Best Mini Metal Lathe for Beginners: Reviews & Guide

Looking to get started in metalworking? Our 2023 guide covers the top mini metal lathes for beginners, with detailed reviews and a comprehensive buying guide. Find the perfect mini metal lathe for your needs and skill level with our expert recommendations.

The lathe is known as the mother of all machines, came in action around 3 BC. Then it led to the invention of all the other machines. Thus it is so named. You can realize the importance of a lathe machine.

Anyway, today we are not going to review industrial lathe machines. Instead, we will talk about some of the best mini metal lathes for DIY people.

If you love to work on a smaller DIY project using metal, you should have something that can shape metal effectively, right? In that case, buying a mini metal lathe will be a smart decision.

In this article, I will review some of the best and also share some practical buying tips. Let’s get started without wasting any more of your time.

Top Rated Mini Lathe for Metal

This article aims to show you some excellent reviews of a mini metal lathe with in-depth analysis. However, if you don’t have much time to read the entire article, this section is especially for you.

In this part, I will give an overview of each ten products briefly to let you decide wisely. Let’s begin: 






Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe

Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe


7 x 12-Inch

Grizzly G0602 Bench Top Metal Lathe

Grizzly G0602 Bench Top Metal Lathe


10 x 22-Inch

BestEquip 7×14 Inch Mini Metal Lathe

BestEquip 7×14 Inch Mini Metal Lathe


7 x 14-Inch

Mophorn 7×12 Metal Lathe

Mophorn 7×12 Metal Lathe


7 x 12-Inch

BestEquip 8 x16 Metal Lathe

BestEquip 8 x16 Metal Lathe


8 x 16-Inch

Master the Art of Metalworking: Top Mini Metal Lathes

The market is full of a plethora of mini metal lathe. From there, finding the best ten was a challenging task indeed. However, our team managed to overcome the challenge for you.

You will be mesmerized to hear that we have found the ultimate ten. It took almost a month of analysis and examine the market.

The task was hectic. However, we are happy to finally find a solution for you.  All the products are fantastic in terms of construction, usability, and price.

So, let’s see the reviews of the best metal lathe for the home shop quickly. After that, we have some practical buying tips awaiting for you. Let’s begin the real trip: 

1. Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe

Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe
Variable Speed
Threading Dial Indicator
16 TPI Reversible Lead screw

If not, the best Grizzly will probably be one of the best names in the realm of mini metal lathe industry.

They never disappoint their consumers. All of their products earned tremendous respect because of quality, durability, and efficiency.

This Grizzly G688 is another quintessential Mini Metal Lathe produced by them. You will be amazed by the class of the machine. Let’s see what you will get from Grizzly G8688:

Size and Weight: With only 13 x 30.25 x 13 inches size and 0.01 ounces weight, you can surely declare it as the best small metal lathe. It fits on any workspace with just a little space. If you are someone who needs to move your lathe machine often, Grizzly G868 is the perfect choice for you.

Power & Adjustability: Even though it is tiny, it is tough. This machine can handle pressure correctly with a single-phase 0.75-HP motor. The machine has 2-speed options. Ranges are the following:

The low setting offers 0 to 1100 RPM while the high range offers 0 to 25 RPM. Even the spindle is rotatable in any direction.

Versatility: The machine is constructed with some top quality material. It will surely last for several years. Besides, it helps the DIY person by handling a wide variety of projects.

  • Versatile
  • Powerful
  • Smaller size
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to move
  • Made of top-quality materials
  • Not for professional
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty tasks

2. Shop Fox M1112 12-Inch by 36-Inch Gunsmithing Lathe

Shop Fox M1112 12-Inch by 36-Inch Gunsmithing Lathe
Quick Change 
Standard Threads
Precision Features
Shop Fox M1112 12-Inch by 36-Inch Gunsmithing Lathe

With a plethora of useful features, Shop Fox M1112 Gunsmithing Lathe is another fascinating product to have.

Even if you are just a beginner in using a lathe, no problem, this product, with its simplicity, will be your pet soon enough.

The Shop Fox M1112 Gunsmithing Lathe is an epitome of precision and outstanding quality. Let’s see the top features:

Construction: The build quality of the machine is superb with top quality materials. It has cast iron stand with an extended base.

Also, they offer cast aluminum gear cover, high precision bearings, and ground gears, and many other components quality components. So, Shop Fox M1112 Lathe is durable and longer-lasting.

Versatile: With multiple speed ranges including 70, 200, 220, 270, 360, 600, 800, 1000, and 1400 RPM, this metal lathe machine is one of the versatile options.

