Top 8 Best Wood Lathe for Turning Bowls – Experts Recommended

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Woodwork can be as intricate as you want to create the most beautiful and elegant pieces of art. The art of creating bowls out of wood is so exquisite that it’ll want anyone to get a woodworking experience. But before you consider carving bowls out of a slab of wood, you will have to buy the best wood lathe for turning large bowls.

A wood lathe is a mechanical tool found in every woodworker’s shop. This machine is used to rotate wood while sharp instruments such as the best wood lathe chuck for bowl-turning carve designs and patterns. So, are you interested in buying the best lathe for yourself but do not know which products to consider? Don’t worry, in this article, we have reviewed some of the best products you can choose from.

Our Editor’s Pick
PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS Turn Crafter Commander 12

PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS Turn Crafter Commander 12″ Variable Speed Midi Lathe

  • KWL-1218VS replaces TCLC12VS. ETL Listed and certified by Intertek.
  • 1 hp variable speed motor provides superior power and performance
  • SBC microprocessor technology delivers pinpoint control and reliability
  • 24 indexing positions with spindle locking

 

What Type Of  Wood Lathe Good For Turning Bowls?

When it comes to wood lathe tools for making bowls, several factors enhance their capabilities. For starters, a good-quality wood lathe will have a perfect balance in its weight. That means a lightweight design is not always an ideal choice.

Besides, a small and lightweight wood lathe might be incompatible with heavy-duty projects. Therefore, a stable wood lathe bowl turning chuck will help you cut down vibrations for large projects. Also, wood lathes with more horsepower are always the best types.

How Did We Make This Review?

We went through an intense routine to bring you the perfect wood lathe for turning bowls. Among countless options, we first shortlisted 40 different wood lathes. Later on, our team verified all the crucial details by checking more than 20 articles. Not to mention, we also went through a bunch of customer reviews so that we can analyze from different perspectives. Thus, after spending 60 hours on the research, we finally presented you with these 8 top picks.

30 Sec Quick Summary – Best Wood Lathe for Turning Bowls

“The wood lathe ensures you an excellent woodworking experience with its precise design, high-quality materials, and ultimate speed.”

“Instead of following the pre-defined adjustments, this wood lathe will allow you to explore your creativity through smart customizations.”

“With this wonderfully designed wood lathe, you can expand your aptitudes without any need for large work-stations or expensive modifications.”

“The architecture of the wood lathe provides you all the facilities to chisel the adjustments and utilize it according to your preferences. “

“Because of dominant speed and adaptable angles, the wood lathe provides the most convenient set-up to expand the skills of a rookie.”

“Explore the most tempting sculpting opportunities by utilizing the remarkable precision and carving-friendly features of this highly efficient wood lathe.”

“Move around and enjoy the best carving facilities from this lightweight wood lathe for your school projects without any complicated adjustments.”

“This user-friendly wood lathe comprises simple yet effective functionalities to make your woodworking experience easy and enjoyable.”

Table of Content:

Before you delve into the extensive article, have an overlook of what it has to offer. Go through this table of contents and choose the title you want to read about.

Comparison Chart:

Choosing the best wood lathe for turning bowls is pretty straightforward as long as you know the specification you care about. Have a side-by-side look at all our favorite products and choose the one suiting your needs the most.

Image Product Technical Spec Price
Editor’s choice

PSI Woodworking KWL

PSI Woodworking KWL
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Style: Variable Speed
  • Size: 12”
  • Weight: 106 lbs.
  • Voltage: 110V
Check Price On Amazon
Best customizable wood lathe

JET JWL-1015 10

JET JWL-1015 10″x 15″ Wood Lathe
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Style: Wood Working Lathe
  • Size: 10” x 15”
  • Weight: 77 lbs.
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
Check Price On Amazon
Best wood lathe for small workspace

WEN 3420T 2-Amp 8

WEN 3420T 2-Amp 8
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Style: Variable Speed
  • Size: 12” x 16”
  • Weight: 72.1 lbs.
  • Motor: 4.5 A
Check Price On Amazon
Best versatile wood lathe

NOVA 1624 II 16 x 24

NOVA 1624 II 16 x 24″ 8 Speed Wood Lathe
  • Material: Cast Iron & Iron
  • Style: OLD Model
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 16” x 24”
  • Power Source: AC motor, 1.5 HP
Check Price On Amazon
Best wood lathe for beginners

Laguna Tools Revo Lathe

Laguna Tools Revo Lathe
  • Style: Variable Speed Frequency
  • Material: Cast Iron & other
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 18” x 36”
Check Price On Amazon
Best sculpture wood lathe

Delta Industrial Variable-Speed Midi Lathe

Delta Industrial Variable-Speed Midi Lathe
  • Style: Variable Speed
  • Color: Gray
  • Size: 12.5”
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Maximum Power: 1 HP
Check Price On Amazon
Best portable wood lathe

