5 Best Mini Metal Lathes
5 Best Mini Metal Lathes
5 (100%) 2 vote[s]
Midi Lathe Flexible Woodworking System
Brand Nova
Speed 4000 RPM
tem Weight 82 Pounds
BestEquip Metal Lathe 7" x 14"
Color 7x14 inch
Material Stainless Steel
Item Weight 101.9 pounds
Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal
Item Weight 104.2 pounds
Power Source Manual
Voltage 120 Volts
BestEquip Metal Lathe 8x16 Inch
Color 8x16 inch
Material Stainless Steel
Manufacturer BestEquip
TECHTONGDA Brushless Motor Precision
Material Stainless Steel
Manufacturer TECHTONGDA
lathes are equipped with 110V

Choose the Best Mini Metal Lathes

Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Mini Metal Lathes

59 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!

5.08% of users selected Midi Lathe Flexible Woodworking System, 42.37% selected BestEquip Metal Lathe 7" x 14", 6.78% selected Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal, 28.81% selected BestEquip Metal Lathe 8x16 Inch and 16.95% selected TECHTONGDA Brushless Motor Precision. Every month we analyze your answers and change our rating.

Looking for the best mini metal lathe for your needs? You’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we will answer all of your questions and help you find the perfect mini metal lathe for your needs. We’ll talk about the different types of mini metal lathes available on the market, as well as provide product reviews and useful tips to help you make the best decision possible. So, whether you’re a beginner just starting out or an experienced machinist looking for a new tool, read on to learn more about the best mini metal lathes!

Nova 71118 Comet II DR – Midi Lathe Flexible Woodworking System

With the Nova 71118 Comet II DR – Midi Lathe Flexible Woodworking System, you can easily create small projects with precision and ease. This midi lathe offers a 250 ~ 4,000 RPM speed range to give you complete control over your work.

A 2 inch blade will ensure the work will be as fast as possible, while its anti-vibration feature ensures smooth and quiet operation. Plus, it’s compatible with many accessories to let you customize your experience however you like. Make your next woodworking project a breeze with the Nova 71118 Comet II DR – Midi Lathe Flexible Woodworking System!
Nova’s Comet II DR midi lathe is a flexible woodworking system that’s been poorly made and falls short on several fronts. The low horsepower makes it difficult to work with larger pieces of wood, the quill travel is limited, and the quality of the tool rest is poor. Additionally, there are only 12 indexing stops, and the footprint is narrow compared to other lathes on the market. Despite these drawbacks, the Comet II DR may be a viable option for those who are looking for a small midi lathe.

Pros
  • 250 – 4,000 RPM speed range;
  • 12 inches blade length;
  • Good for small projects;
  • No vibration;
  • Quiet;
  • Compatible with many accessories;

Cons
  • Limited travel of quil;
  • Poor quality tool rest;
  • Only 12 indexing stops;
  • Horsepower is low;
  • Narrow footprint;
  • Poorly made;


BestEquip Metal Lathe 7″ x 14″,Mini Metal Lathe

The BestEquip Metal Lathe is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality, affordable lathe. This lathe features variable speeds up to 2500 RPM, making it perfect for a wide range of applications.

It also has a bed made of high-grade iron, which provides superior durability. Additionally, the lathe is very cheap and ideal for beginners. Lastly, it is perfect for plastic and soft metals.
If you’re looking for a metal lathe that’s cheap and cheerful, the BestEquip 7″ x 14″ mini metal lathe is definitely worth considering. However, there are a few things you should know before you buy.
First of all, the build quality is not great. We’ve heard lots of reports of pieces coming loose or falling off entirely, and the overall construction is quite flimsy. Secondly, it’s a very noisy machine – so if you’re looking to do some precision work, this is definitely not the lathe for you.
Thirdly, the instructions are far from clear. Many customers have complained that they couldn’t even get the machine set up properly, let alone start using it.

Pros
  • Variable speeds up to 2500 RPM;
  • Bed made of high-grade iron;
  • Cheap;
  • Good for beginners;
  • Ideal for plastic and soft metals;

Cons
  • Poor construction;
  • Noisy;
  • Unclear instructions;
  • Speed control isn’t working;
  • Low tolerance;
  • Pieces are missing;
  • Tools don’t line up properly;


Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe

The Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe is the perfect choice for the hobbyist or home shop machinist. This lathe is designed with a beginner in mind, but is also great for more experienced users.

