A Lathe, in simplest terms, is a device used for shaping a medium by rotation against changeable cutting tools. Lathes are able to create symmetry in pieces due to the axis rotation aspect of the machine. Normally handlers of the Lathe use it to create cylinder shaped pieces for both artistic as well as functional purposes. A Mini Metal Lathe is a miniature benchtop version of heavier duty industrial metal-working Lathes. Most machines depend on parts that are formed with the use of a Lathe, so the mechanical industry relies heavily on the use of the Metal Lathe. For work done on automobiles, robotics, motors, and other technology, the use of a Lathe is usually necessary. For those who do a lot of tinkering around or frequent work in their shops/garages, the best Mini Metal Lathe can be a great investment.
Now, let’s say you are in the business of buying one of these bad boys, you will want to be familiar with what a Mini Lathe looks like and how it operates.
Getting to know the Mini Metal Lathe
Why is a Mini Metal Lathe Useful?
The best Mini Metal Lathe is practical for anyone working in a small area. Typically, if you are buying a Mini Metal Lathe or Benchtop Lathe you are mostly dealing with smaller projects. These Lathes are perfect for DIY home projects and experiments. High-quality Mini Lathes will obviously be better equipped to handle the more serious making of parts, but generally, the more ambitious you are with your metalworking endeavors, the more advanced your Lathe will be. A lot of people also use Mini Metal Lathes to create their own jewelry because it is useful in creating rings and cylindrical objects.
What are the Components of a Mini Metal Lathe?
A standard Mini Metal Lathe consists of a few key components.
- A tool post is where one mounts the cutting tools used for shaping an object.
- In order to move along both the x and y-axis, the user’s work needs to be mounted on two slides. The cross slide and top slide.
- The motor is the heart and soul of the Lathe. switches of operation are located on the front panel. They are used for turning the motor on and switching the direction of rotation.
- Most Mini Lathes have plastic gears. Your first instinct might be that the machinery is cheap…however, that is not necessarily the case. Plastic gears are normally sturdy enough to get the job done, but when they do break they save the machine from developing further issues that may arise from old metal gears. Plastic ones can be easily replaced.
- For modifying the pitch of thread you can check any gear tables that may be included on the side of the machine. Sometimes you can even find predetermined carriage speeds for specific thread pitch.
- A Tailstock assembly is where you mount an additional chuck for drilling, or a dead center used for stabilization.
Always remember that different Mini Metal Lathes will have small variations and differences! When assembling your Mini Lathe be sure to familiarize yourself with the workings of your model.
When you purchase these Lathes online they will probably require assembly before they can be used. Here are ten great options to look at when considering the purchase of a Mini Metal Lathe
Ten Best Mini Metal Lathe Reviews
- The Erie Tools provides users up to 2500 RPM (revolutions per minute) of turning power for precision cutting.
- The 7×14–turns metal up to 84-cubic-inches in size.
- One unique aspect of this particular lathe is that left-hand threading is an option.
- The 5/16-inch capacity tool post allows up to four cutting tools to be mounted at once, making for simple substitutions mid-project.
- Package includes adapters, slides, carbide-tipped cutter kit, and a complete set of plastic change gears.
Buyers can expect this product to arrive very quickly once they have ordered it. Due to the fact that most of the gears are plastic, they will need to be replaced on occasion. The machine can even be enhanced with a few creative added features (like a quick change tool post). With patience, this device is good for small projects. Overall, this purchase is a very dependable one. The Mini Lathe is not without flaws, but it also doesn’t pretend to be a perfect solution. The amount of fun that users have messing around with it may outweigh the limitations of functionality and the few issues with potentially broken parts.
- Similar to the Erie, the WEN 3455 operates in 100 to 2500 RPM in both directions and includes a tool post capable of up to four tools at once.
- Threading dial indicator helps turn screw threads anywhere from 15 to 52 TPI.
- Operates either manually or with the adjustable auto feed rate.
- Features a 3-jaw chuck, an MT3 spindle taper, an MT2 tailstock taper, a tool rest and a 3/4 HP motor.
This Mini Metal Lathe is extremely similar to the Erie in both quality and functionality. However, WEN promises to back up their Metal Lathe with a two-year warranty. The company also claims to provide friendly customer service as well as a helpline. This advertised feature is noteworthy because of all the intricate parts included in working with a Mini Metal Lathe. So if and “WEN” you run into trouble, it may be helpful to know that they are on call to assist you.
- At 2000 the RPM of this little guy is only a bit less than the first two lathes mentioned
- This one is also shipped as a fully assembled piece.
- The durability of the design is noteworthy in terms of its intended purpose. Machine main parts adopt full metal structure.
- Includes special tailstock design and built-in bearing for more comfortable use.
- Perfect for DIY, hobby, student model making, small parts & crafts processing. It is great for hobby projects and uses by younger operators due to built-in overheat protection to assure the safety.