Shop Fox W1758 Wood Lathe

Shop Fox W1758 Wood Lathe
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Size: 43”
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Load-current rating: 14 A
Check Price On Amazon
Best wood lathe for simple design

RIKON 70 Mini Lathe

RIKON 70 Mini Lathe
  • Indexing Positions: 12
  • Direction: Forward
  • Tool Rest: 8”
  • Size: 12” x 16”
Check Price On Amazon

8 Best Wood Lathe for Turning Bowls in 2021

In this section, let us look at some of the best options for wood lathes in the market. You can choose the best wood lathe for bowl turning according to your preferences. So, without further ado, let’s get to the reviews!

BEST WOOD LATHE FOR TURNING BOWLS

1. Editor’s choice: PSI Woodworking KWL-1018VS Wood Lathe

PSI Woodworking KWL-1018VS Wood Lathe

Through this PSI Woodworking KWL-1018VS Wood Lathe review, you will learn about one of the easiest to use top-class products. This product can be counted as the best midi lathe for turning bowls from its durability and precision to its usage convenience.

Powered by a 1 HP induction motor and an SBC microprocessor, this is an ideal machine for providing reliability of precision. Its digital readout allows you to adjust your work speed, making the woodturning process much more straightforward.

The distance between the centers is 18-inches, and then the swing over the bed is 12-inches long. The lathe features dual belt positions of 1950-3800 RMP and 500-1800 RMP, setting it apart from its competition.

KWL-1018VS Technical Details:

  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Style: Variable Speed
  • Size: 12”
  • Weight: 106 lbs.
  • Voltage: 110V

For Whom is This Product Designed?

The machine is best suited for automotive users. This is the perfect product for people who like midi lathes. Its accuracy and precision make it an ideal pick for professional woodworkers.

Why Do We Love It?
  • Built-in handles for convenience
  • You can monitor the lathe’s speed with the digital readout
  • Certified by Intertek
  • Extremely durable
What Should Improve
  • Fragile and awkwardly positioned lighting

2. Best customizable wood lathe: Jet JWL-1015 10 x 15 Wood Lathe

Jet JWL-1015 10 x 15 Wood Lathe

With a width of 15/5-inches between the centers, this is the perfect lathe for bowl turning and other woodwork projects. This lathe featured six spindle speeds ranging from 500 RPM to 3975 RPM. Therefore, its usage is highly customizable according to the project’s requirements.

Due to its wide bed, the lathe provides maximum rigidity. Therefore, this is the best wood lathe for turning bowls concerning user-friendliness. Its security measures allow the machine to be among the top products for beginners.

If you own a small workshop, you will like how easily this mini lathe will fit in. This is a very versatile and durable lathe enjoying a 5-year warranty period.

Jet JWL-1015 Technical Details:

  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Style: Wood Working Lathe
  • Size: 10” x 15”
  • Weight: 77 lbs.
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Voltage: 115V

For Whom is This Product Designed?

Through this Jew JWL-1015 10 x 15 Wood Lathe review, we are sure when we say that this is the best product for beginners. Due to its affordability, easy usage, and powerful functionality, it is the best product for beginners to learn to turn with.

Why Do We Love It?
  • Fair pricing
  • 5-year warranty
  • Excellent for beginners
  • Certified by CSA
What Should Improve
  • Might give out during massive projects

3. Best wood lathe for small workspace: Wen 34027 Lathe

Wen 34027 Lathe

The Wen variable speed bench-top mini wood lathe can be used at any variable speed between 750 and 3200 RPM. This is one of the best lathes out there because of its user-friendliness and customizability. Not only is this lathe ideal for beginners, but also for professionals who like intricate woodwork.

The machine features an MT1 spindle along with a tailstock taper. Therefore, it enjoys a firm grip over the workpieces. We like how along with the standard 4.5-inch one, the machine also features an additional 7-inch tool rest.

With a 2A motor, the rotations are powerful and act as a perfect help for woodturning projects. The machine enjoys a two-year warranty period. Therefore, malfunctioning is not an issue, especially when you’re just learning how to work with this product.

Wen 34027 Technical Details:

  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Style: Variable Speed
  • Size: 12” x 16”
  • Weight: 72.1 lbs.
  • Motor: 4.5 A

For Whom is This Product Designed?

If you own a small workplace and are reading the Wen 34027 lathe review, you’ll be happy to know that this product is ideal for you. This little machine can fit into just about any workspace and can carve small pieces such as pens.

