Struggling with finding a high-quality metal lathe that fits a modest budget?

In this blog, we explore the best metal lathes available for under $1000, perfect for hobbyists, DIY enthusiasts, and even small-scale professional machinists. We cover a range of lathes that offer a balance between affordability and functionality, including models that cater to various machining needs, from precision crafting of metal parts to basic shaping and cutting tasks.

With over 20 years of experience in the field of machining and metalworking equipment, we’ve guided a wide array of clients, from amateur metalworkers to skilled tradespeople, in choosing the right lathe for their specific projects. Our selection of metal lathes under $1000 is grounded in comprehensive testing and real-world applications, ensuring our recommendations are practical and reliable. These lathes aren’t just cost-effective; they excel in performance, offering robust construction, precision controls, and versatile capabilities.

We’ve evaluated them based on their machining precision, durability, and ease of use, finding them ideal for those who want to engage in metalworking without the need for a large investment yet still require a machine that delivers consistent and accurate results.

Best Metal Lathe Under $1000 in 2024

Shop Fox M1015 6-Inch by 10-Inch Micro Lathe

This Shop Fox Mini-Lathe is perfect for someone who wants a well-designed and durable machine that can fit in a small space.

This Mini-Lathe offers tool makers, model makers, weekend machinists, and gun hobbyists, a way to carefully create threaded parts, small precision parts, fittings, and dies.

Created for the mini machine that has all the features and precision you want for small-scale turning. Indeed, it’s the best machine for scale model building. It contains 5″ Swing over a saddle, MT #1 Tailstock barrel taper, MT #2 Spindle taper, 3/8″ Spindle bore, 6″ Swing over bed, and distance between centers 10″.

Thread Cutting ability to cut threads 16, 18, 19, 20 24 TPI and also includes gear ratio threading chart to determine which gears to be used to acquire desired threads per inch. Shop Fox has feed rates approx.  0.002 inch and 0.004 inches per each revolution

Shop Fox M1015 Lathe

  • Auto and Manual Feed
  • Convenient Control Panel
  • Swing over cross slide: 4-1/8″
  • Cross slide travel: 2-3/8″
  • Variable speed 100-2000 RPM
  • Motor: 1/5 HP, 110V,
  • Single-phase, 1.2A
  • 3″ 3-jaw chuck with internal /external jaws
  • 4 hex wrenches
  • Double-ended wrench
  • Socket head wrench
  • Oil cup
  • An optional accessory is also available for a wide variety of setups.
  • Cheap packing that leads to broken product

Generic 7 X 14 Mini Metal Lathe

The top metal lathe by Generic is constructed well that turns to be very valuable for both beginners and experts.

The lathe is available in two optional colors orange or blue, has 120v/60Hz, 110mm Swing over Cross Slide, 35mm Top slide travel, Mt3 Spindle Taper, Mt2 Tailstock taper, 65mm Cross slide travel, and distance between centers – 14″.

Generic Mini Metal Lathe is designed to work precisely and provide a quiet belt drive. Therefore, this is an exceptional choice for people who are looking for a reasonably priced lathe.

  • Variable Speed
  • Induction Harden bed way
  • Spindle accuracy of 0.01 mm
  • 7″ Swing over Bed
  • 550-watt motor
  • 80mm chuck
  • 20mm spindle bore
  • Spindle speed from 0 to 2500 RMP
  • People purchased this complaint about the plastic gears
  • Few are disappointed with the broken parts received, however they were provided with their need or refund.

Grizzly G0602 Bench Top Metal Lathe, 10 x 22-Inch

Grizzly 10″ x 22″ Bench Top Metal Lathe is one of the top rated metal lathes that has the substantial capacity, enormous thread ranges, a larger chunk and a wider bed.

Depending on the features like a 3/4-inch x 12 TPI lead screw, a 1-inch spindle bore, and an MT3 tailstock, it cost a little high.

It’s perfect for creating parts for engines, models, and also for repairs at home or shop.

Package includes five-inch three-jaw chuck, 6 ½ inches four jaw chuck, 8-inch faceplate, and steady / follow rest, and MT3 dead center. And also includes a four-way tool post, chip tray, backsplash, and oil bath gearbox, and service tools. Thus, it’s worth investing in such a high-grade machine and it’s best for both small and large projects.

Grizzly G0602 Bench Top Metal Lathe

  • Simple and easy to handle
  • High-quality, Hardened V-bed, and nine longitudinal feeds
  • It comes with six-speed settings
  • Provides decent thread range
  • Costly than the other unit
  • Buyer’s complaints about the paint getting peel off
  • Few say it’s difficult to assemble and change the speeds
  • Little noisy

Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe Variable Speed 2500 RPM & Digital Readout with 5 pc. Cutter Kit

The top mini metal lathe is useful, efficient, and well-suited for several types of metal turning.

