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

Blurred background cutting metal processing technology.

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.

BestEquip Metal Lathe 7" x 14",Mini Metal Lathe 0-2500 RPM Variable...
  • Sturdy Aluminium Construction: The mini metal...
  • Infinitely Variable Speeds: Spindle speed from...

Why Did We Like It? 

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.

What Could’ve Been Better? 

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.

  • Powerful motor with variable speed
  • Precision tapered roller bearings for clear cuts and shapes
  • Useful safety features
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Not suitable for complex metalwork
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 Home Use

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!

Eastwood Benchtop Metal Lathe 7 inch x 12 inch | Mini Metal Lathe...
  • INCLUDE HSS CUTTING TOOLS: We even include HSS...

Why Did We Like It? 

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.

What Could’ve Been Better? 

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.

  • Durable and sturdy build
  • Suitable for a range of metals
  • No assembly required
  • Affordable
  • Manufacturing defect in some products
Dimensions: N/A | Weight: 90 pounds | Voltage: N/A | Horsepower: 0.75HP | RPM: 0 – 2500

3. Jet GH-2680ZH Lathe – Best for Industrial Use

A high-end option for the professionals out there, this heavy-duty lathe by Jet is your one-stop solution for all things metal! With eighty-nine different thread sizes, this unit ticks all the boxes in terms of versatility and functionality. Also, it is equipped with induction-hardened bedways for maximum durability. Now, that’s a splurge we’re willing to make!

JET GH-2680ZH, 26" x 80" Geared Head Metal Lathe, 4-1/8" Spindle Bore,...
  • 12" three-jaw scroll chuck with top reversing jaws
  • Two steady rests with roller bearings

Why Did We Like It? 

If you are willing to commit time, space, and budget to metalwork, this tough guy is for you. But, be careful before purchasing it because this is a huge lathe with a 26-inch SOB and 80-inch DBC. After all, you wouldn’t want to buy a device only to find out it doesn’t fit in your garage!

Since the motor converts electricity into energy for the rest of the machine, it is the most crucial part of a lathe. Thanks to its powerful motor, the Jet GH-2680ZH will never fall short of efficiency. Hence, it is your best bet for heavy construction. 

Additionally, this lathe has the edge over other units with its eighty-nine thread sizes that offer more versatility. With most of its parts hardened and ground, it promises great durability, allowing you to get frequent uses out of this device. 

What Could’ve Been Better? 

This is one of the largest products on the list, so you must ensure that you’ve got enough space to spare. Also, it is quite big with lots of complicated parts, so you will have to refer to the instruction manual carefully. 

Lastly, the price is a bit too high for most users. We suggest you splurge on this only if you’re a professional.

  • Ideal for industrial lathe work
  • High-power motor for heavy construction
  • Durable design
  • Eighty-nine thread size for added versatility
  • Large and complicated design
Dimensions: 145 x 78 x 47 inches | Weight: 8590 pounds | Voltage: 230V | Horsepower: 10HP | RPM: 36 – 1600

4. Techtongda WM180V

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.

TECHTONGDA Inch Thread Metal Lathe Mini Precision Bench Lathe 600W...
  • [Professional Lathe]: Techtongda lathe is used for...
  • [600W Brushless Motor]: The newly upgraded 600W...

Why Did We Like It? 

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 requirement. 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.

What Could’ve Been Better? 

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.

  • Secure wooden packaging
  • Low operating noise and vibration
  • Versatile and accurate cuts each time
  • Made of durable, high-quality metal
  • No standard scale
Dimensions: 32 x 16 x 16 inches | Weight: 150 pounds | Voltage: 110V | Horsepower: N/A | RPM: 50 – 2500

5. 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.

Why Did We Like It? 

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.

What Could’ve Been Better? 

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.

  • Durable all-metal construction
  • Six presets for spindle speed
  • Versatile tooling capabilities
  • Option to upgrade plastic gears to metal gears
  • Comes with several useful accessories
  • Requires user assembly
Dimensions: 49.25 x 22.25 x 21.25 inches | Weight: 447 pounds | Voltage: 110V | Horsepower: 1HP | RPM: 150 – 2400

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
Lathe equipment in the factory manufacturing metal structures and machines

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 which 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Worker in uniform and helmet works on lathe, plant. Industrial production, metalwork engineering, power machines manufacturing


As we reach the end of our journey exploring the best meta lathes, it’s clear that these machines vary widely in size, power, and application.

From the above 5 best meta lathes, here are the top three expert recommendations:

The BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe is an ideal option. Its compact size, powerful motor, and user-friendly features make it perfect for those who are just starting to learn the ropes.

For those who want a reliable and efficient lathe for home projects, the Eastwood Benchtop Mini Metal Lathe is a good option. The lathe offers an easy setup and impressive precision for various metals.

Lastly, the Jet GH-2680ZH Lathe is the right choice for professionals and larger workspaces. It boasts a powerful motor, a wide range of thread sizes, and excellent durability that can tackle heavy-duty tasks with ease.

Choosing the right meta lathe will ultimately depend on your needs, experience, and budget. Take your time to find the perfect machine that caters to your requirements and happy metalworking!

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