Solid performance and contains all the features hobbyists will likely need. Pretty decent capacities with a 7-inch swing over distance and 10-inch between centers distance. Powerful 3/4HP motor and very affordable price.
The forward/reverse/neutral switch is located in such a way that left-handed users might accidentally touch it without meaning to. This is not ideal from production-level use but only for light metal working tasks by hobbyists and small shops.
Perfect for light and simple metal turning tasks. With is price and features, this is one of the best budget options. However, those looking for a production-level lathe might have to look elsewhere for a machine specifically designed for heavy usage.
If you’re just a hobbyist who likes to tinker with metals or a shop owner who does light metal turning tasks, a full-sized lathe might be an impractical buy for you. While it may be packed with great specs and designed for heavy-duty usage, its high-end features will be wasted as you won’t be able to fully utilize its capabilities.
What you probably need is a no-frills, inexpensive metal lathe that does its tasks efficiently without ruining your budget. If this type of buyer describes you, then a good option for you will be the Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe.
It’s perfectly designed for lighter tasks and is packed with the needed features to do just that. More importantly, it is very affordable which explains why the product is our Best Budget Pick for 2019. We’ll discuss some of its features below to help you decide whether you should buy it or not.
Useful Features To Help You Finish Your Projects
The first question to ask when buying an inexpensive lathe is this – does it have all the features I need to get the job done? Despite its small size, this product is surprisingly packed with all the specs and features you need to start your metal crafting projects and finish them to completion. Of course, you can’t really expect it to have all the features found in high-end ones but what it has is more than enough to meet the requirements and needs of hobbyists and small shops.
For instance, let’s talk about power. Power is a major consideration when purchasing a machine and there must be enough of it to complete your tasks to the very end. While it has smaller dimensions compared to other options, it is surprisingly more powerful when compared to some of the higher priced products. It features a 3/4HP motor, which should give the machine enough juice to tackle the woodturning projects you have in mind. For comparison, other models only have 1/2HP motors.
Let’s talk about spindle speed. Depending on the particular project you are currently working on, you might either need a very high speed of rotation or a very low spindle speed or somewhere in between. Naturally, you will need a product that can accommodate a wide range of spindle speed demands so you can use it for varied tasks.
This machine can give you just the right rotation speed you need. It has a wide spindle speed range and can go from 0 to a high of 2500 RPM. The good part is that you’re in control of the speed of rotation as this is a variable speed product. Whatever type of metal shaping projects you may have, you’re assured of a high-quality output with this degree of control.
One of the most common metal turning tasks when working with lathes is threading. With the Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe, threading is a breeze as it is capable of threads from 12 to 52 TPI.
Perfect Even For Beginner-Level Users
In every field of human endeavor, we all have to start at a near-zero level in terms of skills and experience and eventually work our way up. This is true even in the area of metal works, everyone starts as a newbie before becoming a pro.
If you’re new to metal turning, you might want to choose a machine that’s not only convenient to use by experts but is also easy enough for beginners. This product is one of those rare machines that cater to both pros and newbies alike.
For instance, it’s very easy to control the spindle speed which is accessed via a handy knob. There is also an automatic feed which makes your tasks even easier. In addition, it has a chuck guard for additional protection.
But I Just Wish…
As an entry-level, affordable metal lathe
, you can’t really expect it to contain all the dream features you’ll find in more expensive models. For instance, some owners warn that left-handed users must be extra careful when using the machine. Apparently, the forward/neutral/reverse modes are all controlled by a toggle switch and left-handed users might accidentally touch the switch.
There are also complaints that the machine might not be suitable for heavy production. This is understandable as the machine is best suited for use by hobbyists and small shops. Thus, before purchasing, it’s wise to keep in mind the reviews and comments people have made, and take them into account as well.