Looking for the best metal lathe? Nowadays there are numerous available options for metal lathes. Simply narrow down your searches and get the right metal lathe suitable for your workshop. Here we’ll show you our top 5 picks at a glance.
If you want to remove hard materials like metal, you definitely need a tough mechanism. These days, the metal lathe is not just about the work accomplishments but also appropriate performance it can do for redesigning parts. Getting the best metal lathe suitable for particular jobs helps users. Many metal lathes are available for sale on the market at an affordable cost. With our metal lathe reviews on different brands and products we will discuss the best metal lathe for sale and the best choice for you as the customer.
Let’s face it if a lathe is unable to work precisely right it might as well be completely useless. In this tutorial, we have compiled a list based on different categories. We have examined many bench top metal lathes, mini metal lathes, industrial lathes for your needs, using our knowledge and experience this list will discuss the best functioning and available lathes we could find. So, our metal lathe reviews will help many buyers get an excellent idea of how other buyers have preferred the lathe.
Based on design, powerful motor functionality, exact movement, performance and durability, we have made the list of the best lathes available as picked by us.
Finding the best metal lathe is quite difficult as there are many brands available. You need to consider so many factors, from quality to price and maintenance. So, be sure to invest in the best metal lathe for your money. There are many brands like Shop Fox, Grizzly, South Bend extra available in the market.
Top 5 best metal lathe 2018
|Grizzly G0602||1 HP, 110V||10" x 22"||447 pounds||150 - 2400 RPM||1 Year|
|Shop Fox M1112 ||2 HP, 220V||12" x 36"||1,251 pounds||70 - 1400 RPM||2 Year|
|Powermatic 4224B 1794224K Lathe||3 HP, 230V||24" x 42"||960 pounds||40 - 3500 RPM||5 Year|
|Jet 321360A BDB-1340A||2 HP, 230V||13" x 40"||1,175 pounds||60-1240 RPM||2 Year|
|Grizzly G0516||0.8 HP, 110V||10" x 22"||582 pounds||150 - 2400 RPM||1 Year|
The Grizzly G0602 Benchtop Metal 10 x 22-Inch lathe is the best metal lathe for the people who look for the solutions for tackling hard materials. It has really made its way into every workspace with its incomparable performance and high functionality.
Most significantly, in comparison with every other similar product, the visual distinction is evident which will make you promptly seek out this metal lathe. Furthermore, it comes with the capability of a wider bed, lots of thread ranges, and other parts which are available at a very low price. This makes a great machine to have and a really worthy investment.
It sports some features like ¾ inches x 12 TPI lead screw, single inch spindle bore, and MT3 tailstock which help in heavier projects also. In terms of cost and the work it can do this lathe is among the best for beginners and starters.
- Easy to use
- 9 longitudinal feeds
- Hardened V-bed
- Good thread range
- Six speeds
- Paint peels off
- Difficult assembly
- Difficult to change speeds
- Little noisy during operation
2. Shop Fox M1112 12-Inch by 36-Inch Gunsmithing Lathe
This metal lathe is just perfect for both beginners and professionals. It is a superb gearhead lathe and is perfect with its high-tolerance bearings, quick change gearbox and performs well with its extra fine longitudinal feed rate of 0.0011 inches/r and crossfeed rate of 0.0004 inches/r.
- Has high tolerance bearings that have precision to do wonders to your projects
- Stands on a ground of hardened cast iron
- This cast iron stand has an extended bed
- You can fine tune it up to 17 inches owing to the gap in the bed
- Carriage has on and off switch
- Halogen lights make it possible to work at night or in the dark
- Has aluminum gear cover that protects it from dust and dirt
- It has a range of speeds to work with from 70 to 1400 RPM
- The motor is strong enough to generate 2 HP with 220 volts
- Extremely user friendly
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Crossfeed screw is a bit sloppy which makes repeating dimensions difficult.
- Supplied 6” 3-jaw is too small for a 12” machine but is functional for small work.
- Tailstock does not meet specification. It has only 2.5” travel.
- There is no chip guard for the chuck so you need to fabricate one.
- The paint can be easy to chip.
3. Powermatic 4224B 1794224K Lathe
The Powematic 4224B 1794224K Lathe is leading the family of lathes. Weighing over 900 pounds, 68*27*31.5 inches size makes it the biggest one available. Professionals will love it as it has many creative possibilities reaching to all new levels and can easily satisfy your passion. This newly designed lathe with quality features pushes the limits of functionalities, innovative working and robustness which in total makes for a great product.
- Accurate speed adjustments can be done with sliding headstock which has electronic variable speed and digital RPM readout which gives the sharpest outcome of the work.
- Spindle lock and built in spindle indexing on the headstock for drilling hole patterns, routing flutes and other equally spaced features make the cutting object moving nicely.
- Vacuum system provides a quick method of chucking bowl blanks.
