We are living in a technology-driven era and the ride seems to be smooth so far. Recent innovations target at improving user experiences by providing an easier way of accomplishing tasks that were initially labor-intensive or even impossible to do.
Among the areas that have experienced the better part of technological intervention is metalworking. Of course, we have so many innovations that have targeted professional metalworkers and hobbyists. However, not so many seem to bring the same value as the mini metal lathes.
With this innovation, shaping metals, wood, plastic, and other types of rounded workpieces is now something that you can accomplish in seconds. Unfortunately, choosing the right mini metal lathe remains a puzzle to many.
That’s why we combined our extensive knowledge in mini metal lathes with advice from several mechanical engineers in a bid to come up with a list that distinguishes the very finest models from the rest. Below are the 10 best mini metal lathes for your projects.
Top 10 Metal Lathes
#1 Mophorn Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe
This metal lathe is of very sturdy construction. The bed makes use of industrial-grade iron for maximum durability. This structure along with other ruggedly constructed components makes it one of the long-lasting machines you will ever bring to your shop.
The piece comes with a 550W motor that delivers a top speed of 2500 revolutions per minute (RPM). And since this speed adjusts using a control knob to a minimum level of 50 RPM, you can always make adjustments depending on the type of workpiece you are handling.
The forward and reverse functionality improves user convenience. The unit also features a solid 3-jaw chuck. This self-centering piece holds your cylindrical workpiece steadily in the exact position when shaping to facilitate accuracy in your projects. The toolpost holds your cutting tool perfectly in position and adjusts to deliver a variety of cuts.
The cross slide is professionally-designed and will also neither disappoint in what it is made to do. The tool comes with an instructional manual that provides every detail you need to get professional results with the tool even in your first-time use.
#2 BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe
The next option on the list comes from BestEquip. The 1.1-kilowatt motor delivers enough power to tackle just about any project.
You can adjust the speed to as low as 50 RPM up to about 3000 RPM depending on the nature of your project. But since it’s hard to tell the spindle speed, this unit has an easy-to-read LED screen which shows the exact speed of the machine when in use for greater accuracy in your applications.
The change-over switch means that you can change the rotation direction of the spindle whereas the manual/automatic feed options bring more user convenience. The 3-jaw chuck adopts rugged construction and has a diameter of 4.9 inches.
The product also boasts a large swing range which gives more possibilities when dealing with heavy and large workpieces. You can perform internal cutting, face cutting, and bevel cutting by adjusting the angle of the tool post and doing the necessary customizations on the professional compound rest. The price of the unit, however, does not go with every budget although it lives up to the tag.
#3 BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe 550W 7 x 14 Inch
This mini metal lathe comes from BestEquip like the previously reviewed model. Coming from the same manufacturer, it shares several features with its predecessor. For instance, it adopts very durable construction for outstanding durability.
Also, the spindle of this mini metal lathe is accurate to within 0.01 mm just as the preceding version. The compound and the tool post are customizable to allow for different cuts. Additionally, it has a high-precision 3-jaw chuck for more professional outcome in your projects and supports either manual or automatic feed rate.
However, it differs in several ways from the earlier option. The first noticeable deviation is in size. Unlike the previous piece that is 8.7 inches by 23.6 inches, this unit bears a smaller size of 7 inches by 14 inches. With this size, this tool will work perfectly for shops and stores where space is premium.
Also, instead of the 1.1-kilowatt motor, the unit packs a 550-watt engine that delivers a top speed of up to 2500 RPM. And with all these differences, we definitely expect it to go at a lower price. The price is about half that of the earlier version.
#4 Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe
Grizzly is a name that has been in the market for a while. This manufacturer is well-known for using high-quality components in her products. And yes, this machine also comes with high-grade components to deliver performance, durability, and precision in whatever job you throw at it.
Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe has a good size that works well for workshops with limited space. With this size, you can move the unit easily around your workshop. Nevertheless, do not underestimate its power since it can perform just about everything that other larger and more expensive machines can. The inclusion of several carbide tips in the package is an implication that the machine will handle the majority of the cutting jobs you throw at it.
The piece seems a little complicated for a beginner, though, but with the reliable instructional manual and a few moments of interaction, perfecting in using this powerful machine is a guarantee.