The motor speed on this lathe goes up to 2500 RPM, making it perfect for fast jobs on smaller projects. The smooth and accurate cuts are ideal for a wide variety of projects.
Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe is a precision bench top mini metal milling lathe that is perfect for any DIY project. With this lathe, you can easily create custom parts and pieces with ease. However, before starting to work on your project, be sure to make the necessary adjustments so the machine runs smoothly. The build quality of this lathe could use some improvement as details tend to come off during operation. Unfortunately, the manual is not that clear either and it won’t help you get started on your project as soon as possible. Just be aware that this tool lacks power and may not be suitable for more heavy-duty projects.

Pros
  • Beginner-friendly;
  • Motor speed up to 2500 RPM;
  • Ideal for smaller projects;
  • Provides smooth and accurate cuts;

Cons
  • Lacks power;
  • You will need to adjust the machine to make it work properly;
  • Poor build;
  • Details come off;
  • Manual is unclear;


BestEquip Metal Lathe, 8″ x 16″

Looking for a quality metal lathe without spending a fortune? Look no further than the BestEquip Metal Lathe! This machine is made entirely of gears and metal parts, so you can be sure it will hold up under heavy use.

Plus, it has a 400mm swing range, so you can work on projects of any size. The adjustable tailstock ensures that your workpieces are always perfectly aligned.
If you’re looking for a lathe that’s going to give you hours of frustration, then the BestEquip Metal Lathe is the perfect choice! This lathe is notorious for requiring constant adjustments, and its sloppy build means that you’ll have to deal with some elements being shaky. The instructions are blurry and unreadable, and the customer support is nonexistent, so good luck if you run into any problems. This product comes with no warranty, so you’re completely on your own. All in all, this product won’t make your life easier for sure.

Pros
  • Gears are made of metal;
  • Decent for the value;
  • 400mm swing range;
  • Has an adjustable tailstock;

Cons
  • No warranty;
  • Requires constant adjustments;
  • Sloppy build;
  • Poor instructions;
  • Unresponsive customer support;


TECHTONGDA 7X12″ Mini Metal Lathe

Looking for a mini lathe that can handle big projects? Look no further than the TECHTONGDA 7X12″ Mini Metal Lathe. This powerful lathe comes with a 600W brushless motor, metal gears, and an emergency stop switch, making it perfect for both hobbyists and serious machinists alike.

With a spindle speed ranging from 50 to 2500RPM, this lathe can handle just about any project you throw at it. Plus, the overload protection prevents hazards, making it safe to use.
This mini metal lathe is a great tool for anyone looking to get into DIY metalworking. However, be aware that it does require some adjustments in order to work properly, and it also breaks belts easily. The dials are in metric measurements only, so make sure you’re comfortable with those units before purchasing. Plus, the rotation direction switch is not included, so you’ll need to figure out how to get around this issue yourself. Despite these few issues, this mini metal lathe is still a great value for the price and can provide hours of enjoyment for any budding DIYer.

Pros
  • Comes with a powerful 600W brushless motor;
  • Sturdy metal gears;
  • Comes with emergency stop switch;
  • Overload protection to prevent hazards;
  • Spindle speed ranges between 50 and 2500RPM;

Cons
  • Needs adjustments for the better performance;

  • Can break belts;
  • Dials are in metrics;
  • Comes without rotation direction switch;

Needs adjustments for the better performance;
Can break belts;
Dials are in metrics;
Comes without rotation direction switch;


Buyer’s Guide

Metalworking in General

Metalworking is the process of shaping and forming metals into useful objects. It has been done by humans since ancient times, and today it is a vital part of many industries. Metalworking can be divided into two main categories: fabrication and machining.

Fabrication is the process of creating metal structures by assembling parts that have been cut or formed in other ways. Machining is the process of cutting, drilling, or shaping metal with tools such as lathes, mills, and routers.

Both fabrication and machining are important methods of manufacturing metal products, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages. In general, fabrication is better suited for creating large structures, while machining is better suited for creating smaller parts with precise dimensions.

Metalworking in General

One of the tools that is essential for both fabrication and machining is the lathe. Let’s discuss more about it!

What is a Lathe?

A lathe is a machine that rotates a workpiece around an axis so you can do different things to it, like cutting, sanding, or drilling. The workpiece is securely held in place by a chuck or faceplate, and the tool is moved across the workpiece to perform the desired operation.

Lathes are used in a wide variety of applications, from creating threads to shaping automotive parts. In general, the larger the lathe, the more heavy-duty it will be and the more versatile it will be able to handle different sizes and shapes of workpieces.

