You’re looking to buy a lathe, but there are so many options out there.
There’s a lot of information out there about which lathe is right for you and your woodworking needs. It can be hard to know where to start or what questions you should ask before making an investment in one of these machines.
But don’t worry! Keep reading because we’ve put together this guide to buying a lathe with all the important considerations when buying a lathe that we wish we had when first starting our business. We hope it helps!
1. Which Lathe
There is a wide range of lathe types available, ranging from the cheapest benchtop lathes to high-end heavy-duty lathes. Each has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to select one that closely matches your needs.
And remember; you really get what you pay for – cheap lathes tend to be much more limited in what they can do and may not last as long as something better designed and built:
2. Motor Power
Lathes like the KSI Swiss, need to be driven by an electric motor, and depending on the size and type of work you intend to do this will require varying levels of horsepower (HP). Although there is no such thing as a maximum HP requirement for all tasks, metalworking lathes will generally need more power than a woodworking lathe.
When considering how much power you’ll need, be sure to take into account the weight and dimensions of the workpieces you’ll be turning:
The swing is the distance between the centers of the rotating tool and the workpiece – it’s important to make sure that this is large enough to accommodate the sizes of pieces you’ll be working on. If it isn’t, then you’ll either have to reduce the size of your workpieces or find a larger lathe:
4. Bed Length
The bed length is another important consideration – it determines how long a piece of stock can be turned between centers. Again, make sure that this is long enough to accommodate your pieces.
There are various standard bed sizes, but in practice, there is no real difference between them; the only important thing to note is that if you want to use a steady rest or drive center then one of these longer beds will be more helpful:
5. Steady Rest
It may seem like an odd feature to include in this list, but using a steady rest when turning long workpieces can be very useful – it provides much greater stability than simply clamping or nailing pieces onto the faceplate.
Want More Tips About Buying a Lathe?
After reading this blog post, you should have a better idea of what features to look for when purchasing a lathe. But if there’s anything more we can do to help make the process easier on you or your company, don’t hesitate to check out our blog for more advice about buying a lathe so you’ll know exactly what to look for when buying a lathe!