6 Best Lathe For Bowl Turning – Top Woodworking Lathes

A wood lathe is a tool that can be of great use for your various woodworking projects. But picking the right tool for the job can be tricky sometimes. It can be hazardous for you if you lack in selecting the best option as per your work requirement. 

In case you’re in a hurry, let me tell you after testing of many lathes & experience I have selected Jet JWL-1015 as the Best Lathe For Bowl Turning because of Its exception features and performance.

If you’re a beginner, you might be having a lot of queries about the machine. And if you go for your purchase with this heavy head, chances are there that you end up buying the wrong machine. But you need not worry because we’ve got you covered. Below are all the top lathes for bowls and woodworking.

Best Lathe For Bowl Turning

Our Top 3 Best Wood Lathe For Turning Bowls

EDITOR’S CHOICE
Jet JWL-1015 Wood Working Lathe
Jet JWL-1015
 
9.7
  • Wide Bed For High Rigidity
  • 6 Spindle Speeds
  • Easy Access To Belts
PREMIUM PICK
PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS
KWL-1218VS
 
9.3
  • Dual Belt-Positioning
  • SCB Microprocessor
  • High Precision
BUDGET PICK
Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe
Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe
 
8.5
  • Electric Variable Speed
  • High Quality Finishing
  • 1725 RPM Motor

Best Lathe For Bowl Turning

1. Jet JWL-1015 Wood Working Lathe For Bowl Turning – Overall Best

best lathe for bowl turning

Jet JWL is our top pick for the best lathe for bowl turning. It is a wonderful tool when it comes to power delivery. Its versatility is remarkable in woodworking projects, especially when it comes to bowl turning. 

It can work on 6 different speeds that range from 500 RPM to 3975 RPM. The speed variation provides you with the ease of power selection as per your project selection. This is suitable for small to mid-level woodworking projects. 

The tensioning system in this lathe is designed to provide easy access to the belts. It also contains a 24 inches integrated position indexing feature. The device is built keeping in view the convenience and high usability for users. 

The 15 inches lathe is inexpensive and one of a kind when it comes to its wide applications and user experience. Its composition is compact thus provides high portability as well. 

The company gives a 5-year warranty to ensure the peace of mind of users. In case you find any fault during its usage, you can directly go to ask for the replacement or repair. 

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • High in power
  • 5 years manufacturer’s warranty.
Cons
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty projects

Top Features:

  1. The wide bed for high rigidity.
  2. It offers 6 spindle speeds of 500, 840, 1240, 1800, 2630, and 3975.
  3. The tensioning system provides easy access to belts.
  4. The machine has an integrated 24 positioning system.

2. PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS For Bowl Turning

best lathe for bowl turning

PSI KWL-1218VS is our second pick for the best lathe for bowl turning. This is one of the most versatile, power and performance that makes it a big beast.

It comes with a dual belt-positioning system for speed 500 to 1800 RPM or 1950 to 3800 RPM. This is a small device that offers a 1 horsepower variable speed induction motor. The SCB microprocessor is built for high precision, automotive use that delivers lasting reliability. 

The base of the machine is coated with iron material that ensures strength and high durability. It has digital controls that allow you to set it at a specific speed as per your projects’ demand. 

The tailstock taper is #2MT and the headstock thread stands at 1’’ x 8tpi. It has an 18” distance between the centers and the swing over the bed is 12’’. 

On the purchase, the product comes with additional accessories such as 4 hex wrenches, a Phillips screwdriver, PPE safety goggles, and tool rests. 

With an abundance of features, this tool is built to offer professional-grade results, high performance, and durability that makes it a great value for money.

Pros
  • Variable speed adjustments.
  • High precision
  • Additional accessories included
Cons
  • Poor instructions for a beginners to start

Top Features

  1. It has a 1 horsepower high-performance induction motor(120V-60HZ).
  2. It comes with a dual belt-positioning system ( 500 to 1800 RPM or 1950 to 3800 RPM). 
  3. The SCB microprocessor delivers high precision and reliability.

3. Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe For Bowl Turning

Delta Industrial 46-460

Delta midi lathe is a high-quality machine that is known as the best wood lathe for turning bowls. This tool would be a perfect pick for you if you’re dealing with projects like sculpture or bowls. 

This 1 horsepower tool has a 1725 RPM motor. 

The bowl turning is a lot easier with its 12.5 inches swing and this feature makes it one of a kind. The motor offers variable speed features and that you can adjust it depending on the need of your project.

