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Best Mini Metal Lathes for the Money 2020 – Top Picks & Reviews

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a powerful machineThe right tool can be hard to come by, whether it’s a chainsaw, mini metal lathe, or a vacuum cleaner! There are so many options out there these days, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of the different choices, models, and brands.

This is why we’ve written, just for you, our mini metal lathe reviews for the best ones that you can purchase in 2020. Not only that, but you’ll also about some of the top models that you can purchase in 2020. We hope that, by reading this, you’ll understand the many possibilities that exist out there, and that you’ll be able to make the right decision!

Our Favorite Models Compared:

ModelPriceVariable SpeedEditor Rating
Erie Tools SP2102
Erie Tools SP2102
Best Overall

Check Price
2500 RPM4.9/5
Grizzly G8688 Mini
Grizzly G8688 Mini

Check Price
1100-2500 RPM4.7/5
Mophorn B01MCVQ42C
Mophorn B01MCVQ42C
Best Value

Check Price
50-2500 RPM4.5/5
BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe
BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe

Check Price
50-2500 RPM4.2/5
Shop Fox M1015
Shop Fox M1015

Check Price
100-2000 RPM3.9/5

5 Best Mini Metal Lathes – Reviews 2020:

1. Erie Tools Benchtop Mini Metal Lathe – Best Overall

Erie Tools SP2102

Our top pick for the best mini metal lathe under $1000 is the Erie Tools SP2102. Other models came close, but ultimately, it was the durability, ease of use, and functionality that set the SP2102 apart from other choices. In the end, this is truly one of the top models out there right now.

You can drill, turn and cut metal, wood, and plastic with immediate precision and flexibility. There is no difficulty in doing this, and whatever you choose to do with this beast, it will remain durable and strong.

The SP2102 comes with an excellent manual that adequately explains just how to use this machine and the many ways that you can use it. And when you finally start using it, you’ll find that it is designed with such precision and finesse, it’s actually difficult to be confused with regards to the many features that are available.

Finally, the SP2102 is simply a great model that serves its purpose very well. Every power tool is made for a specific function, and this one is no exception. However, what separates it from the rest of the pack is the fact that this one happens to perform with such ease and flexibility that it is truly the best on the market.

  • Incredibly durable
  • Easy to use
  • Functions extremely well
  • Many quality features
  • Might be too complex for newcomers

2. Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal-Lathe

Grizzly G8688

Our runner-up for the best mini metal lathe that you can purchase in 2020 is the Grizzly G8688 Mini. This is an extraordinary machine that comes from Grizzly Industrial, a slightly lesser-known manufacturer that is recognized for quality products made from premium components and materials.

The G8688 Mini is made from strong, durable components that will last a long time. This is a hard-wearing model, and due to the quality of its pieces, it can handle just about anything that you throw at it. Much like the SP2102, it is a well-crafted machine, allowing you to cut, drill and turn metal, wood, and plastic with ease.

However, the reason that it is not our number-one mini metal lathe for 2020 is that it is, ultimately, a rather difficult product to use. It simply doesn’t feel right when you use it, and it can be a little tricky setting it up. Unlike the SP2102, this one lacks a strong and easy to use design. Other than that, though, it is a great mini metal lathe that we highly recommend! Just know that it isn’t always the easiest to use, and if you aren’t already intimately familiar with mini metal lathes, then you may have some trouble using the Grizzly G8688 Mini, because the design is slightly more complicated than most.

  • Made of strong and durable components
  • Handles just about anything
  • Cuts, drills, and turns with ease
  • Convoluted design
  • Requires some familiarity with metal lathes before purchasing

3. Mophorn Small Metal Lathe – Best Value


The Mophorn B01MCVQ42C is one of the best beginner metal lathes you can get in 2020. You can pick it up for super cheap right now, and it’s a very good, high-quality, mini metal lathe that is made of excellent components, aiding in its durability and strength.

Really, the Mophorn B01MCVQ42 is a great product, but there are two reasons why it isn’t in our top two. Before we get to those reasons, we must make it clear that this is a quality mini metal lathe, and it can do everything that the other two can do. But, the catch is, the only component that really isn’t that great is the motor. It seems to have been made quite poorly, and this is a somewhat common complaint with the product. So, while it is a great value, and when it works – which is most of the time, thankfully – it works wonderfully. However, the motor simply isn’t that good and is fairly unreliable, which poses a problem when it comes to power tools. This is not something that should happen, but it often does, and while we can forgive it for this, that is the ultimate reason why it isn’t in our top two. Yes, it’s a great mini metal lathe, but be wary of the motor, because you might purchase a model that comes with a defective motor. Thankfully, Mophorn will replace it for you!

  • Made of high-quality materials and components
  • Very durable
  • Excellent functionality
  • Affordable and inexpensive
  • Motor is very hit or miss – might not work very well

4. BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe

BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe

This isn’t a bad mini metal lathe, and for the most part, it works fairly well. It can cut, drill, and turn metal, wood, and plastic with relative ease, and it is by no means a difficult to use or poorly designed mini metal lathe. However, it isn’t in our top three for three reasons.

The first reason is that it is made of cheap and flimsy components. Simply put, it isn’t very durable and it probably won’t last you very long due to the aforementioned flimsy components. If you plan on buying a mini metal lathe that will actually last you a while, this definitely isn’t the one to buy. As such, this does affect our decision to have it as number-four, because durability is one of the big factors that we consider when it comes to any power tool.

Our second reason is that the motor stops at random times, and you need to wait a little bit, and then it’ll work again. We can only surmise that this is because of the poor quality of the components, which seems to include the motor, as well. This lack of stability is not something we were hoping for.

