lot of other mini lathes out there. It’s a benchtop lathe with plenty of power, valuable tool rests, and nearly infinitely variable speed options that far surpass most machines, including some midi wood lathes.

2. Budget Pick: Wen 3421 Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe

Wen 3421 Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe

If you want a quality mini wood lathe but simply don’t have the budget for an expensive machine, take a look at this simple benchtop lathe from Wen. It’s a really great mini lathe with cast iron construction, cast iron bed, tool rests, and variable speed as well. In terms of mini lathes, Wen 3421 Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe is a winner that you can depend on. It can handle a few larger projects but it is best for small projects.

The variable speeds range from 750 to 3,200 RPM and this lathe weighs only about 20 pounds but it is still solid enough to handle what you need. It offers two tool rests and a lathe bed that gives you space and control. This has a good motor power for a starter lathe or smaller lathes with 3.2 amps. It’s an 8 inch spur center with a soft start motor.

The operational controls are simple with a dial to adjust your variable speed option. There isn’t a digital readout but the dial is pretty easy to read even while you work. This has an MT1 spindle that will enhance your woodworking game. You can turn small bowls, chess pieces, cups, and so much more!

Spec Ratings (On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Motor: 8
  • Swing: 9
  • Speed Ranges: 10
  • Construction: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

This is a great benchtop lathe for beginners with enough power to handle small tasks and reliable functionality at the same time. This mini lathe fits into a tight budget space but still holds enough power for turning bowls and other similar projects in a limited space.

3. Best Value: Rikon Power Tools 70-105 10 x 18 Mini Lathe

Rikon Power Tools 70-105 10 x 18 Mini Lathe

If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, check out this best mini lathe. It’s a really great value and it’s a reliable machine to boot. This best mini wood lathe has variable spindle speeds and a heavy cast iron bed and build with rubber feet to give you a solid stance, much like table legs (only shorter).

This machine is pretty unique. Rikon Power Tools 70-105 10 x 18 Mini Lathe has a two tool rest design with interchangeable pieces. You can use carbide tools or another cutting tool with no problem here, much like you might on a full size lathe. The speeds are variable but it’s a little bit different with basically 5 speed settings that you can switch between and get a broad range of speeds for any type of work.

This machine was designed based on woodworkers who do a lot of work with pens mostly so it is special to that type of task but it can be used for plenty of other tasks as well. It’s a cast iron tool so it is sturdy and has far less vibration as well. It’s simple but reliable and even has a safety paddle on the switch. The live rolling center also lets you swiftly move around and enjoy the reverse feature when you need it.

Spec Ratings (On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Motor: 9
  • Swing: 10
  • Speed Ranges: 8
  • Construction: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

This Rikon mini wood lathe is a great value for the money. The tool rest and the cast iron build give you versatility and stability and you have a good variable speed range with the dial of 5 settings. If you’re ready to make Christmas ornaments, pens, or other small projects, it’s a great choice!

4. Shop Fox W1704 1/3 HP Benchtop Lathe

Shop Fox W1704 1/3 HP Benchtop Lathe

The Shop Fox W1704 1/3 HP Benchtop Lathe is a great lathe with a slightly less powerful motor and yet powerful enough to handle small tasks with ease. This truly is a mini wood lathe with an 8-inch swing designed to handle miniscule projects without taking up a ton of space. It has a nice tool rest, actually, two tool rests that can be changed and it sports a variable speed style that will work wonders for your jobs.

With 12 inches of distance between centers, you have a versatile range of options. Shop Fox brings you a wonderfully small and simple mini wood lathe with a cast iron build and all of the safety features that you could possibly need.

If you’re looking for a highly-rated variable speed mini wood lathe, you will find it here with this Shop Fox. It’s small but sturdy with all of the versatility and control that you really need to accomplish those mini lathe tasks. It even has a knockout bar for some added control. The best part is no adjustment wrench is needed to enjoy those varying speed controls!

Spec Ratings (On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Motor: 8
  • Swing: 9
  • Speed Ranges: 10
  • Construction: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

This little Shop Fox W1704 machine might not be as powerful as some of the mini wood lathes out there but it’s still really great for doing the smallest projects. It’s versatile and reliable in all of the ways that count. This could be a great mini wood lathe for beginners or simply for smallish projects as well.

5. Nova 4600 Comet II Variable Speed Mini Lathe

Nova 4600 Comet II Variable Speed Mini Lathe

The Nova 4600 Comet II Variable Speed Mini Lathe is a great option as well. This lathe can sometimes be harder to find simply because they aren’t as heavily produced but it is highly-rated across the board and makes a good choice if you can get your hands on it. The Comet wood lathe has an almost infinitely variable speed ability that jumps from 250 to 4,000 RPM, giving you one of the highest on the market.

This wood lathe is 12 inches so you also have a lot of room to function and you’re not just limited to pens and the tiniest of projects. You have a touch more versatility thanks to the size. The Nova 46300 Comet II variable speed mini operates with a powerful motor for the size, sporting 3/4 HP to help you get your work done quickly and efficiently.

While the speeds vary, this does use a unique pulley system to really gauge into high, medium, and low speeds so you get the range you really need. You have total control of the speed and you have the safety functions on the switches as well. It’s easy to flip between forward and reverse. The tool rest is really sleek, as is the overall design of this wood lathe with logo design and color on it.

Spec Ratings (On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Motor: 9
  • Swing: 10
  • Speed Ranges: 9
  • Construction: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

The Nova 46300 Comet II is a mini lathe that delivers consistent results with your work. With 12 inches of swing, you have a little more room plus the stability of the machine build backing your work. It’s a great choice when you can find it available.

6. PSI Woodworking Penpal Portable Mini Wood Lathe

PSI Woodworking Penpal Portable Mini Wood Lathe

If you’re looking for something simple and convenient primarily to make pens, this mini wood lathe could be a great option for you. PSI Woodworking Penpal Portable Mini Wood Lathe is slightly limited on capability but perfect for pens and being able to port it around wherever you might need it in the moment. It only weighs about 15 pounds so you can easily take it wherever you need to go. Lightweight, portable, and a small footprint can be pretty useful at times.

This mini wood lathe operates on 1/5 HP but remember that is definitely mini with a small swing bed of 5 1/2 inches. The quality is consistent and reliable from a well-known lathe brand that delivers. This is built to be lightweight so it is made with anodized aluminum. It comes with flanges so that you can mount it to a surface if you want or need to as well.

This was specifically designed for pens so it comes with a pen mandrel shaft, collet closer, mandrel saver, bushings, collet wrenches, and a drill bit specifically for the task. Since it is portable, they added a dust collection hood plus a port and hose clamp as well. It’s simple but effective for pen making and also has a good range of speed options as well.

Spec Ratings (On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Motor: 8
  • Swing: 8
  • Speed Ranges: 10
  • Construction: 9

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

Some woodworkers purchase mini lathes specifically for the act of making pens so why not have a lathe designed just for that? If pens are your main activity and you don’t plan to do much else on your mini lathe, this is a great option and it comes with everything you need to do it!

7. Grizzly Industrial T25920 12 x 18 Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe

Grizzly Industrial T25920 12 x 18 Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe

We know Grizzly Industrial T25920 12 x 18 Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe to be a quality industrial brand and one of the most common brands that you see on the lathe market. It’s particularly popular for industrial usage but it can be a great option for a garage or woodworking shop at home too. This offers you a long swing bed for a mini lathe, measuring 12 inches of swing and spindles that measure 16 1/2 inches.

This has a little bit of everything with a high-quality build that is made to be sturdy and durable as well as some bells and whistles that other lathes don’t always have. This has the varying speeds from 650 to 3,800 RPM, giving you versatility for just about any task. In addition, it even has a digital spindle speed indicator so you always know your speeds.

The digital readout rests on the headstock for easy visibility. There is a turn dial for adjusting speeds and a safety switch as well. It’s easy to reverse or move to forward with smooth movement. You also have the adjustable tool rest so you can do what you need when you need it.

Spec Ratings (On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Motor: 10
  • Swing: 10
  • Speed Ranges: 9
  • Construction: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

We chose the Grizzly because it’s just large enough to handle some of the larger tasks you might need without being overly huge and bulky. It’s solid, sturdy, and reliable making it a great choice for a lot of great uses.

8. Mophorn 10 x 18 Inch Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe

Mophorn 10 x 18 Inch Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe

Finally, we leave you with one last quality option to give you a well-rounded assortment of lathes to choose from. Mophorn 10 x 18 Inch Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe is a good lathe with varying speed options and parting tools to boot so you are fully prepared for just about any task you might need. It’s a cast iron machine that has rubber feet for some added stabilization.

This is a bit of a work horse. You have a 10 inch swing over bed and a total distance of 18 inches. The tailstocks move and adjust so you have all of the versatility to work with just about any project. It’s smooth and stable and powerful all at the same time. Your speeds move from 500 to 3200 with 5 different set speed options to choose from.

This comes loaded with professional tool rests that can be changed depending on what your needs are. Working with this lathe is simple but also effective. You can do so many things and you have stability and customization on your side. Where some of these mini lathes are more limited because of width and length, this is a really good size for a range of projects.

Spec Ratings (On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Motor: 7
  • Swing: 10
  • Speed Ranges: 8
  • Construction: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

If you’re looking for something reliable and versatile for some of the smallish projects out there, this one is a good option. It has a stable build so that you can rely on your work getting done without a lot of vibration and excessive noise.

Best Full Size Wood Lathe In 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Looking for a full size wood lathe? In this guide, we will share the best full size wood lathe on the market and provide you with detailed reviews!

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How to Choose the Best Mini Wood Lathe

Now that you’ve seen the top options available, there are some things to consider and know before you spend the money on a machine. Choosing a lathe is about more than just knowing the name brand or seeing those 4 and 5 star ratings on a listing. You need to know the details and the specifications that you really want to pay attention to so you can understand whether you are choosing a good machine for your particular needs.

That’s what this buyer’s guide is for. We have some helpful tidbits of information simply to help you be fully informed while you peruse your options.

Size

Size does matter when it comes to a lathe and what it can handle. With a mini lathe, you expect it to be a smaller size and most suited to smaller projects but you also want to make sure it will be large enough to handle your needs so you can do what you purchase it to do, right?

It’s challenging to define a specific size but this category of mini typically covers a range from 8 to 12 inches. The smaller it is, the more limited you might be. These lathes are great for small things like chess characters, ornaments, pens, and other similarly sized items. When you get to 10 or 12 inches, you can even handle some small bowls and vases if you like.

The swing overbed is the diameter that your lathe can handle and the length between centers is the total length it can handle so just be sure to pay attention to these numbers and be aware of how they may affect your work so you can be sure that you have the size that you need to do your intended jobs on the lathe.

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Power

Power is a pretty important aspect of the lathe. This also really heavily depends on the work you will be doing. You need to know that the lathe can handle the power that you need from it to work quickly and efficiently. If it has lower power, it might work ok for larger tasks but they will simply be slower going.

Even though these machines have certain speed capabilities, it is the motor power that will drive that functionality. You will see quite a range in a mini lathe. We like to see somewhere from 1/2 to 1 HP for the mini size but if it happens to be smaller than that, just be aware you will be better with just small projects.

Ultimately, the power really makes a difference with heavier and thicker materials as opposed to the job in general. With heavier or thicker materials, it will probably take quite a bit longer on machines like the Wen or the Mophorn simply because they don’t have as much power behind the speeds.

Don’t get us wrong, these machines are still fully capable, they just might operate more slowly or bog down more easily in some instances.

Speeds

The speed is really where it’s at when you’re working. The ability to move from low to medium to high speeds is critical with some tasks. While we prefer to see variable options, we are also ok with set speeds as long as there is a good range there to give you some control of the speed of your spindle.

We love lathes that also have the digital readout so you can see the exact speed you’re at but this isn’t required for a lathe to be a good machine in the end. The Jet lathe in our very first best overall pick has one of the highest ranges of speeds that you will find with a super slow to a steadily fast available speed.

You will find quite a few varieties here, including machines that have a full range and machines that have set speeds but give you 5 speeds to choose from so you still have a steady range for just about every need you might have.

The key here is just to make sure you have a good range to cover your needs so that you don’t try to do a project and get frustrated that you’re moving at a snail’s pace.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Mini Wood Lathe?

The best overall pick according to our standards is the Jet mini lathe. It’s a versatile lathe that really will deliver for just about anything in this particular realm. It’s a good size and it has a full range of speeds so that you can do whatever you need with full control. This machine is built to work and built to last and it does it with ease.

What is the Best Beginner Wood Lathe?

As a beginner, you’re just getting started. You’re probably setting out with a limited budget and still learning processes and practices to get the most of your work. If you’re a beginner that just wants a quality lathe, we recommend the Wen in our ranks. It’s a solid starter lathe and it’s a really great price as well.

What is the Best Wood Lathe for the Money?

This term could really depend on your preferences. Our best value for the money pick is the Rikon mini lathe as it has a lot of great functionality and size for a pretty reasonable price. It has the power to back the speeds and it will deliver results with consistent and reliable functionality.

What Can You Make with a Mini Wood Lathe?

While a mini lathe might be more limited than say a midi or a full sized option, there is still a lot that you can do. Remember that your capabilities might depend on the size that you end up with so pay attention to that detail to truly know what your lathe can do!

Here are some great ideas for mini wood lathe projects.

  • Pens
  • Small bowls
  • Chair legs
  • Letter openers
  • Decorations (like Christmas ornaments)
  • Chess game pieces
  • Vases
  • Bottle stoppers
  • Spindles
  • Drawer pulls
  • Small cups

This is just a few of the things but you can create anything that will fit in the size of lathe you are working with!

Conclusion

We hope that you find our guide for the best mini wood lathe to be a valuable resource for finding some great options. There are a lot of really good choices here for you and a broad range of options so that there is something for just about everyone!

Expert Tip

More power means the ability to handle faster work so if you want to really be able to move fast, be sure to stay to 1/2 to 1 HP for the best power.

Did You Know?

