What to Look for When Purchasing a Wood Lathe

As a branch in woodwork, woodturning requires a quality wood lathe to ensure things go correctly. Professional woodworkers find it easy when purchasing wood lathes to use in their woodworking projects. However, newbies have a different story about the selection period. The juniors find it rough knowing a quality Nova Wood Lathe they should purchase. Let’s get you through factors to consider when shopping for a quality wood lathe.

The Base

When selecting a wood lathe, mind about the quality of production from your woodworking projects. For quality outcomes, you need a tool with a solid foundation. The solidity of a lathe gets determined by its bed or base in this case.

Most wood lathe bases get constructed using cast iron. This is a heavy material employed mainly to enable it to reduce vibrations that comes during the spinning process. Such vibrations are even unsafe when working using this tool. Therefore, before purchasing your wood lathe, ensure you ascertain the sturdiness of the base. This will dictate the overall results you obtain from these tools.


Your Intended Use

Before shopping for the best wood lathe, you must understand its purpose. Remember, various wood lathes work perfectly in particular wood projects. Moreover, these devices are of different sizes to fit perfectly in other woodworking projects.

For instance, tabletop models make the best options for workers who intend to use them for small projects. This includes tasks like making small bowls and wooden pens as such.

However, if you intend to take on large woodworking projects, these tools might not work for you. In such projects, you need lathes constructed of cast iron or steel. These options are perfect for handling large woods.

Evaluate Your Station

Wood lathes get designed of different sizes to suit various woodworking projects. Besides their sizes, they are also heavy and can take up quite a significant space in your working station.

Mostly, manufacturers indicate the sizes of these machines on them. Before leaving home for this equipment, it’s essential you measure your workstation first. Pen down the measurements and go for a wood lathe that fits your space.

Motor Specifications

Wood lathes employ a motor to carry out their woodworking duties. Therefore, it’s vital we consider most of the motor specifications when purchasing them. Typically, the size of the motor determines the piece of wood it will turn. Depending on the work you intend to carry out, you can decide the lathe you will prefer to hold on to the tasks.

Typically, wood lathes get designed with motors ranging between 1/8 HP to around 3 HP. These devices also boast speed control functions. You can set your equipment to get a single speed ranging between 500 RPM and 3000 RPM and above. So, focus more on the motor specifications before making decisions. This aspect will determine the kind of results you need.

Wood lathe 2

The Tailstock and Headstock

Tailstocks are rotating pins whose functions are maintaining the spindle at the center. Consequently, they maintain even rotation while busy on a project. When shopping for these tools, there is a tailstock feature to consider for a quality wood lathe. For instance, you should ensure the tailstock locks securely along the bed line. This enables you to work on any turning project with ease and get the best results overall.

Headstocks, on the other hand, also matters when choosing a quality wood lathe. Headstocks are threaded, and manufacturers design them using different accessories. When doing the shopping, ensure you select a lathe designed with a standard threaded headstock spindle. The standard ones form the best options since they can fit even whenever you upgrade your lathe.

This isn’t all about the tailstock and headstocks. A quality wood lathe should have Morse tapers on these components. Morse tapers ensure you attain optimum versatility from your tool. In addition, tapers enable users to install ranges and centers of other accessories employed in the project.

Wood lathe 1

Tool Rest

We can’t discuss quality wood lathes without mentioning the tool rest. Actually, the tool rest is perhaps the most significant aspect when purchasing a lathe. You will always rest the wood lathe against this part while handling projects. It’s the tool rest that will guide the wood lathe through the wood to make cuts. You just need to make a slight adjustment to the tool rest to fit the position you want the device to work towards.

Now, when selecting wood lathes, ensure you consider those you can lock adequately. Consequently, you may need separate tool rests if you shall deal with both larger and small woodworking tasks. For instance, those intending to turn on large spindles should incorporate two or more tool rests. They will interchange to attain optimum versatility when making cuts.


Above all, your safety is of greatest importance when working with wood lathes. You need protective gear to protect your eyes and face when using these devices. Remember, you will have many tiny pieces of wood flying all over while working on your project. It’s therefore essential you protect your face to prevent them from entering the eyes. Purchase face protective gear that will cover the entire face region while working on your project.


Woodworkers need to invest in quality wood lathes if they need to get excellent results from their projects. They also help woodworkers accomplish creating objects easily and quickly. However, not all market options will serve you as your expectations. Therefore, ensure you remain focused when purchasing these tools. A quality wood lathe promises amazing objects in your daily activities.



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