If you work with metals, an available safe and effective tool is obviously important for you to process. Metal work requires patience, care, and precision. You need a tool that will facilitate the use of various attachments without compromising quality. Reading the top 5 mini metal lathes reviews will help you decide which to add to your collection.
Table Of Contents
- Parts of a Mini Metal Lathe
- Considerations for the Best Mini Metal Lathe
- Mini Metal Lathes for Sale: Top 5 Choices
Parts of a Mini Metal Lathe
If you’re new to using mini metal lathes, there is a lot of terminologies you will need to familiarize yourself with. Mini lathes are constructed with many parts. The parts of a mini metal lathe include:
Credit to cs.cmu.edu
- Bed: the main support which runs the length of the lathe.
- Headstock: main casting where the spindle is mounted.
- Spindle: main rotating shaft where the work-holding device is mounted.
- Ways: precision ground surfaces along the top of the bed and aligned with lathe centerline.
- Toolholder: part mounted on the compound where the cutting tool is clamped.
- Compound: the movable platform where the toolpost is mounted.
- Carriage: a part that moves the tool holder and tool along the ways.
- Carriage Handwheel: allows you to move the carriage by hand.
- Cross Slide: a platform that moves perpendicular to the lathe axis.
- Tailstock: a cast iron assembly that slides along ways and mounts drills.
- Tailstock Handwheel: used to move tailstock ram in and out of tailstock casting.
- Leadscrew: precision screw that runs the length of the bed and drives carriage.
- Half-nut Lever: engages the carriage with the leadscrew to move the carriage.
- Apron: front part of the carriage where the carriage handwheel sits.
Considerations for the Best Mini Metal Lathe
Even if you have a lot of experience using mini metal lathes such as the Harbor Freight 7 x 10 Mini Metal Lathe, you can never be too safe. It’s helpful to get a few reminders about how to use your lathe in the safest way possible. Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind with your mini metal lathe:
- Before you use your lathe, be sure to review the safety and user manual. Even if you have used a lathe before, familiarizing yourself with your new model is a good idea.
- Remember that your mini metal lathe got its name for a reason. It is a small model and meant for jobs matching its size. Do not attempt larger jobs with a mini metal lathe.
- Make sure to check the workpiece after you’ve placed it in the work holding device. Do not begin operation unless the workpiece is totally secure
- It’s much safer to avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry when you’re operating your mini metal lathe.
Mini Metal Lathes for Sale: Top 5 Choices
Now that you know a bit more about working with your mini metal lathe, here are your top 5 options:
1. Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe, 7 x 12-Inch
The Grizzly Mini Metal Lathe is a popular option among those who work with metal frequently. This mini metal lathe is 7 x 12 inches, making it a flexible option for many types of jobs. The lathe has some variable speed options for customization in your work needs. There are a 16 TPI reversible leadscrew and a threading dial indicator included. The chip tray and backsplash guard boost safety and convenience.
The Grizzly lathe features a 7-inch swing over bed, a 12-inch distance between centers, and 2¾-inch cross slide travel. The mini metal lathe weighs about 74 pounds, so it is possible to move it when necessary, though it will require some strength. Make sure to keep lube handy to oil the ways and carriage gears.
2. Erie Tools 7 x 14 Mini Metal Milling Lathe
The Erie Tools Mini Metal Lathe comes with the lathe itself, a chuck key, a five-piece carbide-tipped cutter kit, internal chuck jaws, external chuck jaws, 11 feed rate gears, and a helpful user manual. This mini lathe will help you turn, cut, and drill metal, wood, and plastic with ease. The motor has variable speeds and adjusts to 2,500 RPM in either direction, making it ideal for left-handed threads.
The thread indicator will help you turn screw threads from 12 to 52 TPI and you can adjust the readings to metric or imperial based on your preference. This mini lathe provides a 7-inch swing and 14-inch space between centers. This lathe is ideal for use by people who have some experience with using mini metal lathes.
3. BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe 550W 7 x 14 Inch
The BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe is an option that is more budget-friendly than some other models. It has a variable speed gear made of durable plastic nylon. The lathe has a 7-inch swing over bed and a 14-inch distance between centers. You will be able to facilitate precise scaling with is digitally standardized. This mini metal lathe uses a four-way rotating turret.
This lathe is designed to provide optimal precision. You can use it to perform different types of metal turning and for mini precision parts processing, sample processing, and modeling works. This lathe is a good option for users of all levels, including beginners. It is very easy to use without compromising power. For better precision, you will need to tune the lathe before using it.
4. Signswise Motorized Mini Metal Working Lathe
The Signswise Mini Metal Lathe can be used for drilling, cutting, turning, boring, threading, and other processing. This is suitable to process soft metal, wood, aluminum, plastic, and copper. The lathe is made of aluminum alloy, zinc alloy, and ABS plastic. This 7 x 12 lathe is a suitable option for DIY projects, education, general crafts, and model-making.
To make sure that you remain safe while using the Signswise Mini Metal Lathe, there is an overheat protection available. This lathe is made with built-in bearing for an extra comfortable experience.
5. Mophorn Metal Lathe Precision Mini Lathe
The Mophorn Mini Metal Lathe has a 7-inch swing over bed and a 14-inch distance between centers. This precision mini lathe can be used to perform a variety of processes. With this lathe, you can drill, thread, and cut materials. You can use it at home, in school settings, for vehicle maintenance, in research settings, and for small professional jobs.
The mini lathe has variable speeds so you can adjust depending on the job at hand. The lathe has an emergency stop switch for safety, a Power On lamp indicator, and a knob for easy speed control. The Mophorn Mini Metal Lathe comes with a double-headed wrench, oil can, nylon gears, chuck claw, hexagon bar wrench, chuck wrench, protecting mask, and even a foot cushion.
Metalwork is an interesting job and hobby. Whether you are a professional metal worker or simply enjoy indulging in DIY at-home projects, adding a mini metal lathe to your tool collection will enhance your process.