Did you know that there are lathes out there that can actually work with glass as well? We see wood most commonly and metal at times also but glass is a function that some people never knew about. It does take a specific lathe for this type of work.

Amazon Recommends:

Bestseller No. 1
Mophorn Wood Lathe 10 x 18 Inch,Bench Top Heavy Duty Wood Lathe 5 Speed, Mini Wood Lathe 370W Power Motor
  • 【550W POWERFUL MOTOR】- The powerful motor starts softly ensuring motor's maximize safety and low noise. 370W provide great power for the lathe operation.
  • 【UNRIVALED SPEED CONTROL】- Turning speed control knob clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the speed freely within 760-3200 RPM. MT2 Spindle.
  • 【LARGE WORK CAPACITY】- 18" (460mm) distance between centers, swing over bed 10" (254mm). High concentricity. Moving tailstock to adjust proper distances for workpieces.
  • 【CAST IRON CONSTRUCTION】- Cast iron constructed wood lathes for durability and strength, providing increased stability and smooth operation. Extremely sturdy cast iron construction to reduce vibration.
  • 【PROFESSIONAL TOOL RESTS】- Moving the lock lever to adjust or replace the tool rest. 6" (150 mm) tool rests for easy replacement, ideal for a variety of turning projects in labs, workshops, engineering education, etc.
Bestseller No. 2
Mophorn Wood Lathe 10 x 18 Inch,Bench Top Heavy Duty Wood Lathe Variable Speed 500-3800 RPM,Mini Wood Lathe Regulation Digital Display,Benchtop Lathe Strong Power 550W
  • 【550W POWERFUL MOTOR】- The powerful motor starts softly ensuring motor's maximize safety and low noise. 550W provide great power for the lathe operation.
  • 【UNRIVALED SPEED CONTROL】- Turning speed control knob clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the speed freely within 500-3800 RPM. MT2 Spindle. It is easy to read via digital speed display.
  • 【LARGE WORK CAPACITY】- 18" (460mm) distance between centers, swing over bed 10" (254mm). High concentricity. Moving tailstock to adjust proper distances for workpieces.
  • 【CAST IRON CONSTRUCTION】- Cast iron constructed wood lathes for durability and strength, providing increased stability and smooth operation. Extremely sturdy cast iron construction to reduce vibration.
  • 【PROFESSIONAL TOOL RESTS】- Moving the lock lever to adjust or replace the tool rest. 6" (150 mm) tool rests for easy replacement, ideal for a variety of turning projects in labs, workshops, engineering education, etc.
SaleBestseller 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.

Best Wood Lathe for Turning Bowls in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Best Wood Lathe for Turning Bowls

What do you do with your lathe? Do you have a lathe to be able to do a lot of different projects or do you primarily use it for a specific purpose? Some woodworkers like to be able to do a multitude of different things while others simply have one or two steady projects that are all similar in nature.

If you’re a woodworker that mostly wants a wood lathe for turning bowls, then you need a wood lathe that is designed to allow you to do so. How do you choose the best wood lathe for turning bowls? When it comes to turning bowls, there are lots of different shapes and sizes.

In this guide, we will share with you our top picks for the best wood lathe for turning bowls. We had the opportunity to research and do some wood lathe testing to narrow it down the best wood lathes for this purpose specifically.

To choose these wood lathes, we considered specifically the power and the size. The average size for bowl turning on a wood lathe is recommended at least 16 inches so we kept these needs in mind as we narrowed down the wood lathes and we hope you can find something here that works well for you.

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The Best Wood Lathes for Turning Bowls Reviewed

We made every effort to truly find the best wood lathe for turning bowls and that is just what we came here to share with you. Our goal was to provide options for every budget and every need. You will find a complete overview and review, our rating of the specs, as well as some pros and cons for each lathe below.

Let’s get started!

1. Best Overall: Grizzly Industrial G0462 16×46 Wood Lathe

JET Variable Speed Midi Lathe

First up, is our best overall choice, which is a Grizzly Industrial G0462 16×46 Wood Lathe that is designed to be an industrial lathe with variable speed. This is an ideal wood lathe for turning bowls and has a lot to offer. It is large and in charge but it has the power and the size to handle bowl turning needs.

This good wood lathe is built with cast iron construction even down to the stable table legs. It has a nice tool rest base, including a flat wrench tool rests design. It’s a heavy-duty machine that doesn’t vibrate extensively. The swing is 16 inches and it hosts #2 spindle and tailstock papers as well. It operates on 2 HP so it has plenty of power as well.

Spec Ratings (Rated on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Swing Length: 9
  • Materials: 10
  • Vibration: 10
  • Motor: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

This is the best wood lathe for turning thanks to the materials and build as well as the swing capacity and reliability. It’s simple and effective and it holds up great over time.

2. Budget Pick: Rikon Midi Lathe

Rikon Midi Lathe

This next option is a great budget-friendly variable speed midi lathe that will work really well for wooden bowl turn needs. It may not work as well for large bowls since it is a midi lathe and doesn’t have as large swing capacity as full size wood lathes generally do. However, the swing is 12.5 inches and it has spindle locking and the ability to index so you use this as your bowl turning lathes choice.

This variable speed midi lathe has a powerful 1 HP DC motor. The patented belt tensioning system works well for these lathe machines to make changing spindle speeds much easier and smoother. Rikon Midi Lathe still offers interchangeable tool rests and is made with solid cast iron to give you stability and reliability.

Spec Ratings (Rated on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Swing Length: 8
  • Materials: 10
  • Vibration: 9
  • Motor: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

We love this variable speed wood lathe because it gives you something closer to a mini lathe that won’t take as much space but it still offers plenty of power as well as a great speed range so turning bowls will be a breeze.

3. Best Value: Laguna Tools Revo Lathe

Laguna Tools Revo Lathe

If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, you might want to check out Laguna Tools Revo Lathe . It’s a variable speed wood lathe and it has a good value for the money compared to other wood lathes that are similar in nature and design. This 2 HP best wood lathe is powerful and sturdy with an 18-inch swing capacity so you can make bowls of all sizes.

This wood lathe has a cast iron base and controls that are easy to use and read on the top. The spring loaded spindle lock is efficient and you have an outboard swing of 32 inches. The lathe machine uses a 3 phase output drive belt and has a significant variable speed range as well as a self ejecting floor to spindle center.

Spec Ratings (Rated on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Swing Length: 10
  • Materials: 10
  • Vibration: 10
  • Motor: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

From a design that uses three pulley speed ranges to a tailstock cup center that will send wood flying when you need it, you can’t beat this machine. It’s one of the top rated wood lathes and it’s a great value for the money when you consider all of the details.

4. Jet JWL 1221VS 12 x 21 Variable Speed Wood Lathe Machine

Delta Industrial 12-Inch Variable Speed Midi Lathe

If you like the idea of lathe machines that are benchtop or perhaps not quite as large, check out this best wood lathe for turning bowls that is in the midi category. Forget the mini lathe that really can’t hold your bowl anyway, the Jet is in town with variable speed and lots of power for the tasks at hand.

This Jet JWL 1221VS 12 x 21 Variable Speed Wood Lathe Machine pretty much has it all but in a slightly smaller size. It’s a cast iron wood lathe with variable speed, interchangeable tool rest, and a digital readout for the RPM as well. The cast iron construction and the optimal speed range really set it apart. It even has a side unit for your lathe accessories.

Spec Ratings (Rated on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Swing Length: 8
  • Materials: 10
  • Vibration: 10
  • Motor: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

With an electronic variable speed and cast iron build, this midi lathe gives you the minute luxuries of a mini lathe complete with all of the features and functions of a full size. It even has an interchangeable tool rest and a patent pending belt tension system.

5. Powermatic 1353001 Lathe with Risers

Powermatic 1353001 Lathe with Risers

This powerful wood lathe from Powermatic is big and bad. It’s certainly a premium model with heavy-duty build and a higher price tag. It’s highly-rated for quality and durability and it has a LOT to offer. The cast iron build gives you strength and stability. It also has a control box that can be moved for versatility.

From there, the spindle lock is ergonomic and self-locating so you can operate using one hand. You have a full tool rest and this even comes with a specialized bowl turner tool rest as well. Powermatic 1353001 Lathe with Risers comes on risers and wheels so you can be comfortable and move it around as needed. The motor is 2 HP to make quick work of any job you need.

Spec Ratings (Rated on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Swing Length: 9
  • Materials: 10
  • Vibration: 10
  • Motor: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

We love this cast iron monster with variable speed and a mobile control box. You have safety, versatility, and functionality right at your fingertips. You also can’t beat that wood tool rest specialty piece that comes with it!

6. Jet JWL 1640EVS 16 x 40 Wood Lathe

Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe

Finally, check out this cast iron full size wood lathe from Jet. Jet JWL 1640EVS 16 x 40 Wood Lathe is versatile and powerful and has a really great variable speed range that we love. The cast iron base is solid and simple so you won’t have to worry about vibration or stability. You have 36 integrated indexing positions for plenty of versatility and usability as well.

The variable speed motor gives you spindle speeds of anywhere from 40 to 3,200 RPM and the spindle locking mechanism gives you full control while you work. The control box is sleek with an electronic variable speed readout and simple functions. Everything moves smoothly and the two tool rest lets you manage small projects or large projects however you need them.

Spec Ratings (Rated on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Swing Length: 10
  • Materials: 10
  • Vibration: 9
  • Motor: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

On a whole, this is a high quality machine that delivers results. It has correct tension and a good center to center distance for just about any project. The tailstock taper and smooth movements bring you longer tool life that you can depend on.

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Buyer’s Guide to Choosing a Versatile Machine

Whether you like a good midi wood lathe or you want something large and in charge, you should know what to look for before you purchase a lathe. There are many different features and characteristics to keep in mind and be aware of.

In this buyer’s guide, we will share some of the details that we look at as well as some inspiration for you so that you can make a fully informed decision.

Motor Power

A JET JWL wood lathe used by a woodworker for making turning bowl project
Image by JET JWL wood lathe

Probably the first thing to consider is the motor power when choosing a lathe. Where some lathes like the Shop Fox brand are quality lathes, what you will find is they don’t always have enough power for certain tasks or have non spindle turning function.

When it comes to making bowls, we recommend sticking to a lathe that is 1-3 HP for the motor. Regardless of the size or type of bowl you are making, the best wood lathe for turning bowls needs to be powerful. We really prefer the 2 HP range but in some of the smaller lathes, this simply won’t be an option.

The problem is if the motor isn’t powerful enough, it tends to stall out for projects like turning bowls and that is the last thing that you want to run into.

Swing Size

The next thing to consider for a wood lathe is the size, particularly the swing size. In order to make a bowl, you will need significant swing. You will notice that some of the options here are as low as 12 inches. Keep in mind that these sizes will work for some bowls but will be more limited and may work best for small bowls that are about 10 inches or less.

For turning bowls, we recommend looking for a swing size between 16-20 inches. The bigger the better, because you will have far more versatility to make any style or size. However, 16 inches is typically sufficient for the majority of bowl needs.

In general, the swing length is the length of bowl that you will be able to turn so if you have a 16-inch swing, you should be able to turn 16-inch bowls. However, what we found is you typically will be restricted to about 2 inches less so if you have a 16-inch swing, plan on the bowl maximum to probably be more like 14 inches.

Of course, this variation really might depend on the bowl cut as well so keep that in mind but it is far better to be prepared with more swing capacity than to not have enough, right?

Related: Best Bench Chisels In 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Headstock and Tailstock

For turning bowls, the headstock and tailstock matter. You will want the headstock to be threaded. A threaded spindle will give you more versatility and control of the bowl. A standard thread will do but this is definitely something to look for. Otherwise, you will need to determine if you can adjust the headstock so it meets your needs.

Your tailstock isn’t quite as essential to be picky with but you need a reliable tailstock. The point of the tailstock is to help your spindle rotate evenly so you will want to pay attention to this. It is really best if the tailstock has a rapid access latch or similar mechanism so that you can lock the live center and keep it secure.

Budget

The prices of the best wood lathe for turning bowls can vary drastically. With the price variations also come quality and feature variations. As you consider your options, you will want to keep your budget in mind and then make a point to look for a wood lathe that meets your needs and fits into your budget requirements.

You can certainly find a wood lathe for bowls that falls into the $500-$900 range but you might be limited on some features or even size so keep that in mind. In addition, you will find that you can spend up to $5,000 for some of the highest quality lathes. Of course, there are lathes that are much closer to the $2,000 mark and they are typically great also.

Since this is such a broad range, you need to plan for the budget before you start shopping so that you can find a good option within your budget.

Materials

Buyer’s Guide to Choosing a Versatile Machine
Photo by Tobias Bjørkli from Pexels
Finally, the materials of the lathe are also important. We don’t just meant the base but the overall materials from spindle to base to motor and everything in between. The majority of lathes are made with cast iron, at least for a base but that doesn’t mean they all are.

 

You will also find solid metals and aluminum can still work nicely. The key here is you want your lathe to be solid and stable. The materials make a difference when it comes to vibration as well so a heavy-duty material that will be stable is absolutely essential to a quality lathe.

The reason that so many lathes are made with cast iron is because this material best absorbs the vibration of the machine while it turns. It’s also a very heavy material so be prepared for this as it will make a difference in the mobility of your lathe.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Wood Lathe for Turning Bowls?

Our top pick is the Grizzly Industrial. It has stability and versatility in a full-sized lathe that is easy to use and reliable. You will find that it is suitable for bowls and many other projects as well.

What is the Best Wood Turning Lathe for Beginners?

As a beginner, you may want to start small and then upgrade. We recommend the Rikon. It’s a reasonable price point and is a benchtop model so it’s not as large or heavy. On the plus side, it has a good size and a lot of capability so you won’t be drastically limited on what you can do with this machine.

What Turns a Bowl on a Lathe?

The spindle headstock and tailstock design are what turns your bowl. This spindle is directed by the speed controls and needs to be consistent and sturdy. Pay attention to the drive spurs and the live center as this will impact your bowl.