There are two types of lathes: benchtop lathes and floor-standing lathes. Benchtop lathes are small and lightweight. They are designed to be used on a workbench or table. Floor-standing lathes are larger and heavier. They are designed to be used on the floor, with the lathe bed at waist height. [1]

Difference Between Lathe and Mini-Lathe

A mini-lathe is simply a smaller version of a lathe. It shares all the same basic principles and components, but it is more compact, has a narrower bed and typically has a lower power output. Mini lathes are ideal for machining small parts, and they can be used for a variety of tasks such as turning, drilling, and threading.

Their size is typically in the range of 12”-20” with weight around 80-120 lb.

One of the main advantages of a mini-lathe over a full-size lathe is that they are much more affordable. They also tend to be lighter and more portable, making them easier to move around and set up in different locations. They are also beginner friendly, as they are generally easier to learn how to assemble and use.

Another advantage of mini-lathes is that they typically have shorter bed lengths. This means that the maximum length of the workpiece that can be machined is shorter, but it also means that the mini-lathe is less likely to vibrate. This makes them ideal for delicate work such as model making.

There are a few disadvantages to mini-lathes as well. They typically have lower power outputs, which means they can’t handle heavy-duty tasks. But for hobbyists, this shouldn’t be that big of an issue.

How Do Mini Lathes Work?

Mini lathes work in the same basic way as full-size lathes. The workpiece is mounted on a chuck or faceplate and rotated about an axis of rotation. The tool is then moved across the workpiece to perform the desired operation. Mini lathe consists of headstock, tailstock, carriage, and bed.

Bed of the lathe is the workplace, it is usually made of cast iron. It is a very strong material that can support the heavy weight of the carriage and tailstock. The bed is also precision machined to provide a smooth surface for the carriage to move on.

The lathe headstock is located at the left side of the lathe bed and is home to the motor that drives the spindle. The workpiece is held and rotated by the spindle, which is part of a lathe. The headstock also contains a chuck or collet that is used to hold the workpiece in place.

The tailstock is located at the right end of the lathe bed and it contains a tool holder that is used to hold cutting tools such as drills or reamers. The tailstock can be moved along the length of the bed so that it can be positioned next to the workpiece for drilling or other operations.

Most mini lathes have a gearbox that provides several different speed ranges. This allows you to use the correct speed for the material being machined and the operation being performed. It is usually located in the tailstock of the lathe.

The carriage is mounted on the bed and contains all of the tool bits. Tool bits are held in a tool holder that is mounted on the carriage.

Most mini lathes have a three-jaw chuck that holds round workpieces in place. The jaws are opened and closed by a lever on the side of the chuck. Some mini lathes have a four-jaw chuck that can be utilized to hold square or irregularly shaped workpieces.

How Do Mini Lathes Work?

The spindle is the part of the lathe that rotates. It is located in the headstock and contains a taper that mates with the taper in the tailstock quill. The spindle is rotated by a belt or gear drive from the motor. [1],[4]

Uses for Mini Lathes

Mini lathes can be used for a variety of tasks. They are often utilized to remove excess metal parts from a workpiece. They work for both harder metals as well as softer plastics. They can also be used to create threads on bolts and screws.

Another popular use for mini lathes is model making. Model makers use mini lathes to create parts for models of ships, cars, trains, and airplanes. The lathe is used to create cylindrical parts such as axles and shafts. It can also be used to create threaded parts such as screws and bolts.

Mini lathes are also common among woodturners. Woodturning is the process of shaping wood on a lathe. A variety of shapes can be created including bowls, vases, cups, and plates.Woodturners often use mini lathes because they are small and portable.

Mini lathes are versatile tools that can be used for a variety of tasks. Whether you’re a cigar aficionado or a model maker, a mini lathe can be a valuable addition to your workshop.

Safety Considerations for Using Mini Metal Lathes and Metalworking

Mini lathes are powerful tools that can create a lot of force. It is important to use them correctly and safely to avoid injury. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when using mini lathes.

Keep in mind the capacity of the lathe.

Do not try to machine a workpiece that is too large or too heavy for the lathe. This can damage the lathe or cause it to tip over, leading to serious injury. Forcing a large workpiece into the chuck can also damage the jaws.

Make sure the workpiece is secure before turning the machine on.

The workpiece should be properly mounted in the chuck before turning on the lathe. Make sure the workpiece is not loose and that the jaws are tight. If the workpiece is not secure, it can fly off of the lathe and cause serious injury.

Turn off before adjusting

The lathe should be turned off before making any adjustments to the tool or workpiece. This includes changing the cutting tool, adjusting the feed rate, or moving the workpiece. Making adjustments while the machine is running can lead to serious incidents.

