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best small metal lathe

Best Small Metal Lathe for the Money (In-depth reviews)

Metal Lathe plays a significant role in the machining, manufacturing, and industrial sectors. When it comes to manufacturing equipment or metal workpieces, they are specifically designed to perform a variety of machining processes, including cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, and turning. Metal Lathe comes in diverse models. If you’re looking for an efficient and precise way to deform or reshape a metal workpiece, you will likely need the assistance of a metalworking lathe. Our article will give you a quick review of the best small metal lathe, so you can be up to speed to make the best decision when purchasing one.

Top 10 Small Metal Lathe 2021

1. Jet 321360A BDB-1340A

Jet 321360A BDB-1340A

The Jet 321360A is the most precise metal lathe with a powerful motor that gives you everything you need for industrial turning jobs without functionality issues. The motor consists of two horsepower capacity, swing by 40-Inch between Centers 230-Volt 1 phase to produces enough energy that is distributed successfully across the machine. 12 Spindle speed that ranges from 12; 60 to 1,240 RPM and 1 3/8 inches spindle hole. The belt drive is there to sustain turning speeds whereas tapered roller bearings provide consistent smooth performance. This heavy-duty machine weighs 1,175 pounds and measures 71 inches in length, 32 inches in width, and 45 inches in height. This metal lathe has an independent 8-inch chuck with four jaws for support and a 6-inch scroll chuck with reversible jaws. It offers wide coverage with a 12-inch face place, and a removable bed gap to accommodate large stock.

Jet 321360A is a quality machine with a solid performance. Its gearbox consists of the enclosed headstock and features helical cutting gear to reduce unpleasant noise, so you can fully concentrate to get the best result possible in the machine’s quiet performance. The V-way bed provides strength and stability. Jet 321360A also features splash guards that allow the machine to work for an extended amount of time. Full-length guard minimizes coolant splash. The gearbox has a convenient changing process so you can adjust speed and voltage for efficient operation of various tasks.

Jet 321360A comes with professional user manuals so you can work faster, safer, and more efficiently. You are also provided with a 2-year warranty. In case a problem arises you can always call a technician from the Jets service center to repair your equipment or order parts.

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Pros

  • Durable machine.
  • Removable gap bed.
  • Adjustable Gearbox.
  • Noise-reducing mechanism.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Not beginner friendly.

2. VEVOR Metal Lathe 8×16

VEVOR Metal Lathe 8x16

VEVOR Metal Lathe is built and tested to tight tolerance standards to insure consistent quality and precision operations. It consists of a maintenance-free design i.e. comes with a brushless motor to achieve larger torque and longer service life. Motor Power of 750W, and variable spindle speed that can be adjusted high and low from 50 to 2500 RPM. You can either operate manually or with the adjustable auto feed rate. The benchTop lathe brings a 3-jaw chuck and, one 4-Jaw chuck. It swings over the bed at 8-1/4″ (210 mm) and swings over cross slide at 29.5″ (750mm) offering more possibilities for heavy workpieces. You can positions for internal cutting, face cutting, and bevel cutting by adjusting the tool post angle and the compound rest, moving blades freely with the feed rod.

VEVOR Metal Lathe is professional because of its durability, and accurate rotation. Can be used for mini precision parts processing, sample processing, and modeling works.

This wear-resistant metal lathe is equipped with a change-over switch for clockwise or counter-clockwise spindle rotation. Tapered tailstock spindle features a convenient quick-lock. You can rotate the lever clockwise to lock the spindle and rotate clockwise to advance the handwheel. All the gears are made of metal instead of plastic. Backsplash guards are there for safety purposes.

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Pros

  • Maintenance free design.
  • Features 3 and 4 jaw chucks.
  • Great versatility and high quality.

Cons

  • Pricy.
  • Cheap user manual.
  • Problems with Warranty.
  • Needs to be adjusted before use.

3. Eastwood BenchTop Mini Metal Lathe 7 x 12″

Eastwood BenchTop Mini Metal Lathe 7 x 12

Eastwood Benchtop Mini Metal Lathe is precision-engineered to assure repetitive accuracy. It allows you to accurately turn Steel, Aluminum, Nylon, Delran, Brass, and Oil Impregnated Bronze. Motor Power capacity of 3/4 Horsepower, and variable spindle speed that can be adjusted to low 0-1100, and high 0-2500 RPM. It swings over the bed at 7 inches, 12″ between centers and swing over cross slide at 2-1/8 inches. Includes inside and outside 3-Jaw Chuck set due to which this machine is capable of taking a .010″ cut in steel. Versatility and high quality are what you get with Eastwood Benchtop Mini Metal Lathe. It is designed to perform various types of home-based projects with the HSS Cutting tools that are included in the package. The auto-feed and selectable gear train components increase the precision of complex threading operations.

