Best Lathe for Pen Turning – Top Reviewed Mini Lathe Machine of 2019

There are different types of lathes available in the market for different types of work like midi wood lathe, full-size lathe, benchtop lathe, pen turning lathe, etc. Today, we will talk about the most sought pen making lathes in this post.

It is an overwhelming task of picking up the right lathe for your mini project, especially like turning a pen. So, here I am providing the details of the top 7 machines as well as significant things to choose the right product.

Best Lathe for Pen Turning

1. SHOP FOX W1704 Benchtop Lathe for Pen Turning


The reliable and cost-effective lathe from SHOP FOX is a perfect product for turning pens, and that’s why it is in the first place on this list. Whether you just need to tackle with the pen making or to cut & to shape other small objects, this unit will not disappoint you at any stage.

Specs & features of SHOP FOX W1704 Lathe for Pen Turning are:

  • It comes with a single-phase 110V 2Amp motor which can generate a power of 1/3  Horsepower.
  • This machine has a 12-inch distance between the centers on an 8-inch swing over bed.
  • It has a sturdy cast iron construction with a variable spindle speed ranging from 700RPM to 3200RPM to provide efficient operation with durability.
  • This lathe has a lightweight design which makes it extremely portable. The safety paddle switch ensures your security while operating the machine.
  • The company provides a 2-year warranty on the product to allow you to have a hassle-free purchase.


2. WEN 3420T Variable Speed Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe

WEN 3420T

A right wood lathe is essential for completing the job quickly and efficiently. The WEN 3420T is a budget-friendly product that has many positive reviews from worldwide users. It has plenty of features for those who want to make the pen turning process easy & comfortable.

Let’s see what the WEN 3420T Mini Wood Lathe offers:

  • You can adjust the variable speed anywhere between 750 rotations per minute to 3200 rotations per minute.
  • A 5” faceplate helps to turn non-spindle workpieces.
  • You can handle the objects with the dimensions up to 8” by 12” (W x L).
  • This tool is perfect for turning pens, chess pieces, and other small products.
  • A 2Amp motor, an MT1 spindle, two tool rests, and a single tailstock paper included in the package.
  • You can choose from the five variable speed options including 8 x 12”, 12 x 16”, 12 x 18”, 12 x 18” (five speeds), and 14 x 20”.


3. Grizzly H8259 Pen Turning Wood Lathe for Pen Turning

Grizzly H8259

The H8259 wood lathe from Grizzly is a top-performing product that will help you to do your job comfortably without facing any issues. This benchtop mini wood lathe is ideal for the pen making and other small woodworking jobs.

Features & Specs of Grizzly H8259 Wood Lathe for Pen Making are:

  • It comes with a single phase 110V motor which generates the power of 1/2 HP.
  • It has variable speed options including 826RPM, 1205RPM, 1713RPM, 2422RPM, and 3337RPM.
  • The pack also includes a live rolling center, a 6” tool rest, a spur center, and wrenches.
  • The 18” distance between the centers provides an additional space to adjust a variety of wood pieces for the turning process.
  • The sturdy construction with easy to setup process makes it favorite among the users.


4. Jet JWL-1015VS Pen Making Lathe

Jet JWL-1015VS

The Jet JWL-1015VS is perfectly designed for the novice professionals and for those who are aiming for an affordable lathe for pen making and other small woodworking projects. Compared to the other Jet models like JWL-1500 below and JWL-1440VSK above, this unit has lower speed variations available. This reason is one of the most selling points of the tool.

Specifications and features of Jet JWL-1015VS Benchtop Wood Lathe are:

  • It has three variable speed ranges of 200-1050 RPM, 300-1750 RPM, and 600-3600 RPM. These different ranges deliver the flexibility to work on different types of objects.
  • This tool has a 3/8” spindle bore and 2-inch quill travel on the 15-1/2” distance between the centers.
  • The 24-position indexing integration makes the holes equally spaced.
  • It has a 1/2HP motor generates enough power to handle even the hardwood pieces without any difficulties.
  • The manufacturer offers a five-year limited warranty on this wood lathe.


5. RIKON Power Tools 70-105 Mini Lathe for Pen Turning

RIKON Power Tools 70-105

The 70-105 lathe from RIKON Power Tools is one of the biggest mini machines in the market. When it is a matter of functionality and quality, then there is rarely a match for this product.

