Have you been trying to find the best full size wood lathe? Making this kind of purchase is always hard, especially if it’s a big heavy duty wood lathe.
With this review, you will be able to choose one, but remember that everyone has different needs so take every detail in count! I have picked a few models that all differ in specifications and features, now let’s get started!
After considering the specifications of different models, my overall pick for the best size wood lathe is:
Table of Contents
Overall Pick of Full Size Wood Lathe
First of all, let me tell you a little bit about JET: they have been in the manufacturing business for over 50 years, they are committed to having the best quality products. The JWL-1642EVS is a good representation of their commitment, this item has a 1.5 horsepower motor. Yes, it’s true!
As in for size, this model has 16 inches swing over the bed and 42 inches distance between centers!
And another thing, this model has a large variety of adjustable speeds, which can go from 0 to 3200 revolutions per minute. Still not convinced?
It has a large digital LED readout that makes handling the spindle speed very easy and accurate.
This is a 5 star model, with good customer reviews and outstanding features!
But hang on a minute and let me guess what you are thinking, what makes this model better than the others?
Want to know the answer? Read the full review of this model below!
Check out the latest price of the JET JWL-1642EVS here on Amazon.
If you are looking for wood lathes for smaller workshops, I suggest you check out the Best Wood Lathe for home use in a small workshop review.
Best Full Size Wood Lathe – Comparison Table
|Model||Swing over bed||Length between centers||Power||Speeds||Speed range||Weight||Price||Rating||Warranty|
|JET JWL-1642EVS||16 inches||42 inches||1.5 HP||Variable speeds||0 – 3200
|410 pounds||$$$$||5 stars||5 years|
|Powermatic 3520B||20 inches||34.5 inches||2 HP||Variable speeds||50 – 3200 RPM||682 pounds||$$$$$||4.5 stars||5 years|
|Shop Fox W1758||16 inches||46 inches||2 HP||10||600 – 2400 RPM||307 pounds||$$||4 stars||2 years|
|NOVA 24146 1624-44||16 inches||24 inches||1.5 HP||8||215 – 3600 RPM||285 pounds||$$$||3.5 stars||5 years|
|DELTA 46-715||14 inches||40 inches||¾ HP||10||450 – 600 RPM||338 pounds||$$$$||3 stars||2 years|
|JET JWL-1440VSK||14. 5 inches||40 inches||1 HP||Variable speeds||400 – 3000 RPM||400 pounds||$$$||4 stars||5 years|
Related: Best wood lathe for a small workshop
Full Size Wood Lathes Reviews
As I mentioned above the JET JWL-1642EVS is my overall top pick.
This model has a 1.5 horsepower motor which consists of 3 phases that are converted by the electronic inverter! This inverter has the ability to vary the motor frequency, which allows you to change the variable speeds when turning.
The speeds can go from 0 to 3200 revolutions per minute! Sounds good?
Next, the large diameter spindle has a 1.25 inch 8 threads per inch that supports large pieces of wood. In addition, the spindle has a built-in indexing that can be locked in 36 different positions.
But that’s not all, it has a mount on the rear of the headstock that accepts a heavy-gauge wire guard, and a spring-loaded pin that indexes the guard up or down to make mounting and removing turned objects easy.
As in for safety, the heavy-gauge wire guard doesn’t only make your life easier but a lot safer. You and I both know that this job can be dangerous so the guard works as a shield between the machine and the operator when working with large pieces.
To top it all off, it has a digital LED readout that makes monitoring the spindle speed easy and very accurate. It has a toggle switch on the front panel that allows you to the select the forward and reverse spindle directions.
I recommend this model for heavy duty projects, it’s made from cast iron which provides stability and accuracy. And even better it’s vibration free! I know, that’s unbelievable!
But are you still wondering what makes this model better?
If you compare it to the Shop Fox W1758, you can notice that it has a larger distance between centers and a 2 horsepower motor when the JET JWL-1642EVS has a 1.5 HP motor, so why is the JET JWL-1642EVS a better option?
Remember what I said at the beginning? Look at every detail, the JET JWL-1642EVS has more varieties of speeds which is very important if you’re a professional. And if you look closely, you can see that the JET JWL-1642EVS comes with 5 years of warranty while the Shop Fox W1758 comes with 2.
The JET JWL-1642EVS starts at 0 RPM, which is great considering the other models start from a much higher speed. With this advantage you won’t have to worry about the speed being to too fast!
Now here’s the catch, the JET JWL-1642EVS has a bit of a high price but making this purchase means making an investment. If you’re looking for something more settled and have a lower budget then the Shop Fox W1758 is a good choice for your case.
All in all I give the JET JWL-1642EVS 5 stars, it has good customer ratings and great features!
Make sure to check out the latest price of the JET JWL-1642EVS here on Amazon.
- 410 pounds
- 1.5 horsepower motor
- Warranty: 5 years
- LED readout
- 0 – 3200 RPM
|Easy to use|
Here’s a little bit about Powermatic, they started out in 1921 and have grown over the years, their goal is to provide quality and durability to the masters of woodworking.
