SHOP FOX W1704 Benchtop Lathe Review

The Good

Metalworkers who are after reliable yet affordable metal lathe will definitely love SHOP FOX W1704. The engine is made out of top quality materials that’s packed with a 1/3 HP power. It also gives you unlimited control over the variability of speed and is equipped with an analog interface.

The Bad

The spare parts of this machine can be very difficult to find. Also, if you are that kind of operator who is fond of a well-designed machine, then this machine might not be the right one for you. Few users also complained about some minor adjustments before using the machine, particularly the tail and the headstocks.
shop fox w1704

The Bottomline

This is definitely the ideal machine for users who wanted to take their home projects into a whole new level. The power and features of this affordable machine are pretty on point, which means that you can do decent metalwork without tearing your wallet apart.
With its 1/3 horsepower and 700 to 3,200 RPM variable speed motor, the SHOP FOX W1704 is definitely one of the best mini metal lathes today. It includes top quality two tool rests and has a 13-inch distance between centers and 8-inch swing over the bed. If you are into fun metal projects, then this machine is definitely built for you.
Regardless of whether you are turning soft or hard kinds of wood or metal, its infinite variable speed should be very useful. Making items that cannot be supported from the tailstock is still possible with this machine, thanks to its 5 ¾ inch faceplate that threads onto the headstock spindle for non-spindle turning.
Durability is also not an issue since the construction of the machine mainly uses cast iron. With proper care and maintenance, you will be able to use this machine for a longer period of time. The more durable your mini metal lathe is, the more will be able to create metalwork projects and experiments.

Very Affordable

What makes this model very popular is because of its power and affordability. There are so many machines out there that have great horsepower, amazing variable speed motor, and top quality spindle needles. But this one is almost always the most practical option because of its price.
Considering its inexpensive cost, this decent mini lathe should be able to help you save more money. Instead of spending too much money buying a new machine, why not save some and buy more quality tools and materials for your next metalwork project? And take note, just because it is more affordable compared to other machine doesn’t mean that it will not be able to provide you with very satisfactory outputs.

Light and Durable Design

This is absolutely a light but powerful machine. It only weighs 45 pounds and can be transported from one place to another without too much effort. It also has top quality cast iron that can fit neatly to almost all kinds of a workbench.
The form and structure of this machine is less bulky compared to other mini metal lathes. It has 3/4 x 16-inches of RH spindle and 4 1/2-inches and 7-inches tools rest. Users will also find its 5 3/4-inches faceplate very beneficial. You will definitely be able to save a lot of space inside your work area if you choose this machine.
And apart from being light and handy, its design is also pretty decent. The SHOP FOX W1704 mainly uses cast iron and has a great safety paddle switch feature. Although it weighs less than other machines, it is definitely one of the most durable metal lathes that you can buy in the market today.

But I Just Wish…

Due to its super cheap price, the design of this model was a bit compromised. It is a decent machine that is packed with power, but when it comes to its form and overall look, it can be a setback. This is definitely not the right machine for operators who are looking for attractive machines.
You will also find numbers of users who are having a hard time setting up the machine for first-time use. Adjusting and aligning the headstock can be very time-consuming since they don’t always line up. And so, it is important that you check the alignment from time to time.
Also, one of the most common complaints made by its users is that the spare parts are very difficult to find. If you are in a hurry and you need to replace certain parts the soonest time possible, you may find yourself frustrated. Nonetheless, if you know how to take good care of your machine, then this particular model is definitely worth the buy. Because at the end of the day, a machine is only a machine. It will reach its breaking point. If you know how to take care of your machines, most definitely they will last you longer.
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