10 Best Lathes for Pen Turning [Reviewed in 2021]

Woodturning is a rewarding line of work. If you’re familiar with a few woodturning know-hows, getting a lathe will help you improve home aesthetics with stunning pieces of furniture and artifacts. These handmade wooden objects also let you explore contemporary and traditional architectural styles of the decades.

With the help of a lathe, you can now create artistic pen barrels, caps, and spectacular wooden crafts from a basic chunk of wood.

The best lathe for pen turning 2021 offers you a variable speed range, good spindle travel, quality live centers, and swing capacity with a high-torque, robust motor. So, get your chisel set ready and select a wood lathe from our list right away!

Top Pen Turning Lathes: Pen Lathes Comparison Chart

Product Name

Image

Speed (RPM)

Ratings

Jet JWL-1221VS Variable Speed Wood Lathe

60 to 3600 RPM

Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe

250 to 1750 RPM

WEN Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe

750 to 3200 RPM

NOVA 46300 Comet II Variable Speed Midi Lathe

250 to 4000 RPM 

RIKON Power Tools 70-105 Mini Lathe

500, 1175, 1850, 2225, and 3200 RPM

10 Best Lathe for Pen Turning Reviews

Have a look at 10 incredible lathes for making headway in pen turning below. We’ll discuss the features in detail, so you know which lathe is the most suitable!

1. Jet JWL-1221VS 12-Inch by 21-Inch Wood Lathe – Best Overall

A good lathe can take your woodturning masterpiece to new heights. This wood lathe by Jet offers variable speeds and extreme controls to deliver you the best shape ever! Its professionally designed speed controls are super effective in turning pens. You can drive up the speed from a slow 60 RPM to an agile 3600 RPM.

Its highest speed setting is similar to industrial spindle sanders or drill drivers. Apart from turning pens, you should be able to try out a lot of creative projects and test your woodturning tools. The Jet lathe has an uncomplicated knob for adjusting the speed levels.

For example, the lowest setting on the pulley will help you run the lathe at a speed of 60 RPM to 900 RPM. Similarly, you get a medium speed range of 110 RPM to 1800 RPM in the next setting.

And lastly, the third option offers you a superior speed of 220 RPM to 3600 RPM. You are required to change its belt only when you shift to a different speed range.

Besides, the 115V Jet lathe supports a reverse motion. The transition from forward to reverse is also a smooth one. Its adjustable index positions allow you to rotate the pen blank at 24 different angles. It secures the spindle in a fixed position so that your workpiece can be evenly mapped. 

Pros

  • Spring-loaded, integrated spindle lock
  • A ratchet-style belt for controlling the speed range
  • Includes a smooth reverse mode
  • 60 RPM to 3600 RPM speed for shaping and parting

Cons

  • Average headstock bearing

2. Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Midi Lathe

If you’re on the hunt for a midi lathe, the Delta 46-460 will help you turn small to medium blanks with ease. It is powered by a brilliant 1 HP, 1725 RPM motor that delivers a variety of speed levels to shape your desired project!

First of all, the Delta 46-460 is an industrial-grade wood lathe. A sturdy knockout bar, a live center, and onboard storage make this wood lathe our number one choice for professionals. Its swing capacity is also quite remarkable. It receives workpieces with a maximum diameter of 12-½-inches.

Up next, we have the patented Delta belt-tensioning mechanism that makes changing speeds the easiest. Its foolproof speed adjustment technology ensures a better tool life as well. Even if you’re turning a sizable wooden pot, the 6-groove belt allows you to set the lathe at any speed from 250 RPM to 4000 RPM.

The extension bed offers you a longer bed length of up to 42 inches. And the reverse option will come in handy when you begin the sanding process. The fact that you get tool rests in two different sizes also make the Delta 46-460 a great buy. They will help you balance and guide the woodturning tools along with the rotating blank.

Pros

  • 1 HP motor and multiple speed settings
  • Made of durable cast-iron
  • Comes with 6″ and 10″ tool rests
  • Includes a tool rest base, live center, and knockout bar

Cons

  • The tool rests aren’t sturdy 

3. WEN Variable Speed Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe – Best Budget Lathe for Pen Turning

From a brilliant chess-piece to an intricate pen, the WEN mini benchtop lathe will help you ace woodworking projects with flying colors. It features a soft-start speed with the ability to drive the spindle at an astonishing 3200 RPM speed. The WEN mini lathe is all about versatile woodturning.