The Powermatic 3520B is powered by a 2 horsepower motor, that’s equipped with an inverter which can be operated with 3 phases. In addition, it has variable speeds that can go from 50 – 3200 revolutions per minute.
This model features 20 inches swing over the bed and 34.5 inches distance between centers!
And guess what? This model includes a pin that can be attached into the spindle housing and it provides 24 indexing positions for more decorative finishing touches!
This model is made from cast iron, which assures stability and it resists vibration!
It has a sliding headstock showing the variable speed and a digital RPM readout which provides accurate and fast speed adjustment.
The tailstock is also built from heavy iron casting, which is great for supporting large pieces of wood. This product is built for storage convenience, it has a built-in casting to store small often-used tools and equipment.
As in for ergonomics, it has a chrome-tipped handwheel that ensures a comfortable feel!
The only problem? This model is quite expensive but as I said before, think of your needs before making the final decision.
Overall I give this model 4.5 stars, it does have a high price but it’s made to last you years!
- 682 pounds
- 2 horsepower motor
- 50 – 3200 RPM
- Warranty: 5 years
|Easy to use||Expensive|
Shop Fox W1758
Here’s one company’s story: Shop Fox has over 25 years of experience in the manufacturing world, they design machines for both beginners and professionals.
The Shop Fox W1758 has a 2 horsepower motor, that has 10 adjustable speeds that start from 600 and can go up to 2400 revolutions per minute. Can you believe that?
This model has a 16 inch swing over the bed and 46 inches distance between centers, this item has the largest distance between centers out of all the models reviewed.
I highly recommend this item if you know you’re going to be working with very large pieces, but here’s the interesting part, this model can only go up to 2400 RPM and it starts from 600.
And the fact is that it’s actually quite dangerous to start from such a high speed, unless you’re a professional I don’t suggest you start with this model.
Get this: this model features a three-way adjustable tool rest which provides support for the turning tool. The rest can be adjusted to the height and distance according to the size of your working piece. And it even includes locking handles, to ensure your safety!
But that’s not all, this item has the ability to perform outboard turning, which is a variation of faceplate turning.
The headstock can be adjusted at 5 different positions: 0°, 60°, 90°, 120° and 180°, I recommend you set it at 180° if you’re going to be working with large pieces.
And another thing, the tailstock comes with a cam-action clamping system to secure it to the lathe bed!
In truth I give this item 4 stars, if you’re looking for something large then this is definitely the way to go. It has a good price too!
- 307 pounds
- Warranty: 2 years
- 2 horsepower motor
- MT2 spindle and tailstock tapers
- 10 speeds
|Good price||Starts at high speed|
|Easy to use|
NOVA 24146 1624-44
Let me start off by telling you a bit about NOVA, they belong to the group Teknatool, which has been in the business since 1980. They’re very passionate about the development of technology and their goal is to continue expanding globally.
The NOVA 24146 1624-44 has a 1.5 horsepower motor which consists of 8 speed ranges, that start from 215 and can reach up to 3600 RPM. Yes, you read that correctly!
If you’re a very detailed person then you probably realized that this model can reach the highest revolutions per minute out of all the models reviewed.
But here’s the thing, this model has 16 inches swing over the bed and 24 inches distance between centers. And this item has the shortest distance between centers out of all the models, so if your plan is to work with large pieces then this is definitely not the correct product for you!
But that’s totally up to you so listen up, this model is made of steel and cast iron. This guarantees durability and it comes with 5 years of warranty too!
In terms of features, it has a swivel head that can be positioned at any angle up to 360°. It has a MT2 live center and drive center. And another thing, it has 11/4 inches 8 threads per inch.
Good news: this model is actually the lightest out of all the items in the review. So if you’re worried about unpacking it, you won’t need too much help.
I give this item 3.5 stars, unfortunately, it doesn’t have too many amazing features but if you’re looking for something more basic then this will get the job done!
- 285 pounds
- Warranty: 5 years
- Full 360° swivel head
- 215 – 3600 RPM
- 1.5 HP motor
|Quiet||Recommended for beginners|
|Easy to assemble|
Here’s a little background information about DELTA, they’ve had nearly 90 years of experience and their main focus is to help woodworkers create pieces of work with more precision, accuracy and reliability.
The DELTA 46-715 has a ¾ horsepower motor which can be adjusted at 10 speeds, within 450 to 600 revolutions per minute! But hang on a minute, aren’t these numbers too low in comparison to the other models?
Oddly enough this model stars at 450 RPM, which frankly is too high as a starting speed so unless you’re a professional this speed is way too high and can actually be quite dangerous if not used carefully.
As in for the fact that it can only reach 600 RPM, that truly is a disadvantage but if you’re looking for something large that isn’t too fast then I guess this is the model you’ve been waiting for!
