5 Best Mini Metal Lathe Reviews in 2019 (Case Study)

Tools are always the hardest part of getting the job done. If you have the right tools, it is a little easier, but finding the right tool is not always as easy as many people would like it to be. Nowadays, the options and brands are incredible and many people find it hard to actually get the perfect mini metal lathe for all the work they have to be done.

Compared to larger lathes, mini lathe offers you a lot of versatility, while still allowing you to get the job done efficiently. We have done a lot of research and put some time and effort into finding the best options for you. Additionally, our small buyer’s guide will show you exactly what to look for if none of these options meet your needs.

Since price is a major part of buying tools, the Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe comes in as one of the top options. Not only is it durable, but really flexible with a multitude of different tools that can actually be used. This will make your workload run much faster and help you with precise work all day long.

With the help of professionals and spending over 48 hours on testing 20 different lathe machines, we have sorted these products. Read our complete mini lathe reviews or skip to the guide.


Best Mini Metal Lathes On The Market Today:

Before we dive into some of the crucial features that make many of these lathes special, we have selected five of the best options currently available on the market. Now you can easily choose the right micro metal lathe to get the job done without shelling out a fortune. Here are our top picks for lathe users today:

#1. Erie Tools 7 x 14 – Top Pick

Erie Tools 7 x 14

Pros:

  • Comes with 11 feed rate gears
  • Metric or imperial thread indicator
  • Reaches up to 2500 RPM in either direction
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Using it can be complex for beginners

The Erie Tools SP2102 is one of the very best options that we could get our hands on. The tools are extremely flexible and comes at an affordable price that makes it ideal for hobbyists, as well as professional users. Made from solid metal, you can use it for daunting tasks and having it mounted to a bench top means more stability.

It includes a motor that has variable speeds and the maximum it will reach is around 2500 RPM. This is more than enough for anyone looking to refine or polish some of the work. It can also be changed to rotate in different directions, helping right-handed and left-handed individuals with the most possible comfort they could need.

A thread indicator has been added and this can be changed to either metric or imperial. It will help users to turn screws perfectly in the range of 12 to 52 TPI. A five-piece carbide tip cutter helps to cut different materials and since it is much smaller than many of the others, it will be easier to have some more precision in your work.

Metal lathes can be really expensive for many individuals, but this smallest lathe machine is at the perfect price point that should bring a smile to virtually anyone who works with milling or cutting. I would recommend it as one of the very best options today and it has been rated highly by industrial-grade users as well.


#2. Grizzly Tool G8688 – Best Small Metal Lathe For Money

Mophorn

Pros:

  • Works precisely with many safety features
  • Reasonably priced
  • Excellent customer support
  • Cuts almost anything

Cons:

  • Initial setup can be a little daunting

This Grizzly lathe machine is one of the top lathes when you are looking for the best possible durability. Not only does it work a little easier than the previous one, but the setup feels a little easier if you are a beginner. It is also bench mounted and allows you to place it anywhere you have some stability to use it.

Much like the previous option, the lather comes with a thread indicator and can help individuals with screws. Since the unit comes with a couple of different carbide tips, it has the ability to cut almost anything. You will need to have some protective glasses, but once you get up close and personal, it is much easier to work with precision.

One of the features that really impressed me is the splash guard. Grizzly machine has certainly taken a few steps to ensure that the metal lathe is primed for safety and to keep some of the scraps from flying around all over the workplace. With numerous rotation speeds in multiple directions, your finishing of products should be really easy.

When we look at the price, it is a little more affordable than the top pick, but still offers some excellent features.


#3. Mophorn Metal Lathe – Best Budget Mini Lathe

Excelsior

Pros:

  • Really affordable
  • Durable materials used for construction
  • Works electronically

Cons:

  • Lacks overall reliability

One of the most powerful mini lathes that we could find is the Mophorn benchtop metal lathe. The unit comes with a 0.75HP motor and it has a size of 7 x 14-inches, which means that it is ideal for some of your smaller tasks. Once again, the construction is solid metal and once mounted, it is really durable and hard to move.

One of the top features is the fact that it can be operated electronically. Since it can be electronically operated, your work is a little less. The electronic functions should give you a little more in terms of overall functionality and it will ensure that you can work with overall precision and the drilling is a little more accurate.