- The motor supports simple speed regulation and positive and negative rotating.
Buyers of this Mini Metal Lathe need to note that this particular lathe is not of the highest quality. It is great for small DIY or science projects for beginners or kids. However, it is not to be used for large industrial type projects. It simply isn’t designed to work at that level.
- This one also has 2000 RPM.
- Supposedly this 8.55lb device can handle other materials outside of metal pretty well. Some plastic and wood mediums could also be used with this Mini Lathe.
- Includes use of intermediate block heightening, more expanded to a diameter range 50mm.
- You can use the three-jaw chuck or collet (1 ~ 6mm) clamping the workpiece.
- Safety features include over-current, over voltage, and over temperature protection.
- The Power level is 24W.
For being considered a Mini Lathe of slightly lower quality than that of other candidates such as the WEN model or Erie Tools, this product is still a valid choice. It ships well and should also be considered more of a simple DIY project tool. It never fails as a method for practicing lathe craftsmanship and for learning basic skills needed to tackle more industrial type machines.
- The speed is variable and operates in both forward and reverse directions.
- Comes with a 16 TPI Reversible Lead screw.
- Provides protection with a Chip Tray and Backsplash Guard.
- This Machine includes a Threading Dial Indicator.
- It is powered by a 3/4 HP motor.
The Grizzly has a good reputation for being both reliable and durable. However, it is recommended that you ask for extra packaging when it is being shipped. Users have mentioned that without adequate packaging parts may be damaged. Grizzly customer service is also not known for being very spectacular.
- Variable speed control knob.
- Automatic feed.
- Chuck guard with micro switch.
- The speed is 2500 RPM.
A Central Machinery Mini Metal Lathe will get the job done. It requires a few parts to be purchased outside of the Lathe itself (bits, blades or drills for example), but otherwise, the machine is known for arriving without missing anything listed and in good condition. With proper cleaning and care, this Mini Metal Lathe should have a fairly long lifetime. It can run for a long time but it is good to flip the switch off after each cut. As with the other Lathes listed in this article, this machine is not meant to be able to do the impossible. It is a Mini Lathe and so you should take some time to learn its limitations.
- The motor produces up to 2500 variable RPM.
- Includes a telescopic handle. This includes a scale, and precise scaling can be digitally standardized.
- BestEquip’s Metal Lathe machine uses a four-way rotating turret.
- This Mini Lathe is designed to perform various types of metal turning with great precision.
Precision is super important when working with a Lathe or when building specific parts. The product also comes with added tools such as specific wrenches, a protective mask, and even a shock absorbent foot cushion! When assembling the Mini Metal Lathe it is important to note that this option may require close attention to the different components that form the Lathe. Some adjustments may need to be made in order to improve the quality of work.
- This Mini Metal Lathe is a six in one multipurpose tool for hobbies, model making, crafts, and education for students.
- The Saw blade is specially designed with only a 4mm cam short trip, which will protect human skin from injury.
- The tree 3-jaw chuck (self-centering).
- The maximum diameter of the processed materials is 20mm and the length of the processing materials is 135mm.
- It can handle a pretty wide variety of subject materials (even outside of metal).
SUNWIN’s 6 in 1 is for anyone looking at more versatile uses. Obviously, the Lathe aspect of this purchase is really only one of the six options you can use when working on a project. On top of the Lathe, buyers also have the option of using a Jig-Saw machine, Drilling machine, Milling machine, Sanding machine, or even a Woodturning Lathe. As for the Metal Lathe, it has a very strong motor as well as the capacity to handle difficult materials. It will be important that anyone who buys this keeps good track of all of the different parts and pieces. Even though it is small, it comes with a ton of small pieces because of the other machines included in the package.
- The speed is variable and performs at up to 2500 RPM.
- Some of the dimensions include a 80mm chuck diameter, 20mm spindle bore, 65mm cross slide travel, and finally a 35mm top slide travel.
- This Lathe’s power is 0.53 HP with a 550 Watt Motor.
- The Spindle Accuracy is as detailed as 0.01mm.
This quality Mini Metal Lathe is up to code with the other high functioning options. However this Lathe has been on the market for a while and yet, it does not have quite the reputation that some other benchtop Lathes do. Its high accuracy is a strong aspect that may set it apart from others. The Digital 7×14 is pretty hefty, but it is an investment that will aid in the making of many high-quality pieces or parts.
- Speed performs at 2500 RPM.
- The chuck diameter is 80mm.
- The power of the motor is 550W ; 120V 60Hz.
- A Spindle on this Lathe is accurate to 0.01mm.
All in all this Mini Metal Lathe is a fine device for anyone on a smaller budget. There have been occausion of broken parts or gears, but the provider company is good about replacing them. Be sure to check that there is lubricant in the gearbox and be sure to have fun messing around with your new machine!