5 Best Metal Lathes of 2023 [Review & Buyer’s Guide]

If you’re into metalwork, a good quality metal lathe is essential.

But let’s be honest- these machines are complicated! And so is finding the perfect one for your garage. From matching your budget to the size of the workplace, an ideal metal lathe should cater to all of your needs and preferences.

Well, you can find some excellent options on the market, which include mini metal lathes, gang-tool lathes, center lathes, and more. But which one is the best? Fret not because we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular products with great reviews in this guide. The pros and cons of each will further help you in making a decision.

Let’s get started!

Best Metal Lathes

Here is the list of the 5 best metal lathes to help you choose the right machine for your metalworking projects.

1. BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe – Best for Beginners

Big surprises come in small packages, and this mini-device proves it. Don’t let the petite looks of this metal lathe fool you, because it is equipped with heavy-duty iron and nylon gears. Boasting a 550W motor and variable speeds ranging from 50-2500 RPM, this versatile lathe is a must-have in any garage.

When you’re a beginner, it is easy to get intimidated by huge and complicated metal lathes. Thus, this mini version by BestEquip is perfect for getting you started. It is small in size but big in power!

Let’s start with its motor; this product consists of a 550W motor that runs at a variable speed of 50-2500 RPM. You can choose any speed to move forward and reverse while ensuring full accuracy in your metalwork. Plus, the powerful motor allows even distribution of energy, making it easier to modify all sorts of metals.

When it comes to safety, you can rest assured as it consists of a full-length safeguard along with an emergency stop button. Moreover, its 3-jaw self-centering chuck, backsplash guard, and precision tapered roller bearings facilitate steady and accurate cutting and shaping.

Since it sports a petite build yet checks all the boxes in terms of power and versatility, it is ideal for beginners and professionals alike.

Although this mini metal lathe promises high quality and precision, it is more suited for simple cutting and shaping. If you’re a professional who has a variety of metalwork to deal with, you might want to look into other options instead.

Dimensions: 34.25 x 13.78 x 17.72 inches | Weight: 101.9 pounds | Voltage: 110V | Horsepower: 0.75HP | RPM: 50 – 2500

2. Eastwood Benchtop Mini Metal Lathe – Best for On-the-go Professionals

Here’s another pocket-friendly and workshop-friendly metal lathe that’s power-packed with useful features. The best part about this product is that it does not require any assembly or setup. So, the moment you receive it, you can get started right away!

Who wouldn’t like a mini metal lathe that promises the same power and utility as its larger competitors? No wonder this product from Eastwood is a favorite among amateurs and professionals alike.

Especially if you want to start modifying metals at home, the small size of this lathe is a huge plus. Despite being a mini lathe, it shows optimum accuracy and precision on a range of metals like steel, brass, nylon, aluminum, and more. 

Further, the HSS cutting tools included in the package allow you to go one step further with your projects. Thanks to its ¾ HP motor, you can make deep cuts in steel; so, you can customize parts for cars too! 

Lastly, the durability of this benchtop lathe is no joke. Its sturdy steel construction makes it an ideal work companion for many years to come.

There wasn’t much to complain about this small but powerful metal lathe. However, there were a few comments about the poorly engineered reset system. Apparently, when the machine comes to a halt, the reset switch fails to cooperate at times.

Thus, we suggest checking for a “Return” or “Exchange” option with the seller/manufacturer to be on the safer side.

Dimensions: N/A | Weight: 90 pounds | Voltage: N/A | Horsepower: 0.75HP | RPM: 0 – 2500

3. Techtongda WM180V – Best for Versatile Operations

A multi-functional metal lathe that will not burn a hole in your pocket? Sign us up! 

From extensive processing to simple operation- there’s nothing this highly efficient lathe cannot do. Use it for turning, drilling, facing, boring, and much more without a hitch. No wonder this small but powerful lathe is used for gun and car modifications.

Popular among professionals, this metal lathe wins all the brownie points for its versatile functioning. Processing car and gun parts and metal prototypes is a breeze with its high-frequency quenching process and powerful yet accurate grinding. Test it on any type of metal, and you will get precise results each time.

Since the gears are made of high-quality metal and the spindle sports a precision taper roller bearing, there’s no doubt about its durability.

You can even adjust the speed of the main shaft according to your requirements. Despite offering plenty of power and variable speed, the machine remains to operate quietly, minus any vibrations.

An interesting point to note about this lathe is its secure packaging that ensures no damage during transit. It arrives well-packed in a wooden crate, allowing you to rest assured of its perfect condition. Most reviewers have appreciated the brand for this factor.

