Just like a table saw vs benchtop woodworking, there is a huge debate when it comes to these two types of woodworking tools. Mini lathes have been making their way into the hobby for a long time, while lathes as small as 45 mm in diameter were only becoming available in recent years. But while some people think that a mini lathe is the cheaper option, many woodworkers see this as a distraction from the real work of the woodworker. They feel that mini lathes should not be the main tool that the woodworker has at their disposal when it comes to turning – the real lathe is what the woodworker needs.
The right choice for you depends on what you want to turn. If you want to turn hardwoods, a lathe that is as small as 45 mm in diameter is an excellent choice. The extra strength in a mini lathe allows the woodworker to turn larger and harder woods without damaging the works of art that are sitting on your dining room table. On the other hand, if you want to work with softer woods such as maple, birch or oak, it makes more sense to stick with a lathe that is larger in diameter so that you can control the thickness of the wood being turned and the amount of pressure you put on it when turning it.
To help other hobbyists and professionals looking for the best lathe machines in the UK, I have reviewed the top 10 mini lathes available in the UK below. Please go through the detailed reviews and if you are still puzzled by the choices, you can take a look at my recommendations at the end of this article.
Top 10 Mini Lathe UK
The ones who have been hunting for a portable, easy to use and convenient mini lathe machine can finally breathe a sigh of relief! According to the makers, this lathe machine has been designed keeping in mind the lack of professional knowledge of hobbyists, and thus you cannot go wrong with this even if you are using the lathe machine for the first time in your life. Although the lathe machine has been made to be ideal for home use, it emits a considerable amount of power to ensure that all your woodworks consist of professional touches.
The tool is made with an aluminium alloy so to assure you longevity and durability for prolonged usage. The blade delivers high precision results while emitting low noise. It is ideal for various materials, including ceramics, wood, stone, glass, etc.
- Best suited for home enthusiasts and hobbyists.
- The lathe machine is portable and small but powerful.
- The speed of the motor can be adjusted as per your preference.
- Made with anti-corrosive aluminium alloy materials
- Suitable for grinding and engraving works
- The drill can be used for polishing, cleaning, and grinding.
- It can be used on tons of materials, even eggshells, handicrafts, peach kernels, etc.
Read More: Best Wood Lathe for Beginners UK
Are you feeling nervous about using a mini metal lathe for your handiworks, because you have never done that before? Accidents can happen if you don’t know how to operate the lathe machine or the tool is not equipped with safety features. However, give this tool a try, and you would see that the device is super easy to use and offers the users a ton of safety features. In cases where you need to shut down the tool’s operation on an urgent basis, you have to pull the red cover of the device, and it will stop immediately.
The lathe is designed in a way so to cut down a variety of materials, including jade, metal, wood, etc. The best part is that this lathe can be used for professional reasons in labs, workshops, and educational purposes. Users can make the most of this metal lathe for turning thread, turning paper, etc.
- The mini metal lathe has been categorized under CE certification.
- The device is driven with a powerful DC motor of capacity 400W
- The spindle speed can be adjusted anywhere between 50 and 2250 RPM.
- You can even adjust the spindle in both positive and reverse rotation.
- The device delivers a high accuracy even in the most challenging tasks.
- The processing distance of the mini lathe is around 300 mm.
- The rails of the lathe have been manufactured in a way to offer high frequency.
Home enthusiasts and hobbyists, here is your chance to do all the handiworks you have dreamt of doing on your own with the help of a user-friendly and compact mini lathe machine like this one by TOOLSTAR. The mini lathe machine is designed by keeping into consideration the needs and problems of hobbyists. Although the device is compact, it is built with a powerful motor, enabling you to achieve accuracy in all your woodworks over a prolonged duration.
The tool is built with a high-grade alloy base to ensure that you can make the most of this device for at least a few years. Although the powerful motor drives the tool allowing you to use it as per your will, only low noise is emanated. The cutting power is quite strong, and thus it can also be used by professionals for specific tasks.
- The small and compact size of the device is suitable for DIY enthusiasts.
- The tool is covered with a dustproof layer.
- The welding line is wrapped in a full heat shrinkable tube for better results.
- With the help of the seven levels of the power adapter, you can adjust the lathe’s cutting speed according to the tasks.
