What is a lathe?
In order to choose the best lathe available you must first learn what a lathe specifically does as a machine. A lathe is a machine that gives the correct and desired shape to a piece of craft through a rotating device for both metal and wood applications. Lathes can be used for commercial, industrial, or personal use and can be readily found in backyard sheds to the most complex industrial factories around the world. Lathes can also range in sizes from small, medium and larger machines. Medium and larger lathes are generally found in industrial and commercial settings as owning larger lathes for smaller personal jobs at home can be quite unnecessary and cost effective, in this case we have also included the best mini lathe available.
In order to learn what the best lathe available is you must first do some research to discover the best available model required for your job, be it metal or wood. In this buyers guide you can learn which machine best suits you and what you desire, as we compare the top 5 lathe machines from various sources and simplify the specifics with our knowledge, experience and expertise. You can readily find reviews on lathe accessories that can greatly benefit you while also searching for the best wood lathe that is readily accessible. You can also check out some wood lathe chucks and wood lathe accessories with more detailed explanations and analysis’s to help give you an idea of what you further desire.
With this tutorial, we have compiled all available information with help from top mini metal lathe reviews and top industrial lathes as well as important and useful FAQ’s regarding first hand experiences with lathes to give you the best possible chance of making an informed decision when buying a lathe.
|Top 5 Best Wood Lathe||Top 5 Best Metal Lathe|
Types of lathes
As of now, you know about lathes and their functions. Now, you will learn everything else you need to know about lathes. Lathes come in all shapes and sizes with various types, accessories, and exclusive features to help users complete a wide range of tasks.
• Wood lathe
Wood lathes are self-explanatory, they are solely used for wood applications. To use a wood lathe you will require a skilled and steady hand to control the cutting device to ultimately give you the finished piece of work complete with complex contours and smooth curves usually found on high quality pieces. Wood lathes are particularly adjustable and come complete with a headstock, bed, tailstock, and tool rest.
• Engine lathe
Engine lathes are the workhorses of the metal turning devices. These lathes are highly flexible when working with different materials. Engine lathes come complete with a longitudinal bed where you will also find a mounted headstock and tailstock. Engine lathes come in a plethora of various sizes that are readily available.
• Turret lathe
Turret lathes are widely used in various factories and workshops around the world. They have the ability to complete numerous jobs on a single machine. Although used widely, turret lathes are considered to be time consuming and cost effective to run in terms of removing and re-applying applications.
• Toolroom lathe
Toolroom lathes come in small and medium sizes and are meticulous in high precision work. You can usually find them in tap and die and tool workshops and factories. Toolroom lathes have higher precision and accuracy than engine lathes.
• CNC lathe Machine
CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) lathes are closely related to engine lathes except they are considerably bigger compared to their counterpart. A CNC lathe is extremely economical with greater feedback control for watching, powered axis drives, tool placing maintenance, and quick repetition of difficult device motions.
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Where will you find the best lathe?
When buying lathes there are two things to consider; performance and price, the best lathe should be affordable as well as surpassing expectations and requirements of the user. When looking to buy a lathe you cannot compromise quality in order to save money or else you will be deeply unsatisfied with the product. But try to find a nice middle point to balance both fields.
A reliable source of finding the best lathe available is Amazon.com, in relation with other sites and sources out there. You can easily find available diverse models at lower prices compared to certain sites and other offline options. Another benefit of shopping at Amazon is that you can usually get free shipping compared to paying for shipping with other services out there.
Making the buying decision
You should become familiar with different models on the market before buying one that you intend to use for at least a few years. With this in mind it is vital that you make sure you analyse different factors when comparing features for different lathes that you may use for certain job applications.
If you don’t do the research it could result in a wasted purchase or you might simply not be able to use the apparatus to its capacity due to lack of skill and knowledge. The available reviews can further help you select the right model and type.
Woodturning can be considered a unique skill, therefore users show great interest when investing in a device that will be beneficial long after the initial purchase.
How to use a lathe
Typically, lathes are used for creating certain functional and decorative furniture items such as chair legs, table legs, bowls, and even toys. Lathes range in size, from benchtop lathes, to lathes the size of cars, but they all share the same goal using the same fundamentals, these are the best techniques when using a lathe:
- Choosing the best lathe for the right project.
- Choosing the correct lathe operation you will start with.
- Choose the appropriate cutting tools for your project.
- Learn the proper elements of your lathe.
- Most importantly, read the user manual before purchasing the best lathe in order to know specific safety instructions, features and proper instructions when operating machinery.
- Choose an appropriate piece of wood or metal depending on the project you have in mind
- Square the wood or metal stock shape.
- Cut the wood or metal stock length.
- Measure and determine the centre in the ends of either your piece of metal or wood and place it in between the lathe centres.
- Place the test tool parallel to the work pieces length. Make sure you keep the piece far back enough to allow for the piece to rotate without hitting the machine but still keeping the piece as close as possible.
- Hand turn or free spin the piece of material you have in the machine and further ensure that it doesn’t strike the tool rest.
- Select the chisel you will use to cut the piece
Lathes can easily be bought for certain and customized jobs making them a very common tool to have, you can find lathes all around the world and as effective as the lathe is, it needs proper care and maintenance for optimum performance.
Below is a short list of proper precautions you should implement habitually for the efficiency, performance and longevity of your lathe.
- Lubricate the lathe’s moving parts: Lack of lubrication is a common problem with lathes. How much lubrication varies with each machine, however, care must be taken for the parts that do need lubrication and protection.
- Remove debris from the lathe: Debris on the machine can absorb oil and furthermore cause irreparable rust. Try to remove debris from your lathe after each job or day.
- Sharpen the lathe blades: Sharpening the blades yourself is a great way to save some money as well as ensuring that the job has been done correctly.
- Disassemble the lathe: Taking apart your lathe from time to time can prove a great job as you are cleaning your lathe of debris, able to give it a proper deep cleaning, as well as learning about your lathe and its parts inside and out.
Whether you are looking for the best lathe for personal work, professional work or just as a hobby, this list will help you decide which the best is for you. Investing in a mini lathe is also a great venture as you can potentially get more bang for your buck, although there might be a few features that it lacks compared to bigger lathes.
Now that you have done your homework and learnt what you are looking for you must now choose between a midi lathe and a mini lathe. Wood lathe reviews and midi lathe reviews will help you decide on which you want.
It is highly recommended that you also explore through the reviews on the bench top CNC lathe to further help you make a choice while also getting a decent deal. Finally you should decide on what lathe parts you will need, once you have done this you can go and buy the best lathe for your job needs.