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Best lathes in different categories

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Forum topic by Aivaras posted 03-20-2017 08:28 PM 1328 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Aivaras

5 posts in 272 days


03-20-2017 08:28 PM

Hello,
i’m planing to buy mini lathe for wood. Since i’m beginner in wood working i’m not sure what type of lathe should i choose. For beginners(up to approx. 200eur/usd), a little bit more advanced(up to approx. 300eur/usd), moderate(up to 450eur/usd) or pretty good(up to approx.600eur/usd).
Please give me advice which machines are best in each category.

Lathes up to ~200eur/usd:

Shop Fox W1704
Holzmann D300F
Einhell TC-WW 1000
Dema DM 300

Lathes up to ~300eur/usd:

Shop Fox W1752
Rikon 70-105
Grizzly H8259
Rockler Excelsior
Holzmann D 460
Holzmann D 460F
Scheppach DM460T
Bernardo DM 450
Holzstar DB 450
LaRa Mini M33×3,5
Record Power DML250

Lathes up to ~450eur/usd:

Shop Fox W1836
Rikon 70-100
Grizzly T25926
Grizzly T25920
JET JML-1014I
PSI Woodworking TCLC10VS Commander
Woodtek 143009
Holzmann D 460FXL
Bernardo DM 450 V
Record Power DML305

Lathes up to ~600eur/usd:

Rikon 70-220VSR
JET JWL-1015
JET JWL-1015VS
JET JML-1014VS
Nova 46300 Comet II
Delta Industrial 46-460
Holzmann D 510F
Bernardo DB 450
Record Power DML320

Thank you and please don’t be mad if in this forum are more similar posts. English language is not my first language that’s why sometimes it is difficult for me to read other topics.


15 replies so far

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10645 posts in 2220 days


#1 posted 03-21-2017 06:44 AM

I’ve owned the Comet II, Delta 46,460, and others not on your list; I recommend the Delta. It’s a high quality lathe for the money.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7664 posts in 2754 days


#2 posted 03-21-2017 12:23 PM



I ve owned the Comet II, Delta 46,460, and others not on your list; I recommend the Delta. It s a high quality lathe for the money.
- Rick M

DITTO on Delta 46-460. I love mine and am glad that I STARTED with this one. I don’t think I would have enjoyed anything less.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

408 posts in 580 days


#3 posted 03-21-2017 12:24 PM

^ +1
I have the Delta as well, just used it to turn a 17” long, 2 7/8” diameter pedestal for a small candle stand. Turned smoothly the whole time, and was quite happy I got a little extra length out of it (specs say it is 16.5” between centers, but you can squeeze a little more).

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2188 posts in 1974 days


#4 posted 03-21-2017 02:19 PM

I am overwhelmed by the list many of those lathes not sold in North America and don’t know their specs. Most of us know in Europe they list watts versus horsepower. Many of those lathes have same specs and features sold here only measured in mm versus inches.

We don’t know what kind of wood turning you want to do. You are asking us about both mini lathes and midi lathes too. Mini lathes normally have a swing of 10 inches or less over the lathe ways most come with ½ hp or less. Midi lathes lathes have more than 10 inches over lathe ways and come with more powerful motors than mini lathe. Distance between center maybe different too!

Wood turning wisdom in North America has always been buy the biggest lathe you can afford. That is why everyone is recommending the Delta 46-460, and me too!

Welcome to this forum, and please let us know about your final choice.

-- Bill

View Aivaras's profile

Aivaras

5 posts in 272 days


#5 posted 03-21-2017 04:51 PM

Thank you all for your advices and opinions.

Wildwood, yes i have noticed, that for example in German websites guys sometimes are talking about different brands than guys from USA.

I want to have lathe mostly for small object to make. For example chess, checker, souvenir gifts. But i would like to make larger object too, for example cup or vase.

But in general size is not most important thing to me(Delta’s 12×16 is more than enought for me).

What is really importat to me it is accuracy and precision, smooth and quiet work.

I will use soft wood and hard wood. Sometimes extremely hard exotic woods from South America or Africa. And i would like to try resins and stabilised wood.

As I said I am beginner so i’m a little bit confused about how much money should I invest in lathe.
I would like to start from cheapest category( lathes up 200 USD, for example Shop Fox W1704). But i know that cheap things are bad things so i’m ready to invest more if it needs for joyfully work and if it needs for hard woods to work with.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4515 posts in 978 days


#6 posted 03-21-2017 07:46 PM

Another support for the Delta 46-460 here. I have it and love it.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View xunil76's profile

xunil76

31 posts in 304 days


#7 posted 03-22-2017 01:04 PM

while cheaper (less expensive) is generally seen as lesser quality, that is actually not always the case. for example there are some lathes sold at Harbor Frieght here in the U.S. (generally regarded as a lower-quality tool store) which are very inexpensive, and they are almost identical to some of the more well-known & well-regarded name brand lathes which sell for substantially more.

with a little research into the different lathes, along with watching some lathe review videos on youtube to get a better understanding of the advantages & disadvantages of each one, you can usually make a much better decision on what you want to start with.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2188 posts in 1974 days


#8 posted 03-22-2017 02:56 PM

Yes you only need a mini lathe to turn small things most come with 1/3 or ½ HP motors. Most of the 1/3 HP motors that have heard were screamers, so ½ HP might be better. Another point to remember Asian motor rating can be on the optimistic side so stay with known brand lathes. Some of those less expensive models may be prone to stalling under heavy loads.