Since I always have an issue with mounting these lathes, I was really happy to find that this one can be mounted to the bench top with more comfort and little less effort. The instruction manual is really accurate and will inevitably give you all the information that is needed to get the job done that you need to do.

The one downside is the motor and we have had a few occasions where it just did not really want to function well. This motor can be a real issue for many people, especially when you are working and need to have a reliable lathe. However, the price is affordable and you can basically pick it up for a massive bargain if you need one.


#4. Excelsior – Best Mini Lathe For Beginners

Pros:

  • Offers a learning curve for beginners
  • Really easy to set up
  • Really affordable

Cons:

  • It does not have all the safety features
  • Not ideal for advanced users

The Excelsior Mini Lathe is certainly not the best mini lathe on this list, but it definitely deserves a spot due to the fact that it works well for beginners. The lathe itself is really well designed and this design means you can use it as a beginner. Setting it up is much easier than the others, but this is due to the weight being lower.

According to many of the users, it does come with 8 different accessories and will allow you to get some of the smaller jobs done in no time at all. Unfortunately, it does not have any real safety features and it can be hard to pinpoint some of the overall motor information. However, the unit is still reliable enough to use.

At this affordable price, it is certainly worth noting that professional users will not be interested in it. However, hobbyists could have some fun with it and it will allow them to get started and understand a little more about working with lathes. I would recommend it for the ease of use and the functionality for beginners.


#5. Shop Fox M1015

Shop Fox M1015

Pros:

  • Durable construction
  • The unit is easy to mount and set up
  • It includes a variety of components
  • Cuts almost anything

Cons:

  • Might lack some reliability

If you love your lathes, you will certainly like the Shop Fox M1015. It is made from extremely durable materials and the unit itself has been constructed from solid metal. Although the debate still remains whether this is a micro lathe or a mini lathe, it can still do all the tasks that you would regularly do on the mini lathes.

The unit includes 4 hex blades, which means it has the functionality to cut into many different types of materials and this will make it usable for the professionals. The unit itself can reach up to 2000 RPM, which actually should be more than enough for anyone to polish some of their products or the work they have been doing in any direction.

What I love about this lathe is not only the functionality but the operation scheme. You have clear knobs and features that will enable you to do exactly what you feel you need to be doing to get each task completed. The unit also looks amazing and mounting it to your bench means that it is really easy to use.

While it is one of the top options we have on this list, it can be a little expensive when you compare some of the advanced features that were found in many of the top options in this list. However, I would still recommend it for the value it offers and for beginners to get the job done efficiently.


Key Features To Consider: Buying Guide

Now that you have seen the top tiny metal lathes, we have promised to show you some of the key features that you need to consider looking at before buying one. Here are a couple of the top features that will help you make the best decisions. However, the above-mentioned options are certainly rated highly as well:

1. Design:

The design and the construction of the lathe is one f the most important aspects you need to consider. Having something durable is definitely important and this will ensure that it will last you a couple of years. If you need to have a couple of jobs done and you start using it regularly, solid metal is definitely the best option for your overall constructions.

2. Functionality:

The unit needs to match the skills you have. If you choose a mini lathe with complex setups and tools, it can be really hard for a beginner to use. Fortunately, we have included a couple of different options in this list that will accommodate all the needs of every user.

3. Accessories:

The accessories are almost like the motor. The motor is an important aspect and it can make a massive difference, but having the right accessories can save you a lot of money in the long run. Different tips mean you have more material cutting options and it allows you to work more accurately to get the job done.

4. Safety Features:

Lastly, the safety features are one of the top aspects that users generally look at. Having scrap parts that will help to catch some of the cut-offs will make one major difference to your work. We definitely recommend using all the safety equipment as well.


Wrap-Up:

Mini metal lathes are great tools to have. They might not allow you to complete industrial tasks, but they will certainly make your life a little easier with some of the smaller jobs that need to be completed and some of your hobbies. We would highly recommend all of these options for the quality and value they offer.

If you think we missed any of your favorite options, let us know in the comment section and we will check them out.

Leave a Comment