Let’s see what the RIKON Power Tools Mini Lathe for Pen Turning offers:

  • The 1/2 HP motor generates the right amount of power to meet your all object turning requirements.
  • It has a sturdy cast-iron bed along with a headstock and tailstock to reduce the vibration during the operation.
  • The machine is known for providing accurate alignments due to the good-quality bed and relevant components.
  • The lathe also includes a 6-inch tool rest, live center, wrenches, rubber feet, a knock-out bar, and a user manual.
  • You will get a 5-year warranty from the company for this wood lathe.


6. PSI Woodworking KWL-1018 Turncrafter Multi-Speed Midi Lathe

PSI Woodworking KWL-1018

The sturdy midi lathe from PSI Woodworking is an easy to use, performance-centric, and affordable tool for turning pens and other small objects. It comes with a variety of features to make it a favorite machine among worldwide users.

Let’s see the features of PSI Woodworking KWL-1018 Midi Lathe for Pen Turning are:

  • You can choose from either the manual speed or variable speed option for this midi lathe.
  • Certified by Intertek, this lathe comes with five different speed sets including 650, 1000, 1450, 2000, and 3000 RPM.
  • The bed has an 18-inch turning capacity which offers a trouble-free making of an object.
  • The 18” distance between the centers with a 10” swing over bed along with a 1-5/8” quill travel & 3/8” tailstock spindle bore provide superior performance for pen turning and other small woodworking projects.
  • You will also get a storage rack for tools, work light with a flex cable (18-inch), 3-inch faceplate, tailstock live center, spur drive center, 12” and 6” tool rests, a set of four hex wrenches, four rubber feet, a screwdriver, a 6-inch tool rest, knockout rod, tailstock handle & bolts, and safety goggles.


7. Mophorn Heavy Duty Benchtop Wood Lathe


The Mophorn heavy duty pen turning lathe comes with the powerful motor as well as sturdy construction for providing stability and smoothness in the object turning operation. The accurately grounded shafts and gears offer overall durability along with silent operation.

Features & specifications of Mophorn Benchtop Pen Turning Wood Lathe are:

  • This variable speed lathe comes with a 550W powerful motor for a precise and smooth turning of the objects.
  • It comes with a digital display which helps you to check the measurements quickly.
  • Five adjustable speeds including 650, 1000, 1450, 2000, and 3000 RPM help you to tackle all the woodworking projects of turning & making comfortably.
  • It has a distance of 18” between the centers, 10” swing over bed, 3” face plate,
  • 6” tool rest, top drive, and live center.
  • The high-quality electronic components along with hardened shafts & gears, this machine provides exceptional craft experience.
  • You can use it for pen turning projects as well as for the applications of engineering, workshop, lab, and education fields.


How to choose the best pen turning lathe?

Pen turning on a lathe is a delicate and precision requiring task. You need a good-quality machine for doing that job efficiently. But, there are certain aspects that you need to look for while buying the lathe for your pen making job. Let’s have a look at them.

The first essential thing is the size of the machine. For the small woodworking projects like pen turning and small bowls, a mini lathe is an ideal option. However, if you also plan to work with larger objects, then you can look for the lathes with better bed extensions.

The swing capacity of the lathe is also a considerable factor. The distance between the center is also substantial. For the pen turning project, such things don’t make a big issue but if you are getting a lathe, then why not to do some other woodworking projects too?

Your workspace is the thing you should always keep in mind. You must not be looking for a wood lathe that fits in your toolbag. So, analyze the area in your workshop and get the pen turning lathe that fits in that comfortably. If you are frequently moving the machine from here to there, then look for the lightweight options.

You should also know your budget boundary.  The best woodturning machine may even come with a hefty price tag. So, if you are not thinking about the payday loans, then always check the price of the tool before making your mind. The midi or small lathes, in most cases, come in affordable price ranges.

What is your choice?

Whether you are buying a pen making lathe for your hobby, professional life, or just for enthusiasm, getting the right tool is the most effective factor for your success. And I am sure with the help of the above shortlisted best midi lathes and the buying guide; you will get the real value for your money.

Which lathe will you buy for your pen turning project? Which other types of woodworking job will you do on that? Share your inputs in the below section.

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