- The drill chuck is made of pure steel, and the device is made with a high-quality aluminium base.
- You can adjust the rotating speed anywhere between 4000 and 7000 RPM.
- The working principle of the mini bead lathe is similar to that of a large metal lathe.
Here is another little metal lathe for all the professionals and DIY lovers out there. According to the makers, the product will suit the needs of beginners and pros equally well. Although the metal lathe comes in a small size, it delivers huge power while cutting wood and other materials. The motor bears large torque balls, which helps the users to maintain consistency in their works. With this lathe, you can even adjust your cutting speed, depending on the type of materials you are cutting.
The tool is made of high-quality aluminium alloy material, and thus it is resistant to corrosion. Even the drill chuck is robust and built of durable material so to ensure your longevity. The mini lathe is portable and lightweight, and thus you can carry it in your workshop easily.
- The manufacturer offers you seven levels of the power adapter to achieve different cutting speeds.
- The motor delivers a maximum rotating speed of 7000 RPM.
- The tailstock delivers double bearing precision.
- The drill chuck offers precisions in all your tasks.
- Specially designed to fulfil the requirements of DIY enthusiasts and hobbyists.
- The tool is super compact, and thus it will occupy only a small space for your workshop.
- A 400W motor is equipped in the tool so to deliver a powerful yet noiseless operation.
This mini lathe is designed for professionals, and thus you would find great features in it. The device comes with a 550W motor with a distance of 350 mm between the centres. You have the option of checking out the spindle readings digitally. Although this tool might seem to be a bit pricey to hobbyists, a professional handyman may need it to help them complete diverse tasks effortlessly.
Nylon gears are inbuilt in the device so, and it makes the tool more durable and resistant. The best part about this tool is that it lets you operate it either manually and automatically as per your preferences. The base of this mini metal lathe is constructed with pure iron, so you would not have to worry about its longevity.
- The 3-jaw chuck of this lathe has been through thousands of accuracy tests.
- There is an option of digital readout for checking the spindle speed.
- You can adjust the speed between 50 and 2250 RPM.
- You can operate the tool at both forward and reverse speeds.
- V-sideways in the tool also offers fine precision to all your assignments.
- Spindle accuracy is within 0.01 m, and it comprises roller bearings for greater precision.
- You can operate the machine through an automatic feed rate or manually.
This mini metal lathe from the brand Mosaical is designed to cater to the challenging tasks of professionals. It comes with a powerful motor of 550W; it is suitable for every complex cuts and operation. To last for longer periods, the mini metal lathe bed is being made with high-grade steel. For better durability and longevity, nylon gears are also embedded inside the device. Furthermore, the splashboard of full length also protects the metal lathe from corrosion.
The 3-jaw chuck gliding through the materials smoothly offers enhanced precision to even complex cuts such as bevel cuts. The roller bearings further support the spindle, and it acts by increasing the accuracy and finish of your work. You can use the metal lathe for various purposes, such as modelling tasks, sample processing jobs, etc.
- The design frame of the machine is sturdy and durable and best for heavy-duty works as well.
- It comprises a tailstock taper and a spindle taper to deliver maximum precision to your works.
- It is super easy to operate with the help of a high-frequency quenching method.
- The bed of the machine is built with high-quality iron to ensure durability.
- The speed can be adjusted from 50 RPM to 2250 RPM.
- The 3-jaw chuck has been tested extensively so to offer you the utmost accuracy.
- It comes with all the necessary accessories.
Another mini metal lathe by Draper, this device also keeps up to the brand name’s reputation. There is a 2-stage belt drive included in this metal lathe, and it allows you to regulate the electrical control of the device. You can also adjust cutting speeds and set it at a maximum of 250w. You can use the lathe for versatile jobs such as cutting, drilling, ball turning, longitudinal turning, etc. The tool ensures you clean cuts regardless of the size of workpieces you are working on.
You can operate the tool without any difficulty, and it comes with various safety features as well. For instance, upon pressing the emergency safety button, the device will come to a stop immediately. In general, the tool has a sturdy built frame, and it is appropriate to be placed and used on a workbench.
- Comes with a 2 stage belt drive, which enables you to gain electrical control of the device
- According to your needs, you can adjust the speed of the tool anywhere between 800 RPM and 5000 RPM.
- You can get the optimum power and cutting speed even while cutting small and large workpieces.