For example, it includes a 5-inch faceplate, which will help you turn non-spindle wood blanks. Although the recommended blank diameter on the spindle is 5 inches, you can easily fit 12″×8″ workpieces on the lathe for turning.

The two interchangeable tool rests will help you keep the scrapers, spindle gauges, and other lathe tools steady while reducing your arm fatigue. Moreover, the tool-rest lock will give you more balance when you’re adding details.

Its 2-amp, soft start motor will comfortably provide a long woodturning session with good torque. The variable speed control offers 12 levels of adjustment from 750 RPM to 3200 RPM. You’ll notice that most mini or midi lathes will start from a 250 RPM speed level.

So, when you use the WEN lathe for turning a pen, you might damage the finish or build too much heat. But its tailstock handwheel wonderfully covers this base. You can use it for pulling out the drill bit every once in a while and let the workpiece cool down.

Pros

  • MT1 spindle and 2-amp, soft start motor
  • 750 RPM to 3200 RPM speed range
  • The on/off switch features a safety lock
  • Quality lever clamp makes adjusting the tailstock, and the tool rest simple

Cons

  • The lowest speed is comparatively high for finishing

4. Jet 719500 JWL-1640EVS 1.5 HP 115V Lathe – Best Full size Lathe

When it comes to buying a woodturning power tool, choosing a Jet lathe is a no brainer. It’s such a popular choice among professional crafters and carpenters worldwide. And it comes with a 1.5 HP, robust motor to offer you better productivity and speed.

To begin with, the headstock on this wood lathe incorporates a sliding motion. And the larger spindle nose comes with two spindle bearings. On top of that, the brand-new tailstock locking system features an anti-rotation knob. The tailstock itself is made of premium Acme threads for smooth movement.

We were also impressed by its 4-inch quill travel. The banjo securely keeps the tool post in position with a positive, non-marring locking wedge.

Moreover, the tool rest fasteners were incredibly helpful in pen turning. Moving on to the motor, its 1.5 HP motor runs smoothly, and it’s fairly quiet. It provides infinite speed adjustments from 40 RPM to 3200 RPM. We also liked the digital screen, where it showed the precise RPM level.

Like any other mini-lathe, a driving belt is there to shift between a low and high-speed region. So, you cannot change the speed from 750 RPM to 2000 RPM just by turning the knob. Well, the good news is- changing the drive belt is a piece of cake.

Pros

  • Spindle lock, indexing, and reverse rotation enabled
  • 40 RPM to 3200 RPM infinite speed settings
  • Sliding headstock allows outboard turning
  • Acme-threaded tailstock with excellent quill travel

Cons

  • The tailstock doesn’t swing away for accommodating larger workpieces

5. NOVA 46300 Comet II Variable Speed Midi Lathe – Best for the Money

Whether you have the best chisel set or not, a great wood lathe is the first thing you need to get started. The Nova Comet 2 is a space-saving yet powerful midi lathe, and it’s all ready to make you the best craftsman in town!

For starters, its highest bowl-turning threshold is 12-inches onboard and standard 16.5-inches between the centers. However, you can extend it up to 42 inches using an additional bed extension. Its ¾ HP, 60 Hz motor delivers robust performance for the busiest woodworker.

You can comfortably drive up the speed to a whopping 4000 RPM from the lowest 250 RPM speed level. But it’s not the compact shape nor the brilliant features of the Nova Comet 2 that had us sold on this specific lathe.

Rather it’s the digital display and dial-in speed adjustment. Input the desired speed RPM, and the lathe will turn the speed up or down to correctly match the level you selected.

Apart from its 12-inch spindle capacity, we loved how generous the Nova Comet 2 is in promoting versatility to your works of art. Its 3-level pulley helps you adjust a preferable speed range for various applications. While the mid-range usually covers all bases, the other two levels provide a better torque for turning a larger piece. 

Pros

  • Heavy-duty cast iron construction
  • Quality vibration absorption technology
  • You can dial in the speed level, which will show on a readout
  • The pulley allows you to adjust speed between 250 RPM to 4000 RPM

Cons

  • The 3-inch faceplate might be a bit too short

6. RIKON Power Tools 70-105 10″ x 18″ 1/2 hp Mini Lathe – Best Mini Lathe for Pen Turning

A ½ HP motor on a mini lathe is enough for acing your new pen-turning project and making it even better. The Rikon mini lathe is an incredible choice for the woodworkers who are taking a shot at woodworking for the first time. And the first thing we noticed about the wood lathe is its average swing capacity.