The pack also offers 6-inch and 3-inch jaw chuck with two jaw sets, 8-inch and 4-inch chuck with reversible jaws, 10-inch faceplates, gears with six options and 1/2-Inch chuck w/ MT3 arbor.

These features formed it as one of the most versatile models that can handle most of the small projects with utmost precision.

  • Easy controls
  • Solid construction
  • Comes with a full-length splash guard
  • Versatile and able to handle several projects
  • Has on/off reverse switch included on the carriage
  • Has halogen work light included for working at dark
  • A bit sloppy cross feed screw makes repeating dimensions problematic sometimes

3. Jet 321360A BDB-1340A Metalworking Lathe

Jet 321360A BDB-1340A Metalworking Lathe
Less Noise
Easy Speed Changes
Low Voltage Motor Controls
Jet 321360A BDB-1340A Metalworking Lathe

If none of the above products meet your requirement, Jet 321360A Metalworking Lathe might just fit.

Jet is not a new brand in the market. They are making and selling quality products for home and professional workshops for many years.

Their users are fully satisfied with their products. Anyway, Jet comes with another handy edition for metalworkers.

Yeah, I am talking about Jet 321360A BDB-1340A, known as one of the best of its kind according to people. Let’s see why we love it:

Speed Control: Jet 321360 comes with a powerful under the hood 2-HP, 230V, and one- phase motor that is just absolutely powerful for homework.

With the motor, you might now handle professional projects and handle a wide range of small projects. We loved the variable speed ability of the machine, which is quite impressive.

The speed ranges from 60 to 1240 RPM. If you need absolute control on delicate tasks, bottom end speed is there to make it done.

Smart Mechanism: The BDB-1340A also features a quick-change gearbox with helical cut gears. This is one of the modern addition that reduces noise creation.

Thanks to the contemporary gear mechanism, changing gear on this machine is a piece of cake. You can quickly and effectively adjust the gear according to your need.

Reliable: Jet BDB-1340A is one of the epitome of world-class engineering and manufacturing. Like every Jet machine, they have constructed it with premium materials.

It has passed the tolerance tests. So, you will rely on this machine with no doubt.

  • Powerful motor
  • Variable speed setting
  • Tolerance test certified
  • Four-way tool post included
  • The metric change gear system
  • Ideal for handling delicate tasks with exceptional control
  • A bit expensive, might not fit your budget

4. Grizzly G0602 Bench Top Metal Lathe

Grizzly G0602 Bench Top Metal Lathe
Easy to Change Gears
4-Way Turret Tool Post
Comes with Multiple Accessories 

Our top product is from the Grizzly brand. We have talked about the quality of Grizzly before. Let’s not talk about that anymore.

G0602 Bench Top Metal Lathe is another most exquisite invention by Grizzly, currently known as one of the best benchtop metal lathes for home use. Let us discover the top features of this champ:

Variable Speed: The machine offers six-speed options. The ranges are the following: 150, 300, 560, 720, 1200, and 2400 RPM. With this mini metal lathe, you can handle most of your home projects with utmost precision.

Construction: G0602 is constructed with premium quality materials. It will at least support you for two years. If you take proper care, it can last more than five years and give a hassle-free performance.

User-Friendly: The machine is small and not much weighty. That means you can move it from one place to another without any problem. The benchtop design makes sure that the user can safely operate the machine. Also, controlling Grizzly G0602 is not a big deal.

  • Highly secured
  • Benchtop design
  • Easy to use control
  • Has oil bath gearbox included
  • Reliable with quality construction
  • Expensive

5. BestEquip 7×14 Inch Mini Metal Lathe

BestEquip 7x14 Inch Mini Metal Lathe
High Accuracy Chuck
Sturdy Construction
Infinitely Variable Speeds
BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe

We have mentioned a BestEquip Lathe machine above, which was one of the best in modern times.

This one is another example of the class of BestEquip. It is another market-leading lathe machine with all the essential features.

The product’s price is high, but when considering the quality, one will say this product deserves this price.

Anyway, let me unwrap the top features of the BestEquip 7×14 Mini Metal Lathe in front of you to decide whether or not to pick the product. Check the features:

Built-Quality: BestEquip has made this mini metal lathe from premium quality aluminum material. All the parts are well-constructed. Thus, it is one of the most reliable models in the market that can serve you for many years.

If you properly take care of the machine, it might even serve you a lifetime.

Extreme Power: BestEquip 7×14 inch Mini Metal Lathe features a 550W DC single-phase motor that runs like a horse. Thanks to the motor power, this lathe can handle most of the metalworker’s DIY people.