- In the machine bed, there are dovetail guides made with continuous aluminium casting.
- The headstock of the lathe machine is made of die-cast aluminium.
- The 3-jaw chuck with precision bearing spindle of size 8.5 mm
- Adjust the angle of the upper carriage to turn the tapers up to a 45-degree angle
This metal lathe machine by InLoveArts not only sports a stylish look but also offers advanced features to its users. You can process various materials of a maximum diameter of 100 mm with this lathe machine’s help. You would come across the handwheel of the machine with a precision scale line of 0.02mm. If you are using the lathe machine to cut metal, the device’s speed will automatically set to 2000 RPM.
The mini lathe is manufactured to help you in various jobs and process soft, non-ferrous, and precious metals efficiently. The maximum motor power you can achieve is around 50W, and it is sufficient in sliding metal smoothly and precisely.
- You can process any type of material with a diameter lower than 135mm.
- The maximum motor speed is 12,000 RPM, and it is extremely powerful.
- The motor speed drops down to 2000 RPM automatically for cutting metal.
- You can even enhance motor power by 60W by using other power sources.
- The precision scale line of the handwheel is 0.02mm.
- If you use the central block, you can increase the diameter by 50mm.
- The turning tool of this lathe machine is considerably high.
Mini Lathe UK Buying guide
The recent technology-driven era has been doing wonders for us till now. The majority of the technological advancements have aimed to enhance the user experiences mainly by making labour-intensive jobs super easy. One of such areas which technological improvements have managed to touch is metalworking. That is why; shaping wood, metal, ceramic, plastic and other materials is a work of a few seconds today. I am talking about mini-lathes, and with the help, you can trim and shape any rounded material in less than a minute.
Since childhood, I have had a knack for playing with metals and wood chips, and my fascination grew with age. So I used to pursue it as a hobby, and to cut metals and other materials, I used some basic tools along with lathe machines. Over time I hated using the lathe machine because it used to occupy a big space in my small apartment. Also, the enormous lathe machine needed a lot of elbow greasing to start the action. Since I wanted to do some work in my apartment, I wanted a resolution in the form of an easy to use, compact lathe machine which will allow me to make smooth cuts. I researched online and came across these innovative mini lathe machines, which offer a ton of features. The best part is that these mini lathe machines occupy a little space only and does not emit high-pitched noises. With the best aid by my side, I could produce accurate results even while making complex cuts.
If you are buying mini metal lathes for the first time, then you must be having a ton of questions in your mind. It is obvious to have so many queries, to address it, I have enlisted some of the most commonly asked questions about mini metal lathe:
How metal lathes differ from wood lathes?
Most of the components, like headstock, tailstock, chuck, and bed, are found in both lathes types. The mechanism of the cutting tools and the motor power of both the lathe vary.
Do you need any additional accessories to operate the lathe machine?
Some metal lathes need accessories like holders and lever controls to operate efficiently. As in this list, only the minuscule and compact metal lathes are mentioned; most of these can function without any accessories. However, if a specific lathe needs an accessory, you would know about it in the product description.
What is the distance between centres?
While going through all the features, you might come across the term of Distance Between the Center or DBC. It refers to the maximum length of the material, which you can process with a metal lathe. If you need to work in large workpieces, you need a mini metal lathe to provide you with great DBC lengths.
How does the automatic feed work in a lathe machine?
You would find a couple of gears on the rear of the device, and you would have to change these to regulate the cutting speed. However, a lathe with an automatic feed will reduce your workload by pulling the feed towards the headstock.
Can you drill with the mini metal lathe?
Some of the metal lathes mentioned in this list are equipped to drill certain materials. Generally, you can drill any material with your lathe by using the tailstock.
What Is The Lathe?
There are three main types of lathes:
Wood lathe: The lathe is the main tool that you will use when you are turning with wood. The wood lathe works by drilling holes in the work of art and, as you turn the wood, the drill hole from the work of art will be opening and closing, creating a thread.
The lathe is the main tool that you will use when you are turning with wood. The wood lathe works by drilling holes in the work of art and, as you turn the wood, the drill hole from the work of art will be opening and closing, creating a thread.
Aluminium lathe: The aluminium lathe has nothing to do with the wood lathe and everything to do with the wood that you are turning – the metal is heated and used to carve on the work of art. The aluminium lathe is used mainly for turning sheet metal into part of the work of art – in essence, turning metal.