It has an auto adjustable belt tension system that allows you to be adjusted without resting it. The bowl turning with this tool lasts longer, thanks to its cast-iron base. 

The onboard storage system of this tool adds more to its versatility and provides an ease to the user while working on their dream woodworking projects. 

Delta 46-460 Midi is the best wood lathe that provides high durability, performance, ease of use, and high accuracy in work. 

Pros
  • Easy adjustment 
  • Smooth speed variation
  • 5 years warranty
Cons
  • High price

Highlighted Features:

  1. The machine has an electric variable speed range for high-quality woodturning projects.
  2. It has a 1 horsepower 1725 RPM motor
  3. It provides the turner with a high quality finishing with its forward and reverse functioning. 
  4. It contains a drive spindle of 1 inch -8 RH TPI thread.

4. NOVA 1624 II Speed Wood Lathe For Bowl Turning

NOVA 1624 II

Nova 1624 is a big beast amongst other NOVA tools when it comes to bowl turning. It has uncountable features that ensure smooth and excellent performance for your woodworking projects. 

It contains a 1.5 HP motor with variable 8 speed ranges. The US and Canadian users get from 215-3600 RPM while the rest of the world gets a range from 178-3000 RPM. This high-speed tool is built to benefit left-handed people, making it easier to operate

Its manageable design provides you with a comfortable workspace with its sturdy body and stand. These are built with cast iron and excellent quality material that makes this tool highly durable. 

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This massive lathe has a 360 degrees swivel head that allows the worker to deal easily with larger bowls turning.  

It has an extendable bed with a turning capacity of 16 inches onboard and 29 inches outboard. On the bed, even the massive projects can be handled easily and smoothly.  that makes even the massive projects handle easily
We’ll recommend this wood bowl lathe considering its features and outstanding performance. It comes with 2 years of replacement warranty and an additional 3 years warranty on parts other than the motor, electronics, and consumables.

Pros
  • Strong and durable body
  • Highly affordable
  • Easy to assemble 
Cons
  • Poor speed adjustments

Highlighted Features

  1. It contains a 1.5 HP AC motor
  2. It has a 360 degrees swivel head
  3. It has a 16” swing capacity
  4. It comes with a stand included in the purchase price

5. Rikon 70-220VSR Midi Lathe For Bowl Turning

Rikon 70-220VSR

Rikon midi lathe also makes it to our top picks for best bowl lathe. Rickon is renowned for its manufacturing of power tools. 
Rickon 70-220VSR is a robust tool with its 1 horsepower motor that is ideal for impeccably handling turning projects, for instance, large platters and bowls. With its capacity of 12.5 diameter swing and 20 inches center distance, it can easily maneuver bowl turning. Its 24 positions index provides high accuracy in pattern and design working on various projects.

Rickon lathe has speed variations of 250 and 3850 RPM, you can easily adjust the speed as per your job requirement. It has an LED display for precision checking. 

Moreover, it has reverse and forward functionality that adds more to the flexible use of this tool.  All of its extended features make it the best wood lathe for turning bowls for you to purchase  

Pros
  • Strong and durable body
  • Highly affordable
  • High performance 
Cons
  • Expensive

Highlighted Features

  1. It has a 12.5 diameter swing and 20 inches center distance that offers great maneuvering. 
  2. It has 24 positioning indexes for precise pattern and design. 
  3. The speed variations of 250 and 3850 RPM offer great power. 

6. Laguna REVO 1836 lathe For Bowl Turning

Laguna REVO 1836

Laguna REVO 1836 lathe is one of the last picks for the best wood lathe that you can get your hands on for your turning projects. The machine is packed with a multitude of features that makes it a versatile tool. 

Its 2 Horsepower motor runs on 220 volts to produce a speed of 1725 RPM. Its dual ranged speed 135-3500 and 50-1300 lower RPM makes it perfectly versatile in power output. This high speed is attained with the VDF that transforms a single phase input to a 3 phase output. You can achieve outstanding torque even at low settings. 

Its untroublesome body comes with a tailstock and headstocks with strategic positions to avoid potential interruptions. A cam lock is also available on the machine to provide a smooth and deflection-free feel. 

The anodized aluminum control panel and ergonomically fitted knurled control knob are one of the most highlighted features of this machine. The rubber grip of the knob adds more comfort to its operation for users. 

The machine bed is wide and offers easy movement and transport for cast iron headstock.  Overall, this product is a full package for woodturning projects with its unique features and modern build design. 