What is the Best Full Sized Wood Lathe?

If you want the best bang for your buck in a wood lathe, take a look at the Laguna that we shared. It’s a really great value with a lot of capability in a full size lathe.

Conclusion

We hope that you find this guide to be a valuable resource for choosing your next wood lathe. There are some really great options here and some valuable information for knowing what to look for. Which lathe do you have your eye on?

Expert Tip

The more power you have, the better your machine can handle the demands of bowl making. With a lower power motor, you might run into stalling which is incredibly inconvenient.

Did You Know?

In general, your lathe swing size will be about the size of bowl that it can handle. We recommend subtracting 1-2 inches from this to really know what your lathe can handle.

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  • Designed to under cut hollow forms when turning bowls
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Best Midi Wood Lathe in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Best Midi Wood Lathe Reviews & Buyers Guide

Midi wood lathes are a popular choice among woodturners because they offer plenty of power but they don’t take up nearly as much space as your traditional wood lathe. It’s large than mini lathes and gives you the best of both worlds in both power and compact nature.

The best midi wood lathe will be compact with a 12-14 inch bed swing but also still have a reliable speed, torque, and horsepower so your projects and capabilities won’t be limited. We’ve searched the market and done some testing to bring you the best midi wood lathes on the market.

In this guide, we will share with you our top picks and outline just what it is that stands out about each one, including ratings for the RPM range, material, swing overbed, HP, and voltage so you know exactly what you’re looking at. We hope you can find a suitable option for a midi lathe right here!

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Best Midi Wood Lathe Reviews & Buyers Guide
Image by SusanNehemiah from Pixabay

The Best Midi Wood Lathes Reviewed

We chose wood lathe options in the mini department based specifically on quality and research. From checking out what other customers are saying and trying out the specs to fully understand the product, each of these details made a difference in our selections.

These reviews will provide you with an overview of the midi wood lathe in question as well as share with you our ratings on some of the most important specs to consider as you make a decision.

Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Best Overall: JET Variable Speed Midi Lathe

JET Variable Speed Midi Lathe

The JET Variable Speed Midi Lathe is the best wood lathe overall and our top pick for benchtop wood lathes. It’s a 12 inch variable speed device that even brings its own innovation to the table with a patent-pending ratchet style belt tension system that no other midi lathe offers.

This benchtop wood lathe has great speed ranges that move from 60 to 3,600 RPM. The controls are easy to reach and the machine is versatile for handling all types of needs. It offers 24 integrated indexing positions. In addition, the JET JWL 1221vs also offers onboard storage with two tool rest caddies that can come in handy. This is made with cast iron.

Here are our ratings on the specs. Each rating is a 1-10, with 10 being the highest.

  • RPM Range: 10
  • Materials: 10
  • Swing Overbed: 8
  • HP: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

In terms of midi lathes, the JET JWL is made with solid cast iron that really sets it apart. It is one of the best wood lathes you will find with quality speed control and a measure of simplicity that really can’t be beat.

2. Budget Pick: Wen 3421 Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe

Wen 3421 Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe

If you’re looking for an affordable and reliable compact lathe, Wen 3421 Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe might be a great consideration. It’s slightly smaller than some options and falls into the mini wood lathe category with an 8-12 inch variable speed design. It operates on 3.2 amps, so not quite a 1 HP motor but it has a good variable speed range and is reliable as far as mini wood lathes go.

The speed ranges for this mini wood lathe cover a good range from 750 yo 3200 RPM. The face plate is 2.3 inches with an MT1 spindle bore and reasonable spindle speed. It also uses MT1 tailstock taper with 2 interchangeable tool rests for your convenience.

Spec Ratings (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest.)

  • RPM Range: 8
  • Materials: 9
  • Swing Overbed: 8
  • HP: 8

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

Mini wood lathes are great for simple and small projects and this budget friendly piece has reliable speed ranges, simple speed controller, and all of the swing capacity you will need for a portable lathe option. This is a really great option for beginners and small projects alike.

3. Best Value: Rikon 12 x 16 Midi VSR Lathe

Rikon 12 x 16 Midi VSR Lathe

If you’re looking for the best bang for the buck, you really can’t go wrong with the Rikon 12 x 16 Midi VSR Lathe . The midi wood lathe has a maximum length of 16 inches, which is an optimal center to center distance. It’s fitted with a solid cast iron base and offers a variable speed design that gives you a good minimum speed to a maximum speed range of 450 to 3,500 RPM.

The speed controls are electronic rather than pulley speed ranges. This is one of the best wood lathes on the market for the price. It even has a digital readout for displaying the speed control figures for your convenience. The machined ends give you more spindle capacity and a tool rest base. The 1 HP motor is strong and mighty for any task.

Spec Ratings (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest. )

  • RPM Range: 9
  • Materials: 10
  • Swing Overbed: 10
  • HP: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

We chose this Rikon lathe as the best midi lathe for the money because it has optimal maximum speed and minimum speed ranges plus quality materials and design. The spindle lock and swing capacity paired with cast iron construction really give you a great tool for many woodworking projects.

4. Delta Industrial 12-Inch Variable Speed Midi Lathe

Delta Industrial 12-Inch Variable Speed Midi Lathe

The Delta Industrial 12-Inch Variable Speed Midi Lathe is a simple machine that is highly-rated and durable. While it may not have as many bells and whistles, it is consistent and gives you everything you need in midi lathes. This cast iron wood lathe works on a professional level with a powerful 1 HP motor and a large capacity.

This wood lathe provides a 12.5 swing capacity as well as a variable speed range that uses three pulley speed ranges. The live center uses a drive spindle with 1 inch 8 TPI thread. You can forward and reverse smoothly so your finished project will be perfect. The lack of table legs will not affect your work here!

The downside is the RPM is not really specified. We find the maximum speed is 4,000 RPM but the range is unclear and hard to monitor.

Spec Ratings (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest.)

  • RPM Range: 7
  • Materials: 10
  • Swing Overbed: 10
  • HP: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

The Delta Industrial wood lathe is simple and yet powerful at the same time. From a tool rest to a wide swing range, you really can’t go wrong if you want reliable consistency as well as ingenuity for this type of tool. The wood stock design will bring you perfect results with any project.

5. Nova 46902 Comet Variable Speed Midi Wood Lathes Bundle

Nova 46902 Comet Variable Speed Midi Wood Lathes Bundle

Next up, the Nova 46902 Comet Variable Speed Midi Wood Lathes Bundle makes a powerful and reliable midi lathe that is compact enough to look like a mini lathe but versatile enough to give you plenty of workability. It has a 14-inch swing overbed, 1 HP motor, and speeds that range from 250 to 3,450 RPM so you can handle anything you might need to handle on a wood lathe.

This mini lathe is very easy to use and also offers a modular tool rest system for your comfort and convenience. The speeds adjust easily and the digital readout lets you know exactly where you are. The distance between centers is 14 to 18.5 live center, for a full swing capacity. This power tool has solid cast iron construction and a digital display with spindle locking technology to turn wood like a pro.

Spec Ratings (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest.)

  • RPM Range: 8
  • Materials: 10
  • Swing Overbed: 10
  • HP: 10

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

This wood lathe stands out to us for the 44 inches distance between centers and the 12 inch tool rest that is just right for a flat wrench or other tool to be placed. The spindle capacity is significant with one of the largest swing capacity capabilities for wood lathes in this category.

6. Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe

Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe

If you like the compact style of a mini lathe that won’t take up any floor space, Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe could be a great option. It’s another affordable model and it is a bit smaller than most wood lathe options here, it’s built well and it works great for the size. It has a simple 12 inch distance, with two interchangeable tool rests, a reverse switch, and 12-inch distance between centers.

This will not let you down for your woodworking projects. The two belt positions provide you with variable speed control and a good range. It is challenging to monitor or maintain your speed with the lack of a digital display. This wood lathe is made with heavy cast iron and it holds up well over time.

Spec Ratings (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest.)

  • RPM Range: 7
  • Materials: 10
  • Swing Overbed: 8
  • HP: 7

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

This wood lathe strikes our fancy because it works for small and compact needs. It’s less powerful than most but it works really well for its size and intended functionality. It’s simple and durable in all of the ways that count and your wood stock will easily turn into a beautiful project.

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A Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Best Midi Wood Lathe

When it comes to picking out a wood lathe, there are some specific things to consider, apart from just knowing what people like me say is the best wood lathe out there. Where I tested certain features and capabilities to create my list, the playing field can still be limited here.

When you are purchasing your wood lathe, you will have specific needs and preferences to consider. Don’t lose sight of your needs and the use you will have for a wood lathe as you check out these qualities that we share in the buyer’s guide. We created this simply to provide you with some intuitive information to help you make an informed decision in the end.

What is a Midi Lathe?

A Buyer's Guide to Choosing the Best Midi Wood Lathe
Image by Joenomias from Pixabay

Let’s start with just a basic overview of what a midi really is. You probably have a good idea if you’re here but maybe you’re just doing some research on different options and you need some more detail. You’ve come to the right place.What is unique about a midi is that it is portable to some degree. It can be placed on your benchtop or tabletop and simply doesn’t take up as much space as a traditional wood lathe. The mini and midi are often grouped together and while they can be similar and even overlap, they really are two separate categories. We will discuss some of their differences shortly.

Midi lathes also fall into the middle price range. What you really should know is that these are rarely on a stand or legs, although sometimes you can add legs. They fall into a size in the middle as well as a price. It’s your “medium” fit.

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Midi Vs. Mini

Really quick, let’s talk about the difference in midi and mini just so you can distinguish easily between the two. The mini lathe is completely portable and usually also lightweight, although they can still be iron materials. These have a swing that is usually 10 inches or less and a full center swing of 15 inches or less.

Mini can still give you variable power and a lot of functionality. They are primarily designed for smaller projects like pen turning, letter openers, small bowls and dishes, and similar items. They are quite a bit more limited as to the sizes they can handle. These also are typically quite a bit more affordable.

Midi, on the other hand, is just a slight upgrade that is not as limited. Your swing is going to start at 12 inches and possibly go up to 18 inches and the center length might be as high as 45 inches in some cases. These are more expensive than a mini but also have more functionality.

Midis have more powerful motors, quite a bit more size, and will still have plenty of other features and capabilities as well.

Power

When it comes to midi size wood lathe options, you are going to find that the power can vary considerably. Mini options often make their way into the category and they use considerably less power but the power is usually good enough for their function.

In general, I like to see 1 HP for the motor on a wood lathe in the midi category. If it’s not a full HP, something close like 3/4 or 2/3 is also typically acceptable. This is powerful enough to handle most materials and work for just about any wood stock. To be fair, a lesser motor might still be sufficient for some models. It really depends on the size of the model.

For example, the Wen and Shop Fox models that we covered in our choices have much smaller motors. However, you will also notice that their working size and capabilities are also slightly less so the power is sufficient for the design of the machine.

This is the key. You want to know the machine will be sufficiently powered with the motor.

Swing Measurements

The swing capacity is probably one of the most important considerations for a midi size wood lathe. This basically will determine how large of a project your lathe can handle so it gives you a good idea of whether or not it will be suitable.

When it comes to the swing, you will hear two different measurements. The swing overbed is the swing over the bed of the lathe. The swing otherwise, is the full length from the center. On average, for a midi wood lathe, the overbed swing will be around 12-18 inches.

A number between 12-15 inches is ideal and if you want a midi on the larger side, then totally shoot for 18 inches if you find a good option with that ability. You will also see measurements from center to center and this is important. The average for a midi is around 40 inches but it might vary up or down slightly here, depending on the model.

Speed Control

Most midi wood lathe options will have speed variations. On average, the range should be from around 250 to around 3,500. Again, these numbers can vary quite a bit depending on the model but if you see numbers close to these, you have a good range.

These speeds are typically controlled by belt positions and the belt adjusts by the turn of a dial in most cases. There are different ways to control the speed but what you really want to know is whether it’s easy to adjust and whether it will disrupt your project to make that adjustment.

You will see some options that have digital displays and others that are literally just a knob that says low and high. The display makes it easier to know just where you are but they both do the job they are intended to do so your preferences will come into play here.

Materials

Midi Vs. Mini
Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels
If you’re going to spend the money on a wood lathe, you want to know that your investment is going to be built to last and is designed with quality materials. The majority of options will be made with cast iron, which is ideal. However, this is not always the case.
 
It is not a deal breaker if you find a midi lathe that you really love and it is made with some other material. You want a quality material that is heavy-duty and will hold up well over time. Know your materials and pay attention to what the tool that you are looking for really is made of.
 
Cast iron will most certainly make your machine heavier so if you plan on moving it a lot or porting it with you to jobs, this could be something to keep in mind as well. You can look at the weight of the tool to really get a feel for whether or not it will work for you.

Always look for high-quality materials from every spindle and piece down to the base of the machine. Even the display and control knob need to be reliable and made with reliable materials so don’t forget to note those things as well.

Accessories

After these particular items, most things from there can vary a lot and may or may not be a part of the lathe that you look at. For example, some lathes offer tool rests while others don’t have a tool rest at all.

If you want something specific, be sure to look for those details. In addition, you can look for things like a digital reading, spindle adjustments, and even the speed control design. Determine what accessories and settings are essential to your needs.

These are the things that might vary quite a bit between different brands, models, and designs. Just because a specific model maybe doesn’t have a digital reading doesn’t mean that is a lesser than model, it simply means it is missing an accessory that you are interested in. Keep this in mind and know that some things such as this might vary.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Wood Lathe on the Market?

Our top pick comes from JET. It’s an all around reliable brand with quality design and materials. We love the overall functionality, as well as the speed and the power associated with the machine. Keep in mind that your preferences vary well might be different but this proves to be a reliable machine across the board.

What is the Best Wood Turning Lathe for Beginners?

If you’re just starting out and you’re looking for something reliable and easy to learn with, we recommend going with our budget-pick, the Wen model. This particular lathe is perfect for beginners and really great for small projects as well. It’s a great lathe to learn the basics and then you can upgrade when you are ready (if that’s something you want to do).