Since it’s only 10 inches, you cannot turn a workpiece that has a diameter of 9.5 inches or a bit more. But the distance between two centers of the headstock and the tailstock is surprisingly long in this model. It’s the 18-inch distance between centers means that you can comfortably turn a blank that is up to 18 inches long.

Up next, its self-ejecting tail stock prevents unnecessary heat buildup within the delicate workpiece. This mini lathe is specially made, keeping the pen turning needs in mind. Since the pen blank and the finished piece is so small, vibration can be quite damaging. If that’s the case, you’re going to adore its cast-iron structure even more.

You can bore barrel holes, rough out billets, and turn the mandrel for an error-free sanding process to draw the final touch. Its live center offers you a super smooth turning and a high clamping pressure. The complimentary knockout bar will protect the spindle from blemishing as you remove centers and sleeves.

Pros

  • Easy to change speeds
  • 18-inch between centers
  • Sturdy construction in a space-saving design
  • 2-morse taper headstock and tailstock

Cons

  • Not a variable speed lathe

7. SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe

If you have some experience in woodworking or metalworking, you’ve surely heard or used at least one Shop Fox power tool. Their ⅓ HP benchtop lathe will make your pen turning experience a smooth, hassle-free one.

To begin with, it has an 8-inch swing-over bed with a 12-inch distance between the centers. From its relatively small dimensions, you already know that this Shop Fox lathe is dedicated to pen turning projects or mini crafts alike. You won’t be able to chisel out a jumbo pot, but you sure will make some brilliant pens on this one.

We didn’t expect to find an infinitely variable speed adjustment option in a mini lathe of this size. You can enjoy spindle speeds from 700 RPM to a whopping 3200 RPM. It comes in handy as you work with different types of wood and approach new levels in pen turning or sanding.

And it fits perfectly on a workbench- saving you extra bucks on a stand. The faceplate size is bigger than some midi wood lathes. It threads on the headstock’s spindle to assist non-spindle turning.

Pros

  • 5-¾” faceplate for non-spindle use
  • 700 RPM to 3200 RPM variable speed range
  • Comes with a 4-½” and 7″ tool rest
  • Easy adjustments with a knob 

Cons

  • The live center might wobble

8. PSI Woodworking KWL-1018VS Turncrafter Commander Midi Lathe

This ETL and Intertek certified wood lathe by PSI Woodworking is here to turn your pen blanks into masterful crafts. Its cast-iron base, broad speed range, and high-quality motor come together to give you flawless outcomes. For starters, its belt-adjustment positions offer you two ranges of speed.

The low range covers 500 RPM to 2000 RPM, whereas the high range offers crazy high speeds from 1500 RPM to 3600 RPM. This is also one of the best mini wood lathes that come with a built-in index. Basically, it secures the spindle in a fixed position along with your markings on the wood blank.

If you want to have an evenly-spaced design of some sort, the Turncrafter Commander lathe is it.

Its ¾ HP motor is robust enough for a mini lathe. In fact, it puts some mid-size lathes on the run for their money. You get a set of 4 wrenches, a Phillips screwdriver, a knockout rod,  two tool rests along with a bunch of useful lathe accessories in the box.

Pros

  • ETL-certified, Intertek-certified wood lathe
  • 24 indexing positions and spindle locking option
  • You can add an optional extension bed
  • Built-in handles for easy carrying

Cons

  • The work light isn’t that efficient

9. Grizzly Industrial T25920 – 12″ x 18″ Variable-Speed Wood Lathe

Featuring a digital speed indicator, the Grizzly industrial benchtop lathe has everything you’re ever going to need for mastering the pristine art of woodturning. It offers you high spindle speeds up to an astonishing 3800 RPM; this is quite high for the benchtop models indeed.

You can choose from three different speed ranges. From 650 RPM to 3800 RPM, the option to go slow or fast is now in your hands. You don’t have to worry about parting a big chunk of expensive wood by mistake.

Unless you set the lathe on the highest speed by adjusting the belt tension, turning the speed control knob won’t shift the speed to the next range.

We loved this feature because we understand how delicate woodturning is. You don’t want to accidentally turn up the speed to a crazy high level when you’re on the final stage. Moreover, you also want just the right amount of speed to smooth out any abrasive part.

