9 Best Mini Metal Lathes

A great tool for both beginners and professionals, a mini metal lathe is a perfect addition to any workshop.

With all the features now available, you will want to decide how you will be using your mini metal lathe before you start shopping to make sure you get the right tool for your needs.

Here are a few tips on what to look for in a mini metal lathe and reviews to help you start shopping.

Check out the recommended list below.

Best Mini Metal Lathes 2019

Model Power Weight Speed 
BestEquip Variable Spindle Mini Lathe
75HP 102.1 pounds2500 RPM Check Price

SUNWIN Mini Lathe
24W 14.65 pounds20,000 RPM Check Price

Signwise Mini Lathe
24W 7.25 pounds20,000 RPM Check Price

Chuangsheng Mini Lathe
24W 8.55 pounds20,000 RPM Check Price

EverVictory Mini Lathe
24W 5 pounds18,000 RPM Check Price

Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe
250W 89.2 pounds2500 RPM Check Price

Mophorn Metal Lathe Precision Mini Lathe
750W 177 pounds2500 RPM Check Price

Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe by Central Machinery
250W 87 pounds2500 RPM Check Price

7 x 14 Mini Metal Lathe
550W N/A 2500 RPM Check Price

The ShopFox Micro Metal Lathe
250W 386 pounds 150, 240, 490, 750, 1200 and 2400 RPM Check Price

 

1. BestEquip Variable Spindle Mini Lathe

 

Created for metal turning, the BestEquip Variable Spindle Mini Lathe is a good choice for modeling work, sample processing, and mini precision parts processing. This is the perfect tool for a modeler or hobbyist that wants to add some detail to a project. It also works well for prototypes or models, making bushings, or counter facing. Featuring a chuck guard with a microswitch, an automatic feed, and eighteen threads, this is a great mini lathe to use in an educational or engineering setting, workshops, or labs.

PROS

  • Works fairly well for a hobbyist or a modeler or in an education setting
  • Cuts, drills, and turns with ease and is great for modeling work
  • Easy to use and works well for sample processing and mini precision part processing

CONS

  • Is not durable enough to be used in a professional setting
  • Motor tends to stop while using it so you have to wait until it starts again

2. SUNWIN Mini Lathe

 

 

Great for DIYers, the SUNWIN Mini Lathe is perfect for a wide range of tasks and hobbies that include small part processing and model making. You can purchase it in either alloy form or metal including ABS, aluminum, steel, and carbon. The specially designed saw blade uses a 4 mm cam short strip to keep your skin safe from injury. The SUNWIN is able to process plastic, precious metals, copper, soft aluminum, and brass.

PROS

  • This is a great tool for a hobbyist or DIYer that can perform a variety of hobby-based tasks
  • It has a specially designed saw blade that will protect your skin from getting injured

CONS

  • Not capable or durable enough to do work on a professional level

3. Signwise Mini Lathe

 

With a durable design, the Signwise Mini Lathe is a great choice for students, crafts, hobbyists, and DIYers. Featuring a specially design and built-in bearing, the Signwise Mini Lathe has a comfortable and high-quality usage. It is also equipped with a built-in overheat protection and is able to process soft metals, copper, plastic, wood, and aluminum.

PROS

  • This tool is great for DIY, hobby, modelmaking, crafts, students, and small parts processing
  • Saw blade has a special design that protects human skin from injury.
  • It is shipped fully assembled and works well with wood and plastic

CONS

  • Does not come with a manual and doesn’t have a lot of play to it
  • Need to buy parts to secure the tailstock and the chuck jaws are off center

4. Chuangsheng Mini Lathe

 

 

Perfect for DIYers or model making, the chuangsheng Mini Lathe is not designed for industrial or commercial use. It includes an adapter, a mini lathe, and a few other accessories. Great for use on aluminum, copper, wood, and plastic and can also be used to process softwood or hardwood into arbitrary shapes. It includes an intermediate block heightening that lets you expand its use to a 50 mm diameter range. Plus, you can either use the three-jack or 1-6mm collet or three-jack to clamping your workpiece into place, and the transformer has over temperature, over-current, and over-voltage, over-current protection as a safety measure.

PROS

  • The transformer has over-current, over voltage, over temperature protections which are great safety features
  • Can be expanded to the 50 mm diameter range with the intermediate block
  • It includes a three-jack or a 6 mm for clamping your workpiece into place

CONS

  • This mini lathe is not designed for commercial or industrial type projects

5. EverVictory Mini Lathe

 

 

With a foot-wide footprint, the EverVictory Mini Lathe is the perfect size for hobbyists or metal working students. Weighing five pounds, this is a very portable lathe that you take to craft shows or school. It has a two-speed motor without reverse so it is limited to what type of material it can work on. This lightweight and basic lathe will take on small jobs on brass, silver, aluminum, plastic, and wood.