It Includes a chuck key, internal/external chuck jaws, 11 feed rate gears, a user manual, and a five-piece carbide-tipped cutter kit.

With help of this, you can cut, drill and turn plastic, wood, and metal parts with precision.

Top Mini Metal Lathe provides 2500 RPM of turning power, a 7-inch swing, and a 14-inch space between centers. The lathe of this unit can turn metal up to 84 cubic inches in size. The variable speed of a motor can be adjusted from 50 to 2500 RPM in any rotational direction. This creates left-hand threading a choice.

The thread indicator helps users to utilize threads from 12 to 52 TPI with whichever metric or imperial pitches. Overall, the product is a good option at a reasonable price and a very powerful tool.

Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision

  • Package Includes- Tool Bench mini lathe, MT2 Dead Center, MT3 Spindle Taper, Tailstock Taper, Complete set of plastic change gears and five-piece carbide tipped cutter kit.
  • Construction is good
  • Easy-to-read digital readout
  • Safety features and power indicator
  • Temperature Operating Range – 53°F to 95&d
  • Customer’s complaints about the thread and speed gears are made up of plastic instead of metal.
  • Few say that they received a damaged product that lacks padding in the package.

Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe by Central Machinery

Central Machinery mini lathe is very effective and user-friendly. This meets all you’re requirements such as when you are counter-facing, turning, or making spindles, bushings, models, or prototypes.

This metal micro lathe machine can be used to make various tools it includes an automatic feed, a variable speed control knob, a chuck guard with a micro switch, and a Tailstock taper.

It also helps you to use threads from 2 to 52 TPI and a tool post.

The mini lathe offers a low speed from 0-1100 RMP and a high speed from 0-2500 RPM.

Users love its design, precision, and performance. One customer praises that although the package was damaged; the mini-lathe was not damaged and came with all the parts. As a whole, this is an outstanding tool, but do note that it that the feed gears are plastic and also don’t come with any bits.

Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe

  • It is very easy to use
  • Corded-electric power source
  • Minimum speed 0-1100 RMP
  • Maximum speed 0-2500 RPM
  • ETL listed Certification
  • Difficult to find its replacement parts
  • Instructions are not clearly mention
  • Few customers face some problems with knob control and switch

Grizzly Industrial Store G0752 G0602
Swing Over Bed 9-1/2″ 9-1/2″
Distance Between Centers 22″ 22″
Horsepower 1 HP 1 HP
Voltage 110V 110V
Phase Single Single
Spindle Bore 1″ 1″
Spindle Taper MT#4 MT#4
Tailstock Travel 2-1/2″ 2-1/2″
Tailstock Taper MT#3 MT#3
Spindle Speeds 100-2000 RPM 150, 300, 560, 720, 1200, 2400 RPM

FAQs on Best Benchtop Metal Lathe

What is a good size metal lathe for beginners?

For beginners, a smaller benchtop lathe, often in the range of 7 x 12-inch or 7 x 14-inch, is recommended. These sizes offer adequate space for various projects while being more manageable and less intimidating for those new to metalworking.

What makes a good metal lathe?

A good metal lathe should have:

  • Sturdy and durable construction, preferably made of cast iron or heavy-duty steel.
  • Precision and accuracy in its operations.
  • Variable speed control for versatility in different projects.
  • A smooth lead screw for threading and other intricate tasks.
  • Safety features such as an emergency stop button and protective guards.
  • User-friendly features, such as digital readouts or quick-change tool posts.

How much HP does a metal lathe need?

The required horsepower (HP) for a metal lathe varies based on the size of the machine and the nature of the projects. For many benchtop metal lathes, a motor ranging from 1/2 HP to 1 HP is adequate. However, larger industrial lathes or those designed for heavy-duty tasks may require 2 HP or more.

Can I turn brass on a metal lathe?

Yes, brass can be turned on a metal lathe. In fact, brass is one of the easier metals to work with due to its softness. It’s essential to use sharp tools and appropriate speed settings to achieve a smooth finish when turning brass.

Can metal be turned on a wood lathe?

While it’s technically possible to turn soft metals (like aluminum or brass) on a wood lathe, it’s not recommended. Wood lathes are not designed for the rigors of metal turning. They lack the precision of metal lathes and can pose safety risks when used for metalwork.

What metals can be used on a metal lathe?

A variety of metals can be turned on a metal lathe, including but not limited to:

  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Bronze
  • Copper
  • Steel (including stainless steel)
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Tin
  • Zinc

It’s crucial to understand the properties of each metal, adjust speed settings accordingly, and ensure you’re using the right cutting tools for the material.


Selecting the right benchtop metal lathe depends on your specific projects, skill level, and workspace. By considering the above reviews and key factors, you can ensure you pick a lathe that will serve you well for years to come.