This budget-friendly model has reliable power, a good size, and is made with quality materials. You will also notice that it has interchangeable tool rests for your convenience, as well as a display that makes speed adjustment a breeze. It’s just as well made as several of the other options and it’s really easy to control and use.

Are Harbor Freight Wood Lathes Any Good?

A Harbor Freight wood lathe can be a good option, particularly for beginners. The nice thing about these is that they are made much like any other lathe. They tend to be affordable so they make a great option if you’re just getting started or you have a tight budget for purchasing a lathe for your needs.

How Much Power Should a Midi Lathe Have?

I feel as though 1 HP is the best motor for a midi lathe. However, if your needs don’t require as much power or you work primarily with smaller projects, you can use a motor that is slightly smaller and get along just fine.

Conclusion

We hope that you find this guide to finding your new midi lathe to be a resourceful guide with some really great options. You can’t go wrong with any of the options here. Just remember what you need as you check out the options.

Expert Tip

If you’re able, go with a wood lathe that gives you the best value for your money. This will help you have a reliable machine that you can continue using even when you are no longer a beginner, rather than needing to upgrade in a couple of years.

Did You Know?

A mini lathe and a midi lathe are very similar but they really are two separate categories. If you’re specifically looking for a midi, be sure to keep those specifications in mind.

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PSI Woodworking KWL-1018VS Turncrafter Commander 10" Variable Speed Midi Lathe
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  • Headstock Thread 1" x 8tpi. Headstock/Tailstock Taper #2MT. Distance between Centers 18". Swing over Bed 10". Cast iron base
  • Tailstock & Spindle Bore 3/8". Quill Travel 1-5/8". (24) indexing positions with spindle locking. Convenient built-in handles
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  • Electronic variable Speed with three-pulley speed ranges provide the required speeds needed to turn a project without changing belt position
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  • Patented belt tensioning system for easy and quick speed changes and sets the belt at the correct tension every time for maximum power transfer and longer tool life

Spokeshave Vs Drawknife – Which One Should You Buy?

A spokeshave on the table and a man using a drawknife

In the world of woodworking, two tools can often seem repetitive. There are times that hand tools appear to be very similar and you may think you only need one of them but in reality, they are actually very different.

There might just be small differences in some tools but that small difference in a tool might just make a big difference. One such tool comparison is a spokeshave and a drawknife. These tools are often pitted against each other and many people think you only need one but is that true?

We’ve put together a guide of spokeshave vs. drawknife to make sure you have all of the relative details for each of these tools so you can choose one of both of them to get for your woodworking needs. Spokeshaves and drawknives are unique in their own ways and our goal is you will understand those details at the end of this guide.

We’re going to talk about each of these individually and then follow up with a quick comparison as well.

A man using a spokeshave
Image by Ono Kosuki from Pexels

Spokeshave

A spokeshave is typically designed to come in and finish up a job and clean up any cutting. When a spokeshave and a drawknife is used, the spokeshave comes last because it has finer shavings and makes fine cuts to clean up the work and smooth it out, making your work look nicer overall.

Working with a spoke shave might be a bit more time consuming but that is because you are perfecting your work with it. Ultimately, the spokeshave will finish the surface when it is used properly. One thing you should know right away is this blade is not designed for heavy-duty use.

A spokeshave is meant to work your wood lightly. It’s a lightweight tool specifically designed as a knife for fine use. It has a long blade and handles typically and you can use a push stroke. A lot of people use these for things like wheel spokes and chair legs to give them a fine edge for your wooden surface.

The best spokeshaves typically have a wooden body and curved handles for working to shape and remove shavings and rough edges. They do so much good for the finishing touches. There are metal body spokeshaves out there but most woodworkers prefer the wooden options.

Draw knives can be used for some finer cuts, depending on how they are made but they aren’t necessarily designed for that purpose.

With a spokeshave, the design is pretty unique. What you will find is that the wooden shave’s cutter is nearly parallel. The sole and the bevel are placed upward rather than on the side. It’s very similar in style to a drawknife. When you go for a metal spokeshave, you will find that the cutter is 45 degrees as a default.

With a wooden spokeshave, you have a lower cutting angle so you can use the tool on end grain and it cuts smooth with the grain every single time. Our first choice would be an option if you can find one. It doe make a difference when you are working.

Using a Spokeshave

A spokeshave woodworking tool on the table
Image by Ono Kosuki from Pexels

Ultimately, a spokeshave has a specific purpose. It’s meant to shape and smooth and flatten, particularly where complex shapes might be involved. Here are some tasks that you can use a spokeshave for.

  • Smooth arched edges
  • Shape spindles
  • Cabriole legs and other curves
  • Wheel spokes
  • Table and chair legs
  • Wooden arrows

Think about it, this list is really just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re working with a curved surface, a spokeshave will have your back for a smooth finish. Spokeshaves tend to be much easier to find than a drawknife. However, at the same time finding a quality one with a wood body can also be a challenge and sometimes you have to find individual tool owners to work with.

Spokeshaves do tend to wear out quickly when they are put to use as they should so you may need to keep several on hand to be prepared. It’s ok to keep a variety of them from metal tools to wooden tools with various angles and bodies to handle a different depth of cut or purpose.

The best spokeshave will be reliable for you no matter what materials it is made of or what it is used for in the end.

Pair with a Scroll Saw

The spokeshave is meant for curves and intricacies. it stands to reason that if you use a scroll saw often, it might be a good idea to have a spokeshave handy. Or maybe you already have your spokeshave and you are in the market for a good scroll saw.

If you need the best scroll saw recommendation, we really like the DeWalt DW788 scroll saw. It’s a great value for the money. It’s powerful with variable speed capabilities and it cuts smoothly and easily. It’s very easy to work with and even has a convenient dust blower attached.

Drawknife

A spokeshave woodworking tool on the table
Image by Ono Kosuki from Pexels

Draw knives can be hard to find. Using a drawknife should typically be done before a spokeshave is introduced to a project. The challenge is that a draw knife is a very unique tool and so many wood workers don’t use them anymore so they are sparse on the market.

The challenge you may come across is not just finding a draw knife but finding a good draw knife is where the real challenge lies. A draw knife is meant to be a knife. It typically has a long blade and is meant to be used similarly to a knife when it is made properly for such a purpose.

What you will find is that a lot of times the blade on a draw knife will have a 45-degree bevel. While this might work well for some things, in a pull stroke circumstance it can actually cause more problems when it is used. You should just be mindful of the design and how it might affect your project.

You can still find a lot of the old style draw knives out there and even some new ones that are designed with a blade like the old style. When you work with wood, sometimes old school is best. It’s also a good idea to check out flea markets and antique stores to see if you can find these awesome wood tools from days of old.

Don’t get too used to any single wood design. Things always change and tool makers come up with new and improved ideas for your wood needs. A bevel certainly has a time and place but there are times a bevel blade simply can’t be used as well on your wood project.

Here’s a great tip. If you’re looking for a draw knife look for features such as tight handles, good shape, and a blade that isn’t ground way down. Two handles are always better than one in woodworking for the control it offers but it could depend on what you are using it for.

In spokeshave vs. drawknife, this is where you find the difference. A spokeshave is curved while a drawknife has a long blade and is held like a knife or a saw against the wood. They are used similarly but the control for finely finished items is improved with your shaver as opposed to the drawknife.

We recommend a blade that is between 8 and 10 inches. This isn’t your little two inch hand tool. It’s meant to be flat and long but it is a versatile tool for making different types of cuts. The handle to blade connection is curved and shaves at a different angle with the blades. The handles can also be different depending on what you are using for woodworking but you want control so you can make the best of your woodworking project. You typically will have two handles but longer blades and not a curved blade.

Related: Best Drawknife in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Using a Drawknife

Using your drawknives properly will make a significant difference in your woodworking results. A lot of people don’t realize that there is a best way to grip your handles to get a proper pull for your cut. If you don’t hold it right, you can’t exercise control while you’re working and you might shave or cut much more than you really wanted to.

First and foremost, you won’t actually hold this in a normal position. For control, you may need to move your hands or choke up to get your blades set properly so it shaves consistently. It depends on the woodworking you are doing. Ultimately, you are slicing not chopping.

The processes can be time consuming but your wood and your blade will thank you if you use it all correctly.

Here are some tasks that your drawknife can be used for in woodworking.

  • Use the blade to remove large slices of wood on a flat surface
  • Remove the bark from tree wood
  • Use the blade on wood to start rounded or cylinder-shaped objects
  • Quickly cut or prepare wood with the blade for other touches and actions
  • Remove wood shavings on flat pieces
  • Prepare the wood for further design implementation

In comparison to spokeshaves, your woodworking drawknives are designed for preparing wood for the next step. If you’re removing bark or cutting off a chunk or slice of wood or two.

There are a lot of things in woodworking you can do with your drawknife and spokeshaves both. The best drawknife will be able to be used on a flat surface or even a chair seat or leg before you move on to perfecting the side with the blades of other tools.

Here your goal is not necessarily straight but to get your round or flat set, like with a chair leg, and then you can follow up with spokeshaves to round off the task.

Pair with a Bow Saw

If you consider the straight task to remove rough parts with your drawknife, you can also think about a bow saw and what straight work it can do. Use your bow saw to cut your wood to size and then use your drawknife to prep it for the next way of use. It doesn’t take much to remove those excess pieces or round out a piece with extra shavings.

If you want the best bow saw, we recommend the Bahco 10-24-23 bow saw. It’s lightweight and durable and quite easy to work with!

We Think You’ll Like: Best Bow Saw in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Conclusion

We hope it is clear from this spokeshave vs. drawknife guide that the draw knife and spokeshaves are two very different tools. Spokeshaves are meant for finishing with finesse while the drawknife is meant more for preparation and rough starts.

You may need one or both of these in your shop!

Amazon Recommends:

Bestseller No. 1
KOOTANS 2pcs 9" 10" Adjustable Spokeshave, with Replacement Blades and 4-Way Rasp File, Manual Planer with Flat Base, Perfect for Planing Trimming, Wood Working Deburring Tools
  • ❤ PACKAGE CONTAINS --- 1X 9'' spokeshave (with 2extra blades), 1X 10'' spokeshave (with 2extra blades), 1X 4 sides file. You no need to buy the extra, save your time and money. Different sizes of spokeshave can meet your flexible requirements for work. And the 4-in-1 rasp is suitable for quick shaping or polishing of wood, plastic, plaster work-pieces, leathers etc.
  • ❤ SPOKE SHAVE SIZE --- The 9'' spoke shave's total length is 8.46''/215mm; blade width is 1.78''/45mm. The 10'' spoke shave's total length is 9.45''/240mm; blade width is 2.05''/52mm. These spokeshave are not a professional tool, but they're inexpensive and effective, perfect for starter/beginner use. NOTE: The blade can be used immediately, but if you have higher requirements for sharpness, still need to sharpen the blade again.
  • ❤ WOOD RASP FILE --- Length: 7.87''/200mm, Width: 0.94''/24mm. This Wood File is Made of high quality carbon steel. This Wood Rasp is a 4 in 1 tool: fine teeth flat file, coarse teeth flat file, fine tooth semi-circular file, coarse tooth semi-circular file. The metal file's teeth are clear, which is durable and promote the cutting efficiency.
  • ❤ MATERIAL OF SPOKESHAVE --- Made of high quality iron casting and brass. Designed as a ergonomic comfortable wing-shaped handles and corrosion-resistant epoxy coating. The Blades are tough carbon steel material which hardness is 58-60HRC, and the whole after heat treatment, knife-edge with a long wear resistance.
  • ❤ APPLICATIONS --- The Spoke Shave is used on wood craft, wood carver and wood working for planing the irregular surface of wood. Ideal for shaping the chair legs & seats, curved templates and many other kinds of curved work. The 4-way rasp file is suitable for many kinds of polishing and shaping. This is an ideal set with cheap but great value for woodworking beginners.
Bestseller No. 2
Faithfull Spokeshave Twin Pack (1 Flat and 1 Round)
  • Convex spokeshave is used for recessed work
  • Concave spokeshave is ideal for shaping spindles, oars, chair and table legs
  • Made with malleable iron bodies
  • Two spokeshaves: 1 round and 1 flat
  • Faithfull provides 5 year guarantee
Bestseller No. 3
boeray 2pcs Adjustable SpokeShave with Flat Base, 6pcs Metal Blade and 1pcs Portable Woodworking Planes Wood Working Hand Tool Perfect for Wood Craft, Wood Craver, Wood Working
  • More Complete: Package include 2 sizes adjustable spokeshave and 4 replaceable blades and 1pcs portable woodworking planes.Our philosophy is to serve customers,caring, peace of mind, more confidence.
  • Durable: Blade selection SK2 material and the whole after heat treatment, knife-edge with a long wear resistance.Blade hardness: 58-60HRC.Precision ground cutter allows for cutting with greater accuracy and confidence.Comfortable contoured handles and Corrosion-resistant epoxy coating.
  • Size: Adjustable SpokeShave total length is 10'' and 9''. Blade length is 43.8mm/1.72'' and 52mm/2.05'' .Portable Woodworking Plane total length:44mm/1.73''.For detailed size, please see the size picture in the image.
  • Easy to use:The Spoke-shave tool has an intuitive flat base and a good weight for the handles making it easy to use and give better precision for finer cuts on the woodworking project at hand.The use of double-screw adjustment screw, you can easily adjust the planing thickness lock stable planing smooth.Easily adjustable simply removing the screws and sliding into desired position.Both pieces have a user-friendly shape giving it suitable ergonomics fitting in you hand comfortably.
  • Application: These woodworking hand tool is used on wood craft, wood carver and wood working for plane complex surfaces and irregular patterns. Perfect for starter/beginner use.Adjustable cutters ideal for shaping the chair legs & seats,curved templates and many other kinds of curved work.

