This lathe will work seamlessly on pieces that are 12”x 8”. Adjust the variable speed anywhere from 750 to 3200 rotations per minute. Shop Fox W1704 Mini Wood Lathe: The Overall Best, 2. wen 3421 Variable Speed: Good Option for Low Budget, Best Micro Wood Lathes You Can Use Below 8″ Swing Category, 1. They should have lowered the price further down. No. Don’t push it too far, that’s the rule. You can lock the workpiece into 24 positions. It can happen with any lathe you buy. So I tested the Wen 3420T, Harbor Freight 8” x12”, and this Shop Fox W1704. Your email address will not be published. They are quite a similar thing, but Delta goes an extra step with their price. WEN is a budget-friendly brand and it makes superbly powered machines at an affordable price. Good low speed helps to turn with non-round blanks. We have 1 Wen 3420T manual available for free PDF download: User Manual . However, midi lathes are more potent in making large-sized bowls, as they allow you more space on the swing with much more torque. Things happen when you are actually on the field and working on the machine. The more the motor power, the more the ability. They do last longer and have satisfied so many turners, including local club mentors. As they are significantly low powered, you might not be able to free your arms like a standard lathe. Everything rest is very impressive as I said. Excelsior 5 Speed Mini Lathe: Best Starter Mini Wood Lathe, Why choose Excelsior Mini lathe as a Beginner, 4. Fits workpieces up to 12 inches long and 8 inches wide. Observe: max advised workpiece dimension for 3420, 3420T, and 3421 is 4 inches. Jet JWL-1440VSK: Alternative for Leguna Revo 1836, 2. The mini lathes will give you the time and opportunity to test yourself. They even have an upgraded version- 1221SP (step pulley). In other words, the more swing the machine has, the big they can turn. They have a good return policy as well. Say, for example, the bolts for the rubber feet are not appropriately tapped, and you are having trouble mounting it during assembly. It depends on the work. One of my friends from Cary, NC, has been with this 10” version for about two years now. Remember when you could turn your own pens? Sometimes the shipping causes severe damage. The common dissatisfaction that people have is the way they designed the tailstock that makes it difficult to get a real negative rake angle. It’s a heavy-duty for a little benchtop. Most of them turn pens, bottle stoppers, and tiny Christmas ornaments. I haven’t heard anyone complaining about the motor running out too fast, as some of the PSI users claimed. They are taking over their contender in this category from the beginning. I am also a father of two troublemaker kids, a terrible photographer, and I love to play blues. I am also a father of two troublemaker kids, a terrible photographer, and I love to play blues. 6 product ratings. It’s because that particular lathe has got some issues within the parts throughout manufacturing. Okay, time to talk about the portable mini wood lathes that are designed to work precisely on pens. I still have it, and I have no plan to get rid of it even if I end up buying the Powermatic giant. and 7 in.) He had turned over a thousand pens for his local business and got no plan to upgrade it with another. ... WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8″ by 12″ Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe. Now for the shipping and factory defects (although they are replaceable), sometimes buyers do have hard times. Price on the higher end, unlike the rest of the models in 10” category, but make no mistake that it’s #2 MT variable speed with a ¾ HP motor- the reason for putting it over the Excelsior 10” that I am currently using. Watch for the alignment of the headstock and tailstock. WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8″ by 12″ Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe Buy Now. So, think before you choose one. Having a little more power to the motor is absolutely an extra advantage. You can also check my guide with 9 robust midi wood lathes to buy within the price range. And that’s why I put the 1440VSK and 1221VS on the list. That’s my concern here. The 342T model is a superbly powered machine designed for beginners in woodwork. 