The lathe and the tools give you plenty of room to try new techniques and make genuine designs that stand out from the rest. Moreover, its 12-inch swing over bed allows you to turn big chunks of wood blanks the way you like!  

Pros

  • 12-inch swing over bed and 18-inch distance between centers
  • Three ranges of speed up to 3800 RPM
  • MT #2 tailstock taper and spindle
  • Includes live centers and spur centers  

Cons

  • Average structure strength

10. Powermatic 3520C Lathe with Risers

The Powermatic 3520C lathe features a rotating headstock, variable speed in low to high ranges, a digital RPM speed readout, and finally, a self-ejecting laser-etched quill. Get ready to turn plain wood into a wonderful craft that flaunts your inner artisanship the best.

First of all, the lathe itself flaunts an ergonomic design that will feel comfortable to use during long hours of woodturning. Moreover, adjusting its height up to 6 inches with riser blocks helps you set the lathe to a convenient position. Its brand-new banjo sports a pinch-style, non-marring clamp for a steady tool rest.

Also, the advanced spindle nose design improves your access to the workpiece as well. Moving on to the tailstock, it features Acme threads and an anti-rotation key for effortless movement. The self-locking ergonomic spindle allows one-handed operation, which we think is pretty amazing.

And the lathe supports a total weight of 726 pounds of wood blanks and up to 814 pounds with a bed extension. Its main power switch is located at the rear side of the headstock. All the controls are placed smartly so that you can use them anytime.

Additionally, there are a couple of dead centers that hold the spindle for your visual comparison. Its powerful 2HP 220V motor is the best one we’ve seen so far. It can slow down the speed from a brilliant 4000 RPM to 15RPM. Moreover, you get a whopping 35-inch between centers for a better turning capacity.

Pros

  • Enclosed VFD for user protection and safety shield
  • 2HP motor with incredibly high speeds and low speeds
  • 35-inch distance between centers and 20-inch swing capacity
  • Digital indexing and RPM readout
  • Self-locking ergonomic spindle design for one-handed operation

Cons

  • Expensive lathe
  • Not suitable for beginners

Things to Consider before Buying a Pen Turning Lathe

Choosing a wood lathe for pen turning isn’t a simple job. You can easily be baffled by the available options. They not only come in all shapes and sizes but also vary in features such as speed, swing capacity, build quality, etc.

There is variation in the compatible lathe accessories, which will limit your woodturning project to a certain range. Lathes are expensive power tools. Not to mention, the most integral one is woodturning. So, help yourself to our detailed buying guide below to know the ins and outs of wood lathes.

Lathe Size

The wood lathe that you’re going to buy should fit into the designated place at your workshop. Otherwise, working with the lathe will be difficult. There are benchtop lathes and standalone lathes that you can choose from.

For small projects such as pens, wooden spoons, and kitchenware, a mini benchtop lathe goes a long way. Then we have the midi-sized lathes with a higher swing capacity and distance between centers. We will cover both of these qualities in a different section.

And for now, you have to select a lathe that is just right for your project. Most of them will have holes for a drilled-in mounting on your workbench. You will also find lathe stands if you prefer to keep this power tool totally separated. The mini lathes will have handles so that you can carry them from place to place.

Distance between Centers

The distance between centers is a parameter that denotes the blank accommodation capacity of the blank. It is the distance between the headstock center and the tailstock center. And it determines the highest length your workpiece can go.

Nowadays, there are bed extensions, sliding tailstocks, and many other useful specs that increase this capacity. For example, the PSI Woodworking Turncrafter features an 18-inch distance between centers. It means that the lathe can receive workpieces that are 18 inches long.

Swing Capacity

The highest diameter on a blank is called swing capacity. Workpieces with a bigger diameter than the said size are not compatible with the lathe. They simply won’t fit on the spindle.

It’s also one of the factors that make lathe prices go up and down. For example, two lathes with the same horsepower might vary in price just because their swing capacity is different.

If you want a wooden lathe for pen turning, you normally won’t work with a huge blank to begin with. That is why we think the RIKON Power Tools 70-105 is the lathe you might need. It has a swing capacity of only 9-½ inches. With a slightly bigger capacity of 12-½ inches, the Delta 46-460 is in the ballpark.

Motor Strength

If the lathe motor is not robust enough, it can’t drive the spindle at high speeds nor provide enough torque for the job. For pen turning, a ½ HP motor is enough.

However, a ¾ HP motor might just fall short when you have a big blank to start with. The Rikon Power Tools 70-105 is going to be a great starting lathe to hone your woodturning skills before you commit to the craft.