The lathe carries a single-phase 0.75-HP motor that is easy to maintain. It also has 2-speed ranges; a low setting of 0-1100 RPM and a high range of 0-2500 RPM. The spindle will also rotate in either direction. Apart from performance, Grizzly also pays some attention to user safety and that is why the package includes a splash guard.
#5 TECHTONGDA Brushless Motor Precision Mini Metal Lathe DIY Bench Lathe
Whether you want a machine for drilling, boring, turning thread, or facing, this spectacular piece from Techtongda is one of a few machines in the market that will not easily disappoint.
The premium-grade machine adopts high-quality construction that not only guarantees a long-lasting performance but also reliability in what it is made to do.
Unlike with most conventional models, the gears and bearings of this lathe are of top-grade metal to step up the overall quality of the unit. The multi-jaw chuck is also of good quality and is 100 mm wide.
The tool features a 600-watt brushless motor that tackles nearly any job you bring to it when demanding minimal maintenance in return. And since it is a 110-V unit, Techtongda Mini Metal Lathe connects to a standard power outlet. The speed, in this case, can also be varied between 50-2500 RPM.
But with all these incredible features, this machine also has a few minor flaws. For example, with a gross weight of 150 lbs, it may be a little demanding to move it over long distances.
Also, it’s a bit more costly than some options we have on the list. Nevertheless, we don’t mean that it is overpriced; it’s just not within the affordability range of a few metalworkers and passionate DIYers.
#6 Erie Tools Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe
Although this tool is not the most affordable you will find in the market, it goes at a little lower price than some of the expensive models in the market. The 7 by 14-inch machine does not take your entire worktop.
We like that it comes from a reputable manufacturer since it gives us even more confidence in what it is capable of doing. The machine comes in handy in several projects such as turning, cutting, drilling, and other professional and DIY-associated projects.
The package includes a 5-piece carbide tipped cutter kit to allow you use it for several materials such as metal, wood, plastic, and many others. The pack also contains the lathe, chuck key, internal and external chuck jaws, 11 feed rate gears, and a helpful user manual.
With all these components, its easy to get the unit set and working in a few minutes even if you have never had an experience with one before. A variable-speed motor delivers a speed of up to 2500 RPM. And since the speed is variable, you can increase or reduce it depending on your project. Additionally, since it can turn in either direction, this premium-grade tool permits left-handed threads.
#7 Vikye Metal Mini Lathe, 12000RPM 60W 12V DC 5A
For the metalworkers and DIY machinists operating under small budgets, here comes the ideal option for them. The unit comes at a fraction of the price of the competition and works impressively in what it is made to do.
The tool is made using materials of the highest quality and that is why it is durable and more reliable than even some of the expensive mini metal lathes out there.
It may not possess so many fancy features as some of the expensive models in the market, however, but it bears all the essential properties for tackling your daily woodworking and metalworking projects.
A premium 60-watt motor powers the tool and is designed to tackle light machining projects with excellence. The engine delivers an impressive speed of up to 12000 RPM. However, when using it for metal machining projects, this speed reduces to about 2000 RPM.
Of course, this may not be the best speed in the market, but it’s still adequate for most jobs. The maximum diameter and length it can handle are 100mm and 135 mm respectively.
#8 Grizzly G0602 Bench Top Metal Lathe
This is a bigger brother of the previously-reviewed model from the same manufacturer. It is a 10-inch by 22-inch unit that boasts a great capacity and a lot of thread ranges than the majority of the models out there.
The unit also has fantastic features like the 25 mm spindle bore. With this property onboard, it turns hefty objects better than most members of the competition. It comes with 2 chucks, a 5-inch 3-jaw chuck for normal applications and a 6.5-inch 4 jaw chuck for the heavy and/or wide workpieces.
The forward/reverse switch is strategically-positioned to control the rotation direction of the spindle easily. The 1-HP motor delivers up to 6 speeds to ensure perfection in a variety of applications. These speeds include 150, 300, 560, 720, 1200, and 2400 Revolutions Per Minute (RPM).
The swing over bed of the tool is 9.5 inches whereas the swing over cross slide is 6.125 inches. The four-way rotating turret is also another feature it packs. And with all these features, you will be more delighted to find out that it comes at an affordable price.
#9 Shop Fox M1015 6-Inch by 10-Inch Micro Lathe
When buying a tool like a mini metal lathe, it’s essential to ensure that you get one that will provide many years of trouble-free life. And yes, among the options you should have in your list is the Shop Fox M1015. It is a 6 by 10-inch tool to meet the needs of those looking for a piece that will fit in smaller spaces.