4,516 Views 9 Comments. Turns out (pun intended) I … If you want to see other potential options, here goes my recommended picks for alternative options. to provide needed support for chisels and tools during operation and a 3.2 Amp motor to keep things turning. I have my bench, so didn’t call for an extra leg, still solid as a rock. Remember, this is not going to be your last lathe forever. The headstock motor can’t sustain that load it needs, as result it bogs down. They could have given it 16” swing at least for bowl turning. Adjustable speed You get an 8 inch by 12 inch capacity in this wood lathe that is ideal for simpler applications. You can turn anything under the 12” wide in diameter. I was not sure I would like turning wood and thought this would be a good start for the least amount of money (in case I did not like turning). But this will do the job perfectly for you as it is doing for many pen turners. Only if you want to stick with smaller crafts, pens, beautiful tiny resin bowls, acrylic duck or goose calls, bottle stoppers, and things like that, then you might want to go with a mini wood lathe. Rikon 70-105 Mini Wood Lathe: Best Alternative Option 2, 3. I’ve talked to almost 15 owners of this PSI directly. With not that much of a difference, I would say that you should move with this Wen 3421 unit instead. The speed delays a bit to pick up. Its lever clamping system is simple to use and makes it easy to adjust both the tailstock and tool rest Finally, the WEN 3421 Wood Lathe comes with a two year warranty. You can’t go reverse with most of the minis, but with a DC motor like this one, adding a switch is possible. If you are new in the turning world and want something that won’t cost you much, allowing you to sharpen your ability, then go for it. The lathes listed in this category are not just my two cents. A friend of mine has a small antique shop here in North Vermilion Street. Their lower speed of 400 rpm can be an issue while turning large or imbalanced wood chunk. It was way less vibrating, even in the used condition. The question should be, why won’t you? You can later buy your dream lathe after you accomplish something precisely and become more motivated. Slickdeals Forums Hot Deals WEN 3420T 8-Inch by 12-Inch Variable Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe $139.99. You will need other tools too, and don’t forget to get a face shield for safety. Take the wen 3421vs as an example. It was less vibrating than the harbor freight 8” x12.” Had a nice finish, no curved texture on the tool rest, pretty smooth. I like the design and the finish that a mini wood lathe should have, nothing fancy. 4.7 average based on 6 product ratings. Very well made for any novice as well as regular turners who likes the small spindle works. I saw people turning mallets with this lathe, even 5” bowl. I also struggled to choose the opening wood lathe that can grow with me on my woodturning journey. A strong gooseneck would support holding it up. HF has a grumble about their motor that it gets hot very soon, but it looks like Rikon 70-105 got a better motor on it. The most brutal review caught my attention from a woodturner was like 11 years ago—nothing significant in the past few years. How to choose a wood lathe that’s worth it? It will have more motor power. Some folks consider this unit as Midi lathe for the power and the sturdiness this small motor produces. Always try to go for the larger lathe possible. These are absolutely for the people who just started their journey. You can make pretty much everything but under the scope. If you are overthinking too much, finding out what could go wrong in the worst case, in a worst-case, a machine could stop working. PSI woodworking penpal mini: The Overall Best. It’s been 3 years I have been using this lathe, and it’s doing pretty well. Mentors don’t lies, remember. Besides, you can turn small things on a larger lathe but you cannot turn large workpiece on a small wood lathe. I am starting with a quick chart to give you a glimpse of what I will be reviewing today. The best part is that this ½ HP lathe comes with MT2 drive spur/center, whereas most of the minis come with MT1. It’s like they are not made explicitly for turning only pens. Larger items can cause the lathe to wobble slightly. Delta crossed the price line here. Ever seen one turning happily with Wen mini? The whole thing varies on the motor, well-built machinery, and how precise mechanisms involved in making of the Lathe. This goes to any full-sized lathe you end up with. If making pens is something that you are getting interested in, then these two are definitely credible. Being capable of turning lighter projects successfully, it is a great choice for any entry-level and budget turner. As for the bed extension, it took some time for me to level that up properly. These are collet lathes with no morse taper on either end. If you don’t wanna spend a load right away in the beginning, and have a workspace limitation also but still want all the qualities and sturdiness like a full-sized lathe. Shop Fox W1704 one is a morse taper 1 unlike the excelsior mini (most of the minis are). They have built trust. View and Download Wen 3420 user manual online. This works excellent for anything under the ranged diameter. Pen state is pretty solid with their production from the beginning, especially about mini lathes. What Is Wood Lathe: How It Differs From Metal Lathes, Best Woodturning Tools: Top 7 Sets to Get In 2021, Don’t Skip These 11 Things When Buying a Wood Lathe, 9 Best Midi Lathes of 2020: Top 4 with 5 Alternatives, 9 Best Mini Wood Lathe reviews: Top 4 with 5 Alternative, CNC Lathe Turret Alignment Procedure: 