Finally, the third reason is that it just isn’t that great of a mini metal lathe. Yes, it does what it’s supposed to do, but only so well. There are many other models out there, and we’ve covered three of them. There is simply no reason to purchase the BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe, when there are many other great models out there.

  • Works fairly well
  • Cuts, drills, and turns with ease
  • Easy to use
  • Nothing special about it
  • Poor quality of components
  • Bad motor
  • Not durable

5. Shop Fox M1015 Mini Metal Lathe

Shop Fox M1015

Shop Fox is a brand that is known for making power tools of all sorts that work, but not very well. This is, sadly, the case with the M1015. Sure, it works, but just barely. It really isn’t worth a purchase.

First and foremost, it simply isn’t reliable. The motor often stops and starts up again. It seems to consist of some really bad components, and when it does work, it’s hard to use and the design and layout is ridiculously confusing.

That said, when it does work, it works well enough. Well enough to the point where it’s not at all worth the price, but it does perform its stated function. This is, of course, not nearly enough when it comes to a power tool – or any product at all, for that matter. And for that reason, we cannot recommend the Shop Fox M1015 due to the low-quality components, clunky design, and the fact that it rarely seems to work, much the less the way it’s supposed to work. If there is a good thing about this product, a silver lining, if you will, it’s that it sometimes works. Sometimes. Most of the time, it doesn’t. But sometimes, it does.

  • Sometimes it works
  • Poor components
  • Bad design
  • Hard to use
  • Rarely works
  • Isn’t reliable

Factors To Consider When Choosing

When you buy a mini metal lathe, there are two factors that we strongly recommend that you consider and consider thoroughly. These factors comprise the whole of the machine, and if one of these factors doesn’t quite fit into the larger picture of that particular tool, than the rest of the mini metal lathe suffers as a result of that. In the end, the product just isn’t that good, and it isn’t worth the time, money, or energy involved in using it and trying to get it to work. Here are those two factors, and we’ll go over why they are so important:


The first thing that we consider is the design of the product. Is it a simple design? Does the design fit the function of the product? Is it simple and easy to use? These are good questions to ask when buying any power tool, especially a mini metal lathe. If your mini metal lathe is poorly designed, then it will be difficult to use properly, due to design flaws that, again, affect the rest of the tool. And so, your experience using it and engaging with it on whatever tasks or projects that you have will be disappointing.

Design encompasses several key areas. One of which is the way that the mini metal lathe is set up, and the way it looks on an aesthetic level. This is less important overall, but it is still something to strongly consider. But, again, it isn’t that important. The bigger point to think about is whether or not you can use it effortlessly, whether or not you can handle it with comfort, without straining yourself or having to fumble and fiddle with the machine itself. This is a big point to consider, and it contributes to the ease of use of the mini metal lathe.

powerful lathe tools

You see, more than anything else, you need to be able to use a power tool with comfort. It needs to be able to be handled easily, maneuvered and manipulated with incredible flexibility. If it is unable to do that, then it really isn’t that great of a product, and the reason for this is because of the fact that, ultimately, you have to be able to actually use the product. This shouldn’t be a big deal, but many power tool manufacturers seem to ignore this element, and they end up producing products that may consist of good components and perform their function quite well, but ultimately, they’re very difficult to control. You need that element of ease of use for the mini metal lathe to be considered good. Therefore, we put an enormous amount of stock into the design of the product, as well as how simply you can use it. Along with that, the fact that the design accounts for the nature of how functional it is, and functionality is a must.

As such, design accounts for the durability of the tool. A properly designed mini metal lathe that is made of good, high-quality components and an accessible design will last a long time. But, if the design is poor or weak in some way, then it really won’t last that long, and it will probably break rather quickly. Design is a multifaceted area of any product, and poor design turns a product that might otherwise have been good or somewhat good into a product that is of poor quality.

All of those reasons contribute to why we consider design to be one of the most important elements of any mini metal lathe and, quite frankly, any power tool.


If a power tool can’t perform its function, then it isn’t a good power tool, and it’s an even worse product because a product is designed to perform a specific function. Every good mini metal lathe solves the same problem, and that problem must be solved adequately and easily. If in terms of functionality, the machine does not solve that problem adequately and easily, then it isn’t a very good tool.

Functionality is very important for those reasons. And we consider it, along with design, because those two things contribute to the entirety of the mini metal lathe and whether or not you have a good, quality, experience. Without these two major factors being of excellent quality, the end result – the mini metal lathe itself – suffers greatly, and this simply isn’t good. If so, it only produces products of very questionable quality and those products will not adequately serve your purposes and your intentions.

Ultimately, we consider those two factors, above all else, because we’ve found that they are the factors that lead to finding the right one for your needs. Aesthetics have their importance, but they, along with other facets of a mini metal lathe, are far less important than the design of the mini metal lathe, and the functionality. For that reason, we’ve chosen the Erie Tools SP2102 as our top pick, and the Grizzly G8688 Mini as our runner-up. Both are exceptional and they excel in both of those areas.

Final Verdict

You’ve read our reviews of mini metal lathes. Our top pick is the Erie Tools SP2102, and for the money, the best one that you can buy in 2020 is the Mophorn B01MCVQ42C. Both are absolutely fantastic mini metal lathes!

We know that it can be tricky making an informed buying decision when it comes to purchasing a mini metal lathe, or any power tool. That is why we sincerely hope that we’ve helped you make the right decision. These days, there are so many different models and brands that we know it can be tricky finding the right mini metal lathe. But with our guide, it’s no sweat!

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About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!