 Eastwood Benchtop Mini Metal Lathe can work with a wide range of workpiece configurations for most turning and cutting operations.

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Pros

  • 1 year warranty.
  • Beginner friendly.
  • Comes with HSS Cutting tools.
  • Consists of auto-feed and selectable gear train components.

Cons

  • Not suitable for heavy stock.

4. Mophorn 7×12 Upgraded Version Mini Metal Lathe

Mophorn 7x12 Upgraded Version Mini Metal Lathe

Mophorn 7×12 Upgraded Version Metal Lathe is the best budget product. It is made out of top quality materials and components, and known for its reliable performance. Comes with Motor Power capacity of 550W on DC single phase, and a variable spindle speed that can be adjusted at low, and high from 50-2500 RPM forward and reverse in all speeds. It swings over bed at 180mm (7.09″), 300mm (11.81″) for center distance, and 21mm (0.83″) spindle bore. Full-length splashguard provides maximum protection and great quality chucks with 3 jaws can accommodate cylindrical materials steadily. This package of metal lathe provides you wrenches, oil can, mask, and nylon gear with a movable lamp of 7 x 12 Inch. You can operate this machine with the adjustable auto feed rate.

Mophorn 7×12 metal lathe consists of a TPI range of 12 to 52, 9 cutters, 7 combined center drills, and standard bed 7″. The cross slide is professionally designed with abrasive resistance, moving blades freely with feed rod. Spindle accuracy is within 0.01mm and it is supported by tapered roller bearings. Spindle gear has two tranches to control speed. This machine is wear-resistant, and durable. You can change tool post by adjusting the tool angle, and compound rest to achieve the position for internal cutting, face cutting and bevel cutting. 

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Pros

  • Versatile.
  • Nylon gear.
  • Accurate 3-jaw Chuck.
  • Professional Compound Rest.

Cons

  • Suited to small projects only.

5. Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe

Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe

Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe is an inexpensive metal lathe that does its tasks efficiently without ruining your budget, designed perfectly with all features needed to do lighter tasks. Features a 3/4HP motor to tackle any woodturning projects. It can counterface or make bushings, spindles, prototypes, or models. This machine consists of a variable speed control knob, and a wide spindle speed range 0-1100 RPM at low, and 0-2500 RPM at high that gives you just the right rotation speed you need to work on different types of metal shaping projects.

The Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe is surprisingly more powerful even with smaller dimensions. It swings over a distance of 7-inch and 10-inch distance between the centers.  With 18 threads, automatic feed and a chuck guard with micro switch, it is capable of threads from 12 to 52 TPI.

The Central Machinery delivers solid performance, and is highly versatile as it comes with settings that allow you to switch between auto and manual modes. This tool is a proven top performer that you can use for workshops, labs, educational, and engineering settings. You’re assured of a high-quality output.

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Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Has a light indicator with the power switch.
  • Comes with a control knob that is easy to use.

Cons

  • It is lacking in cutting tools.
  • Not suited for heavy duty work.

6. BestEquip 7×14 BenchTop Mini Metal Lathe

BestEquip Metal Lathe 7×14 BenchTop Metal Lathe is one of the more cost-effective models out there. It can be used for many tasks, such as processing of sample and mini precision parts and modeling projects. Features a 3/4 HP DC motor with power capacity of 550W, and variable Speed 50-2500 RPM that delivers a more accurate rotation in forward, and reverse at all speeds. This particular model is made of high grade iron, and comes with a nylon gear with a movable lamp for accurate operation in a dark environment. Just like other quality metal lathe, it also consists of splashguard to provide maximum protection, and can also be operated with adjustable auto feed rate with an emergency stop button.