This metal lathe beats all when it comes to seamless and noiseless working. However, you should note that the dial only shows a metric scale and not the standard scale. Albeit not a detrimental flaw, the lack of the latter limits its functionality and convenience to some extent.

Dimensions: 32 x 16 x 16 inches | Weight: 150 pounds | Voltage: 110V | Horsepower: N/A | RPM: 50 – 2500

4. Grizzly G0602

The Grizzly G0602 is a benchtop metal lathe designed for hobbyists and professionals alike. With its all-metal construction, this durable and versatile machine is capable of handling a variety of metalworking tasks. Its compact size means it can fit comfortably in most workshop spaces, and its 1hp single-phase motor ensures smooth operation at different speeds.

We were impressed with Grizzly G0602’s performance and durable build. The machine’s ability to handle metal workpieces up to 22″ in length and 9.5″ in diameter makes it versatile for various projects.

Its six presets for spindle speed (150, 300, 560, 720, 1200, and 2400 RPM) ensure users have ample control over their work. The option to replace plastic gears with metal ones provides users with customization options to enhance the machine’s longevity.

Additionally, the package comes with several useful accessories, such as a 4-way tool post, 3-jaw chuck, 4-jaw chuck, and an 8″ faceplate. These accessories, along with the option to purchase optional add-ons, make the Grizzly G0602 a comprehensive and adaptable solution for metalworking enthusiasts.

The Grizzly G0602 ships as a semi-assembled kit, requiring the user to assemble the machine themselves. Although the user manual provides assembly instructions, some users might struggle with the assembly process or prefer a pre-assembled product.

Dimensions: 49.25 x 22.25 x 21.25 inches | Weight: 447 pounds | Voltage: 110V | Horsepower: 1HP | RPM: 150 – 2400

5. JET Belt Drive Bench Lathe BDB-919

The JET BDB-919 (321378) is a robust and versatile metal lathe crafted with an all-metal construction, spanning from cast iron to steel.

Manufactured by JET Tools, known for their trusted metalworking and woodworking equipment, this lathe catches the eye with an adaptable design and impressive specifications.

With this offering, JET has undoubtedly aimed to cater to the needs of users looking to perform small to medium-scale metalworking projects.

There’s a lot to appreciate about the JET BDB-919 (321378), starting from its compact footprint of 41″ x 22″ x 20″ that easily fits on a benchtop. Further enhancing its adaptability is the optional stand allowing you to upgrade its setup as per your workspace. Another notable feature is the essential power of its 3/4 hp single-phase motor, which can operate in both forward and reverse directions.

Moreover, the range of spindle speeds offered, ranging from 130 to 2000 RPM, provides plenty of flexibility for various metalworking applications. This level of control allows users to select the perfect speed for their workpiece.

Adding to the benefits, the lathe is packed with numerous accessories, including Four-Jaw Independent Chuck, Three-Jaw Universal Chuck, and an extensive range of gears. It not only maximizes the functionality but also caters to an array of machining needs.

On top of all these features, JET provides a 2-year warranty on the BDB-919, offering peace of mind to their customers regarding the product’s longevity and reliability.

The JET BDB-919 is not without its flaws. One potential downside is the weight of 250lbs which, while adding to the device’s stability, can make initial placement and potential repositioning challenging.

Another consideration is that it comes as a semi-assembled kit. This could be a bit daunting for inexperienced users who might struggle a bit with the detailed user manual during assembly.

Dimensions: 41 x 22 x 2 inches | Weight: 250 pounds | Voltage: 115V | Horsepower: 3/4 HP | RPM: 130 – 2000

Best Meta Lathe Comparison Table

Product Dimensions Weight Voltage Horsepower RPM
BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe ‎34.25 x 13.78 x 17.72 inches 101.9 pounds ‎110V ‎0.75HP 50 – 2500
Eastwood Benchtop Mini Metal Lathe N/A ‎90 pounds N/A ‎0.75HP 0 – 2500
Jet GH-2680ZH Lathe ‎145 x 78 x 47 inches ‎8590 pounds ‎230V 10HP 36 – 1600
Techtongda WM180V 32 x 16 x 16 inches 150 pounds 110V N/A 50 – 2500
Grizzly G0602 49.25 x 22.25 x 21.25 inches 447 pounds 110V 1HP 150 – 2400
JET Belt Drive Bench Lathe BDB-919 ‎34.25 x 13.78 x 17.72 inches 101.9 pounds ‎110V ‎0.75HP 50 – 2500

Buying Guide For The Best Metal Lathe

Since there are so many top-notch metal lathes to choose from, we know picking the best one can get challenging. Hence, we’ve compiled some important factors the best metal lathe should have. Take a look-

Mini Metal Lathe vs. Metal Lathe

Mini metal lathes are the most common type of machinery most professionals and hobbyists opt for. With SOD ranging from 3-7 inches, these units offer a lot of functionality and efficiency despite the petite size. Plus, they are relatively affordable and easier to store in smaller workshops and garages.