The aluminium lathe has nothing to do with the wood lathe and everything to do with the wood that you are turning – the metal is heated and used to carve on the work of art. The aluminium lathe is used mainly for turning sheet metal into part of the work of art – in essence, turning metal.
Chainless lathe: A chainless lathe does not have a spindle. Instead, it uses a mechanism that connects the turning thread to the turning tool and the tool to the lathe. All you have to do is place your work of art onto a base to get started turning it into a fine artwork.
These three types of wood lathes can be used for many different things. They can be used to carve small items such as sculptures, chalices and tools, as well as making interesting table stands and other decorative accessories. But they can also be used for larger projects like turning a box or an entire box into a pen and pencil holder.
Tabletop Lathe Vs Mini Lathe
When it comes to tabletop woodworking, you will find two different types of wood lathes. A mini lathe is about as big as a 45 mm lathe, and it allows the woodworker to turn items that are 2 inches in diameter and less. This is where most of the basic turning work of art happens and where you’ll be using the mini-lathe.
But there is also a tabletop lathe that is the same as a 45 mm lathe, only about 4 inches larger. This type of wood lathe allows the woodworker to turn a 4-inch diameter work of art that has been glued together, to turn a pencil holder or even a small shelf.
What Kind Of Wood Lathe Should I Purchase?
Once you’ve decided on the type of wood lathe that is right for you, then the next question to ask yourself is, what kind of wood lathe should you buy? If you’re a beginner woodworker, and you’re considering a mini lathe, then there are very good reasons to choose this type of wood lathe.
The mini lathe is about as small as a 40 mm lathe, and because of the design of the lathe, the mini lathe can easily be controlled and used for basic turning work. This means that you can use the mini-lathe to carve small things that you want to turn into “decorative” pieces, and you can also use it for a small basic project that would benefit from a portable wood lathe.
If you’re a woodworker that wants to get more comfortable with turning, then you will find that a larger lathe is a better choice. Although this lathe is smaller than the mini-lathe, it has a lot more power than the mini-lathe. A larger lathe, with a spindle, can be used for turning larger items such as small bowls, vases and other items that would benefit from a portable lathe.
It’s also important to make sure that the lathe is compatible with a blade attachment that will allow you to turn the item on the lathe. This is because, if the lathe has a blade attachment that can be used to cut a ring for an axle or turn a spindle, then you will be able to create small, wooden toys. If not, then you will have to make sure that the lathe has a different tool for that type of work.
If you’re considering buying a new lathe and you’re considering a lathe with a belt drive or battery power, then this makes a huge difference in how the lathe operates. Because of the belt and battery power, a lathe with belt drive will run quietly and safely in most environments. This means that you won’t have to worry about it running out of juice mid-turning project and that it won’t pose any hazards to nearby equipment or anyone that is in your immediate vicinity.
Because of the belt and battery power, you won’t need to worry about an oil-filled cartridge which could leak and leave you without power. Because of this, you will be able to turn on the lathe without having to worry about it dying while you’re creating a functional wood piece of art.
If you are trying to decide between a tabletop lathe and a mini lathe, then this is the first question you will need to ask yourself. If you are considering a miniature lathe, then you will want to make sure that the lathe is the correct size and will fit the proper size of workbench or countertop.
It’s also important to make sure that the lathe has a convenient handle so that you can hold it while you are turning your item. If you’re using a miniature lathe, then you will want to make sure that the lathe has a handle that is comfortable to hold and that allows you to place the work of art that you want to turn on the lathe without having to take your hand off of it.
If you’re thinking about buying a mini-lathe, then it’s important that you shop around and get as many opinions as possible. At a minimum, it’s a good idea to shop at places that carry a large selection of woodworking tools and supplies. Additionally, if you decide to make a lathe purchase, then you will want to go into the store with a good idea of what you are looking for in the first place.
These were the top 10 mini metal lathes available in the UK, and you free to choose any one of these after considering your budget. In case you are having trouble selecting one from the options mentioned here, go through my recommendations:
Best choice- Proxxon Fine Lathe
Value for money- TOOLSTAR Mini Lathe Machine
Expensive- DYWOZDP Micro Metal Lathe