9 Best Metal Lathe of 2021 [Review & Buyer’s Guide]

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Machining of parts on a lathe. Abstract industrial background.

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If you’re into metalwork, a good quality metal lathe is an 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 on this guide. The pros and cons of each will further help you in making a decision.

Let’s get started!

Top Metal Lathes

 

 

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS 
Our Top PickOur Top PickArchilb-table__imageBestEquip Mini Metal Lathe
  • 7-inch SOB and 14-inch DBC
  • Unique 3-jaw self-centering chuck
  • 550W motor
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Archilb-table__imageGrizzly Industrial G0752
  • 10-inch SOB and 22-inch DBC
  • Digital RPM display
  • 3-jaw chuck and 4-jaw chuck with reversible chucks
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Archilb-table__imageEastwood Benchtop Mini Metal Lathe
  • Includes 3-jaw chuck set 
  • Includes HSS cutting tools
  • 7-inch SOB and 12-inch DBC
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Archilb-table__imageJectse Mini Lathe
  • 12000 RPM motor speed
  • 3-inch SOB and 5-inch DBC
  • Less than 5 kg
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Archilb-table__imageJet GH-2680ZH Lathe
  • Clutch operated headstock
  • 12” 3-jaw scroll chuck with top reversing jaws
  • LED work lamp
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Archilb-table__imageMophorn Metal Lathe
  • Motor: 550W DC Single Phase
  • 7-inch SOB and 12-inch DBC
  • Movable lamp included
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Archilb-table__imageTechtongda WM180V
  • Variable speed from 50-2500 RPM
  • 7-inch SOB and 12-inch DBC
  • 600W brushless motor
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Archilb-table__imageVEVOR Metal Lathe
  • Variable Speed(Rpm): 50-2250±10%
  • 1100W power motor 
  • 8.7-inch SOB and 29.5-inch DBC
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Archilb-table__imageBestEquip Metal Lathe
  • 750W brushless motor
  • 8-inch SOB and 16-inch DBC
  • Includes user manual, accessories, and toolbox
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Blurred background cutting metal processing technology.

  1. BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe

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.

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.

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B01NASLE8H” locale=”US” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51vP-OGrY4S._SL500_.jpg” tag=”architecture_lab-20″ width=”500″]

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.

Pros
  • Powerful motor with variable speed
  • Precision tapered roller bearings for clear cuts and shapes
  • Useful safety features
  • Ideal for beginners
Cons
  • Not suitable for complex metalwork
  1. Grizzly Industrial G0752

Staying true to its name, this brand brings ultimate power and versatility with its variable speeds ranging from 100-2000 RPM. With a simple turn of a dial, you can control the spindle speed according to your work requirement. And you don’t even have to waste time in stopping and restarting the lathe!

Grizzly Industrial G0752-10" x 22" Variable-Speed Lathe
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Why Did We Like It? 

This metal lathe by Grizzly is a top performer for all types of metalwork. While its price may be on the higher end, the features make it worth every penny. 

The first thing that caught our eye is its digital RPM display on the headstock, making it extremely user-friendly. This implies that you can conveniently check the spindle speed while using the lathe. Also, the variable speed ranges from 100-2000 RPM, which offers a great range for different types of metalwork.

Its 10” x 22” bench, wider bed and thread range, and larger chucks allow you to work on largescale projects without breaking a sweat! Adding to it is the fact that you can easily access the gears and pulleys of this device, thus increasing your work speed and efficiency.

Overall, the Grizzly Industrial G0752 is an expensive but highly functional and versatile device that will make an excellent addition to your workspace.

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B00DQJPE1M” locale=”US” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41qxzYH84CL._SL500_.jpg” tag=”architecture_lab-20″ width=”500″]

What Could’ve Been Better? 

One problem we noticed with this metal lathe is the non-standard spindle thread. It will be difficult to find shops that sell 1-3/4” x 8 TPI thread, so keep that in mind. 

Pros
  • Wide range of speed settings
  • Ideal for largescale projects
  • Versatile operation
  • Larger bed and chucks
Cons
  • Non-standard spindle thread is difficult to find and replace
  1. Eastwood Benchtop Mini Metal Lathe

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 Mini Metal Variable Speed Lathe 7" x 12" Drilling Machine
$839.99
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09/24/2021 10:51 am GMT

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.