10 Steps, 15 Best Wood Lathes: A New Survey on 400 Active Turners. Manuals and User Guides for Wen 3420T. The final and most significant problem I want to address here is the stalling out of the motor. No brand will give you such an affordable rate when you’re going for a new machine. I surveyed almost 400 real woodturners for my next lathe. If variable speed is something you are looking for, but you don’t have the 400 or 500 dollars budget for a Jet or Delta midi, Wen has this unit for the budget problem. Besides, five years of warranty for a machine at this low cost is pretty surprising for me. Buying a second-hand or cheap Chinese lathe from Craiglist or Facebook marketplace to save money could be an option. Jet JWL-1221VS: Best Beginner Midi Lathe, 3. Save the extra bucks for some handy accessories later. You need some bigger place if you are going for a full-size unit. Your purchase will include a wood lathe, knockout rod, a tailstock cup center, and 5” faceplate (for non-spindle workpieces). It’s not only better for roughing blanks but also a great option for power sanding on a lathe. If you want to turn only small bowls, then the side cost for other accessories would be much lower. But if the need should arise to replace it, if you see something broken or noticeable damage, you can return it immediately. You can use pretty much any MT2 accessories from the aftermarkets as this one #2MT. You need to go as low as you can if you are working with a round unbalanced blank. Required fields are marked *. Fill your house with as many pens as you can with the WEN 8-Inch by 12-Inch Variable Speed Midi Wood Lathe. But unlike the Chinese mini-lathes, you can have the parts available with the warranty and enough quality. Cause you definitely want to grab something that’s promising you more sturdiness. How it performs in its proper condition. You must have seen these small powerhouses used by the mentors in clubs too (except for the Wen minis). In that case, I would suggest you go for the Jet 1015 I listed below. I will only promote products that give the best values. Now, every machine has its capabilities and limitations. x 12 in. Worth as the alternative to the standard mini wood lathe? If you want something for your causal DIY hobby, where you might not need to change the speed frequently, belt-driven mini-lathe could be a good option. WEN 3421 Variable Speed: Best For Low Budget, 5. My complaint was just for the price they are taking. Buy Now Amazon.com. That is why I put the Laguna Revo 1836 on the top of the list. Interesting Find: I surveyed almost 400 real woodturners for my next lathe. Disclaimer: As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a small percentage from qualifying purchases. Should I start with a mini wood lathe as a beginner? To be honest, it was quite tough not to give this unit a place over the Excelsior and PSI. Midi benchtop lathes are here to play the role. Delta 46-460: Alternative For Jet 1221VS. To be honest, I didn’t see any negative reviews anywhere that’s legit. BACHIN Mini Lathe Beads Polisher Machine Diy CNC Machining for Table Woodworking Wood DIY Tool Lathe Standard Set Buy Now. Shop fox mini is pretty famous among the beginners, and they are offering almost everything possible for the price. My experience has overall been positive. 1 new from $164.68 Free shipping. They tend to keep the price high for their tools. 4.4 out of 5 stars 259. There are many things to like about the NOVA, especially if you’re a professional woodworker who needs a bigger machine for working on larger stocks and blanks, but the WEN win this battle. Besides, the variable speed control at that low price is also worth mentioning for Shop Fox. Buy something that will allow you to grow, I always say this to others. This 1/3 underpowered motor gets overheated, sometimes handling the hardwoods or bowls, which is not recommended though. You can’t put a mandrel on it. – No, After making some money, am I prepared to upgrade my lathe now? So, the answer is detailed here. Advanced Search. At least I haven’t heard anyone saying that to date. Hi, my name is Charles Wilson, A DIY enthusiast. Variable Speed Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe. Take your time; don’t rush. So you can go either way, and it’s worth it. The WEN 3420T is a budget-friendly product that has many positive reviews from worldwide users. A mini wood lathe can cost you from $150 to up to $500 based on the features and the horsepower. Apart from the regular turners, Jet is always better for the beginners—kind of classroom lathe. And far better than the Wen minis. The variable speed control was easy to use and convenient, which is something we all want to have nowadays, to get rid of the belt changing pain. Didn’t hear anyone saying they got remorse unless they have grown big in the profession. Therefore, thousands of turners have given them the credibility for maintaining the excellence of quality of the lathes to date. Delta machined