The item is made from cast iron, which reduces vibration and tends to increase accuracy. That’s right!
It comes with a headstock that can be positioned at 45°, 90° or 180°, anywhere along the bed for bowl or outboard turning.
And an additional thing, this product comes with a 24 index position scale that allows you to make further details onto your project! I know, that’s amazing.
And even better, the spindle comes with 24 lockable positions so when you’re making cuts and calculations, they will be precise and accurate.
What’s more? This product has a 14 inch swing over the bed, which is in fact the shortest out of all the models in this review but it has 40 inches distance between centers.
Here’s the deal, this model is a bit expensive but if this is the model that will meet your needs then at least consider it!
But here’s one more thing you should know, sadly enough it only comes with 2 years of warranty. And let’s be real most models come with at least 5 years.
I give this model 3 stars, DELTA is a reliable company but unfortunately, this item is made to satisfy very few people.
- 338 pounds
- Warranty: 2 years
- ¾ HP motor
- 24 position index scale
- 450 – 600 RPM
|No vibration||Few years of warranty|
By now you already know all about JET, the JWL-1440VSK is another great product by them and here’s why:
This model works with a 1 horsepower motor that has variable speeds which start from 400 and can be adjusted up to 3000 revolutions per minute, which is easy to read because of the display.
One thing before we go any further, 400 RPM is quite a high speed to work with if you’re a beginner so keep that in mind!
The product comes with 14.5 inches swing over the bed and 40 inches distance between centers. I personally think that 40 inches is a good length if you’re not looking for something too big but in all honestly I do think that the swing over the bed could be a bit larger.
The JWL-1440VSK comes with a sliding headstock that can be locked at 7 positive locking positions which are: 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, 180° and 270°, which increase variability and user comfort.
It even has an improved tailstock quill that locks with an anti-rotation key! It has a 1 inch 8 threads per inch spindle thread. And it comes with MT2 spindle and quill taper.
And guess what? You can do outboard turning with this machine!
It also has 36 indexing positions! And a positive locking tool rest with a redesigned clamping.
I give this model 4 stars, JET is a very trustworthy company that will exceed your expectations. And like all their products, this model comes with 5 years of warranty!
- 400 pounds
- 36 indexing positions
- 400 – 3000 RPM
- Warranty: 5 years
- 1 HP motor
|Good power||Not for beginners|
Related: Best wood lathe for your money
Full Size Wood Lathe Buyer Guide
Now I know I’ve talked about looking at every detail and taking every single one in, but have you been wondering all along what they are? With this guide, I hope to help you think about every factor carefully. Now let’s get into it!
- Swing over bed: basically what this means is the maximum diameter of work the lathe can handle, this is pretty important considering you’re looking at full size lathes. If you work with large pieces of wood then look at this factor closely and maybe get a measuring tape out to know what you’re looking at.
- Length between centers: this represents the maximum length a piece can be turned between centers. Again this specification is very significant if you’re going to be working with big pieces, so be sure of what your needs are!
- Power: if you’re looking for a specific power then this is pretty necessary to look at. You should consider your types of projects because some people do in fact work with stronger types of wood! So if that’s the case then go for a model with a more powerful motor.
- Speeds: some models come with speeds within a range but others come with 8 or 10 speeds which can’t be modified. If you need accuracy I recommend you buy a model that comes with variable speeds.
- Speed range: personally I think that after size this is the most crucial factor. Now this is as personal as it gets, all models start from a specific speed and very few start from 0. I highly recommend you look for models that start from the lowest speed, if you’re a professional then you know the speed you can handle. But for beginners starting from a speed that isn’t 0 is very dangerous. As in for the highest speed, this all comes down to what you’re looking for and what you’re going work with.
- Weight: at arrival, this is pretty important, from these models you’re probably going to need help with most of them. Lathes are generally heavy and we’re looking at full size lathes here so you might need to get some help to help you carry it and assembling it.
- Price: if you’re looking at full size lathes my guess is that you’re a professional, so if you’re advanced then expect these models to be the same. In other words, these types of machines aren’t cheap, don’t get me wrong there are some that are a lot more expensive than others. But if you’re looking for certain features or specifications then you’re going to need a bit of a high budget.
- Warranty: these types of machines normally don’t present any issues unless damaged in shipping or arrival. But you never know what you’re going to find once you open it so my recommendation is to look for a model with more years of warranty.
I know that this can be overwhelming, with so many things to consider and all. But this is a big purchase and you have to know everything about the model you’re going to be working with. Read these factors carefully before carrying on!
Related: Best wood lathes (on a budget).
So what are you waiting for?
After looking at those details, I hope you’ve decided! Let me refresh you a bit on what my suggestions are. The JET JWL-1642EVS is my overall pick from the review, this will for sure exceed your expectations.
As the runner-up I’ve chosen the Shop Fox W1758, this model has good features too. If you have made it this far then I truly hope you’ve chosen the model that will satisfy you and your work. Now go ahead and buy it!
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