The 7 x 14 Inch Precision Mini Benchtop Lathe has a 16 TPI reversible lead screw, and thread range of 12-52 TPI. It swings over the bed at a distance of 7 inch, 13.78 inch between centers, and 21mm spindle bore. Features 3-jaw self-centering chuck, for setting cylindrical materials steadily, a MT3 spindle taper, and a MT2 tailstock taper. It known for being durable, and wear-resistant. The spindle is supported by precision tapered roller bearings delivering spindle accuracy within 0.01mm. Accuracy of the V-slide ways that have a distance between centers at 350mm (13.78″) are a result of raw material, heat hardening and grinding process. T-slotted compound slide with four-way tool post allows you to adjust the positions of internal cutting, face cutting and bevel cutting by changing the tool post angle and adjusting the compound rest. The cross slide is abrasive resistant, and moves the blades freely with feed rod.

Pros

  • Affordable for its quality and durability.
  • Can perform medium to small projects with ease.

Cons

  • Highly sensitive to rust.
  • Can be tiresome changing between tools while using.

7. Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe

Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe is a lightweight model which has a perfect balance between prices and features. It is well-designed and made of high-quality components. Even though this model is small but is powerful enough to be used at workshops as it is very easy to operate and at the same time is very reliable for everyday use. This machine drives its power from a 110 volt 3/4 HP single phase motor having variable speed ranging from 0-1100 low range, and 0-2500 RPM high range in spindle speeds that works in both forward and reverse directions. Weighs about 89.8 lbs. with dimensions 13 x 30.25 x 13 inches, swing over the bed at a distance of 7-inch, 2 3/4 inch cross slide travel, 2 1/2 inch tailstock, 12-inch DBC, 20mm Spindle nose taper, and 16mm spindle bore.

Grizzly G8688 mini lathe has a The Grizzly Industrial G8688 is known for its great performance and versatility. It is equipped with a reverse switch so you can make both right and left-handed screws. Comes with a 3-jaw chuck with external jaws, a 4-way turret tool post, a 6-1/4 faceplate, threading range between 12 and 52 TPI, threading dial indicator, and a steady rest.

Pros

  • Powerful.
  • Excellent customer service.
  • Small and compact size allowing it to fit into smaller places.

Cons

  • Can wobble when working on thick metals.
  • Not that useful for advanced metalworking.

8. Erie Tools 7×14 Precision BenchTop Mini Metal Lathe

Erie Tools 7×14 Precision Benchtop Mini Metal Lathe provides a top-notch performance with several functions. Known for its great functionality and flexibility, it can drill, cut, and manipulate whatever material you have in your workspace. It gets its power from a 400W single-phase motor for easy power input with standard sockets to deliver 0.53HP, 120 V, and 60 Hz. Provides a variable speed up to 2500RPM for increased precision when cutting metal. It swings at a distance of 7 inch, and 14-inches between its centers. Thread indicator helps users to turn screw threads anywhere from 12 to 52 TPI with metric or imperial pitches. The 5/16-inch capacity tool post allows up to four cutting tools to be mounted quickly. The multi-jaw chuck comes with an optional auto-feed so you can have total control over your work.

Erie Tools 7×14 might seem complex to beginners. It’s an extremely versatile lathe that includes an array of features that make it quite convenient. For example, it is installed with a variable speed digital readout making it easy to operate. This machine package includes 5 piece carbide-tipped cutter kit that can turn metal up to 84 cubic-inches. And other accessories such as MT3 spindle Taper, MT2 tailstock paper, plastic change gears, 11 feed rate gears and owner’s manual and a 5 carbide-tipped cutter kit.

Pros

  • You can easily switch to cutting tools.
  • You’re provided with a user manual that explains the setup procedures and usage.

Cons

  • Poor quality accessories.
  • Model can sometimes seem overwhelming to beginners.      
  • Some may get disappointed with how products are packed and delivered.

9. Shop Fox M1015 6-Inch by 10-Inch Micro Lathe

Shop Fox M1015 is an affordable metal lathe that possesses all the features, functionality and precision demanded small-scale turning. Has suitable dimensions for many folks at home. It is one of the best small metal lathes that gives an uncompromised versatility as it can be used to work on both small and large projects. Small it may be with a total size of 6” x 10” but is packed with power and precision, with an affordable price tag. Swings over the bed at a distance of 6 inches with a DBC of 10″. Comes with a single-phase motor with ⅕ HP, 110V, and 1.2 amps. It can provide a controlled variable speed of 100-2000 RPM spindle and can cut threads of 16, 18, 19, 20, and 24 threads per inch. It weighs about 78 lbs. with overall dimensions of 27-3/4″ L x 11-1/2″ W x 12″ H.