Also, it offers variable speed ranges from 50 to 2500 RPM. You can operate it on forward and reverse direction in any speed setting. It can be operated manually or automatically according to the need.

Thread Range: While shopping a lathe machine of such capacity, the threading range is an important aspect. In this area, BestEquip 7×14 inch Mini Metal Lathe gets the highest mark with its thread sizes ranges from 4 TPI to 8 TPI.

So, the versatility of the machine is unbelievable! It can handle almost all your projects single-handedly.

  • Consistent
  • Offers variable speed setting
  • Compatible with many standard tools
  • Made of top-quality aluminum material
  • Other accessories are included with the package
  • Can switch rotations between 50 RPM to 250 RPM
  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty tasks

6. Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe

Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe
Precision Features
Easy to Maintain
Variable Speed Control

As a hobbyist, you don’t need a professional vast metal lathe; instead, a small metal lathe is fair enough to handle all your chores.

If that’s the case, you should look closely at the Central Machinery 7×10 Precision Mini Lathe, which is considered one of the most outstanding inventions of modern time.

It is loaded with all the essential features and can withstand heavy usages. Overall this lathe is excellent. Just have a look at the top features:

Powerful: We often heard people complaining about the low power of mini metal lathe. As they are mini, their power can’t be industrial grade.

Anyway, motor power is the most essential factor to consider while buying a mini metal lathe. Unlike most mini-lathe, this one has a powerful motor that can handle most of the tasks with ease.

The machine has 3/4-HP motor included, which can lead you to glory no matter how hard it is!

Spindle Speed: We often need multiple spindle rotation speed to work on different projects. Sometimes, you might want to work on a high rotation spindle speed, sometimes low rotation spindle speed, and sometimes on neutral speed depending on the need.

So, it is essential to pick one that can give you multiple speed setting. This is the machine you need to grab in that case. It offers speed ranges from 0 to 2500 RPM.

Threading: With the Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe threading is a piece of cake. The machine can threads from 12 to 52 TPI.

  • Long-lasting
  • Powerful motor included
  • Threads from 12 to 52 TPI
  • Made of top quality material
  • Variable speed setting included
  • The position of forwarding/reverse/neutral switch is not suitable for left-handed people

7. Mophorn 7×12 Metal Lathe

Mophorn 7x12 Metal Lathe
High Accuracy Chuck
Sturdy Construction
Infinitely Variable Speeds
Mophorn 7×12 Metal Lathe

Mophorn 7×12 is one of the latest models in the market constructed to fulfill the need for home works. By far, it is the most complete model you can have in your collection.

This machine makes metalworking a breeze. You can use it for modeling works, sample processing, and mini precision parts processing. The lathe machine is quite versatile. You will love it for sure. Let’s explain why:

Built-Quality: The built quality of Mophron 7×12 is outstanding. The bed of the lathe is made of durable iron. It also has nylon gears.

So the machine is highly durable and wear-resistant. You can surely use it for several years with almost zero issues.

Other Top Features: The machine has a 3-jaw universal chuck that holds a workpiece perfectly, quick change tool post, face cutting, and bevel cutting facility, powerful DC motor, and many more. You will surely fall in love with this champ.

Variable Setting: Like all the other best metal lathes in our list, this one also offers a variable speed setting. A mini metal lathe speed adjustment facility is crucial if you need to work on multiple projects.

One speed setting actually lacks versatility. Anyway, you will get variable speed ranges from 50 to 2500 RPM. The machine can be run forward or backward in any setting.

  • Powerful motor included
  • Has nylon gears included
  • Offers variable speed setting
  • Strong aluminum construction
  • Wear-resistant and durable machine
  • Ideal for mini precision parts processing, sample processing and many more
  • Price seems a bit expensive

8. SHOP FOX M1016 10-Inch by 20-Inch Metal Lathe

SHOP FOX M1016 10-Inch by 20-Inch Metal Lathe
Variable Speeds
Turret Tool Post
Easy Change Gears
SHOP FOX M1016 10-Inch by 20-Inch Metal Lathe

For noob operations, SHOP FOX M1016 is one of the most exceptional mini metal lathes in the market.

It is well constructed, has suitable user-friendly controls, powerful motor. Also, it is highly versatile to handle most of your projects with precision and ease.

Though the product’s price seems higher compared to other machines in the market, it is worth the price. How? I will tell you with a detailed explanation.

Powerful Motor: Unlike most cheap mini-lathes, this one has a strong and powerful motor that can handle lathe operations without any problem. It features a 600 watts motor with 110V power. You will be amazed by the motor for sure.