And if you want to have more options, going for a 1 HP motor will help you turn flower pots, bowls with lids, chair legs, and so on. Although the lathe’s dimensions also play a part here, a robust motor that sets the spindle spinning at unbelievable speeds is a cool feature to have.

In that case, the Delta 46-460 is a well-made wood lathe you should definitely consider.

Anything higher than 1 HP motor usually counts as an industrial-grade one. The Jet 719500 and the Powermatic 1353001 are two high-quality lathes you can give a go.   

Forward and Reverse Motion

The reason why you need a reverse motion on your new wood lathe is simple. It allows you to sand the workpiece in an efficient way. Since we all know that sanding along the grain does no good, a lathe that rotates the workpiece backward is brilliant.

Shaving off the abrasive surface of the turned wood is only possible when you sand against the grain. And for that, you will need the reverse mode more frequently than you think. The Delta 46-460 is a midi wood lathe that comes with this option.

Speed Range

Most midi lathes will provide great speeds from 250 RPM to 3800 RPM. Then again, some lathes scrape the slow speed settings altogether and start with 750 RPM or so. You can’t go wrong with a variable-speed wood lathe. Take the Jet JWL-1221VS, for example.

It offers a variable speed from 60 RPM to 3600 RPM. You have a knob for adjusting the speed and a belt for selecting the speed range. The knob won’t allow the speed to increase from 60 to 3600 RPM for safety reasons. You have to adjust the belt at first.

Construction Quality

Wood lathes that are made of cast-iron are way stronger than aluminum lathes. If you don’t want the lathe to break apart in a few months, invest in a good one to make it last. We also advise you to look for useful features such as a self-locating spindle lock, ratchet-style belt tensioning mechanism, and non-marring clamps.

Essential Pen Turning Tools:

Drill bits

Every pen kit in use will indict the accurate size of the drill bit needed for the lower and upper pen tubes. There are standard twisted bits that are very appropriate for drilling blank materials for pen turning, but you have to consider other options. Brad joint drill bits, parabolic drill bits, and bullet nose drill bits are very effective. They are perfect for materials like antler, synthetic products, exotics, and alternative types of materials.

Drill press

The process comes before mounting a blank pen material on the surface of the mandrel for turning. Before you start drilling, you need to know the proper size of the hole to go through the center of the blank.

The press will keep your blank stationary and intact before the actual drilling is done. The hand-held drill is not really an advisable option because it is harder to coordinate. With experience and extra care, the hand-operated drill can be used.

Pen mandrels

The pen mandrel is the platform where your bushings and pen barrels are mounted, and there are several formats of pen mandrels available. Among all the types of mandrels, the double mandrels stand out in popularity and use. With double mandrels, you can mount the lower barrel and upper barrel of the pen simultaneously for turning and for finishing.

One other mandrel is the single mandrels, and they are pretty handy too, but they are less common and usually less effective in working speed when you compare them with the double mandrel. Adjustable mandrels are also available. They allow the shaft to be moved out or in to fit the project requirement, a feature that gives you some extra flexibility.

Barrel trimmer

After tubes have been glued within the blanks, a barrel trimmer is instrumental in squaring up ends of pen blanks. A lot of sheep teeth of the round cutter head are linked with the metal pilot shaft. The pilot shaft has the same size as the pen tube interior, and the whole set up is within the pen mill. Squared drilling axis of the hole, the mill inserted into the tube gets the blank cut’s end. Pen blanks won’t be appropriate or fit well in alignment with the mandrel if the tube end is not squared as needed.

Turning tools

Turning a pen doesn’t really need any rare pen tool; that is the beauty of pen turning itself. To do the pen turning of your projects, most of the turning tools will get the job done without having to acquire specific turning tools. A lot of experts prefer using the micro turning tools when it comes to pen works because of ease-to-manipulate small bevels and the finesse of the cuts. The small bevels can do wonders on little blanks.

There are about four major turning tools needed that are sufficient for the majority of pens.

The first one is a roughing gouge of ¾ inches (20mm).

The second one is a skew chisel of ½ inches (12mm).

The third one is a super-thin parting tool of 1 1/6 inches (5mm).

The fourth one is a spindle gouge of ¼ inches (6mm).

Assembly jig

When your pen has been turned and finished, you have to use the components of a pen kit to assemble it. Pen assembly jigs are crucial because they can be adjusted for various pen sizes and different pen types without damaging any component. A drill press or bench clamp, or perfect hand clamp can be used in the absence of the assemble jig.