FOX M1015 comes with two feed rates feature which move the apron 0.002 inch and 0.004 inch per each revolution that allows you to make accurate cuts and efficient turning, and additional features such as a 3 inch jaw-chuck, 4 hex wrenches, thread gears, and optional accessories. FOX M1015 is a durable and well-designed machine that can fit in a small location.

The M1015 consists of a easy accessible control panel containing a variety of functions for lathe operation, and a variety of adjustments are available for turning such as the rotation selector knob, speed dial and clutch knob. You can also engage and disengage the feed with the help of feed clutch from automatic to manual.

Pros

  • Convenient control panel.
  • Small, compact but also heavy duty.
  • Comes with a gear ratio threading chart.

Cons

  • Issues with customer service.
  • You can outgrow this lathe with larger tasks.
  • You may have to reset the tool post when changing tools.

10. Grizzly Industrial G0602-10″ x 22″ BenchTop Lathe

Grizzly Industrial G0602-10″ x 22″ is a highly versatile top performer BenchTop metal lathe. It has shown great performance, high functionality, and a solitary construction altogether. Give you a hassle-free metal turning with 0% vibration feedback so you get a vibration-free metal turning experience. Made with great durable, solid, and tactile iron cast material. Weighs around 447 pounds in total. Gets its power from a motor of 1 HP. 110V, single-phase, 13.6A. Provides you a fine gearbox with 6 variable speeds ranging up to 150, 300, 560, 720, 1200, 2400 RPM. You only have to spin the knob for changing the speed.

Grizzly Industrial G0602-10 Grizzly Industrial G0602-10 has a capacity of lots of thread changes, larger chunks, and a wider bed. It swings over the bed at 9-1/2″, swings over cross slide at 6-1/8″, and 22″ distance between centers. Consists of 3-Jaw and 4-Jaw Chucks, lead screw spindle thread measures 1-3/4″ x 8 TPI, 25mm spindle bore, and an MT4 spindle taper. All these features ensure that you can work on hefty projects, both small and large with relative ease.

Pros

  • Accurate cuts and finishes.
  • Can run on six variable speed ranges.

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Some say this device comes with some quality issues.

Conclusion

We hope after reading our review on different types of a small metal lathe, you should be able to select one that suits you perfectly. When you’re purchasing a small metal late keep cost in mind as it will help you compare the features of different lathes within your budget. While large lathes pack a lot of power and are highly versatile, small lathes for small projects are more portable and easier to maintain. They are packed with a lot of power and come with various features.

Q&A Section

Q1. What is the best small metal lathe?

The Jet 321360A is the most precise metal lathe with a powerful motor that gives you everything you need for industrial turning jobs without functionality issues. The motor consists of two horsepower capacity, swing by 40-Inch between Centers 230-Volt 1 phase to produces enough energy that is distributed successfully across the machine. 12 Spindle speed that ranges from 12; 60 to 1,240 RPM and 1 3/8 inches spindle hole. It is a quality machine with a solid performance.

Q2. How to operate a small metal lathe?

How you operate a small metal lathe depends on your purpose for its usage. Let’s say you want to sharpen the drill bits then for a sharpening operation, you will have to use a piece of aluminum, and a bit observing it from different angles especially back rakes. We are going to use positive rakes in this operation. When it comes to grinding your bit, you have to think about the clearance angle. If you want to cut a shoulder, you have to make sure there’s a clearance angle between the workpiece and the bit. After that center the bits and bring three-jaw chuck or four-jaw chuck altogether. Put the bit in the bit holder. Find the exact center of the chuck and tighten the tool holder. Put the aluminum piece that we’re using between the jaws of the chuck and tighten it properly, and then turn on the spin.

Next, bring the tool holder closer to the workpiece and put it horizontally with the aluminum for the turning. Move the bit in a vertical line with the aluminum, and it will do the facing. So, you can do both the turning and facing on the same bit. This type of face cut is typically good for soft materials like steel or aluminum etc.

Q3. What is the worth of small metal lathe?

An average and good quality lathe would cost about $600 to $900 with precision and functionality features. But if you’re looking for more features that type of highly versatile metal lathe can cost you ranging from $1,000 – $2,000 whereas a high-end metal lathe will go for as much as $4,000.

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