Speed Versatility: The powerful motor can run in multiple speed settings according to the project’s demand. Yes, it also has a variable speed setting facility. It has 150, 240, 490, 750, 1200, 2400 RPMs speed setting to handle a wide variety of projects.

Other Accessories: It has a 30-jaw chuck, eye shield, and 4-way turret tool post included. The machine is small but a bit weighty because of its sturdy construction. The size is perfect for smooth movement. Overall, the lathe machine is superb.

  • Wear-resistant
  • Accurate operation
  • User-friendly controls
  • Durable and professional
  • Offers variable speed setting
  • Comes with a professional tool post
  • High price
  • Heavy compared to other mini lathes.

9. Mophorn 7 x 14 Metal Lathe

Mophorn 7 x 14 Metal Lathe
Variable Speed
Durable and Professional
Micro Metal Milling Bench
Mophorn 7 x 14 Metal Lathe

Looking for a cheap metal lathe? Well, Mophorn 7×14 Metal Lathe probably is that best of that kind. Hang on there.

It’s cheap not because of the quality but because of the price. This machine is one of the best in the market with no doubt, yet the price is reasonable.

If I say Mophorn 7×14 is a complete mini metal lathe to enter the metalwork arena, I am sure most of you can’t disagree.

Let’s skip the chit-chat part and discover the top features of Mophorn 7×14:

Power and Speed: Just because the price is comparatively low, don’t mistrust the powerful motor it has. You will get variable speed ranges from 50 to 2500RPM.

You see, the price is low, yet the speed is similar to those elegant options. Yeah, Morphorn 7×14 might not be as versatile as some other expensive products, but it can certainly handle the job.

Construction: Aside from affordability and power, this benchtop metal lathe machine is also famous for its outstanding construction. Mophorn made its top quality material and never compromise a bit.

So, it is long-lasting. Though it is formed in China, therefore, many doubt it’s worth. We found it pointless. Just grab once you realize.

Affordable: You will get everything, yet the cost is within your reach. The company formed this lathe for those who want to enter the metalwork club regardless of their economic condition.

The Mophorn 7×14 is known as one of the best benchtop metal lathes for home use presently. Miss it at your own risk.

  • Reasonably Priced
  • Variable speed control
  • Powerful 3/4-HP motor
  • Well-constructed with top quality material
  • Comes with a mask, oil can, wrenches and nylon gears
  • Doesn’t come with tool bits
  • Less versatile when compared to expensive models

10. BestEquip 8 x16 Metal Lathe

BestEquip 8 x16 Metal Lathe
High Accuracy Chuck
Sturdy Construction
Infinitely Variable Speeds
BestEquip 8 16 Metal Lathe

Parting causes agony, but if you leave something meaningful, you will be remembered. Thus, we have the BestEquip 8×16 Metal Lathe here for you.

It’s last but not the least. You will be amazed by the quality of this particular lathe machine.

Even the experts have declared it as one of the best metal lathes for the home shop.

BestEquip 8×16 Metal Lathe is suitable for modeling work, small processing, and mini parts processing task.

For modelers or hobbyist, it is an excellent choice. Let me clarify the statement with the top features of the product:

Speed Setting: BestEquip Small metal lathe offers an infinitely variable speed setting facility. It has a powerful motor included that offers variable speed ranges from 0 to 2250 RPM.

You can see the speed status on the LED screen. The speed setting can be operated automatically or manually based on your need.

Build-Quality: The construction quality of the BestEquip 8×16 is outstanding with top quality metal cogwheel. Thus, the machine is durable and wear-resistant.

All the components of the machine are well-built with quality material. It will, without a doubt, last longer than you expect.

Practical: The controlling system of the machine is super simple. Regardless of your level, you can efficiently operate the machine. Also, hobbyists who want to work without any hassle can grasp this product with no fear.

The price is reasonable when compared to the quality you will get. So, declaring BestEquip 8×16 as one of the best metal lathes will not be offensive.

  • Powerful motor
  • Quick change tool post included
  • Made of top-quality components
  • Infinite variable speed facility included
  • Larger capacity compared to other mini lathes
  • Spindle Accuracy: 0.0004-0.0012″ (0.01-0.03 mm)
  • Less durable for heavy-duty works
  • Needs lots of adjustments and fine-tuning for precision performance

Best Mini Metal Lathe: A Complete Buying Guide

Even though I reviewed some of thebest mini-lathes doesn’t mean you should buy something right away. No, that’s not what we suggest. Before buying anything, it is better to consider everything properly.  Otherwise, you might make a ludicrous choice.