- 15-amp quad receptacle for easy reach of powered accessories
- Two 100W task lamps provide ideal lighting.
- Remote Switch does not work well after cleaning
4. Jet 321360A BDB-1340A 13-Inch Swing by 40-Inch
The Jet 321360A BDB-1340A is an example of a quality metal lathe machine that has reliable engineering and manufacturing. The product weighs a hefty 1,175 pounds having a dimension of 71*32*45 inches.
- The first thing you would notice is the reduced noise because of the Helical cut design
- It does not consume a lot of power as it runs on 230 volts
- The motor is of 2 HP that can generate 60 to 1240 RPM
- The bed has gaps to work on projects with larger diameter
- It has roller bearings with ample spindle support and has a graduate quill for assistance
- Works with precision because of its superior build
- Its threading and feeding can be done automatically, but they remain interlocked without causing any distress
- The most interesting fact about the Jet 321360A is that it comes with 2 years limited warranty for mechanical parts and 1 year limited warranty for electrical parts
- The only limitation of JET 321360A BDB-1340A Lathe is that it does not come with a cabinet stand.
5. Grizzly G0516 Combo Lathe with Milling Attachment
The Grizzly G0516 combo 47 x 26 x 23 inches metal lathe is the best-suited metal lathe for anybody who is looking to work with hard materials. Its high-quality performance and precision will surely blow your mind and really stamped its name in the work areas with great performance and high functionality. Most significantly, while compared to the price with every other similar device, you can easily find the difference which will make you seek out this product. Furthermore, it has the capacity of lots of thread changes, quick tool change holder, and you can have the other parts at a lower price. These all make this device superb and help you make your buying decision.
- If you dig a bit deeper into the lathe accessories a quick change tool post is found. The tool carriers are grooved for boring bars too.
- This tool system can accommodate 1/2“square tools.
- It is equipped with a quick change Colet set and a milling vice too.
- Small cuts and the finish are great.
- The G0516 is not a geared head lathe. It requires shifting the V Belt for spindle speed changes.
- Newer belts are really tight and hard to shift from one groove to the next.
- Back gearing is by a cogged belt, no gear changes on the spindle.
How to choose the best metal lathe
Before deciding to buy a metal lathe, we want you to have a look at what you must consider while buying this versatile device.
- Size of the lathe as per space: You should consider the type of work you’ll be doing, alongside the available space. Be it a small workshop or home, you can choose a lathe between 6”x15” and 12”x30” to meet your needs. If the work is to be done in a corner, you require a smaller machine. But if the work is to be done in a large workshop, then you should buy the best metal lathe as per your budget.
- American vs. European sizes: You should know that American brands label lathe sizes are different from those being sold in European.
- Headstock bearings: These days, most of the metal lathes are equipped with headstock bearings which help the lathe handle all loads. Consider a lathe which utilizes ball or the taper roller bearings in its headstock. You can easily replace or repair these bearings after they become worn. These bearings reduce the maintenance cost of the headstock also.
- A Backgear system: A lathe needs to deal with large-diameter workpieces. So, it should be geared with speed control to cut threads or for heavy-duty operations. These all can be done if a Backgear system is installed at the rear of the headstock.
- Spindle speed: The best metal lathe features variable speed motor control to manipulate spindle speed. The range should start from 30 to 80 RPM and have the capacity of going right up to nearly 1200 RPM. Some machines have higher speed range but it’s often unnecessary except you have a heavy-duty operation.
- Screwcutting: You lathe should be able to do Screwcutting which needs slow speeds of between 25-70 RPM. You need gear-driven low speeds for successful Screwcutting. Opt for an expensive lathe that includes a Screwcutting gearbox and is really efficient.
- Slide rests: Consider the feature ‘compound slide rest’ while buying a metal lathe. This handy slide mechanism helps the lathe move across the bed.
- Tool holders: The best metal lathe comes with an option of tool holders (4-way toolpost), each with its own tool which can be interchanged swiftly as needed.
- Tumbler reverse: This great feature is found only in the quality lathes and it has the effect of reversing the direction of the carriage’s travel.
- Gap bed lathe: This great feature along with Backgear capacity helps your lathe be capable of working well beyond its general station.
- Morse taper: The best metal lathe features a Morse taper in the tailstock and headstock. In terms of size, a no.2 or 3 Morse is usually recommended as no. 1 is pretty difficult to work with.
- Drive systems: Many metal lathes feature V-belt drive systems.
When it comes to choosing the best metal lathe, there are very few. Product reviews are the good option to make a buying decision and know about the reliable model. So, let’s find out which product is right for you.
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If you find a metal lathe that meets all the above-mentioned factors in the buying guide, then it may be the best metal lathe available. Lathes are an excellent tool for your commercial projects and we hope you will find the best one and have a good experience after reading and learning about lathes through this site.