Best Rip Saw in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

One of the best rip saw with other woodworking tools

You know about the hand saw and everything it can do for a woodworking table of contents. Every shop should have a hand saw on hand. They can do so much for you. In this case, we want to focus on the best rip saw. A rip saw is a hand saw but it does serve a unique purpose, which makes cutting across the grain much easier.

You see different hand saws have different purposes. Maybe you have a cross cut and it’s not doing what you thought it would do for you and now you’re discovering you really needed a rip saw all along. Don’t worry, we’re here for you!

Sometimes a universal handsaw is simply not enough if you want to get a cut that will actually make it through the wood. Each saw is made with a particular design and understand the different types of saw blade features might just make a difference for you.

We’ve put together a guide based on good quality saw works, performance, navigation, blades, and more to provide you with the top rated rip saw reviews. Each one has a difference that might be significant to someone and we hope that you can find a tool that will work for your question or needs here.

Related: Best Band Saw in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Stick with us for the top rated rip saws and more!

A rip saw and some tools on a tool box
Image by KateCox from Pixabay

Top Rated Rip Saw Review

This is no power tool module, although you might think you have to resort to one of these if your steel isn’t quite cutting it for you. It’s really all about the tooth design, which is why this specific buying guide is centered around one side – the rip saw.

1. Best Overall: Great Neck TPI Crosscut Saw

 

Great Neck TPI Crosscut Saw

First up, we have our best overall option. Great Neck TPI Crosscut Saw is great not just for DIY woodworkers but also for high quality blade use as well. It’s almost a universal handsaw but it can make a rip cut or a cross cut like no back saw has ever accomplished. It’s solid and sturdy with triple ground teeth and high carbon steel blade.

This rip cut saw is high quality and apart from the blade saw teeth we also see a quality handle that will stand up to the test of rip cutting. The table of contents shows a solid wooden handle that is sturdy but also comfortable. The wood grain on the hardwood handle is classy and designed well.

The materials of Great Neck TPI Crosscut Saw is durable and the high carbon steel blade really stands out on these tools. The teeth of the blade measures out with 12 TPI of triple ground teeth on the blade. These tools are a great length, measuring 26 inches so you can cut rip cuts and far more with this saw blade.

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Rip cutting doesn’t have to be your only task. Even DIY woodworkers needs reliable solutions and that comes from the teeth per inch as well as the rip cutting blade overall. The hardwood handle is really just a nice bonus for the looks here.

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

Make rip cuts a simple task with this rip cutting saw and its simple design. With well made saw teeth and cut across the wood grain or even with the wood grain because of the overall design. A 26 inch blade handsaw is the next best thing to a power tool, right?

2. Budget Pick: Hautmec Pro Hand Saw Universal Handsaw

 

Hautmec Pro Hand Saw Universal Handsaw

Next up is Hautmec Pro Hand Saw Universal Handsaw, this Pro hand saw from Hautmec, easy to find as a top choice on Amazon com inc or its affiliates. This one is a question of both quality and budget. The pro hand saw is another universal handsaw that will easily make a rip cut along the grain across the wood. This 2o inch blade saw is one for the books and the saw is made with quality in mind.

The Hautmec Pro Hand Saw Universal Handsaw is built for performance and simplicity. It has a comfortable handle with a sturdy grip and a tooth design that can easily make rip cuts. This one measures 9 TPI or teeth per inch on the tooth design. They also have a 14 inch option, which is a good bridge between 12 inch and 15 inch blade if you need something smaller.

The teeth on these saws allows you to move quickly and cut fast to get through your wood tasks. From a back saw to rip cutting, it has you covered. The TPI is significant enough to cut the wood grain like a rip saw or be more gentle as well. The only thing is, it’s unclear from the listing whether the rip saw has 8 or 9 teeth per inch but these are close.

The rip cutting blade is designed to reduce friction and the rip teeth have an extra protective coating that makes a difference for a lasting blade piece and protect the teeth when you do put the saws to hard work to make the cut.

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

Having an affordable solution to make your cut along the grain or with the wood is an essential. There are certainly many who don’t want to spend a multitude of dollars or simply can’t and that is where an option like this can certainly come in handy.

3. Irwin Tools Marathon 2011204 20-Inch ProTouch Coarse Cut Saw

Irwin Tools Marathon 2011204 20-Inch ProTouch Coarse Cut Saw

Next up Irwin Tools gives us Irwin Tools Marathon 2011204 20-Inch ProTouch Coarse Cut Saw, a mighty rip saw that we simply can’t ignore for rip cutting needs. Irwin Tools is certainly not a new solution and we look to them for a lot of tool options for a reason. This 20 inch is almost as handy as a 15 inch blade one really if you take a look at the compact blade on the saws.

Irwin tools created a saw that has an intuitive teeth design so that you can use for one after another rip cutting strike. It’s fast, it’s powerful, and it’s efficient, giving you the capability of a back saw but in a rip saw design.

Irwin Tools Marathon 2011204 20-Inch ProTouch Coarse Cut Saw has triple ground teeth, although the TPI or per inch count is really not readily available. Your tasks won’t know what cut into them when you put this handle and cut to the test. We love that this one is made for zipping through the wood and getting the job done quickly but efficiently altogether.

It’s seriously a piece of cake. These saws are one you can’t pass up and will do quite nicely even if you prefer a 15 inch one instead. It’s built so be ergonomic and comfortable with a solid handle and blade all in one snazzy saw package.

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

We like the reliable brand and the ultimate design of this rip saw. It’s got a good handle and a good blade and will work quickly when you need it too. Efficiency and overall design set this particular one apart for us.

4. Spear & Jackson B9812 12-Inch Predator Tenon Saw

Spear & Jackson B9812 12-Inch Predator Tenon Saw

Finally, we leave you with a quality blade option from Spear & Jackson. Spear & Jackson B9812 12-Inch Predator Tenon Saw is not your everyday saw but rather a tenon saw that has the Spear & Jackson reputation. It’s well built and will certainly handle any task you toss at it. This is a bit smaller than a 15 inch saw at 12 inches but the Predator style has got your back.

Spear & Jackson dealt this saw right with a sleek tenon build and an angled handle that puts you in control of your work. You can grip at a 45 or 90 degree angle and maintain full control while you work. It’s smooth and simple but also solid and powerful at the same time.

This blade cuts smoothly and the TPI is ideal for a rip saw build. It’s comfortable and lasting with all of the right materials to hold you up over time. The handle design is also made to be non-slip with a high impact polystyrene material and a soft addition. It’s ergonomic but solid and you have a finger guide as well.

The per inch count is almost irrelevant here when you take a look at the overall saw design. It really can handle high impact and smooth tasks. It’s built to be smooth but fast and efficient at the same time and the tenon build gives you a whole different advantage overall.

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

We like the brand and we like the style. This is a quality option saw and you can count on it to last. If you want quick and efficient while also being smooth and controlled, this is a great option to consider!

Best Woodworking Bench in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Looking for a woodworking bench? In this guide, we will share the best woodworking benches on the market and provide you with detailed reviews!

Learn More

Buyer’s Guide

A woodworker using one of the Top Rated Rip SawYou can certainly choose just any saw and probably get a little something done. It’s important to understand how different features and characteristics might make a difference overall for your work. You see while all saws might look the same to the naked eye or someone who simply doesn’t understand the difference, they can be quite different across the board.

We’ve put together a simple buying guide just to provide you with some additional saw details so you can make an informed decision when you are ready.

Teeth Count

One important saw element you will want to keep in mind is the teeth count. The teeth are measured every inch as a data element so understanding how this can affect your cutting will be beneficial. It’s better if your teeth are dense for this type of saw. You get more cutting functionality that way. Traditionally, a ripsaw has 6-8 teeth but it can also be paired with a crosscut calculation of up to 14 for these particular needs.

You might think that more teeth equals more power and while sometimes that might be true that is not really what you are looking for when you look for a ripping saw solution. Look for lower numbers but the right utility style and sharpness to complement it.

Handle Design

Next up, consider your handle. You want comfort and you want control. If you don’t have one or both of these elements, you could find yourself struggling to get your work done. Look for terms like ergonomic as well as comfortable or sturdy. These are all good descriptions and they are what you are after.

You want a solid grip that won’t slip while you are hard at work. You want to be able to place your hands and feel like you are in control and that saw is under your demand until you decide to be finished with it.

A grip that slips or isn’t comfortable will certainly take away from your ability to handle what you need to. It might slow you down or even make your job something you absolutely can’t manage with the saw on you have.

Comfort is important!

Blade Durability

It’s a disaster if you choose a saw that you think is great but when you set out to work, the blade dulls after a short time. You don’t want to have to sharpen your blade every couple of hours or even every use really.

A blade that is made to last and will maintain its sharpness is important. Sometimes you never know these details until you have the saw in your hands but you can try to watch the details of tried and true users to get a gauge for how they felt about it as well.

It’s good to find a saw option that you might be able to replace the blade if needed. This will help you get more life out of your saw and gives you the ability to change blades and sharpen later if you are in the middle of a job and can’t stop to sharpen your blade immediately.

Miscellaneous Details

There are some minor things that you will find to be hit or miss overall but could be potentially helpful to you. We share this just to make you aware of what some of the outside elements could be, particularly if you see certain terminology or if you are seeking a specific feature.

Here are a few of those items.

  • Hanging hole near the end of the blade
  • Protective coating for rust and friction
  • Vibration and impact body
  • A nose that is square or tapered

Each of these may or may not be something you will see as you look. For some options, it’s a guarantee while for others it is a bonus point that isn’t added.

The protective coating is perhaps some of the biggest arguments. This coating protects your saw from friction but also from elements like moisture that might lead to rust or dulling of the blade. That little protective coating might just save your saw and your frustration in the long run.

Next, if you are working quickly like a rip saw is intended, you want a design that complements that. A thicker blade helps to reduce vibrations and impact while the tapered nose lets you keep moving smoothly over and over again.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Ripsaw Used For?

This saw is used to cut across the wood so you can work parallel to the wood grain if needed. You are cutting across the total surface rather than with the specific wood.

A woman using a rip saw for her woodworks

Conclusion

If you’re ready to find the best ripsaw for your needs, we’ve got you covered. Many of these are slightly universal but with designs that will work as a ripsaw should. You can get the best without having to settle.

We hope that you can find the right solution for your needs here. Most of these options can be universal for some other uses as well. That’s the nice thing about some of these styles is you can fall into a range and find usefulness is more ways than one.

What do you plan to use your new saw for?

Expert Tip

A ripsaw typically only has 8 TPI but a crosscut and tenon saw come close and are acceptable solutions as well with up to 14 TPI.

Did You Know?

Having a nose that is square or pointed can help your saw to glide more smoothly overall and get your cutting work done so much easier. Don’t leave it to just any old design or shape if you really want smooth efficiency. That’s a good way to find yourself disappointed.

Amazon Recommends:

Bestseller No. 1
Lynx 26-Inch Hand Saw Filed for Rip Cutting (4.5 TPI) with Taper Ground Blade and Stained Beech Handle
  • Made in Sheffield, England by Thomas Flinn & Co., a highly respected maker that has been making quality saws since the year 1923.
  • Full-sized blade that is 26” long and made from alloy spring steel for a good combination of flexibility and hardness.
  • Taper ground blade to minimize binding during the cut.
  • 4.5 Teeth Per Inch (TPI), precisely hand sharpened and set to ensure the best possible rip cut, (i.e., for cutting with the grain, lengthwise).
  • Handle is made from stained European Beech with brass button screws.
Bestseller No. 2
Kataha Tatebiki Z Saw 10" Single Edge Rip Saw
  • Ideal for cutting tenons and very large dovetails
  • Suitable for ripping all soft and hard woods
  • Teeth are smaller near the handle for a smooth start
Bestseller No. 3
Rockwell BladeRunner X2 Portable Tabletop Saw with Steel Rip Fence, Miter Gauge, and 7 Accessories – RK7323
  • [SETS UP IN SECONDS] Take this table saw to the job site or move it around the workshop. There’s even a built-in carry handle
  • [CUTS LIKE A FULL-SIZE] With the standard guard and riving knife system you can perform rip, cross, scroll, and miter cuts
  • [TOOL-LESS BLADE CHANGE] Uses any brand’s standard 4” T-shank blade, but we threw 5 in the box to get you started cutting wood, ceramic tile, plastic, aluminum, and metal
  • [0-60° MITER CUTS] With the adjustable gauge you can pull off precise miter cuts for a whole assortment of woodworking projects
  • [ON-BOARD ACCESSORY STORAGE] When the miter gauge, rip fence, and extra blades aren’t in use they can be conveniently housed in the base of the saw

Best Dovetail Saw in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

One of the best dovetail saw on the wall

When you are preparing your toolbox with all of the things a woodworker could possibly need, a dovetail saw might just need to be on the list. This type of saw takes it old school to days of years ago with your hand tools in some ways but it’s a classic saw that can be really great when you need precision and a neat finish.

Where a rip saw or cross cut saw are meant for fast cutting and power, these dovetail saws are designed for finesse but still provide saw power for you. Lie Nielsen would agree that dovetail saws are a must have and if you are going to invest in one, you may as well go with the best dovetail saws available.

Whether you want a sturdy saw handle for your tool kit or your password to the best saw for dovetails is more like brass, rip cut, or another category, we’ve got you covered. There are quite a few options on the market when it comes to hand saw offers so it’s up to you (and us!) to determine which ones are more your style for all of the things.

In this article, we will share with you Top rated dovetail saws models with full dovetail saw review details. With various makers that are more for beginners to products designed for the machine shop or woodworking, we’ve got you covered with the greatest hand saws dovetail saws on the market.

Related: Best Hand Saws in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Stick with us to learn more!

A man using one of the best dovetail saw
Image by Ono Kosuki from Pexels

Top Rated Dovetail Saw Reviews

In this part of our guide, we will share our top inbox picks, with inspiration from Lie Nielsen, Rob Cosman, Bad Axe, and other experts as well as tested question and answer segments to guide us while you shop. We’ve taken from various categories to provide you with a variety of tools that fall into the dovetail saw category so that you can make the choice that’s right for you.

Let’s take a look!

