Best Metal Lathe Reviews - Top 5 Best Metal Lathe 2019

A metal lathe is one of the most versatile equipment any workshop could have. It is there to help you cut, polish, thread and basically mold metals to your desired shape and size. For those who love to tinker with car or gun parts, this machine allows you to create your own custom-made mechanical parts.

However, choosing the perfect industrial lathe for you can be a bit tricky considering the number of brands and models currently available on the market. To help you in your search, we’ve prepared this best metal lathe buying guide which is basically a short list of products handpicked for their quality, performance and reasonable pricing.
Take a look at our top 5 metal lathes and see if one of these products is what you’ve been looking for. We’ve also included a brief review for each product highlighting the advantages as well as the advantages of each one so you’ll have a more thorough understanding of what they have to offer.

Hottest Best Metal Lathes Picks

But if you’re really super busy and have no time to read the entire review at the moment, we present to you two of our hottest picks below.
Best Overall Pick
bestequip maintenance free metal lathe
BestEquip Maintenance Free Metal Lathe
Perfect Choice If Price Is Not An Issue For You
Durable construction
High-precision lathe
Greater flexibility in terms of spindle speed control
Wide range of threading capability
CHECK PRICE
Best Cost-Effective Pick
grizzly g8688 mini metal lathe
Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe
Perfect Option For Those Looking For Great Value For Their Money
You have total control of the spindle speed
Great functionality for its price
Achieves the same speeds for both forward and reverse
Good customer support
CHECK PRICE

5 Best Metal Lathe Reviews

Since you’ve read this far, you’re probably interested on our other metal lathe suggestions as well. In this review proper, we will go into a more detailed look at our top five picks, which include the two hottest picks we’ve already mentioned above.
This time, however, we will be presenting to you some technical details such as their specs and features. We also included what we think are the pros as well as the cons for each product so you will have a more balanced viewpoint before you make your buying decision.

Grizzly G0602 Bench Top Metal Lathe, 10 x 22-Inch

Quick Summary

  • Price: Under $1600
  • Item Weight: 432 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 447 pounds
  • Dimensions: 46 x 22 x 16-5/8 inches
  • Swing over Bed: 9-5/8 inches
  • Swing over cross slide: 6-1/8 inches
  • Between Centers Capacity: 22 inches
  • Motor: 1HP, 110V, Single phase
  • Spindle Speed: Six speed settings at 150, 300, 560, 720, 1200, 2400 RPM
  • Tailstock barrel taper: MT #3
  • Number of inch threads: 33
  • Range of inch threads: 8 to 72 TPI (threads per inch)
  • Number of metric threads: 26
  • Range of metric threads: 0.25 to 3.5mm
  • Warranty: 1 year
For a benchtop model, the Grizzly G0602 Bench Top Metal Lathe packs quite a punch. It features a 1HP motor which is powerful enough to handle any mid-sized projects you have in mind. It has a 9 5/8-inch swing capacity, a 6 1/8-inch cross slide and a 22-inch distance between centers makes this industrial lathe very versatile machinery that every workshop should have.
This versatility is further showcased in this Grizzly industrial lathe’s wide range of threading capabilities. It has 33-inch threads and is capable of threading tasks between 8 to 72 threads per inch. Its number of metric threads is 26, allowing you to thread between 0.25 to 3.5 mm. The equipment has six spindle speeds at 150, 300, 560, 720, 1200, and 2400 rpm.
It is rated 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon. John P., who bought the product on the e-commerce site, wrote:
“Everything works as required. Turns true and slides are within specs.
As expected for price and origin one must dismantle, clean, deburr, and lubricate before use.
Once this is done it operates well.

Break in period is important, I had particulate in the used fluid I would not want the lathe running in for long. One issue I experienced was that the E-Stop switch fell out of the control panel the 3rd time I used it. (E-stop is the off switch) A few screws to dismantle the panel and the switch reinstalled without issue.”
PROS
Wide range of threading capability
Six spindle speed options
1HP motor ideal for projects of smaller workshops
Quality construction
Surprising functionality and versatility for its size
CONS
Warranty up to 1 year only
More expensive than other models
Click here to own the multi-functional Grizzly G0602 Bench Top Metal Lathe now!

Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe 

Quick Summary

  • Price: Under $850
  • Item Weight: 104.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 36 x 17.3 x 14.6 inches
  • Swing over Bed: 7 inches
  • Between Centers Capacity: 14 inches
  • Motor: 0.53HP, 120 V, 60 Hz, Single Phase, 400 W
  • Spindle Speed: 50 to 2500 RPM infinitely variable speed
  • Spindle bore: 0.79 in (20 mm)
  • Spindle taper: MT3
  • Tailstock barrel taper: MT2
  • Range of inch threads: 12 to 52 TPI (threads per inch)
  • Warranty: 1 year
If you are just a hobbyist and don’t really require a big industrial lathe for your projects, then the Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe might be perfect for you. It features a variable spindle speed that you can set anywhere between 50 to 2500 rpm.
It has a swing capacity of 7 inches and a between centers capacity of 14 inches which is ideal for small projects. One of the features that set this mini lathe apart from the rest is that it has a digital display for its spindle speed, which makes monitoring and adjustments to its speed very easy.
It is rated 3.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Buyer Richard P. Lague gave it a five-star and wrote:
“A good product at a good price. I like the 4" chuck and the lathe in general. Lots of information online for setting up and adjusting. My lathe came fast in 3 days from the east coast and was in perfect condition. The packing is terrific with lots of foam packing material. My only complaint here is that the tools were all sort of tossed in and floating around the box, but they were all there.

The chuck was in very good alignment and 4" is what I needed for the work I want to do. The quality seems very good for this price point. The motor seems powerful and the gearing is relatively quiet. I recommend this lathe and this supplier.”
PROS
Easy-to-read digital RPM indicator
You can calibrate the spindle speed to any level within its operational range
Good value for its price
Ideal for small metal turning projects
CONS
There are plastic parts
Some owners complain about its hard-to-understand owner’s manual
Even newbies will have no problems operating this industrial lathe. Get your very own Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe now!

Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe, 7 x 12-Inch

Quick Summary

  • Price: Under $650
  • Item Weight: 74 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 90 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13 x 30.2 x 13 inches
  • Swing over Bed: 7 inches
  • Between Centers Capacity: 12 inches
  • Motor: 3/4 HP, 110-volt, single-phase
  • Spindle Speed: Variable - Low Range: 0-1100 RPM, High Range: 0-2500 RPM
  • Number of thread pitches: 18 (inch) & 10 (metric)
  • Range of threads: 12 to 52 TPI (threads per inch)
  • Warranty: 1 year
If you are looking for something more powerful than the Erie Tools 7 x 14, a good option would be the Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe. It has a 3/4HP motor to power the spindle to speeds of up to 2500 RPM. One attractive feature of this feature-packed industrial lathe is that there are no pre-set speeds; you can adjust the spindle speed to any level you prefer within its range and you get the same speed range between both forward and reverse directions.
With its 7-inch swing capacity and 14-inch between centers capacity, this machinery is perfect for smaller metal turning projects. It has a wide range of threading capacity between 12 to 52 threads per inch.
Amazon customers gave it an average rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars. Eldan Fales, who bought the product on the site, wrote:
“Good machine with awesome support company. I bought mine discounted with minor damage, but I fixed it easily. I am new at Hobby machining but this is a good machine to learn on. I am making small battleship model gun tubes for some scratch build work, and the lathe is doing this fine.”
PROS
You have total control of the spindle speed
Great functionality for its price
Achieves the same speeds for both forward and reverse
Good customer support
CONS
Some buyers complained about quality issues with some of its parts
There are complaints about the manual not detailed enough
Own a Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe 7 x 12-Inch and start working on your own metal projects!

Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe

Quick Summary

  • Price: Under $650
  • Item Weight: 87 pounds
  • Swing over Bed: 7 inches
  • Between Centers Capacity: 10 inches
  • Motor: 3/4HP, 110V
  • Spindle Speed: Variable - 0-1100 RPM (low) •0-2500 RPM (high)
  • Spindle taper: MT2
  • Tailstock taper: MT2
  • Range of threads: 12 to 52 TPI (threads per inch)
  • Warranty: 1 year
Compared to the previously-reviewed Grizzly, the Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe has an even shorter between centers capacity of 10 inches, which is shorter by 2 inches. Thus, this industrial lathe is also ideal for smaller metal turning projects.
You can use this equipment for threading within the 12 to 52 TPI range. It also allows you to control spindle speeds up to 2500 RPM. It sports a 3/4HP motor which delivers enough power for the smaller-sized tasks this machine is designed for. It is very simple to operate which makes it ideal to hobbyists still new to the art of metal turning.
Amazon buyer David Wheeler wrote:
“This machine does all I expected and more, the only thing that causes me a little concern is the plastic feed gears. I think the gears should be metal, although they seem to work fine.”
PROS
Ease of use enhanced by its automatic feed feature
Spindle speed very easy to change with its speed knob
CONS
Some users complain that the user manual is not so clear on the machine’s operation
There are also complaints about the presence of plastic parts
Warranty is only 1 year
Interested in creating your own mechanical parts at home? Get the Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe by clicking here.

BestEquip Maintenance Free Metal Lathe 

Quick Summary

  • Price: Under $1400
  • Shipping Weight: 170 lbs
  • Dimensions: 36x19x17 inches
  • Swing over Bed: 8-1/4 inches (210 mm)
  • Cross Slide: 4-5/8 inches (117 mm)
  • Between Centers Capacity: 15-3/4 inches (400 mm)
  • Motor: 750 W
  • Spindle Speed: Variable - Low 50-1250, high 100-2500 RPM
  • Spindle taper: MT3
  • Tailstock taper: MT#2
  • Inch Threads: 8-44 TPI
  • Metric Threads: 0.5-3.0 mm
If you are looking for a high-precision industrial lathe for tasks that require greater accuracy, then BestEquip’s Maintenance Free Metal Lathe 8x16 Inch might be perfect for you. It is a very versatile piece of machinery and can handle different materials such as jade, wood and different types of metal. It is powered by a 750 W motor and its spindle speeds can be adjusted anywhere within the 50 to 2500 RPM range.
It has a metric threading capability in the 0.5 to 3.0 mm range and its inch threading range is between 8 to 44 threads per inch. Swing capacity is 8.25 inches while the distance between centers measures at 15.75 inches. Very accurate that it is even considered one of the best gunsmith lathes out there.
High customer satisfaction with a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Buyer Shawantale Perry wrote:
“This metal lathe with high price/performance ratio. Very suitable for beginner or intermediate woodworkers if they wanna not to spend so much. Really easy to set up and use, the lathe works just as expected.”
PROS
Durable construction
High-precision lathe
Greater flexibility in terms of spindle speed control
Wide range of threading capability
Versatile for use with different materials
CONS
More expensive than other options
One of the best industrial metal lathes you’ll ever get at this price range. Get the versatile BestEquip Maintenance Free Metal Lathe Variable Spindle Speed now!

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Metal Lathe For You

We’ve just presented five of the best metal lathes available on the market today. But before you go ahead and make your purchase, we offer some tips to help you choose the right machine for you. Here are a few factors to consider when buying the best metal lathe for your needs.

The physical size of the lathe

It is very important to know the dimensions of the industrial lathe that you are planning to buy as some workshops might have a very limited amount of space for new machinery. As such, always make sure that the lathe will fit into the space and with some room to spare so you will have enough room to move around while working.

The size of your projects

Are all your metalworking projects on the smaller side? If so, a more practical choice would be to get a mini metal lathe for your workshop. However, if you work on bigger projects, a full-sized industrial lathe is the appropriate choice. Just take note on the distance between centers and swing capacities of the lathe as they determine the maximum length and diameter that it can handle.

Spindle speed

Be sure to choose a metal lathe that’s perfect for the task you have in mind. For instance, screwcutting require very slow spindle speeds which is usually set in the 25 to 70 RPM range.If you do screwcutting, make sure that the lathe you choose has a variable speed control feature that allows you to operate at lower rotation speeds.

Final Thoughts

The highly versatile industrial lathe is an essential tool that every workshop need to have. Given its importance, you need to do the necessary research to ensure that you will get the right one for your needs. Aside from its features, it is equally important to choose a durable and high-quality product so you will be able to use it for years to come. We hope that this Metal Lathe Review and Buying Guide has helped you make the right choice.
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