From your last post can see where swing not important for those items you want to turn, but need power & sharp tools for many of your exotic woods wanting to turn. Actual turning distance between centers should be! You will not get a full 14 & 15 inches between centers due to drive/prong center or chuck mounted in the headstock and live center mounted in the tailstock.

Take your time and see what is available in your budget in either mini or midi lathes. Just keep in mind under powered, and with flimsy tool rest & tailstock lathe can be very difficult.

-- Bill

View Aivaras's profile

Aivaras

5 posts in 272 days


#9 posted 03-22-2017 09:14 PM

Hello fellas,

thank you once again, thanks for new posts, and Wildwood thank you for your arguments.

I think from all of your comments it’s pretty much clear that best MIDI lathe is Delta.

But how about MINI?

Wildwood, I think the same that MINI is enought for me. Sorry that I mixed two different sizes in one list before.
Would like to read your opinions about which MINI lathe is best. Tomorrow i will make new list with lathes that has 10in of swing and 1/2HP power so it would be easier for you.

And for tonight i have one more question: If lathe has 10in of swing what maximum width(thickness)
object can have in full lenght usind tool rest? Or i can ask in other way: does rest tool reduces lathes maximum swing?
Thank you.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6017 posts in 2039 days


#10 posted 03-22-2017 09:32 PM

But how about MINI?

The differences between classifications such as Mini, Midi, Mid-sized, etc… are somewhat muddy and differ between different manufacturers. When I hear the word “Mini” related to a lathe, I think of something like the Unimat or Sherline lathes, such as my little DB-220:

It has a 1/10HP induction motor (very quiet), 5” swing (1.6” over the cross slide), 6.9” between centers, and weighs under 30 pounds. But it can turn anything from plastic and wood to metal, and with the available accessories, can do milling, grinding, sanding, drilling and a lot of other stuff. Not going to be turning any bowls on it though :)

As for swing, yes, the tool rest will reduce the swing if you need to get it (tool rest holder, or more commonly known as the ‘banjo’) into a position where it is under the work piece. You can avoid that in some cases, but not always – depending on what you are turning and how long it is.

Cheers,
Brad

PS: That little Unimat was made in Austria

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6017 posts in 2039 days


#11 posted 03-22-2017 11:25 PM

Would like to read your opinions about which MINI lathe is best. Tomorrow i will make new list with lathes that has 10in of swing and 1/2HP power so it would be easier for you.

That lathe above has a 10” swing, and that’s a 1/2hp motor powering it, but I certainly wouldn’t consider it a mini (and it only cost me $50 :)

Another example of how those classifications are blurred… stick to capacities, not labels. Figure out what it is you want to do and get one that can handle those tasks, regardless of what the manufacturer calls it!

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2188 posts in 1974 days


#12 posted 03-23-2017 11:01 AM

Please we do not need another list many on your first list will serve you well. Remember we do not know what lathes are easy to buy where you live! The only lathe on your 1st list personally owned was a Jet 1014, they don’t sell that lathe here now replaced by 1015.

-- Bill

View Aivaras's profile

Aivaras

5 posts in 272 days


#13 posted 03-23-2017 05:58 PM

Dear fellas, I think this post comes to the end. Thank to all for your answers. MrUnix, i didn’t know about those two brands till now, so thank you. Wildwood, ty for your active participation.

I think I will not look into medium quality lathes(300-450 esur/usd category), but I will start with cheapest(Shop Fox W1704) or best(Delta Industrial 46-460). Have not decided yet.

I have no questions about Delta, but I still have few questions about Shop Fox W1704.

1. It has 1/3 HP. Is it possible to work at all with so little power? At least with soft woods.

2. It has 8” x 13”. But what actual width of object can be if I will use tool rest holder or ‘banjo’(ty MrUnix) for all lenght? And what actual length of object can be if I will use chuck as additional accessorie?

Thank you.

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10645 posts in 2220 days


#14 posted 03-23-2017 06:31 PM

A 1/3hp Chinese motor is probably closer to 1/4hp. Most of the “mini” lathes are the same, with different paint or different knobs, but the main parts are interchangeable so just buy the cheapest one. That way when you sell it in a year and buy a better lathe you won’t lose much money.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Aivaras's profile

Aivaras

5 posts in 272 days


#15 posted 03-23-2017 06:37 PM

Rick M, im thinking the same. I need to gain some experience at first, try and experiment with different types of wood and other materials and later sell that lathe or leave it to my son then he grows up a little bit. But i need to know is it possible to work with such cheap machine at all and what actual sizes of objects I can create with it.

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