1. Best Overall: Veritas Dovetail Fine Cut Saw

This first option is a Veritas Dovetail Fine Cut Saw that is our top pick overall. When it comes to hand tools, particularly saws, Veritas does it right. This is a specialty saw so it can be hard to find on places like Amazon but whether you want inspiration from Lie Nielsen or another source, the Veritas is the best saw hands down and it simply can’t be overlooked as a tool in this review series.

The Veritas dovetail shown here is a fine cut Veritas model tenon saw. It does not have rip teeth and it is not a carcass saw. This really has a fine, smooth blade with 20 TPI. The saws blade on this Veritas dovetail measures to 9 1/4. It is thin and fine at about .20 inches thick. The dovetail joints really stand out on these beautifully made tenon saws from Veritas. It really takes you back to years ago and the way that tools were genuinely made before power tools ruled the world.

Without question the Veritas dovetail is a solid tool. The spine is made with stainless steel materials that are advanced. You get the perfect weight while also a quality stiffness level so you can remain sturdy for a fine cut. Everything comes together with a quality wooden handle that saw makers and woodworking experts like Lie Nielsen rave over. There is nothing that isn’t great about this Veritas dovetail saw.

The classic bubinga handle will make your saw cuts that much better, even as a beginner in woodworking. Every caption and every detail, right down to the tooth size and the detail of the plate thickness. Veritas puts quality into their best saw design and you won’t be disappointed.

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

In terms of the best, even Lie Nielsen or Bad Axe would tell you not to overlook these saws. Veritas learned years ago that quality matters and you can see that in every aspect of this tool. For a dovetails saw, it really doesn’t get much better than this old school option that stands apart from many other saws.

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2. Budget Pick: Irwin Tools Dovetail Saw 10-Inch

Workpro 16-Piece Nylon Spring Clamp Set

Next up is Irwin Tools Dovetail Saw 10-Inch , an option with fast shipping, cutting wood your way, and a budget friendly price. Sometimes less is more and you see that finely displayed in this 10 inch dovetail saw. It’s similar to come carcass saws categories and can handle a cross cut pretty well.

The rake angle is unique with a visual that allows this one to provide accuracy and precision when you need it. Irwin has always been a reliable tools brand and we saw that in line with these saws on our top list. The price is right and the quality is there on this one overall.

These hand tools offer 14 TPI and look like a tenon saw. The blade is a bit thicker, measuring in at 2 inches. We typically like to see 1/2 an inch less than this or so but it seems to work for these saws just fine. These can even be used like back saws and offer a smooth motion.

The nice thing is that this even has a reversible blade that is spring loaded so you can adjust your tools to use it for left or right cutting, whichever you need. It’s very light weight, weighing less than a pound in your hand. Not like those heavy saws of years ago but still heavy enough to do what you need to do!

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

Irwin has a way of making woodworking tools simple and this one really fits the bill. There is more to appreciate with sturdy teeth TPI measurements and a versatile handle to cut your wood the way you want to. This one is a winner and a budget friendly one for woodworking at that.

3. Suizan Japanese Dozuki Dovetail Hand Saw

Suizan Japanese Dozuki Dovetail Hand Saw (IRHT83220)

Let’s dive a little deeper with this option, Suizan Japanese Dozuki Dovetail Hand Saw. The makers of this Japanese dovetail saw take you back in time. This almost looks like a saw that you just hack away with it but it really is so much more than that. This is a dovetail saw with a long handle and sharp and reliable teeth. There is no brass, and no cross cut technique, just a pulling handle with a dovetail saw design.

These dovetail saws require less power because they allow you to pull instead of push while you cut wood. It’s comfortable in your hand and will probably save you some time when you get to work. This one is from a company that has made hand tools for some time – more than 100 years, in fact.

These saws are made in Japan, using Japanese craftsmanship that really stands apart whether you like this dovetail saw or what a tenon saw or carcass saw instead. Their back saws are old school and very reliable. Even Lie Nielsen would have to agree with that statement!

These saws use top notch Japanese steel for the teeth of the tool. Cuting is sharp and reliable every time you use this dovetail saw. It really is one of the best saws out there for a number of reasons. It’s a great way to diversify your saws and bring some additional versatility to the workplace.

PROS:

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Why We Like It

These dovetails saws are certainly another for the books and we have no doubt Lie Nielsen would agree with that caveat. This one is another winner with a whole different approach than your traditional dovetail saw design. It offers versatility and simplicity but quality is key.

We Think You’ll Like: 5 Ways to Use a Reciprocating Saw

4. Zona 35-380 Thick Dovetail Saw

Zona 35-380 Thick Dovetail Saw

If you’re looking for a dovetail saw with more than 15 TPI but not quite 20, Zona 35-380 Thick Dovetail Saw might be right for you. This is another affordable dovetail saw that is well-made and also highly rated across the board. It has 18 TPI and a sturdy wooden handle. This one really resembles a lot of your old woodworking tools that you could always rely on.

This dovetail saw from Kona offer a thick kerf and very long blades. The blades are made to be razor sharp and long to give you the ability to move with ease and work quickly while not negating the power of the dovetail and the grace that you need for cutting with this type of saw.

This dovetail saw is made in the USA, which is always an added bonus. The saw can be used for pushing quite easily and the long blades let you cut with more force. The nice thing is you can get your graceful cut but you can also apply force for your projects.

This saw is very long in comparison to some saw models out there. The total length is about 13 inches and the handle really only takes up a small portion of that length. Remember that this saw was made for more force with with a gentle dovetail nature that we rely on with dovetail saws.

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Why We Like It

This saw stands out to us because you can cut with force and you have quite a bit more length than a lot of dovetail saws out there. This saw is affordable enough that you can have several on hand, even if you work through them quickly.

5. Thomas Flinn Pax Taytools 8-Inch Gent Dovetail Saw

Thomas Flinn Pax Taytools 8-Inch Gent Dovetail Saw

The Thomas Flinn Pax Taytools 8-Inch Gent Dovetail Saw Pax 1776 model is another option that just might take you back to another time. It’s got a gorgeous wood handle and a brass spine. This woodworking saw has 20 teeth each inch. The Pax 1776 has all of the appeal of a fancy model but is really not overly expensive. It’s a highly rated option across the board.

This saw has a plate that measures about 8 inches long. It is thin as it should be, measuring just about 5/8 of an inch in width. It’s a size that always makes a good dovetail solution. The kerf is only about .028 inches wide, which complements the rest of the design quite well.

The solid brass spine looks great but also has a positive effect on the design of the saw as well. It’s slightly weighted so your cutting is smooth and accurate. It also keeps your blades stiff for some added precision and the ability to stay in the lines.

These blades are perfect for woodworking with their high carbon steels materials. This also makes them durable and long-lasting and sharp. You won’t have to sharpen them often hopefully but they are easy to sharpen if perhaps you do!

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

We know that every saw has its downfalls but we weren’t able to find out just what they were with this dovetail saw. It’s sleek and simple and is designed exactly as an authentic dovetail style saw really should be.

6. Lynx LDB8R 8-Inch 20 TPI Rip Dovetail Saw

Lynx LDB8R 8-Inch 20 TPI Rip Dovetail Saw

Let’s wrap up these best saw options with Lynx LDB8R 8-Inch 20 TPI Rip Dovetail Saw, a premium selection that is in a world all its own. This sleek and handy saw costs a little bit more than some but the quality and craftsmanship are divine. It’s a highly rated saw that will do quite nicely and holds up against the throes of your work.

This is a shorter saw model that is designed with the ability to both rip and dovetail, which is a unique combination. The blades on these are only about 8 inches long, with a gleaming wooden handle. This allows you total control for precision but also allows you to move fast with your work.

This saw is finely made and you can see that displayed from the tip of the handle to the edge of the blades. Lynx saws are made in England. This particular saw uses a high quality carbon steel combined with a beech handle. The spine is brass and slightly weighted without being overbearing.

The weight and tension are well rounded. This has 20 teeth or TPI rather than some of the traditional 15 TPI choices out there. This just makes quicker work and more accuracy overall. The saw can be sharpened but it should also be durable and lasting.

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

This one quite literally catches our eye because it has a very sleek design. Beyond that, it’s still a well built saw that truly will let you dovetail with precise control and accuracy and a good amount of teeth to power through.

Best Scroll Saw Blades in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

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Dovetail Saw Buyer’s Guide

Dovetail saw and other woodworking tools on the table
Image by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Now that we have shared a variety of dovetail saw options for you, it’s time to talk about why these make our top list. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that what is best for you might not be the same as what is best for another person. We all have different needs and preferences and you should keep that at the forefront as you pick out a saw.

In this section, we will share some features and information to consider before you purchase a saw. The goal is simply to provide you with all of the knowledge you should have in order to make an informed decision. We certainly want you to be happy with your selection.

Benefits of a Dovetail Saw

If you’re still on the fence as to whether this is a good option, let’s talk about the benefits of such a saw. It really does have a special purpose. Where some saws are built for power and speed, these are built for finesse. Take a look at these benefits.

Clean Finish

A dovetail saw will allow you to work quickly but so much more smoothly. The end result is a cut that is smooth and clean rather than raw and sometimes rough. This saw was designed for precision, accuracy, and smooth finishes rather than just chopping or cutting and you can definitely tell that in the finish when you compare the results.

Small Cuts

Another nice benefit of the dovetail is you can go for precise, even when you are working with small cuts. You can make small cuts and you can do it so much more precisely. You have far more control and you are less likely to overcut. When it comes to design of your project and the look, this will make a difference in the quality of your work.

Simple Maintenance

The dovetails saw is pretty easy to maintain. Because of their design, they usually have some high quality materials built into them, which means they are generally built to last. Maintenance and sharpening is simple and when your blades won’t stay sharp, you can typically replace them cheaply. A dovetail saw should last you for quite some time.

Features to Consider

Now, let’s talk about the overall design and some of the features you should keep in mind.

Blades

The blades do matter here. Not only should you pay attention to the general TPI but you should pay attention to the material, length, and thickness of the blades as well. Honestly, the blades really make the saw here. This is the part of the saw that you are really going to put to work. If your blades are junk, then your saw won’t do you a lot of good.

You want to have a sharp edge and you want to be able to maintain it easily. Check out the TPI measurements and know if there is a certain number that you are after. Dovetail saws fall between 14 and 20 typically on this scale.

Be aware that not all blades are made the same. They can have a cutting edge on one or both sides and this might make a difference for your tasks.

Handles

Next up is the second most important element – the handles. You need steady and sure but also comfortable. If this type of saw is meant for precision and smooth work, then your handle needs to complement that purpose.

You need control and it needs to be steady control. You need to be able to comfortably grip that handle and stay comfortable using it while you move and work. The handle should never be overly large but certainly large enough to accommodate your hands and comfort.

Skill Level

We all start somewhere. If you’re still at a starting point, it might be better for you to start with something simple and inexpensive while you build your skills. Ultimately, as a beginner, you should look for sharp and steady. It’s ok to use the affordable options to train your skills as long as you are still choosing a quality option.

You may end up going through several saws before you settle on a fit or really build your skill out of a beginning level. Take your time and know that we were all beginners at one time.

Budget

Finally, the bottom line is the price. You can find a pretty wide range of prices on the market and we tried to provide some price versatility here as well for your options. Know what you can spend and stay within that range.

You may want to consider that some of the more expensive models are designed to last longer so sometimes paying a little bit more really pays off in the end. The good news is that if you can’t spend a lot, you can still get a quality choice that you will be quite happy with.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes a Good Dovetail Saw?

A man using a dovetail saw for his woodworks
Image by Ono Kosuki from Pexels

The best dovetail saw will always have a good proportion of blades and handles. You want something with just enough weight and balance that you have total control for your efforts. Look for quality of materials and the overall build for a balance.

What is the Difference Between a Dovetail Saw and a Tenon Saw?

These saws are very similar in shape and design but the tenon saw still has a cross cut approach that can result in a rough finish. Tenons are typically used for rips and cutting while a dovetail is used for smooth precision.

Do I Need a Dovetail Saw?

Yes! If you do any type of work that requires smooth cuts along the way, grab yourself a dovetail saw. You won’t regret it.

What is the Use of a Dovetail Saw?

You can use a dovetail small for careful precision but it is also commonly used for making dovetail joints. Either of these is a suitable use of the saw.

Conclusion

Choosing a dovetail saw doesn’t have to be a chore. With so many options out there, it can quickly be overwhelming. We hope we are able to help with that here today. We did our best to choose wisely and provide you with an array of options to fit just about any need.

What is your next project going to be?

Expert Tip

Look for something with at least 14 TPI. A dovetail can range from 14-20 and we recommend sticking to the higher end for the smoothest cut around.

Did You Know?

The dovetail saw was initially designed to cut dovetails, hence the name. It has since become the preferred solution for any type of smooth and precise cuttings needs you could possibly have!

Amazon Recommends:

Bestseller No. 1
SUIZAN Japanese Dozuki Dovetail Hand Saw 7 Inch Pull Saw for Cross-cut, Rip-cut, Slant Cutting
  • JAPANESE STYLE PULL SAW: This product is a “Pull Saw.” What most people are used to are European saws, which cut materials via pushing, thus are called “push saws.” On the other hand, Japanese saws cut materials via pulling and thus are called “pull saws,” which is what this product is. In comparison to “push saws,” “pull saws” are lighter in weight, requires less power, and the resulting edge is cleaner.
  • JAPANESE STEEL: All SUIZAN japanese saws are consisted of top quality japanese steel. It uses high quality Japanese steel, which makes cuts to be sharp.
  • MADE IN JAPAN: All SUIZAN products are manufactured in Japan by Japanese master craftsmen.With a history of over 100 years in making japanese hand tools, all of the process gone into making tools were completed in one of Japan’s towns known for their craft making tradition: Sanjō in Niigata
  • DIVERSIFY YOUR WOODWORKING LIFE: No matter you are a master or a beginner in using saws, it gives you brand new experience from using traditional Japanese style saws and enables you to make a wider variety of woodworking products, thus change your life!
Bestseller No. 2
IRWIN Dovetail Saw, 10-Inch (2014450)
  • This dovetail saw uses a spring-loaded, reversible blade that can be used for left- or right-cutting
  • The ProTouch handle on each jamb saw provides ergonomic comfort
  • A Wide-Body Flush-Cut blade on this dovetail saw measures 50 mm
  • 14-pt. tooth count
  • 10" blade length and 2" blade thickness
Bestseller No. 3
CROWN 188 8-Inch 203-mm Dovetail Saw with Full Handle
  • Country Of Origin: China
  • Model Number: 188
  • Item Package Dimension: 16.0" L x 6.0" W x 1.25" H
  • Item Package Weight: 1.180004 lb

Best Carbide Woodturning Tools in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

A man using one of the Top Rated Carbide Woodturning Tool for his woodworks

Woodturning is no simple task and certainly not for the faint of heart. If you want to create classic pieces with superior craftsmanship then you absolutely must invest in the best carbide woodturning tools for your workshop.