A wise man said, think before you invest or be ready to experience the waste of your bucks. In this section, we will give details information so that you can smartly decide which product to grasp and which one to ignore. So let’s see what to consider before buying mini metal lathe:

Size Consideration:

Even mini metal lathes are available in different sizes and shapes. The irony is some ‘mini’ labeled lathes are not really mini! So, you should consider the size seriously before making a deal. The capacity of a metal lathe depends on the size.

First of all, you should measure the size of the area where you want to keep the mini metal lathe. Then you should select depending on the space you have. Otherwise, the machine might not fit.

Consider Construction Quality:

Considering construction quality is the second most important factor, one should be aware of it. Even though it’s called mini metal lathe, it doesn’t mean the product is cheap. It is also a pricey machine. Furthermore, it’s not chocolate; you will throw away if not tasty.

One buy mini metal lathe so that it can be used for several years. If the construction is not good enough, it will not last. So, before you buy select a metal lathe that is made of high-quality material able to withstand tough use.

Consider Weight:

Mini metal lathe weighs around 70lbs to 500lbs. You should consider weight depending on your using system. If you want to move your machine often, you should go for a light option.

If you don’t want to move it often, a heavyweight machine will be an excellent choice. Usually, heavyweight machines are more studier.

Easy Adjustability:

If the lathe machine is non-adjustable, it won’t be able to handle the various job. Thus a good machine must be adjustable. The machine’s flexibility highly depends on its adjustable ability.

The more adjustable, the more flexible to handle a wide variety of projects, that’s the idea. So, before you shop, check whether or not the machine is adjustable.


Price is another essential factor, no matter what you buy. Anyway, the price of the best metal lathe varies depending on the capacity, size, and brands. Some machines are costly; some others are inexpensive.

In the above list, you will find all types of machines with various price ranges to choose from. So, pick one that fits your budget and loaded with all the essential features you need. 

Additional Features:

You can also look for some additional features depending on your need. For instant-

  • To check the setting effectively, some machine offers an LED screen. You can look for something like that if you wish. It is not a must-have feature. Having or not having this feature has nothing to do with the actual project.

After considering all the mentioned points, you are ready to shop for a mini metal lathe. I have reviewed the ten most fascinating mini metal lathes that can just handle any home projects with precision.

However, ‘best’ depends on the perspective and needs of the viewer. Though these are the best, they still might not fit your need. In that case, you always have your option to leave. We have answered some of the most asked questions below, consider to check them if you wish.

Frequently Asked Questions – Mini Metal Lathe

Are mini metal lathes costly?

If you compared the price mini metal lathes to professional metal lathes, definitely, they are inexpensive. But if you stop comparing and just look at the price of mini metal lathes, you must accept that they are expensive. So to answer your question, I must say a big YES. Therefore, it is essential to always think before you make a deal. They are expensive, so don’t waste your money irrelevantly.

Are Grizzly metal lathes any good?

Ans: Of course, they are good. Even we have included two products from this brand in our reviews. Grizzly always made top quality products to satisfy their customers. If you decided to bring a Grizzly metal lathe, don’t hesitate. They are just useful for home and professional use.

Which one is a respectable metal lathe for novices?

Ans: Well, all the metal lathes we have included above are just perfect for beginners. You can use any of them. Yeah, some come with a complex controlling system whereas some other has a comfortable setting. All you need is a bit practice, and we all know practice makes one perfect. So, bring one you feel suitable for your projects and start practicing by watching Youtube videos and following the user manual.

Do I need a variable speed setting on a mini metal lathe?

I am sure you don’t want the metal lathe for a single purpose. Obviously, you want to handle multiple projects. In that case, without a variable setting, you are just doomed. So, yeah, a variable speed setting is a crucial feature. We have included ten mini metal lathe above, and all of them offer a variable speed setting. You can pick one from there.

What is the maximum speed of a mini metal lathe spin?

It depends on the motor power. Most of the quality mini metal lathe offers at least 2000RPM. Some of the exclusive models can offer 2500RPM speed.

Final Words

I am sure I have washed away your dilemma with this complete discussion above. I have mentioned ten best mini metal lathe reviews with profound details along with a practical buying guide. Now it’s your turn. Buy one wisely.

To recapitulate, I must say all ten products above are practical and useful in their own ways. Buying any of the above products is okay to rock and roll with metals.

I am leaving you right now. If you still have something else to know, feel free to comment. We will try to come up with an effective solution.

Take Care!

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William Howell


William Howell (DIY Expert)

My professional wood working began at a very young age of thirteen, with eighteen years in furniture manufacturing, followed by seven years as a general contractor of finer homes.

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