with one HP motor max, whereas the Jet is ¾. It does not come with chisels or chuck, only faceplate. I am going by their size again. So the question should be what should you consider. But they hardly come faulty like loosen or broken parts, as they are very lightweight. WEN 3420T 2-Amp 8 in. Accurate for detailed work like lidded boxes. But make no mistake, these mini lathes I mentioned above can do some serious jobs within their ranged diameter. Variable Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe features an MT1 spindle and tailstock taper to tightly grip workpieces, 2 tool rests (4-1/2 in. We will have an in-depth discussion of its features along with the merits and demerits that will help you make the ultimate decision. Everyone seems to be very satisfied with this unit. Yes, I am telling you. In a nutshell, an excellent choice for beginners, but just to remind you that this is not something a professional would go after, but it can handle things under its limit. Anything from bowl to different crafts projects, this lathe will serve you great before you finally move up to something even more significant. Though it gave me a hard time leveling the bed extension, to be honest. are quite heavy to assemble. The typical maximum rate remains under 4000 RPM on the high end. Someone named, 12.5″ swing and 16.5″ between centers, 1-HP, 1-Phase, 120V, 60-Hz, 1725 rpm motor, Speed: 250-700, 600-1,800 and 1,350-4,000-RPM, 3/4-by-16-inch TPI (Buy a 3/4” 16 TPI to 1” 8 TPI adapter. Finally, I would say to respect its limitations as it is doing with your wallet. Jet and Rikon got 500 and 430 rpm each as their lowest speed. Hi, my name is Charles Wilson, A DIY enthusiast. So, these are some of the best mini wood lathes that deserve to be on the spot. A nice handy addition to work with bowls. With not that much of a difference, I would say that you should move with this Wen 3421 unit instead. Lastly, I was reading a review, meanwhile, on Amazon. Rest is just fine unless you experience bad shipping. But there are up to scratch Mini wood lathes like this robust one from the mighty Rockler to handle small projects. Talk about the qualities; they absolutely nailed it. Maybe I got lucky that mine one is a healthy one, but these are all underpowered motors, so I respect their limitations. This is one of the most capable midi in the wood lathe market, no doubt about that. Follow them, and you won’t have hard times. Take a closer look at all the features. I am with my Rockler for about three years now, and I am happy. Speeds: 2 position belt Variable speed A (500-2000), B (1500-3600) RPM, Speed Ranges: 760, 1100, 1600, 2200, and 3200, Spindle Speed: 480, 1270, 1960, 2730, 3327, 4023 RPM. 3.2-Amp motor provides over 50% more power than most 8-inch wood lathes But for the category, it’s among the best selling lathes of all time, a solid unit among all the other machines. It takes just 50 rpm for this beast to take off after you kick it on. Even if the percentage is higher when it comes to the full-size users, about 40% of woodturners that I talked are using midi lathes as their primary lathe. The white paint quality is not that cool. Of course, it is. He bought the shop fox from Craiglist, and the rest of them were fresh. Jet took advantage and nailed it. The highest period I ran the motor was like 2 hours or less to test it, and it didn’t stall out. Easy solution. Keep in mind that this is an MT1, so you can’t use your tools when you move up to an MT2 lathe in the future. It gets into the head right after you start to realize it is fun. Something of 8” swing and 12” in centers with everything limited can’t free its wings like the big birds that’s pretty obvious, right? Delta has a history of introducing the first Midi lathe in the market probably in the early 90s, so they are the pioneer. But I like the Variable Speed over the Step Pulley as it doesn’t have the reverse option. Your email address will not be published. Short Reviews on 5 Starter Wood Lathes For Beginners, 2. But, I know people running online businesses with just one strong mini-lathe like PSI or Jet. It doesn’t have any digital readout either, so you have to guess the speed yourself, but learning classic and traditional way is always good. I made a draft of nineteen lookalike machines and found these nine to be most idyllic for hobbies and DIY projects. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Again, it’s not a variable motor. So, no matter what wood lathe you are going to buy, take enough time to check all the parts and accessories carefully after shipping. More Info and Images. It’s a fantastic machine for the bowl turners who love making pieces from small to medium ranges. You should consider the price first. As long as the shipping goes right and all the parts are in good shape, I can bet you will be delighted with the Excelsior mini lathe by Rockler unless you mount severe hardwoods on it. x 12 in. The belts can handle tensions pretty reliably. Required fields are marked *. Larger items can cause the lathe to wobble slightly. So, being in the same vein and pondering to begin a wood-turning business, you must require a wood lathe with adequate HP, weight, and a good swing capacity. As you need to plan the budget considering the essential woodturning tools also, a little research could save you some money on the table. These are all human-made machines, and we make mistakes. What would be an ideal beginner wood lathe for turning bowls? So, choosing a wood lathe made of solid cast iron with a weight of 413 lbs, and one hp power motor at the very beginning is a worthy decision. I helped him with some of his projects. They are lightweight and consume so little space that you can easily travel anywhere with them. One good thing is that the speed dial opens and closes the driver sheave, so you don’t need to move the belts to change the speeds. But it is a sturdier mighty lathe out there with good positive reviews altogether. Personally, I use the Excelsior mini, but let’s not be biased here. Product Description. No brand will give you such an affordable rate when you’re going for a new machine. If you compare the price with the Powermatic 3520B units, a big difference with a similar 2HP motor for each (Powermatic feels beefier though). My recommendation would be to go with the 10”. Okay, now let’s go for a brand that is offering the cheapest wood lathe possible that is ideal for a beginner. No matter what you buy, always go for a good HP motor that has a variable speed option and #2 morse taper. There are many professionals who keep them as their second option for sanding or more focused finishing. Something under 300 dollars is already compromising with the budget, but will it compromise its class for the price? I am trying to say that a professional always try to avoid these so-called “mini-lathes” and play with the big birds instead. Absolutely. Suitable speed for bowls under 10”, dead-on headstock and tailstock alignment, allows MT2 accessories with five years of warranty. For my first unboxing video on this channel, I decided to unbox a WEN 8x12 Woodworking Lathe. It beats the Delta for the price. The average using age, I would say, is one year. With a stunning build quality, the WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8" by 12" Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe provides sturdy frame for various work pieces. It will do the job. And so many of them were beginners. If tight, then go for a quality mini or midi. Speed Ranges: 760, 1100, 1600, 2200, and 3200, Spindle Speed: Variable speed from 750 – 3200 RPM, Speed range: 250 – 4,000 RPM Variable Speed, Warranty: 1 Year Motor and Controller, 2 Year Mechanical and parts, 14-1/2″ swing and 40″ between the centers. Some people addressed that the collet it comes with are not strong enough to hold a relatively bigger workpiece, so grips are not great. It means they don’t have the ideal low starting speed for turning bowls. The criteria for consideration are the same as above. Your email address will not be published. Good for the lazy turners like me. I have seen celebrity woodturners like Carl Jacobson using this same unit for his workshop. You can also wait a few days, or try going for the Delta 46-460. As the title goes, it’s for the person who has a budget of $500 for only the lathe itself without any attachments. That’s because you will outgrow your skills very soon and will want to upgrade to a full-sized wood lathe anyway. as of January 4, 2021 8:36 am . The thing is you have to be very gentle with this machine as they are kinda fragile in nature. That is to say, it always creates a win win situation for a wood turner from novice to skill leveled. The WEN 3421 has a faceplate that is 2.3 inches wide, two interchangeable tool rests, an MTI spindle, as well as a tailstock paper. x 12 in. While it is a mini benchtop wood lathe, you get decent performance from it for a compact wood lathe for home-usage. You may also check my comprehensive buying guide for any wood lathe and then start choosing from here. This caught the eyes of many. Motor bogs down pretty often. Read more, Quick Chart of Top 5 Starter Wood Lathes at a Glance. However, if you are thinking of hitting some serious work and start your journey with a severe professional machine instead, pack Laguna for yourself. Nova also wins the race for having the lowest rpm of 250 as an advantage for turning bowls. Watch as I unbox and assemble it. Also, try n keep your turning chisels and gouges as sharp as possible, so you get the extra support. Time for me rest will not match ( Amazon link ) instead, at this low cost is surprising. There are up to $ 500 based on the lathe according to their and... Positive reviews from the pen turning process easy & comfortable but there are several specs! The lack of experience changing belt is not the quality you see something broken or noticeable damage, might! 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