Do not wear loose clothing or jewelry while using the lathe.

Loose clothing can get caught in the moving parts of the lathe and cause serious injury. Jewelry such as rings and watches can also get caught and cause injuries. It is best to remove all jewelry and tuck in loose clothing before operating the lathe.

Always wear safety glasses when using a mini lathe.

Flying debris of all kinds can cause serious eye injuries. Safety glasses will do their job and protect your eyes from chips and other debris. [3],[4]

How to Maintain You Mini Metal Lathe

Mini lathes are relatively low maintenance tools. However, there are a few things you can do to keep your lathe in good condition.

Clean the lathe after each use. This will help remove any debris that could damage the machine.

Oil the moving parts of the lathe periodically. This will help keep the lathe running smoothly.

Check the belts and gears regularly. Make sure they are tight and in good condition. Loose belts can cause the lathe to run slowly or unevenly. Worn out gears can strip and cause damage to the motor or other parts of the lathe.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your mini lathe will last for years to come. [5]

Now that you are aware of the best mini metal lathes on the market as well as how to use and maintain them, let’s take a look at some of the most popular mini lathes available.

How to Choose a Perfect Mini Metal Lath?

Now that you know about the different types of mini metal lathes available on the market, it’s time to learn how to choose the perfect one for your needs. Here are a few factors to keep in mind when making your decision.

Your experience

The first thing you need to consider is your level of experience. Are you a complete beginner, or do you have some experience with metalworking? If you’re new to the world of metalworking, then it’s important to choose a lathe that is easy to use and comes with clear instructions. On the other hand, if you have some experience, then you might be able to get away with a more complex lathe. Just keep in mind that even experienced machinists can have problems with certain lathes, so don’t assume that a more complex machine will be trouble-free. [6]

Size of the machine

Another factor you just can’t ignore, is the size of the machine. This is important because you need to make sure that the lathe will fit in your workspace. You also need to think about the projects you’ll be working on. Size of the bed matters because it will accommodate the longest workpiece you can process. If you only plan on working on small projects, then a smaller lathe will suffice. However, if you want to be able to work on larger projects, then you’ll need to choose a lathe with a larger bed.

Size of the machine

Size is also directly related to weight. A heavier lathe will be more stable and less likely to vibrate, which is important when you’re working with metals. That being said, a heavier lathe will also be more difficult to move around, so keep that in mind if you plan on changing workspaces often.

And portability is an important characteristic too.

If you plan on moving your lathe around often, then a smaller and lighter machine will be easier to transport.
On the other hand, if you have a dedicated workspace for your lathe, then size isn’t as much of an issue. [4],[6],[7]

Motor power

The next thing you need to consider is the motor power. This is important because it will directly affect the speed and power of the lathe. In general brushless motors are more powerful and efficient than brushed motors.

The power of the motor is usually measured in watts (W), and the majority of recommended mini metal lathes have a motor between 600W to 1000W. A higher-powered lathe will be more expensive and may be more difficult to control, so make sure you really need all that power before spending the extra money. [7]

Spindle speed

Another important factor to consider is spindle speed. This is the speed at which the lathe’s spindle rotates, and it’s measured in revolutions per minute (RPM).

The faster the spindle speed, the more quickly you’ll be able to work on your projects.
However, keep in mind that high speeds can be dangerous, so it’s important to choose a lathe with adjustable speed settings. That way, you can start off slow and gradually increase the speed as you become more comfortable with the machine.

As to what the maximum speed should be, that really depends on what you’ll be using the lathe for.

If you’re just looking to do some simple tasks, then a lower speed will suffice.
However, if you’re planning on doing more complex work, then you’ll need a lathe with a higher maximum speed. [7]

Durability

Another key consideration is long-term durability. This is especially important if you plan on using your lathe for commercial purposes. Make sure to choose a lathe that is made from high-quality materials and has a good reputation for being durable. Not only bedways should be hardened and ground but also the gears inside the headstock. A lot of manufacturers use plastic gears to save money, but these are not as durable as metal gears and can strip easily. [6],[7]

Versatility

Another important factor to consider is versatility. Some lathes are only suitable for small projects, while others can handle larger projects with ease. As every machine, all lathes have their limits, so it’s important to choose one that is versatile enough to handle the type of projects you’re interested in. Never force your mini lathe to do something it’s not designed for, as this can damage the machine or even injure you. [4],[6]

Swing range

Swing range is the maximum diameter that your lathe can work with. If you’re going to work on big projects, you’ll need a lathe with a wide swing range. However, if you only plan to work on little projects, you may get by with one that has a smaller swing range.