Obviously, with this size, don’t expect it to handle heavy projects like some of the models out there. However, it handles everything within its capacity with great perfection. The speed range of 100-2000 RPM enhances the versatility of the machine.
The tool has an M1015 control panel which is conveniently located for easy access. The control panel has the speed forward/reverse selector, speed dial, and the clutch knob. All these features allow the user to make several adjustments to meet the needs of the project at hand.
The machine supports both auto and manual feed. The manual feed capability comes in handy when preparing the tool for turning needs since it allows you to move the carriage left and right by turning the manual feed handwheel. The feed clutch provides a convenient way of switching between these modes depending on your preference.
#10 Central Machinery Precision Mini Lathe by Central Machinery
Being a 7 by 10-inch piece, Central Machinery Mini Lathe will also not take up much space in your shop. Hence, if you require a small tool but not satisfied with the previous options, this is yet another suggestion we have for you.
The machine is a perfect example of the small-but-mighty machines in the market. It comes with a 0.75-HP motor that is easy to maintain. It also has an automatic feed feature and a chuck guard.
Offering great versatility, this tool will be a nice purchase for labs, engineering settings, educational institution and other areas where a mini metal lathe is needed. To ensure effectiveness in most projects, the unit has two-speed ranges, a low range running from 0-1100 RPM and a high-range of 0-2500 RPM.
The variable speed control knob makes micro-adjustments on the speed. This feature allows the user to pick the exact speed that goes with the type of material they are handling. And since it is ETL-certified, this tool guarantees safe operations in any setting.
Factors You Need To Consider When Buying A Mini Metal Lathe
Although they may all bear the name ‘mini’, these metal lathes come in different sizes. However, the size does not necessarily reflect their capability but rather capacity. Hence, choose the size depending on the size of your workpieces and the available space.
For a product like a metal lathe, it’s vital to pay attention to how the construction is done. Consider the materials used to ensure that they can withstand the toughness associated with your projects for several years.
Some mini lathe machines have a low weight of about 70 lbs while others are very hefty at about 500 lbs. If you need a unit that you can move around with ease, a light option is good for you. However, in case you want one that will remain stationary in your shop, weight may not be so important.
Like any other machine, a good mini metal lathe should allow for adjustments. Greater adjustability translates to greater flexibility for tackling different projects effectively.
Some machines will have some additional fancy features which you won’t find in others. For instance, some will come with an LED screen for showing the setting. This feature is more of a necessity if you need greater precision in your projects since it allows you to pick the ideal speed for every application without having to rely on estimations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Are grizzly metal lathes any good?
Yes. Not just because they come from a reputable manufacturer, but that they deliver great effectiveness in doing what they are made to do.
What is a good metal lathe for beginners?
Although all lathes require some practice to perfect, some models are overly complex, especially for beginners. However, some versions like Grizzly G0602 and BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe 550W 7 x 14 Inch Metal Lathe are better for those getting started.
What mini metal lathe should you buy?
Selecting a mini metal lathe remains an overwhelming affair to beginners and experts alike. If you are stuck between what to pick and what to leave, this review will make things simpler for you.
Why is lathe called the mother of all machines?
The history of lathe dates back to before 3 BC. It is called the mother of all machines because it later led to the invention of other machines.
How fast does a mini metal lathe spin?
The speed of a mini metal lathe will depend on the engine. Nevertheless, most of these machines have a speed that at least 2000 RPM.
A mini metal lathe will take a good portion of your payslip. Hence, it’s important to ensure that you get the one that will give back value for money. Just get one from those that we have on the list and you will hardly regret!
- Top 10 Metal Lathes
- #1 Mophorn Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe
- #2 BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe
- #3 BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe 550W 7 x 14 Inch
- #4 Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe
- #5 TECHTONGDA Brushless Motor Precision Mini Metal Lathe DIY Bench Lathe
- #6 Erie Tools Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe
- #7 Vikye Metal Mini Lathe, 12000RPM 60W 12V DC 5A
- #8 Grizzly G0602 Bench Top Metal Lathe
- #9 Shop Fox M1015 6-Inch by 10-Inch Micro Lathe
- #10 Central Machinery Precision Mini Lathe by Central Machinery
- Factors You Need To Consider When Buying A Mini Metal Lathe
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)