PROS

  • This is a budget-friendly machine that is perfect for students and hobbyists
  • It comes with two jaws, a standard 3-jaw, and an optional 4-jaw
  • It has a small footprint that makes it portable, plus it can work on regular household electricity

CONS

  • Cannot handle working on hard metals or doing more precise metal turning
  • It is limited in size, material capacity, set up, and use instructions

6. Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe

 

If you are looking for a mini metal lathe with incredible performance, the Grizzly G8688 has a sturdy and high-quality casing made of quality materials. It also features a good design and weight, and its dimensions are perfect for those with limited space to work in. The Grizzly G8688 is a very affordable metal lathe that has a speed limit of 2500 RPMs and has a 3-jaw chuck and a 16mm chuck bore. While it can be used for various commercial application, it is not a good choice for high-quality professional projects.

PROS

  • Good value for the money since you get a long-lasting tool
  • Easy to use in small or confined places and can handle different commercial applications
  • Well-designed product made with high-quality material construction and comes with variable speed

CONS

  • It is not capable of doing threading and a few other operations
  • The horsepower motor has some issues for some of the users

7. Mophorn Metal Lathe Precision Mini Lathe

 

 

Without taking up tons of space, the Mophorn Precision Mini Metal Lathe is a great machine when it comes to producing precision work. It can make prototypes, models, bushings, and spindles. This benchtop mini metal lathe runs at speeds between 50 to 2500 RPM and comes with a chuck guard that has both a tool post and microswitch. Equipped to perform metal turning, it can also thread, cut, turn, and drill on different types of materials.

PROS

  • Features variable speed making it a very versatile tool to have in your tool shed
  • Easy to read through digital speed display making it easier to use
  • This is a precision mini metal lathe with a higher connectivity of the main spindle

CONS

  • The tailstock needed a clamping screw to be shorter so you can move along the entire bed
  • The compound would not lock into place, and it needs to lubricated and cleaned to work properly

8. Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe by Central Machinery

 

Similar to the Grizzly G8688, the Central Machinery 7 x 10-inch precision mini lathe is perfect for house projects, hobbies, and smaller projects. It works well on projects where you don’t need a lot of precision and space between the centers and big chuck. The Central Machinery is easy to use and comes with a variable speed knob and the chuck comes equipped with a microswitch.

PROS

  • It comes equipped with a tool post as well as an automatic feed
  • This is an easy to use machine that comes with a variable speed knob
  • The chuck has a micro switch on the automatic feed of the model

CONS

  • Too many plastic parts and there were issues with the knob and switch control
  • Instructions were really difficult to follow and replacement parts are hard to find

9. 7 x 14 Mini Metal Lathe

 

Powerful and well-built, the 7 x 14 Mini Metal Lathe is great for both beginners and professionals. With an induction harden bed way, this benchtop metal lathe has great precision as well as variable speeds, an 80 mm chuck, 550-watt motor, and a spindle speed of 0 to 2500 RMP. This is a great choice for someone who is looking for an affordably priced lath that is easy to use.

PROS

  • Comes equipped with an Induction hardened bed way
  • Has a 550-watt motor plus variable speed control and 0, 01 mm spindle accuracy
  • Has a very helpful customer support that will send our replacements quickly

CONS

  • Comes with plastic gears and several complaints of malfunctioning issues
  • Some complaints of tools breaking as soon as they are received

10. The ShopFox Micro Metal Lathe

 

 

 

This compact metal lathe is well-constructed and the perfect choice for those looking to produce small details. It features easy to use control mode and 1/5 HP motor, a 3/8-inch spindle bore, and a 3-inch 3-jaw chuck with both external and internal jaws. This mini metal lathe also comes with an oil cup, socket head wrench, and a double-ended wrench as well as great safety features. You can produce quite a few stainless steel and brass parts, and even with continuous use, it doesn’t show signs of breaking.

PROS

  • Easy to use and assemble and features a 3 inch 3 jaw chuck, a 1/5 HP motor, and great safety features
  • Comes equipped with a socket head wrench, a double-ended wrench, and an oil cup
  • This is a great tool for beginners to get their feet wet with producing steel parts

CONS

  • It is on the small side and there have been several complaints of malfunctioning
  • Some users complained about a lack of features and only works well on small projects

Things to Consider Before Buying a Mini Lathe

What is a mini metal lathe?

