Wood Lathe vs Metal Lathe – How exactly are they different?

Lathes are the center of the manufacturing industry. They have so many uses that the industry would feel empty without them. With a single lathe, you can do so much! From cutting to deforming, drilling, and sanding workpieces, the sky is your limit!

Wood Lathe vs Metal Lathe

Lathes can be compared to milling machines in uses, but the functioning is slightly different. When you use a lathe, you expose a workpiece that’s constantly rotating to a cutting tool that remains stationary. All lathes, metal and wood, work in the same manner. But then, if that’s the case, why are lathes classified as such? What is the difference between wood lathes and metal lathes? We will clear all your doubts in this guide.

Wood Lathe

Wood latheAs the name suggests, these lathes are specifically made for wood pieces. This means that if you are working with wood, this is the lathe you should buy. They are typically small and are not as strong as metal lathes, but they are perfect for the job they serve.

Wood lathes efficiently sand, drill, deform, turn, and cut all wood pieces with precision. They are also very easy to use because they have a pulley system calling the shots.

Metal Lathe 

Metal lathe Metal lathes are usually more powerful than wood lathes. They are also larger and are designed to manipulate metals such as iron, steel, and aluminum. Metals are usually harder to cut through than wood. That’s why metal lathes pack more punch and are often used with a hardened cutting tool. Also, they tend to be more accurate than their wood counterparts.

Interestingly, along with metals, you can use metal lathes to cut through wood pieces as well. 

Wood Lathe vs Metal Lathe

It really isn’t a competition because each of them serves a specific purpose. Wood lathes are for wood pieces, and metal lathes are for metal pieces. However, if you work with both metal and wood items, we suggest that you choose metal lathes. They are more versatile. Wood lathes will be of no use with metal pieces. So, even if you love using them, they will not help you with metal.

If you speak about costs, you will see that wood lathes are cheaper. This is mainly because they are simpler in their build and mechanism. However, this only factors in when you are choosing between the metal lathe or wood lathe for woodwork. For metalwork, you have no option but to pick only metal lathes specifically.

Now that you understand the difference between wood and metal lathes, you will be able to choose the right one with ease. It is only a matter of finding the best available option! All the best in your quest!

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