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”341″ identifier=”B089NYQY22″ locale=”US” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41T7gqxR84L._SL500_.jpg” tag=”architecture_lab-20″ width=”500″]

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.

Pros
  • Durable and sturdy build
  • Suitable for a range of metals
  • No assembly required
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Manufacturing defect in some products
  1. Jectse Mini Lathe

Boasting a massive 12,000 RPM, this mini lathe from Jectse can handle soft and precious metals. Recommended for beginners, this budget buy is ideal for trying your hand at metalwork and practicing before moving on to larger, more complicated devices.

Mini Lathe,Lathe Tool Kit,Lathe with Powerful Motor 12000Rpm,Hss Turning Tool, Belt Protection Cover,60W Power Metal Machine
$393.09
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09/23/2021 04:07 pm GMT

Why Did We Like It? 

If you want to start with a small and portable device, try your hands at the Jectse mini-lathe. It is a high-speed turning tool suitable for soft, precious, and non-ferrous metals. You can even use the central block to expand the diameter up to 50 mm. This provides you more versatility in metalwork.

Additionally, this mini lathe is equipped with a powerful motor and other metallic parts covered with belt protection. This ensures the overall durability and longevity of the lathe, thus enabling it to accompany you in many of your projects. 

Altogether, this lathe makes a great budget buy for beginners and hobbyists. However, if you plan to take up metalwork as a profession, this little guy may not suffice.

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B07R281ZCM” locale=”US” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/31dUBwaqDUL._SL500_.jpg” tag=”architecture_lab-20″ width=”500″]

What Could’ve Been Better? 

As mentioned previously, this mini lathe can handle only a few types of metals, making it lack versatility. Hence, it is only suitable for newbies in this field who want to learn more without spending a lot. 

Moreover, because of the small size and weight, the machine may jerk a bit while operating.

Pros
  • Suitable for beginners
  • High-speed and performance
  • Belt protection for enhanced durability
  • Small and lightweight
Cons
  • Relatively less versatile and powerful
  1. Jet GH-2680ZH Lathe

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 26x80 Geared Head Engine Lathe 4-1/8-inch Bore
$36,399.00
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09/24/2021 11:11 am GMT

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 that offers three-horsepower capacity, 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. 

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B0064BFJ3W” locale=”US” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41UFZ4EDq6L._SL500_.jpg” tag=”architecture_lab-20″ width=”500″]

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.

Pros
  • Ideal for industrial work
  • High-power motor for heavy construction
  • Durable design
  • Eighty-nine thread size for added versatility
Cons
  • Large and complicated design
  1. Mophorn Metal Lathe

Want a metal lathe that can turn, cut, and drill with the same level of precision? Look no further because this unit by Mophorn is a multipurpose device for those working on a wide range of metal projects. What makes all of this possible is its 550W power motor that produces 0.75 horsepower.

Why Did We Like It? 

First things first. This metal lathe is built like a tank! With high-grade iron, nylon gears, and a full-length splashguard, you get a water-resistant, durable, and protected device for all your metalwork. 

Secondly, it sports a 550W motor and infinitely variable speeds that can be operated manually or with the adjustable auto feed rate. The emergency stop button further enhances the convenience of this product.

Additionally, the 3-jaw self-centering chuck, backsplash guard, and a precision tapered spindle ensure that accuracy is never compromised. The movable lamp also adds to making your work experience more comfortable and convenient.

Lastly, we appreciate the fact that you can customize the lathe according to your preference. You can change the gears and other parts of the device without any hassle. However, the prerequisites are already included in the package, each of which can be used to expand your work range.

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B07TNYC1VB” locale=”US” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/511uWlMaihL._SL500_.jpg” tag=”architecture_lab-20″ width=”500″]

What Could’ve Been Better? 

For a metal lathe that promises high functionality and versatility, we think the motor could have been more powerful.

Another major concern is the difficulty of procuring replacement parts since the lathe is made in China. So, we suggest you go for this product only if you are well-aware of shops which sell the required components.

Pros
  • Water-resistant build
  • Powerful motor with variable speed
  • Portable lamp for convenience
  • Customizable design
Cons
  • Motor is not that powerful
  • Parts are made in China
  1. 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 7X12" Precision Bench Lathe 600W Brushless Motor Turning Machine
$1,149.00
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09/24/2021 04:50 am GMT

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 damages 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.