Keep in mind that the swing range is not the same as the bed length. The bed length is the distance between the center of the spindle and the end of the bed. The swing range is measured from the center of the spindle to the outer edge of the tool rest base.

Overall safety

Safety should also be considered when making a choice. After all, you’re working with metal, and accidents can happen. Be sure to choose a lathe that comes with safety features like an emergency stop switch. You should also make sure that the lathe you choose has been certified by a reputable organization like UL or CE. These organizations test products for safety and quality, so you can be sure that your lathe is up to standards. [6],[7]

Your budget

Last but not least, the price. Mini metal lathes can range in price from around $500 to over $1000, so it’s important to set a budget before you start shopping. Keep in mind that the more expensive models will usually offer more features and be of higher quality, but they’re not necessarily the best choice for everyone. If you’re on a tight budget, then it’s still possible to find a high-quality lathe by looking for deals or opting for a used model. [4],[6]

Your budget

Finally, don’t forget to read the reviews before making your purchase. Reviews can be incredibly helpful in choosing the perfect mini metal lathe for your needs. Just keep in mind that even the best products have some negative reviews, so don’t let a few bad apples ruin the whole bunch.


FAQ

Can you turn steel on a mini lathe?

With the proper tools and techniques, you can turn steel on a mini lathe. However, it’s important to note that steel is much harder to work with than other materials. You’ll need to take extra care to avoid damage to your tools and the workpiece.

There are a few different ways to turn steel on a mini lathe. The most common method is using a carbide-tipped tool bit. This type of tool bit is specifically designed for machining hard materials like steel.

Another option is to use high-speed steel (HSS) tool bits. HSS tool bits are made from a harder alloy than carbide-tipped tool bits, so they’re better suited for machining hard materials.

Is a mini lathe worth it?

A mini lathe is definitely worth the investment, especially if you’re interested in woodworking or metalworking. Not only will a mini lathe save you space and money, but it will also allow you to work on smaller projects that would be impossible with a full-sized lathe.

Mini lathes are also great for those who are just starting out in woodworking or metalworking, as they are much easier to use and less expensive than their full-sized counterparts. So if you’re looking for a way to get into woodworking or metalworking, a mini lathe is definitely the way to go.

What can a mini metal lathe do?

A mini metal lathe can perform all the functions of a full-size lathe, but on a smaller scale. This means that you can use it to turn small pieces of metal into objects with intricate designs. You can also use it to create threads on bolts and screws, or to shape metal into different shapes for various projects.

What is a good beginner metal lathe?

The best mini metal lathes for beginners are those that offer a good balance of features and affordability. But the most important factor is how easy the lathe is to use. A good beginner lathe should be able to handle a variety of materials, including both soft and hard metals. And it should have enough power to complete most common tasks.

Useful Video: Testing The Cheapest Chinese Mini Metal Lathe

Conclusion

So, how do you choose the best mini metal lathe for your needs? It’s important to consider the size of the project you want to work on, as well as the size of the lathe itself. Price is also a factor – while mini metal lathes are more affordable than regular-sized models, they can still vary in price depending on features and durability. If you have some experience with metalworking, be sure to select a model with enough additional features for your needs. Motor and swing speed will make the process a breeze for you when chosen correctly. And don’t forget safety – make sure any mini metal lathe you buy comes with safety features like guards and shields to protect your hands and eyes. Finally, versatility should be another key consideration when choosing a mini metal lathe. The best mini lathes can handle a variety of materials and have a range of various applications. By keeping all of these factors in mind, you’ll be sure to find the perfect mini metal lathe for your needs. Happy metalworking!


References:

  1. https://www.ametals.com/post/what-is-a-lathe-and-how-does-it-work
  2. https://www.lathematters.com/what-is-a-midi-lathe/
  3. https://reviewerst.com/woodworking/mini-vs-midi-wood-lathe/
  4. https://www.lathematters.com/best-mini-metal-lathes/#Where_Can_We_Use_Mini_Lathe_and_How_Does_it_Work
  5. https://littlemachineshop.com/images/gallery/info/MiniLatheUsersGuide.pdf
  6. https://homemakerchic.com/best-metal-mini-lathe/
  7. https://handymansworld.net/best-mini-metal-lathes/

Hello! I'm a James Miller, and I'm an expert in materials science. I learned different metal properties in the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and I know everything about all kinds of metal. That's why I want to share my experience with you.

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