3 Best midi lathes for turning

When you’re looking to buy woodturning tools, you may want to start with the midi lathe, which is the most versatile type of lathe and fits the needs of most woodturners. Before making your decision, however, it’s essential to research the different midi lathes available so you can make sure you purchase one that fits your budget and your needs. Here are some of the Best midi lathes on the market to help you find the perfect one.

Get the Best Midi Lathe for Your Woodturning Needs

Delta Industrial 46-460 Variable-Speed Midi Lathe – Editors Choice

If you a looking for a lathe that can be more versatile and powerful than the typical mini lathes, look no further than this lathe from the Delta industry.

It boasts a 1 HP single-phase induction motor with adequate torque to drive the spindle at 1,750 rpm to handle even highly figured woods, and you can also slow it down to 250 rpm for larger projects. A unique belt-tensioning mechanism allows for rapid speed changes while consistently setting the belt at the right tension for maximum power transmission and longer tool life.

You’ll have no trouble making your most ambitious items, such as large bowls because it has a maximum turning swing capacity of 12 ½ inches. Furthermore, it comes with an extension bed, which extends the overall bed length to 42 inches, allowing you to turn the longest piece of wood.

Unlike most lathes, this midi lathe has a forward-reverse function that brings accuracy and precision, especially when a turner wants to achieve a superior finish. A switch engages the forward reverse function in this lathe, which then rotate the turned piece in both directions.

Like the majority of lathes, it has a cast iron body for strength and durability as well well for reducing vibrations. Backed by a five-year warranty, this is the ideal midi for any skill level that will give you fast and smooth results. With this tool, you won’t have any problems turning pens or smaller items like ornaments, tool handles, goblets, etc.

RIKON Power Tools VSR MIDI Lathe (RIK-70-150VSR) – Runners up

Are you looking for a powerful and versatile midi lathe? If so, check out the RIKON Power Tools VSR MIDI Lathe. This lathe is capable of handling a variety of woodturning projects, from small bowls to large platters.

With its powerful 1 HP motor and 12 swings capacity, this lathe can handle just about anything you throw. Plus, its Variable Speed Control lets you adjust the speed to suit your project and material. The variable speed control also gives you more power and allows you to produce different finishes quickly. Another great feature is the digital RPM readout that shows how fast the cutting bit is spinning, letting users know when they’re at their desired RPMs.

Weighing in at only 95 pounds, this machine has no problem with portability and storage, unlike the one from delta industrial. It has a 16 inches distance between centers, but you can get a bed extension of 24 inches for turning on a longer piece of wood. For safety, it comes with a pivoting belt cover for easy access and safety when changing belt speeds.

The only thing keeping this midi lathe from being at the top of the list was the lack of additional attachments, such as the faceplate seen on the Delta Industrial lathe. However, If you’re looking for a high-quality product from one of the industry’s top manufacturers, this is definitely one to consider. It is powerful enough to take on any project and durable enough to last for years. Whether you’re new to woodworking or have been doing it for years, this machine will be a good fit.

WEN 3424T MIDI Lathe Budget pick

Whether you’re a professional woodworker or a hobbyist, the WEN 3424T MIDI Lathe is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality, budget-friendly lathe.

It has a powerful 4.5A motor that provides maximum torque with five different operating speeds, enabling you to handle even the most challenging projects from as low as 520 RPM to as high as 3400 rotations per minute. Also, it has an 18-inch bed length and 12-inch swing capacity, making it ideal for larger projects. The 3-1/8 inch faceplate is suitable for turning bowls, cups, and other non-spindle workpieces.

Unlike the Delta and Rikon, the WEN 3424 power switch has been recessed to avoid accidental contact, and the unit has an adjustable tool rest to accommodate both large and small turning tools. The spindle features four pre-drilled mounting holes for quickly securing your chucks (included). And to hold your workpieces tightly, it features an MT2 spindle and tailstock taper.

Lastly, the WEN 3424T MIDI Lathe has a two-year warranty covering parts and labor. As long as you register your product within 30 days of purchase, they will take care of any problems that arise during that time period at no cost to you! It doesn’t get much better than that!

Things to consider when buying a midi lathe

If you’re in the market for a midi lathe, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind;

1. Motor Ability

You’ll want something that can handle whatever you throw at it. An underpowered lathe motor won’t be able to drive the spindle at high speeds or produce enough torque to complete the work. Therefore the best midi lathes will have a powerful motor that can handle various projects. Look for a model with at least 1 HP, preferably 1.5 HP.

2. The Distance Between Centers and swing

When looking for a midi lathe, it’s essential to consider the distance between centers and swings. The distance between centers is the measurement from the center of the spindle to the center of the tailstock and is typically around 16-20inch. The swing is the measurement from the center of the spindle to the farthest point of the bed and is usually around 12-13inch.

A larger distance between centers means you can reach more wood with your chisel when shaping the wood to avoid over-turning. However, too large of a distance may make some projects difficult or impossible without some creative maneuvering.

Therefore you will want to pick a lathe with at least a minimum swing of 12-13 inches and at least a 20-inch bed. This will be enough to handle the majority of projects.

3. Speed ranges

No matter your woodturning needs, you can find a midi lathe that will suit your purposes. For example, if you need to work with small pieces of wood, you’ll want a lathe with a lower speed range. Conversely, if you’re working with larger pieces of wood, you’ll need a lathe with a higher speed range. An excellent midi lathe should have a speed range of at least 250 to 3,400 RPM.

What is a midi lathe?

A midi lathe is a flexible woodturning tool capable of producing a wide range of turned wood items. A midi lathe can help you obtain professional-looking results when making bowls, vases, or other ornamental pieces. Midi lathes are larger versions of mini lathes, having a swing diameter of 12-13 inches on a 20-inch bed with a bed extension. Mini lathes typically have a swing of around 10 inches and a center distance of 14-18 inches.

Conclusions Best midi lathe

No matter your woodturning needs, you can find the best midi lathe to suit them. There are many different models and brands on the market, so do your research to find the one that’s right for you.

With a bit of time and effort, you can be sure to find the perfect midi lathe for your shop. In this guide, we’ve gone over the essential features to look for in a midi lathe and highlighted some great examples of each type. You should now have a better idea of what it is you’re looking for in your next purchase.