Tips On How To Choose The Best Wood Lathe Tools


Wood lathes are power tools for garages or workshops that rotate pieces of wood around an axis that is horizontal allowing you to cut, drill, sand, face and turn wood so that you can form these pieces into finished shapes. Common types of wood lathe activities include table or chair legs, bowls, spoons, cups, and more.

The best type of wood lathe for a workshop depends on the available space, the power output required, and the woodworking project types you are interested in. In general, benchtop or mini lathes are better for smaller workspaces, the midi lathes are ideal for a medium workspace, while full-sized wood lathes take up a lot more space.

Regardless of the size that you decide on, it is important to choose a premium-quality wood lathe you can rely on for many years to come. Here is an overview of the different wood lathes to help you decide on the best wood lathe tools for your needs.

Wood Lathe Types


Wood lathes are available in three main types. These include the mini or benchtop, the midi, and the full-size. However, if you use a drill press, it is possible to use wood lathe attachments, that will allow you to turn your wood vertically rather than horizontally.

Benchtop Or Mini


Wood lathes are regarded as a benchtop or mini lathe when it has a distance of 20-inches or less between centers (DBC) and a swing-over-bed (SOB) of 12-inches or less. Simply put, the DBC is the length of the wood that you can use, and SOB refers to the diameter of the wood that rotates on your lathe.



The midi lathes fall between a full-sized and mini lathe in both size and power. The mid-sized wood lathes feature a design that is similar to the compact sizes of the benchtop wood lathes and a bit of the capacity or power potential of full-size lathes.

These wood lathe tools allow for a way to engage in larger projects while not having to worry about sacrificing floor space, especially in crowded workshops. These wood lathe types range widely in DBC, which often drop below 20-inches in size. The midi lathes are also more expensive, but still costs less than the full-size lathes.

Full Size


The full-size lathe has a powerful motor that takes up a lot more space than the benchtop/mini or midi wood lathes. They usually stand on their own at heights of around 4 feet, allowing for the easiest access to projects. The large lathes also have a much wider DBC that ranges over 45-inches in length, with an SOB that often exceeds 15-inches in diameter.

The full-size lathes allow you to engage in many different types of woodworking projects, which include making baseball bats or detailed and intricate table legs. However, the power and size of these wood lathes translate into higher costs when compared to the mini or midi lathes. The full-size lathe is recommended for experienced woodworkers or for those that require larger capacities for their intended projects. More at