Why Do We Love It?
  • Comes with several accessories.
  • Features the slow start technology for safety.
  • The simple speed dial allows for easy controls.
  • 2-year warranty
What Should Improve
  • It cannot be held in one place due to the lack of mounting holes

4. Best versatile wood lathe: Nova 1624 II Lathe

Nova 1624 II Lathe

We cannot proceed without the Nova 1624 II lathe review. As one of the best products by an elite company, you can expect it to have the smoothest operation. When you decide to invest in this product, you can expect high-end functionality for a couple of years without issues.

Along with a 1.5HP motor and eight standardized speeds, this is one of the powerful products in the market. The speeds range from 215 and 3600 RPM and are easily operatable with your left hand due to its ergonomic design.

With the 360o swivel head, this machine is incredibly versatile. Due to its large size, it is the best wood lathe for turning large bowls. The product enjoys a considerable warranty, ensuring good durability.

Nova 1624 Technical Details:

  • Material: Cast Iron & Iron
  • Style: OLD Model
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 16” x 24”
  • Power Source: AC motor, 1.5 HP
  • Voltage: 115V

For Whom is This Product Designed?

The Nova 1624 II lathe is one of the best products out there, especially for people who like huge lathes and have a huge workshop. Woodworkers who like to carve a large variety of bowls.

Why Do We Love It?
  • Study cast iron and steel structure
  • Affordable price
  • Extremely easy to assemble
  • Comes with a reliable stand
What Should Improve
  • Features hard-to-use manual speed adjustments

5. Best wood lathe for beginners: Laguna Tools Revo Lathe

Laguna Tools Revo Lathe

The Laguna Tools Revo Lathe is one of the best products globally due to its extensive versatility and customizability. As a woodworking professional, there is no other product with more excellent features than this ergonomically designed one.

The machine’s anodized aluminum control panel allows you to choose between the 135-3500 RPM or 50-1300 RPM. The machine’s top speed is 1724 RPM, achieved by the VFD system.

The machine also features an ergonomic knurling control knob with a rubber grip. Therefore, you get total control over the operation. The machine also comes with a sturdy headstock with a maximum swing of 32-inches.

Revo Lathe Technical Details:

  • Style: Variable Speed Frequency
  • Material: Cast Iron & other
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 18” x 36”
  • Motor: 2 HP
  • Voltage: 220V

For Whom is This Product Designed?

This product is perfect for anyone who loves ergonomic products. This simple-to-use machine is great for beginners and experts due to its superior yet considerably movable construction.

Why Do We Love It
  • Ergonomic design with a beautiful finish
  • Powerful function with the 2HP motor
  • Works extremely smoothly and quietly
  • Comes with a handy and accurate digital readout
What Should Improve
  • One of the most expensive products in the market

6. Best sculpture wood lathe: Delta 46-460 Midi Lathe

Delta 46-460 Midi Lathe

A Delta 46-460 review is a must in the list of reviews of the best wood lathe for turning bowls. The machine comes with a knockout bar, wrenches, live center, tool rest base, 10-inch and 6-inch tool rests, and 3-inch faceplates.

This is also an incredibly versatile product due to its adjustable speed that can go up to 1725 RPM. Its 12.5-inch swing capacity is perfect for large pieces. This machine also comes with a reverse function for better carving.

You will not have to reset the belt time and again to ensure that the speed doesn’t have to be changed. The product’s cast iron base is perfect for rigidity and sturdiness.

Delta 46-460 Technical Details:

  • Style: Variable Speed
  • Color: Gray
  • Size: 12.5”
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Maximum Power: 1 HP

For Whom is This Product Designed?

This product is perfect for anyone who likes wood crafts. This powerful product can be used to create beautiful sculptures and small items such as bowls and chess pieces.

Why Do We Love It?
  • Features an ingeniously functional design
  • Comes with a complete reverse mode for better functionality
  • You can change speeds very comfortably on this machine
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
What Should Improve
  • You will need extensions for larger projects owning to the small bed

7. Best portable wood lathe: Shop Fox W1758 Wood Lathe

Shop Fox W1758 Wood LatheLathes are generally heavy, but the Shop Fox W1758 Wood Lathe is quite lightweight and portable. With the 1/3 HP motor, it is great for small projects for school or dome projects. The machine also features ten variable speeds between 600 and 2400 RMP.

You can turn bowls, pens, and rings with this machine without any problems. However, we do not recommend you to use it for heavy-duty projects. The high-quality construction is perfect for holding just about any wood slab without issues.

The headstock can turn to five different rotation angles, allowing for substantial versatility. The product proudly features a 6-inch faceplate along with an MT2 spur center and MT2 live center.

Shop Fox W1758 Technical Details:

  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Size: 43”
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Load-current rating: 14 A
  • Motor: 2 HP, single-phase, 110V

For Whom is This Product Designed?

Through the Shop Fox W1758 Wood Lather Review, we can tell you that this bench-top lathe is perfect for students and beginners. Its portability and ability to work with small pieces make it specular for DIY projects.

