Meta Description: Carl's unbiased comparison, review and recommendation of Woodturning Lathes for people who are interested in purchasing a real lathe. Powermatic, Oneway, Vicmarc, Robust, Laguna, Jet, and Nova lathes. 110 vs 220 volts. Lathes that Carl does not recommend.
Updated: 9/10/2020. I have a lot of trouble updating this blog entry. It is to big. WordPress often crashes when I try to do anything in this post. My php buffer size is not big enough. I am waiting for GoDaddy to upgrade my web sever.
In general everything in this bog post is still valid. However, some good new 110 volt lathe options have become available. See my Revolutionary New 110 Volt Lathes blog post.
Updated: 7/8/2017. Change bars in Purple on left. Add new “Parts of a Lathe” section with link to AAW video.
Updated: 2/5/2017. Change bars in Blue on left. Summary of updates:
1. The new version of the 10″ Penn State Mini Lathe is still my favorite Mini Lathe.
2. I do not like the new Jet lathes. Add them to the list of “Lathes I DO NOT Recommend”.
3. The new 110 volt version of Laguna Revo 18/36 lathe has won me over. Move it to my list of “Recommended 110 Volt Lathes”.
4. The 220 volt version of the Laguna Revo 18/36 is now my low cost “Recommended 220 Volt Lathe”. It replaces the 220 volt Jet 1642 EVS that is now longer available.
5. The US economy has been stuck in neutral. Thus, lathe prices have not increased by much, if any, in the last 2 years.
Updated: 8/9/2015. Change bars in Green on left. Add Laguna lathes to not recommended list. They are close but no cigar.
First published on 7/31/2015.
What lathe should a newbie purchase?
Here is a long winded answer I gave to a student who had a Shopsmith and decided it was time to buy a real lathe.
For the record. I personally own a VB36, a Powermatic 3520B, two Oneway 2436s, and a Penn State TCLPROVS lathe. At various schools and clubs I have turned on Stubby, Vicmarc, General, Delta, Rockwell, Jet, Grizzly, Vega and old metal cabinet lathes.
In a Nutshell
Hands down the best lathe out there in my not so humble opinion is the Powermatic 3520B with a Oneway Banjo.
Continue reading So you want to buy a lathe? A real lathe?
The list price is still $3999 on 2/5/2017. It was the same price back on 7/26/2015.