On the contrary, usual metal lathes are large and complicated, and best suited for professionals. Such machines can tackle metals, plastics, wood, and more. Center lathes, gang-tool lathes, and many more types come under this category of metal lathes.

Design Of The Lathe

When we talk about design, most people think we are talking about aesthetic value. But that’s not true when it comes to metal lathes. For these devices, the design allows the user to analyze their functionality and ease of use.

So, for beginners, we’d suggest going for something that sports a simpler design and is even better if it is accompanied by a user manual. On the other hand, more experienced machinist metal turners can experiment with complex designs and enhance their skills.

Just keep in mind that a machine that doesn’t intimidate you is your best bet!

Size Of The Project

Depending on the size of the project, you must check the swing over distance (SOD) and distance between centers (DBC) of the lathe. 

SOD determines the maximum diameter of the metal or any other workpiece that the lathe can handle. Additionally, DBC decides the maximum length that can be accommodated by the lathe. Overall, both measurements give you a fair idea of the width and length of a project that the device can customize.

Hence, it is crucial to check the SOD and DBC of a metal lathe and buy one which suits the dimensions of your project.


The structure of the lathe allows you to evaluate its strength and sturdiness. Plus, only a well-built lathe will work smoothly without any vibrations and loud operating noise. Without a solid structure, your work will not be precise enough, and the results will always be subpar.

Hence, try to invest in a metal lathe with a steel structure as it will provide versatile functionality, a comfortable work experience, and a long operating life.


Since most metal lathes are expensive, purchasing one with an extensive warranty period is always the smarter choice. Especially in the case of an industrial lathe, try to opt for one with at least two years of warranty period to secure yourself from faulty parts.


While buying the best metal lathe is the priority, your budget also plays a huge role in deciding the most suitable model for you. An inexpensive device does not always mean low quality and functionality, so check every option and read verified customer reviews. 

When we compare the price range of garage lathes and industrial lathes, the former is much cheaper and suitable for personal use.

Ease Of Use

As mentioned earlier, beginners should always opt for metal lathes that are easy to use. While multi-functional designs and features may increase versatility, such additions are often tricky to figure out on the first go. 

Besides a descriptive user manual, factors like prompt customer service and availability of online tutorials help a great deal in figuring out a metal lathe.

How do I choose the right metal lathe for my needs?

Consider all your needs when selecting a metal lathe. The size of the workpiece, power requirements, and features such as variable speed and spindle speed should all be taken into account.

What are the safety considerations when using a metal lathe?

Safety is an important consideration when using a metal lathe. Be sure to wear safety glasses, protective clothing, and close-toed shoes.

Also, make sure all guards and shields are in place and functioning properly.

What types of materials can be machined on a metal lathe?

Metal lathes are designed to machine most types of metal, including aluminum, brass, steel, and stainless steel.

What kind of maintenance is required for a metal lathe?

Regular maintenance is important for a metal lathe to ensure optimal performance. This includes lubricating moving parts, checking for wear on tools, and inspecting the accuracy of the workpiece.


Thank you so much for coming this far with us on this journey through the world of metal lathes. It has certainly been our pleasure to share our research with you, and we hope you’ve found it enriching and useful. Each metal lathe we’ve reviewed has its unique features and perks, suitable for particular needs. Whether you’re just starting your journey in metalworking or you’re an experienced professional, there’s a lathe out there just for you.

Out of the five metal lathes we reviewed, here are our top three recommendations, each excelling in its category. If you are diving into the world of metalworking and in search of a beginner-friendly lathe, the BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe is an ideal option. It has all the power you need, packed in a compact size which makes it less intimidating for new users.

For professionals who are constantly on the go, the Eastwood Benchtop Mini Metal Lathe is a good option. It’s compact, efficient, and doesn’t skimp on power or versatility. This lathe is perfect for setting up different workshops and for a variety of projects.

Finally, if your work demands a lathe that can handle diverse operations, the Techtongda WM180V is the right choice. It excels in versatility, and accuracy, and performs seamlessly under various workloads.

Let’s keep the wheels of innovation turning. Every project you bring forth contributes to the fascinating bounty of human creativity. As you venture or progress on your metalworking journey, know that the perfect tool is out there, waiting to help you bring your visions to life. With the perfect metal lathe by your side, who knows what incredible creations are lying just ahead? Exciting times indeed! Here’s to a future filled with amazing innovations and creations!

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