 You will never regret getting your hands on this amazing tool. It’s highly recommended!

Pros
  • Smooth and easy to operate
  • Flawless finishing
  • Flawless finishing 
Cons
  • Power converter issues.

Highlighted features

  1. It comes with a headstock and tailstock to avoid potential interruptions. 
  2. It has VDF to transform a single phase input to a 3 phase output to attain high speed.
  3. It has a cam lock to provide a deflection free feel while usage.  

Buying Guide For Best Lathe For Bowl Turning

Investing in a lathe for your dream projects is a big deal. So here are some of the significant things you should consider to buy the best wood lathe for yourself. This would ensure your investment doesn’t go for a tool that’s not worth it!.

Size of the Lathe

Most people are mistaken when deciding about the size of a lathe. Unlike other woodworking tools, you don’t look for a portable lathe. The reason is that size matters a lot for lathe machines in wood turning projects. 

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In small sized lathes, it’s hard to handle heavier and larger woods used for bowl turning. It gets tricky for beginners to choose the perfect sized machine for their projects, so it’s better if you choose a suitable sized lathe if you think you don’t have some heavy projects to do with it. 

If you’re professional and have a lot to do with a lathe in addition to turning bowls, then we recommend going with a large sized one. It’s a large machine and requires heavy investment so going for the perfect size is the wisest choice you can make. 

Last but not least, prefer to measure the workspace and specifically the place where you want to put the new machine. It will save you from the post buying hurdles of keeping the machine. 

Power and performance

The larger lathe machines mostly contain motors that have speeds up to 2 HP. The power output of a motor affects the potential speed of a wood lathe. The full sized lathe is more ideal as it provides a suitable speed to handle mini as well as larger bowls. 

The high performance of the machine will ensure quick and accurate work is done. Always remember to never compromise on power and performance.

 If you’re investing your heaps of money over a machine that isn’t sufficient in power to make your work easier and smooth, it isn’t worth it at all. 

The capacity of Lathe

There are two ways to determine the capacity of the best wood lathe.

DBC:

It Denotes the difference between headstock and tailstock. It is the determination of the maximum length of the wood piece that can be used in the lathe. It ranges from 12 inches to 40 inches.

SOB:

It refers to the maximum diameter of the wood piece that can be used before fitting into the wood lathe. It ranges from 6 inches to 15 inches. 

Headstock and Tailstock:

Headstock determines the piercing capacity of your wood pieces. Whereas, tailstock ensures that the wood piece is fixed and isn’t dispositioned vertically or horizontally. 

These components’ work capacity and performance matter a lot for the accuracy and precision in the pattern and design of the turning bowls. Make sure to examine the performance of these components before making your purchase decision.

Safety:

Never compromise on safety when you’re going to purchase a heavy machine like a lathe. A tool that is designed keeping in view the safety of the user always wins the game. In the case of lathe one of the safety features could be its slow start motor. 

The motor starts to make sure no piece comes out spinning and hurting the user to handle the woodblock.

Final Words For Bowl Turning Lathes

After reading this detailed guide, you are now able to pick the best lathe for bowl turning. Keeping in mind the budget and type of tool go for the one that is ideal for your job type. If you don’t feel the need of going for the larger machine, go for the MIDI lathe because that can work well for your small to mid-capacity work. 

FAQ’s

1.What is the best wood lathe to buy?

Jet JWL-1015 is the best lathe to buy. It has a wide bed that offers high rigidity. Other features like 6 spindle speeds, the tensioning system, and the machine integrated with 24 positioning system, all collectively provide high accuracy and performance makes this machine the top pick to get your hands on.

2. How to make a mini lathe for wood?

  1. You can easily make a mini lathe for wood in easy and simple 7 steps. 
  2. Make a strong wood base. 
  3. Attach the dovetail and nested plywood with dadoes to the base with the sedes angles at 20 degrees.
  4. Now make the four headstocks and hold them strongly with glue on the location precisely.
  5. It is time for the tailstock fixing. 
  6. Join the tailstock and reset the tools.
  7. In the end, mount the motor and get done with finishing your project.

3. How to sharpen a gouge for a lathe?

To sharpen the gouge, place it against the sharpening wheel at an angle that best suits for accurate sharpening. Now start pushing the gouge towards the wheel keeping in view the center. Remove the access from both sides equally. Check it from your hands and see if the blur starts appearing, you’re good to go. 

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