Carbide woodturning tools are just one of the essential pieces you need in order to create superior masterpieces. The materials make a difference on the intricate patterns and the overall design and end result, even for a beginner.

Whether you are a beginner, DIY woodturner, or a seasoned woodturner, you should plan to invest in top rated carbide woodturning tools to use for your next woodturning project. You will find that these types of design really do stand out for many reasons and your wood lathe carbide tools might just become your go-to tool.

So stop wasting time, let’s fill your cart with all of the things that you need, starting with options from these carbide woodturning tools review. You will find a mixture of types with the ability to do more or sometimes less. From cutters to spindle work to lathe chisels, and more, we’ve got you covered right here in this guide.

Stick with us to learn which carbide woodturning tools are right for you.

A man using one of the Top Rated Carbide Woodturning Tool for his woodworks
Image by Ono Kosuki from Pexels

Top Rated Carbide Woodturning Tools Review

No matter what you are looking for specifically, carbide steel is an absolute must. For beginner woodturners and any menu of products, the type of tool truly does make a difference. All workers familiar with woodturners would give you this same news.

We made every effort to find you a reasonable carbide set woodturning tools solution for any project. We searched the market to help you find a variety of woodturning tool menu types and we’re excited to share each of those here with you, complete with review details you should know to make a decision.

Related: Tool Reviews

Let’s get started!

1. Best Overall: Savannah Carbide Turning Tools Large, 3 Piece Set

 

Savannah Carbide Turning Tools Large, 3 Piece Set

This first design, Savannah Carbide Turning Tools Large, 3 Piece Set is our best overall one and it is well worth all that the cost entails. If you’ve ever checked out HSS brand, you will find that this one is far more reliable and upstanding for your wood projects. The Savannah design pattern alone stands out and the inserts give you every bit of versatility and functionality that you could possibly need.

This 3-piece set includes a carbide insert that covers the diamond shape as well as round and square carbide wood turning tools. With set screw carbide lathe tools like these, you can easily handle whatever your carbide turning tools needs may be. From turning tools to high quality carbide inserts, each tool has a purpose.

The nice thing about these is you can set them on the interior tool rest and your carbide bit will do the work. This set is just missing a bowl gouge tool to complete the set. These are great for all levels of skill and really any project like pen turning or some other type of fun. These carbide turning tools are simple woodturning tools that really stand out with a comfortable grip and superior hold.

Make sure you turn your head to these carbide turning tools as they are the best in class. The nice thing is this set screw will cover you for the basic woodturning tools and then you can always build on the set later. The Savannah Carbide Turning Tools sets are made with stability and comfort with a load of quality you can depend on.

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Why We Like It

We chose this best carbide woodturning tools set because it is well-made and has the basic turning tools that every woodturner needs to have. These are sharp and efficient and they are comfortable to handle as well, which contributes to them being one of the best.

2. Budget Pick: Yufotol Carbide Woodturning Tool, 3 Piece Set

Yufotol Carbide Woodturning Tool, 3 Piece Set

This option, Yufotol Carbide Woodturning Tool, 3 Piece Set is your cheap carbide woodturning tools solution if you are on a budge. Your wood tools carbide material cannot get much better than this long lasting set of 3 lathe tools. These products give you easy wood tools that are easy to control and handle. They are very nicely made with wooden and brass detail and the carbide wood combo is gorgeous.

Yufotol Carbide Woodturning Tool comes with a finisher, a roughing tool, and a detailer as well as an Allen key and carbide cutters. Notice that you got a couple of bonus items in this 3-piece set so you really get 3 wood turning tools plus the extra accessories that are a must-have for lathe turning tools.

The radius carbide cutters are diamond shaped but you also get square radius carbide insert pieces as well. Everything here is high quality material that you can use for pen turning, bowl turning, and more. These wood tuners are so easy to use and they certainly earned their best spot among our carbide turning tools selections.

Make sure you take a look at this set. These woodturners are designed for long-time use and are simple woodturning tools that really deliver when you need them. Whether you need to set screw sections, make gouges, or simply work with an intuitive design, this set is a great article.

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

Whether you’re new to the wood industry or you have seen every side of projects, you know having a reliable type of carbide tool is essential. This set was made to provide you with an affordable overall carbide wood turning tool for your project. They are simple and yet reliable and also long lasting, which is always a plus for a tool.

3. Asieg Tool Store Carbide Tipped Wood Turning Tool Set

Asieg Tool Store Carbide Tipped Wood Turning Tool Set

Next up is another set that is pretty unique. Asieg Tool Store Carbide Tipped Wood Turning Tool Set has all of the different turning tools but they all fit onto the same handle, rather than being attached to their own handle. This set has 6 pieces that include even a swan neck hollowing tool. These carbide tools are simple and it’s nice to have everything together for your carbide woodturning tools.

These carbide woodturning tools are made with a combination of Tungsten carbide, high carbon steel, and aluminum alloy. They are CNC machined in an effort to make each piece stronger and sturdier. They are stiff so they won’t roll while you are trying to work.

These carbide wood turning tools are easy to use. They are made to be simple and yet highly effective. You get your project covered with a bowl gouge and various carbide inserts. The only thing that would complete this is a bench grinder tool with the same carbide steel conjunction.

We Think You’ll Like: Best Woodworking Bench

If you’re working at any type of degree angle, Asieg Tool Store Carbide Tipped Wood Turning Tool Set is made to handle all of the possible gouges and design functionality you need. With cutters, shapers, and more, you’re set and ready for just about any one project you may try to complete.

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Why We Like It

This turning tools set has more tools which means more functionality. They are well-made and give you the stiffness you need to get your job done without having to fight a tool that likes to roll while you work. The handle is interchangeable to each blade so you have one handle and multiple pieces to go with it.

4. Yufutol Wood Turning Tool Set Multi-Piece Set

Yufutol Wood Turning Tool Set Multi-Piece Set

If you like the idea of having a single bar with interchangeable tools, Yufutol Wood Turning Tool Set Multi-Piece Set is the set for you. These turning tools have a little bit of everything included with them. The interchangeable handle is nice because it takes up less storage space. You get the same, reliable handle with multiple turning tools and tips to switch it out for.

Yufutol Wood Turning Tool Set Multi-Piece Set comes with 6 bars plus the Allen keys plus the cutters plus various tips for the bars. It really is a set that contains just about anything you could possibly need for your project. From bowl gouge capability to a solid and sharp steel edge, this carbide tools delivers where it counts as a woodturning tool.

Each of these pieces serves a purpose with a unique design that can handle all tasks. Whether you’re working from the side or from the base of your turner, you have stiffness and stability. These are very easy to use and change one or all pieces as needed.

PROS:

CONS:

Why We Like It

We chose this tool set because it gives you all of the parts and pieces in a single, solid set. All of the pieces will work wonderfully with wood and possibly even other materials too. If you’re looking for turning tools that you can depend on, this set will deliver that for you and more.

Best Spokeshaves In 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Looking for a spokeshave? We've sifted through the market to try to find the very best spokeshaves options for you! Click below to learn more.

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Buyer’s Guide

Different sizes of carbide woodturning toolset
Image by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Now that we’ve shared our choices for woodturning tools made of carbide, let’s discuss some elements about these tools that will help you to make an informed decision. This next part of our guide is designed to give you some elements to consider before you choose tools so you can be sure that you truly find the best option and tools for your needs.

There are several things to consider here and some may not pertain to you but the goal is that you know what you might want to look for before you buy.

Sharpness

When you look at these tools, you want to know they will be nice and sharp. After all, if your tools aren’t sharp, you may end up frustrated with the work you complete. Always check the sharpness of the tools. You can sharpen these as needed but they should be sharp enough to use right away when you get the tools as well.

You might just want to pay attention to the sharpness before you buy but keep in mind that if your tools arrive unsharpened, you can sharpen them before you use them.

Overall Quality

Next up, tools are not just the blade. You want a good quality tool from tip to end. What dictates that? Well, it could be different things for different people but the materials, the overall design, and the aesthetics can all play a part here.

Now keep in mind that what you are looking for in your tools could be different than what another worker may be looking for. That’s ok! The beauty of it is we can all have our own preferences and still all find quality tools to choose from here.

When you’re looking at overall quality, check out how the tools are made. These tools should be built to last and you shouldn’t have to worry that next year you’re going to have to purchase a whole new set all over again. When you invest in carbide style tools for your wood shop, those tools better last for years to come. It’s an investment!

Definitely look for quality materials that are part of the total equation. Keep every aspect from tip to the base of the handle in mind here.

Comfort & Stability

The grip on your tools is a must. Why? You will be handling these tools for potentially long periods of time. You need to be able to maintain a firm and stable grip for the entirety of your task. You want that grip to be comfortable in your hands but also sturdy and steady for your needs.

You don’t want to have to worry about slipping or rolling while you work. You may find that you prefer a certain style while the woodworker in the stall next to you prefers a totally different style. This certainly will boil down to a matter of preference so it’s essential to understand what you will be comfortable working with for long days of use.

No matter what, be sure the tool offers comfort and stability in the way that you need it to for your tasks.

Why Use Carbide?

Another common question we see is “what makes carbide so great?”. While there are certainly many different tools and materials out there that can be good options, this particular guide focuses on carbide specifically.

Carbide can cost a bit more to invest in but overall, they stay sharp reliably for a much longer time span than any other material. When it comes to carbide, you can use it on projects over and over and over and might only need to sharpen or replace the pieces every 6-12 months. This simply can’t be said of some aluminum and other material options out there.

A carbide tool lets you dull both sides before you have to replace it, which is something that is rare for different tool options. You would be surprised at how much time it takes to re-sharpen a tool so why not just invest in the better tool, to begin with?

Top rated carbide woodturning tools on a wall organizer
Barn Images from Unsplash

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Best Carbide Woodturning Tools?

We prefer the Savannah Tool set that you can find listed in our #1 or best overall spot above. This set is comfortable, sharp, and gives you multiple tools to handle multiple tasks and needs.

Can You Use Carbide on Brass and Aluminum Materials?

Carbide is best used for wood. Sometimes it can handle other materials but it isn’t typically recommended. If you do use it on something besides wood, stick to alloy steel. There are other materials out there that make a better option for brass and aluminum.

Where Can You Find a Replacement Cutter?

You can typically find cutters at any hardware store but you can also find replacements on various tool sites and Amazon as well.

How Do You Tighten Carbide Cutters?

To properly tighten, you should use the shorter part of an Allen wrench to tighten your screw and set it. You can use the longer part when you are tightening downward. They don’t have to be super tight but should be stable and in place.

Conclusion

We hope that you find this guide to be a valuable resource for choosing your next carbide set of woodturning tools. No matter your budget or preferences, there is bound to be a quality option here that can work for you!

Tell us which set you have your eye on and the first project you plan to try out when you get them!

Expert Tip

If you can’t get your set screw loose, you can use a drill press or a regular drill to help loosen it. Simply use the sharp drill bit to drill off the head of the screw. This allows you to remove that without having to drill in to your insert and risk ruining it.

Did You Know?

All carbide turning tools have a flat that runs the entire length of the bottom of the tool. While they each have unique designs and shapes and sizes, this flat is consistent across the board. This is so you can rest it on a tool rest and work that way as needed rather than having to manually hold it at all times.