A mini metal lathe is a small tool that is used to shape and cut metal work. It is a convenient tool that will save you money paying some else to do the work for you or having to rent a tool from a metalworking shop. Compact in size, a mini metal lathe is easy to work with and doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Why do you need a mini lathe?

Capable of many things, a mini metal lathe can knurl, rotate, shape, and otherwise alter different types of materials including metal and wood. Used frequently by metalworkers and professional woodworkers, it basically a smaller version of a lathe. Even though it is compact in size, it is still well equipped to take on hobbyist and DIY projects. A mini lathe can create many types of objects including spindles and pens.

Can you do the same projects without a mini lathe?

You can do the same projects, but it will take more resources and time. If you are working with wood, you know that having a mini lathe just makes your work easier. Speed and precision are two of the most important things when it comes to metal or woodworking. When you do this type of work manually, you are liable to make mistakes, but when you use a mini lathe, you will have all of these functions. Even though the machines work in different ways, they are all designed to made metal and woodworking simpler.

What are the benefits of a mini metal lathe?

Invented by Egyptians and then improved by the Roman, lathes are an ancient power tool used to make glass work, carpentry, and metal fabrication flawless. Here are a few more benefits to using a mini metal lathe:

• A mini metal lathe can be used on aluminum, brass, steel, and stainless steel

• A mini metal lathe can be used on Plexiglass, Delrin, Teflon, acetal, and nylon

• It has the ability to drill holes into metals that would be otherwise impossible to do

• Removing oxidation from metal is easy with a mini metal lathe

What safety rules should I follow when using a mini metal lathe?

When working with any power tool, always wear your protective gear and protect your eyes. Also, do not wear jewelry when working with this tool. And always make sure you check over your tool before you start work to see if any maintenance work is needed.

What should you consider before buying a mini metal lathe?

There are several considerations you should think about before purchasing a mini metal lathe including price, horsepower, speed, and capacity. You should also familiarize yourself with the different types of lathes so you know the difference between them all and which will be the best for the projects you plan to do.

How much power should my mini metal lathe have?

Even though they are called mini, you should still be able to get a lot of horsepower out of it. Remember that the more horsepower a machine has the easier it will be to use in on a variety of different and complex projects.

How much capacity can I expect from my mini metal lathe have?

Over the years, mini lathes have increased the swing and wide distance between the centers. With a wider distance, you are able to work with more materials. Mini Metal Lathes can also be used for shaping a wide range of objects. Although these lathes are great for wood and metal, you can also use a mini metal lathe on other materials as well.

How much speed should my mini metal lathe have?

With variable speed settings, mini metal lathes give you the versatility to work on several different types of project as well as work with precision. Plus, mini metal lathes are pretty easy to operate.

How much distance do you need between the centers?

At the very least you want the distance between the centers to be 30 inches while 36 inches is preferred. You also want the bed length to be somewhere between 760 to 915 mm, although having a longer length is not always better since it can create more vibrations.

Does it need to be mounted?

Professionals will want their mini metal lathe to be floor mounted but, if you are just using it at home, you can mount it on a stand or bench.

Will it come with a stand?

You will find that some mini lathes are sold with a stand but if it doesn’t you can always buy one online. Do make sure to get either a bench or stand since where and how you mount it will affect its performance.

Are mini lathes designed to be flexible?

Designed to be flexible, mini metal lathes are able to take on various tasks and have multiple options. They also are lighter than a full-blown lathe but that doesn’t mean they compromise in their features.

How durable is a mini metal lathe?

Built for long-term use, you can expect your mini metal lathe to be pretty durable. Even when running at high speed, mini lathes are able to maintain their performance.

Are mini metal lathes as stable as regular lathes?

Even though they are not as heavy as a regular lathe, mini metal lathes remain stable. Woodworkers prefer mini lathes for this very reason.

How expensive is a mini metal lathe?

Over the years, the price of these machines has gone down and they are no longer as expensive as they used to be. Thanks in part to competition which has brought the cost down, but there still has been improvements in the capabilities and features of these machines.

Do they have a lot of vibrations and noise?

Since mini metal lathes have anti-vibration properties, they do not have vibrations. Too much vibration will affect the product, but with a mini lathe, you’ll be able to avoid it. Plus, the best mini metal lathes will not make a lot of noise.

Do they have mini metal lathes that are good for beginners?

Yes. A mini metal lathe is designed for users that have varying skill levels, anywhere from beginner to advanced.

Mini metal lathes are a great tool for both professionals and beginners to have in their workshop. Make sure to do your homework before you start shopping to see what features are available. Once you decide which of those features you will need for the projects you have planned, you will easily be able to find the best mini metal lathe for your needs.

Sources:

Read more:

Join The Discussion