Wood lathe's. #1: What wood lathe is the best bang for your buck?

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Blog entry by Dakotajack posted 05-01-2014 11:35 PM 3690 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Just wondering out loud, wood turners, which lathe is the best bang for your buck?

-- John, South Dakota

7 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 4128 days

#1 posted 05-01-2014 11:41 PM

For me….
My first & only lathe, a Craigslist find….
A JET 1442 VSK. Retails new for around $1,400.00….
Picked it up in good condition for $375.00!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 4216 days

#2 posted 05-02-2014 01:36 AM

Nova DVR XP.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

View felkadelic's profile


220 posts in 3993 days

#3 posted 05-02-2014 02:37 AM

Sort of depends on what sort of work you plan on, doesn’t it?

View sedcokid's profile


2738 posts in 5051 days

#4 posted 05-02-2014 10:49 AM

Well, I don’t know…..........I have had three. My first one is the one that hooked me on turning and it was a ShopSmith which I still have and use for various set ups but not for a lathe anymore. Next was a Jet 1442 that I really enjoyed but was not variable speed and I thought I would like that plus I thought I would like to be able to run the spindle in reverse, so I sold my 1442 and bought a 1642 and Love it! I had my 1442 for about 2 years and sold it for what I paid for it.

Now back to your original question I don’t know which is the best for the buck I think if you asked 100 different turners you would get that many different answers. I have heard alot of good comments about the Nova and of course the Powermatic is always a contender. But for me I will stick to my Jet 1642 I Love it!!

The SedcoKid

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Kerry Drake's profile

Kerry Drake

169 posts in 4473 days

#5 posted 05-02-2014 02:32 PM

If you want a pretty nice starting lathe for a really good price, and I kid you not, get the bigger harbor freight lathe.

I did a bit a research a couple years ago when I got mine and it was really the best bang for the buck. Be sure to get the extended warranty and you will be fine.

-- Kerry Drake, Loudon NH,

View Julian's profile


1693 posts in 4143 days

#6 posted 05-02-2014 03:00 PM

As others have mentioned; it depends what you want to do and need to know your price limit. I enjoy using the lathe but do not use it that often so I didn’t want to spend +$1000 for a new lathe. There are many deals to be found on Craigslist or Ebay. I purchased an older delta 12”x36” variable speed lathe for about $300. It needed a lot of elbow grease but I spent less than $100 to make it look and run like new.

-- Julian

View LelandStone's profile


90 posts in 3966 days

#7 posted 05-11-2014 02:09 PM

The lathe is a purely hobby tool for me, and as such I couldn’t justify spending a lot of dough for that. That, and I’d never used or trained on a lathe. >.<

Craigslist was good to me, and I found an Sears monotube lathe for a hundred bucks, came with the 4-jaw chuck and some other accessories. The seller was upgrading to a Laguna Tools lathe, and we helped each other. It was a good deal all around, and now I’m addicted to turning!

-- Leland, OC California

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