Amazon Recommends:

Bestseller No. 1
Woodturning Carbide Lathe Tools, 17” Full Size Wood Turning Tool Set of 3 Rougher Detailer Finisher, Includes Replacement Cutter Inserts 6 pcs – Diamond, Round and Square, Screws and Key Star Wrenches
  • ✅ CARBIDE WOODTURNING TOOLS - Our lathe turning tools has greatly simplified wood turning, This set of carbide lathe tools is ideal for turners at any skill level, making woodturning fast and more enjoyable. Each lathe chisel features a carbide tip with multiple sharp edges that can be rotated several times, Just rotate the cutter head ¼ turn for a clean, sharp edge and you are back to turning wood.
  • ✅ CARBIDE TURNING TOOLS SET - Premium quality CNC machined from ½” square stainless steel, making them stronger, stiffer and less likely to roll than round shaft tools. Features a square shaft so the flat back can be kept flat on the tool rest and level with the floor
  • ✅ ERGONOMICS TOOL HANDLE - Hard and Solid beech wood,Ergonomics design makes it more comfortable while doing turning job. Unlike the aluminum handle wood turning tool on the market which comes with only one handle, which means you have to change out the bar every time you want to switch tools.
  • ✅ WOODTURNING TOOLS & ACCESSORIES - Set includes 3 turning tools : rougher tip – Square 15 x 15 x 2.5mm R50, detailer tip – Diamond 10x28m with Radius point , finisher, with extra sets of carbide inserts. Set comes with extra replaceable carbide insert: 3 Sets of indexable Replacement carbide inserts (2pcs Square14 ×14 × 2.0mm,2pcs Round 12 × 2.5mm-30°, 2pcs Diamond 10×28mm with Radius Point) and 3 torx star tip wrenches.
  • ✅ SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - Our number one priority is customer satisfaction! If you aren’t happy with your wood turning carbide tool set we offer a no questions asked, 100% money back guarantee.
Bestseller No. 2
Carbide Woodturning Tools, Full Size Wood Lathe Tools including Swan Neck Hollower Rougher Finisher with detachable alloy handle (Full Size Tool Set)
  • Include 11" handle, 9" tool bar and pre-installed carbide cutter, wrench*2, aluminum alloy case with sponge liner.
  • The length of the tool bar can be adjusted freely. For safely, please make sure the tool bar is fixed tighlty by both screws. So the total length of the tool should be within 19".
  • Top grade product. Tungsten carbide tip, stainless steel bar and aluminium alloy handle & case. Everything in this tool set is vibrant and reliable.
  • One nice thing about carbide cutter is that you can just replace the cutters and continue with your project. No need to get bored on sharpening.
  • Versatile and Convenient. Offers 2 alloy handle so it's easy to just grab and use without changing bits, the red and blue coating is easthetically pleasing while practically addiing friction..
Bestseller No. 3
Simple Woodturning Tools Carbide Lathe Turning Tool Set of 3 Full Size with 17" Foam Grip Handles, USA Made
  • American Made Set of 3 Full Size Carbide Lathe Turning Tools with Color Coded Handles: Hollower, Detailer & Rougher
  • 17" long solid aluminum foam grip tool handles are color coded for easy tool identification. Overall tool & handle length is 26.5".
  • This set of carbide lathe tools is ideal for turners at any skill level. With carbide it's all turning and no sharpening so you can begin turning immediately.
  • Each lathe tool is 1/2" square CNC machined by Harrison Specialties in Ramsey, Minnesota. These tools are designed to be kept flat on the tool rest and parallel with the floor.
  • Each lathe tool features a carbide tip with multiple sharp edges that can be rotated several times. A Torx star wrench is included.

Best Woodworking Square in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Woodworking square and tools on the table

In the woodworking industry, there are a number of tools that you need to be prepared for your projects. From levels to power tools to smaller items like hammers and drills, the list can get pretty long. One important tool that you should consider is the best woodworking square.

The thing is you can’t just go grab any old woodworking squares. You would be surprised that there are some options out there that simply aren’t the best when you need them. There is an overwhelming number of options out there as well so you can quickly feel like you are in over your head, dizzy with all of the woodworking squares, and still no idea which ones are actually good options or not.

The good news is we can help! We’ve sorted through the options to find you the very best to try square for your woodworking needs. The best woodworking square choices can easily vary depending on your needs so we’ve put together a comprehensive list of top-rated woodworking squares complete with woodworking square review details to provide you with a range of value and a variety of options to choose from.

Related: Best Wood Chisels In 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

In this guide, we will cover the best woodworking square in detail and then you can use that information to make an informed choice what to try squares for woodworking and more!

Woodworking square and tools
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Top Rated Woodworking Squares

As you look through the best square woodworking option for woodworkers, keep your needs and other preferences in mind to make a decision. Whether you’re looking for something metal or products that promise accuracy, we’ve got you covered. Your angles are important, as is everything else on your woodworking projects so watch for multiple model options and then stay tuned for a buying guide with some essential elements that could make a difference as well.

1. Best Overall Woodworking Square –Starrett 10H-6-4R Cast Iron Square Combination Square 

Starrett 10H-6-4R Cast Iron Square Combination Square

This Starrett 10H-6-4R Cast Iron Square Combination Square is the best square for woodworking overall in our books. It’s one of the most accurate woodworking square products out there and the fact that it is a combination square is something we also appreciate in terms of best woodworking squares. This combination square is a product that offers you a reliable menu of functionality from handle to line and everything in between.

This square is a good value for the money. The precision is well rounded and this is one of the most highly rated wood squares you will find on the market. Starrett seems to get it right with the angles with this one.

The length is about 6 inches and the price relates back to the material used from end to ends. This is a cast iron square from the shop of qualifying purchases and woodworking tools. The markings are clear and concise as squares should be. The square blade is accurate and hardened. The handle has a reversible lock bolt so you can turn this over and work from end to ends with the same device to match any length you need.

Starrett is a well-known name in the squares industry. From framing square choices to a heavy duty tool like the combination squares you see here. Make sure you take a closer look at this woodworking tool as it is one for the books and is the best woodworking squares 1/16 and more on our list.

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Why We Like It: This Starrett woodworking square makes it to the top of our list because it is well made and easy to read. With reliable markings and reviews, the accuracy of the Starrett squares really stands out on the menu. This one is well worth the price and certainly deserves the chance to be there for your needs.

2. Budget Choice – Irwin Tools Combination Square 

Irwin Tools Combination Square

Next up, we have an Irwin Tools Combination Square that comes to you at a budget friendly price. This simple square is a very nicely made woodworking square that is great for a novice or an experienced woodworkers. This square set offers a sleep stainless steel blade and accurate readings and markings. The handle also has a bubble level within it, which is always a nice addition to these tools.

Irwin is a known name and these 12 inch combination squares are a reliable tool, especially considering the fine price range. The body is not steel but rather a durable cast zinc material combined with the steel blade. The length gives you plenty of room to work with in the shop.

This has incredible value as a product and it offers both precision and other relevant product features that all of the best woodworking squares should have. This is great for 90 degree or 45 degree markings so you can make sure your angles are right on target.

Apart from being a reliable woodworking square, you have a stainless steel blade, precision you can count on, a bubble level for speed square efforts, and a full 12 inch tool blade for plenty of length. This one gives you price and values that some models simply won’t offer.

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Why We Like It: The Irwin Tools combination square is a great option for try squares as a woodworking square. This one has a budget friendly price and can be suitable for even heavy duty work. Whether you need 6 inch or 12 inch, you’re covered by the blade and the markings are accurate and reliable.

3. iGaging Double Square Set 

iGaging Double Square Set

Next up is a double square set that is really awesome from the iGaging Double Square Set selection. These two squares provide you with a woodworking square for every instance. From an aluminum handle to a chrome blade and reliable markings so that you can make sure your work is precise when you put these tools to the test.

With this double square set, you can rely on the two squares to provide you with accurate markings that are very easy to understand and read. They are clear and concise on the blade. This double square set is made to US Standard and Accuracy Squareness requirements and also comes with one storage case to protect your product.

This set comes at a good price compared to other similar model choices. The blades are made with hardened chrome metal material on this one and the handle is simple. It’s no hardwood handle but these woodworking squares certainly offer reliable length and accuracy like the name is known for.

Each line is precise on each tool blade so you never have to worry whether your line is off or not. The handle is adjustable and the larger try square has a bubble in it as well so you can put this one to great use and then some.

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Why We Like It: If you’re looking for a set, these woodworking squares are very nice and coordinate well together. Each try square is reliable and precise, providing you with a quality tool to maneuver with wood or steel or any other product. Your angles and your markings will scream of accuracy with this model.

4. Swanson Tool Co 7-Inch Speed Square 

Swanson Tool Co 7-Inch Speed Square

If you’re looking for a Swanson Tool Co 7-Inch Speed Square model, we’ve got you covered with a traditional square, that is really a triangle. We say that all in fun, this type of square is a classic product. You don’t have to mess with a handle or a blade, you just line it up on your wood and go. With this model, you get a try square, miter square, line scriber, protractor, and saw guide all in one product.

You can rely on the precision of your angles for accuracy and the material is also great for the tool. These tend to come at a pretty great price as well so that’s always a nice bonus. This model has been in creation since 1925. It has always been an essential product and will continue to be such.

This particular model comes with a Swanson blue book so you know exactly how to use it and even the best way to understand the tool for various uses and angles. This steel tool is known by name and it certainly won’t let you down when you need angles and precision plus quick accuracy from your product.

You will find that this has cutouts and all of the variations of measurements for all of the most popular uses. No fighting with a handle but you still get quality steel and quality precision that you rely on from this type of product. In fact, you might even get more feasibility with this one tool than you do with many others.

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Why We Like It: In terms of squares, this tool is a classic staple. While it doesn’t have 1/8 measurements for you as part of the blade, these squares give you all of the angles to move quickly and effectively. It’s a quality stainless steel woodworking square that can replace your try square among other things.

5. Woodpeckers Precision Woodworking Tools Mini Square 

Woodpeckers Precision Woodworking Tools Mini Square

A Woodpeckers Precision Woodworking Tools Mini Square can be a best solution to have on hand for your woodworking square needs as well. While you might not find these in stainless steel with a hardwood handle or some other material. These make great carpenter tool solutions as a square because they are lightweight and very easy to use without a hardwood handle or even a bulky stainless steel blade.

This particular square is made with high quality aluminum rather than stainless steel. It is miniature in size so it might not replace your try square or be ideal for every woodworking square situation you find yourself in. It is best to be fully prepared for any task and this square just offers some additional functionality and versatility for your toolbox.

The Woodpecker mini square uses a 1 1/8 inch by 2 inch dimension with a 90 degree angle. It’s great for edges and cutting purposes, rather than working with blade. You can also use it in conjunction with other squares.

This is made in the USA and is also covered by a lifetime warranty. While our review is not geared towards it, this brand has a full-sized steel square that is incredibly possible, which you can find here.

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Why We Like It: Woodpecker is a quality brand and their squares have always stood out in the industry. While this is no steel square, it provides a bit of versatility and usefulness in its own way. It’s built for longevity and ingenuity and that is a best quality for a woodworking square.

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Woodworking Square Buyer’s Guide

A man using one of the best woodworking square for his woodworks
Image by cottonbro from Pexels

Now that we’ve shared a few of our favorite woodworking square choices with you, let’s talk about what you might want to keep in mind as you look for the best option for you. There are a lot of different details to keep in mind, so we created a buying guide to provide you with insight and other useful material to make an informed decision along the way.

Precision

One of the guiding principles of choosing your woodworking square will be precision. A try square or any other type of square is only as good as its accuracy. If you can’t rely on the accuracy of your decision, it’s a complete waste of your money.

After all, aren’t you using a try square or another square type in order to ensure accuracy on your project?

If the blade can’t provide you with precise and accurate markings and angles, it defeats the purpose of using squares with your use. You should allow yourself to be very picky and particular about this detail and look for a precision rating to understand the square in question.

Materials

Next up, let’s talk about materials. This is vital but it is also something that you may simply not be picky about. A lot of squares out there use things like stainless steel for the blade and this is certainly one of the most popular solutions and one we can get on board with.

There are other metal solutions that can fit nicely as well. While stainless steel is sleek and shiny, it can be rough around the edges so a few makers choose to use aluminum or even cast iron rather than stainless steel.

Whether you’re looking a try square or another square, it doesn’t have to be stainless steel to be a good square. You simply want it to be smooth and consistent and preferable not fall apart the first time you use it.

Blade

Next up, the blade will make a difference. While not all blades will look like the try square or combination square, these are what you will use for your markings and measurements. This is the metal or stainless steel that you will really want to watch for.

You also want to check out how it’s marked and the readability. You want to be able to easily adjust the handle on the blade and be able to see your blade detail easily when you need it. This is the piece of the tool that will guide you through whatever you might be using it for.

Homemade Vs. Pre-Made Square

There are many recommendations out there for making your own square at home. While you can certainly attempt that just keep in mind it can be incredibly challenging. Do not take this on unless you are ready for the challenges to achieve both precision and accuracy with the task.

On the same note, it can be a fun challenge. Various studies and information reveal that professionally made squares tend to be more consistent in both accuracy and precision so if you decide to try to make one on your own, just be aware that this is a risk you will be taking.

Either square can be a great solution but if you want the most reliable accuracy, we recommend a professional solution.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Square for Woodworking?

We prefer the Starrett option, which you can find more about in our best overall choice in the reviews above. This one is an all-around optimal square with versatility and reliability. There are plenty of great selections out there to choose from as well.

What is the Best Combination Square?

Again, we will point you back to the best overall listing in our reviews here. Starrett is our favorite for a combination square but you can find some other great options as well. We also really like the Irwin model shared in the budget pick.

What Does Square Mean in Woodworking?

In woodworking, a square does not literally mean making a square but rather making your project square to an edge. It allows you to check this for accuracy but also to check your angles on the same note.

Conclusion

We hope that you find this guide to choosing a woodworking square to be a valuable and informative resource for the cause. There are so many different options out there and things to know that can drastically affect your choices. Keen in mind your own needs and know that versatility and price might have an impact on the ones that go with you.

Anything you find here will be a great solution!

Expert Tip

If you’re not sure which type of square to start with, we recommend a combination square. These are versatile and give you a lot more functionality than some of the other types out there. You can mark various angles and lines and get to work easily.

Did You Know?

If you’re squaring a corner, the 3:4:5 rule might be a lifesaver. 3 feet of length on the straight line, 4 feet of length on the perpendicular line, and 5 feet of length across. You can use this same approach with other coordinating lengths as well.

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  • 📏 Accurate Measuring – Our BEETREO positioning squares are equipped with embossed metric measurements including inches and millimeters. Moreover, both the inside and the outside edges of these positioning squares can be used as exact measuring guides. 

  • 📐 High Quality Material – Our BEETRO positioning squares are made of high quality plastic that insures their durability and usability as well as extending lifespan.

  • 📏 Three Different Sizes – There are three combinations of 3'', 4'', 6'' sizes,totally 12 pcs, meeting more options for woodworking workpieces and more.

  • 📐 Multipurpose Tool – Whether you are a professional or just a beginner, this product is excellent for you to perfectly create square boxes, drawers, cabinets, pictures frames and more with satisfaction, utility, and efficiency.

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Combination Square Set with Protractor, Woodworking Square, Carpenter Square, 12’’ Bevel Ruler, 180 Degree Angle Finder, Ideal for Woodworking, Metalworking, Cabinets and Joinery, Steel, Iron, Case
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  • ✔When it comes to versatility and accuracy, the combination square set is the tool you must have in your toolbox. It makes it simple to draw, mark, find, and verify lines, angles, and saw cuts.
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