Why Do We Love It?
  • One of the most portable machines on this list.
  • 13-inches of spindle capacity with 8-inch swing capacity.
  • Double cast-iron construction for perfect durability.
  • 2-year limited warranty
What Should Improve
  • The bolts tend to get loose at times and require continuous maintenance

8. Best wood lathe for simple design: RIKON 70-100 Mini Lathe

RIKON 70 Mini LatheMost wood lathes have a complicated mechanism that seems quite hard to understand as a rookie. However, with this RIKON 70-100, you will never face such difficulties. The wood lathe bowl turning tools provide you multiple speed adjustments.

As a result, you get smoother transitions every time. Moreover, you get a handy chart to figure out the spindle speed. The flexible indexing head is another impressive feature. It allows you to see this wood lathe turning a bowl in 12 different positions.

The lathe comes with convenient flip-flop handles. Not to mention, you get to add on multiple extensions whenever you like. Thus, the creative design complements the entire structure.

RIKON 70-100 Technical Details:

  • Indexing Positions: 12
  • Direction: Forward
  • Tool Rest: 8”
  • Size: 12” x 16”
  • Motor: 0.5 HP, 115V

For whom is This Product Designed?

Because of the user-friendly design, the wood lathe performs outstandingly well for beginners. The structure is flexible and compact. That is why it helps to attain better precision without any difficulties.

Why Do We Love It?
  • Quick and easy speed adjustments
  • Self-ejecting mechanism of the tailstock
  • Versatile head index positions
  • Hassle-free process of adding accessories
What Should Improve
  • Unsatisfactory support of the spring latch
  • Requires frequent cleaning and lubrication

How to Assemble a Wood Lathe

Given below is a step-by-step guide to assembling your new wood lathe. Follow each step carefully for perfect results.

How to Assemble a Wood Lathe

  • Remove all the packaging, bolts, and brackets, securing each leg to the lathe for shipment and delivery. Set the legs aside on a flat surface for assembly.
  • Position the two legs in line with one another while leaving an appropriate distance between them. The distance should be slightly larger than the recommended distance between the lathes’ centers.
  • With the help of some assistants, lift and place the lathe on the base legs and secure it in place with appropriate hardware.
  • Remove the lathe plates and bed along with the quill assembly.
  • Slide the headstock to the opposite end of the lathe bed and secure it with the bed and plates.
  • Reinstall the quill assembly and reattach the remaining lathe bed and plate.
  • Place the tool rest’s pivot block through the lathe bed channel.
  • Attach the nut and plate to the tool rest’s base so that the lock level is completely tight.
  • Install the digital reader to the headstock’s top with the appropriate hardware.
  • Ensure that the lathe and all its components are secure and positioned perfectly before setting up a test run.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, let us look at some of the most commonly asked questions regarding turning bowls and wood lathes.

What size wood lather do I need to turn bowls?

When looking for the best wood lathe for turning bowls, you should opt for at least a 36-inch lathe. This means that the distance between the centers should be at least 36-inches.

Is Pine good for turning bowls?

Pine is one of the best woods to turn bowls on a lathe. Since the wood is soft, it turns easily and can be carved, screwed, and chiseled easily with carving accessories.

Are wood lathes dangerous?

Most accidents occur due to either moving parts such as chucks, drive gears, or feed screws, or by tangled clothes. Therefore, you should be careful and experienced in working a wood lathe without assistance or supervision. Lathes are accident-prone with the slightest of carelessness.

Is woodturning a difficult task to do?

Woodturning seems to be a very complicated process. However, with proper guidance and tools, learning the woodturning basics is quite simple.

Which wood is the easiest to turn?

As a rule of thumb, the softer the wood, the easier it is to turn. Therefore, softwoods such as poplar, pine, and maple are fairly easy to turn. Some other wonderful woods for turning are ebony, rosewood, hickory, European yew, and manzanita.

Is it okay to turn pressure-treated wood on a lathe?

Ideally, you can turn just about any wood on a lathe. However, turning pressure-treated wood can get toxic—the dust released from pressure-treated wood while lathing is very unhealthy and toxic to breathe.

Bottom Line

When you’re looking for the best wood lathe for turning bowls, you have a wide variety to choose from. The best product is the one that can cater to all your woodworking requirements in the easiest way possible.

From all the products we have reviewed, our personal favorite is the Delta Industrial 46-460 VS Midi Lathe. Not only is it an affordable product, but it also provides all the features you might need for professional woodturning.

Author - Lee Morris

Hi, I am Lee Morris, I have run a power tools business for woodworking. Where I sell mostly wood router, compact router, trim router, plunge router, wood lathe chuck, and many other power tools for woodworking.

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