Pen bushings

To accurately decide the barrel’s external diameter, pen bushings have to be mounted on pen mandrel at the opposite ends of the pen blanks. The metal parts from your kit that you use to assemble your pen are the same size as the pen bushings. Different pen styles have unique pen bushings, so you will always need another set of pen bushing when turning another pen style. A great attribute of pen bushings is that they are very reusable for various pen turning projects.

Steps for Turning Pens on a Wood Lathe:

Step 1

Choose a style from your pen kit. There are several designs to choose from hundreds of them. The first step is to make a choice that you are satisfied with.

Step 2

Choose your pen blank and then split it into two separate pieces. While cutting the pen blank, make sure you follow the instructions from your pen kit.

Step 3

Carefully drill the hole that is required to run through the center of the blanks. The goal here is to make sure holes of different barrels align properly.

Step 4

Gently scuff the exterior body of pen tubes with the right abrasive and glue the tubes provided by your kit to the space between the corresponding pen blanks.

Step 5

The barrel trimmer should be used to make the end of the tubes well squared to the tube center. This alignment process will make sure the mounting on the pen mandrel is perfect.

Step 6

Set your lathe spindle and mount the mandrel and the pen. Let all the bushings and blanks be arranged on the mandrel, as explained by your pen kit’s supplier or manufacturer.

Step 7

Turn your pen barrels and sand them. Each end of the barrel must be at the required external diameter; the pen bushings will serve as the ultimate guide. If the surface made is very smooth, you can begin sanding with about 120 grit or even a finer measure.

Step 8

Assemble the various pen components, with each component connected with the right pen tube. Then press the assembled pen together before doing any needed cleaning or finishing touch. When you are done, test the pen and see if it fits or needs some retouching.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

1. What is pen turning?

Pen turning is the process of using provided materials from a pen kit to make a hand-made pen through turning and other processes. It can be an enterprise or just a hobby.

2. What is a pen turning lathe?

This is a machine you use for the pen turning process. It is typically modeled after the original lather machine, but in this case, it is way smaller, and the parameters are only perfectly adequate for making pens. The pen turning lathe provides a necessity for the assembly of the various components involved in the process.

3. What is the best lathe speed for pen turning?

The speed range of between 3000 rpm and 4000 rpm will be adequate for the turning process. With the range, the turning and finishing processes can be handled with care while not wasting time.

4. Mini vs. Midi-lathe – what’s the difference?

The mini lathe is also known as the micro lathe, and the benchtop units are very light in weight, especially when compared to the midi lathe or the full-size lathe. The mini lathe is great for small turning projects like pens, ornaments, ice cream scoops, bottle stoppers, and others. The maximum diameter is usually 10 inches or less, and the maximum distance between centers is 20 inches or less. Horsepower is no more than ½ HP, and the speed range is about 5, using step pulley. The bed is mostly made from cast iron, and the weight is less than 70 lbs.
The midi lathe is relatively bigger and powerful. This type of lathe comes with the functionalities of the full-size lathe with the ease and convenience of the mini-lathe. Optional extensions for bed are available, and the capacity of turning can match that of a full-size lathe. It is also made of cast iron but heavier, having 3-speed ranges of step pulley and 1 horsepower capacity.

Final Words

We hope that our rundown on the top 10 wood lathes for pen turning helped you make a decision. If you ask us, we would definitely pick the Wen 8″×12″ variable speed wood lathe for beginners.

Not only is it a compact benchtop model, but it also offers you some top-of-the-line features to ace a variety of turned wood crafts. Its lever clamps help you adjust the tailstock and the tool rest for precise detailing. Besides, its tailstock taper and MT1 spindle grip your workpiece tightly.

Although an industrial application is where the Powermatic 3520C lathe shines, it features a robust 2 HP motor and incredible speed control for professional woodturning. From artistic candle holders to intricate table legs, its 42-inch swing capacity takes the fun of woodturning to a whole new level.

But if you’re looking for a mid-range wood lathe for small projects, the Shop Fox W1704 should tick all the boxes for you. It includes plenty of lathe accessories in the box to get you started.

On top of that, you get to work with a medium blank that runs up to 12 inches and has a diameter of 8 inches. A 5-¾-inch faceplate is its main attraction. So, what are you waiting for? Get the best lathe for pen turning right now!

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