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B07VVB1VZM” locale=”US” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41PNHA10UsL._SL500_.jpg” tag=”architecture_lab-20″ width=”500″]

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.

Pros
  • Secure wooden packaging
  • Low operating noise and vibration
  • Versatile and accurate cuts each time
  • Made of durable, high-quality metal
Cons
  • No standard scale
  1. VEVOR Metal Lathe

This supportive and protective metal lathe by VEVOR guarantees a safe working experience while you go all out experimenting with metal. After all, metalwork is a potentially dangerous activity, so this brand leaves no stone unturned in ensuring your protection. Other than that, its top-notch features make it a popular pick in this price range.

Why Did We Like It? 

First off, this fairly sized metal lathe is perfect for both professional and personal use. Its quick change tool post can be adjusted for bevel cutting, internal cutting, and more, so you don’t need additional tools and machinery throughout your project. You can even use the feed rod to allow free movement in the blades.

Moving on, the steady rest adds support to the machine and reduces the operating noise. It is further equipped with a backsplash guard and follow rest to enable seamless working on longer pieces. 

Lastly, the adjustable tailstock adds to the convenience of its working. Simply lock the spindle by rotating the lever clockwise and adjust the four set screws on the base to offset the tailstock. These simple steps will help you get more precision and accuracy while working.

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B087CJ2M5R” locale=”US” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51tPA1wL5ZL._SL500_.jpg” tag=”architecture_lab-20″ width=”500″]

What Could’ve Been Better? 

We don’t have any complaints about the performance and quality of this metal lathe. However, note that the delivery process can get a tad stressful with this unit. The brand often sends various parts separately, which can get inconvenient if you have an urgent project in hand.

Pros
  • Quick change tool for versatile working
  • Adjustable tailstock for more precision
  • Backsplash guard ensures protection
  • Chatter-free device
Cons
  • Inadequate delivery process
  1. BestEquip Metal Lathe

Closing the list is yet another unit by BestEquip, known for its durability and resistance to wear and tear. Since it sports a brushless motor, you are free from the hassle of regular maintenance and replacement of carbon brushes. Also, the machine is durable and wear-resistant, ensuring a longer operational life.

Why Did We Like It? 

No metal job will be too challenging with this robust mini metal lathe from BestEquip. Even though it is small in size, it can efficiently handle largescale projects as well. Thanks to its variable spindle speed, working on any type of metal, big or small, will be a breeze.

As mentioned earlier, its brushless motor negates the need for maintenance. Along with offering a longer service life, it manages to achieve larger torque. On the other hand, the motor produces just the right amount of energy required, reducing unnecessary jerks and vibrations.

Adding to its durability is the wear-resistant body, so you can rest assured and use the lathe as frequently as you’d like.

Since it is built to cater to various types of projects, it requires an elaborate setup. But that is no rocket science with the informative user manual included in the package. Just make sure you follow the instructions carefully.

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B07KK3RPGN” locale=”US” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51RglRHAlTL._SL500_.jpg” tag=”architecture_lab-20″ width=”500″]

What Could’ve Been Better? 

While this unit is impressive in all aspects, it may not be suitable for beginners and small spaces.

First, it takes some time and expertise to set up this machine. Although you get an adequate user manual, beginners may find it difficult to figure out. 

Moreover, since it is larger than most mini-lathes, you’ll have to be sure about having enough storage space before buying it.

Pros
  • Wear-resistant
  • Variable spindle speed allows more functionality
  • Brushless motor requires no replacement
  • No vibrations
Cons
  • Tedious setup process

Lathe equipment in the factory manufacturing metal structures and machines

Metal Lathe Buyer’s Guide

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-

  1. 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, 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.

  1. 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 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!

  1. 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.

  1. Structure

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 long operating life.

  1. Warranty

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.

  1. Budget 

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.

  1. 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.

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

Verdict

With that, we come to the end of this comprehensive guide. We hope our recommendations and pointers will help you in making an informed decision. Just know your preferences and requirements, and stick to them while shopping. Remember- don’t get distracted!

Before signing off, we’d like to share some of our favorites. There’s no doubt that BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe takes the crown for being a surprise package in its small body! Grizzly Industrial G0752 is a close second with its power-packed performance on larger metal parts.

Let us know your favorites in the comment section below. We’ll be back with other informative guides soon.

Till then, stay productive! 

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