1

Best Gunsmith Lathe 2020 – [7 Top Picks & In-Depth Reviews]

Find the best gunsmith lathe of today's market in one place. See our handpicked 7 top lathe machines right here. 

Gunsmithing is not an easy task like woodworking with wood lathes, and without a high-quality metal lathe, your gunsmithing will be limited and severely hampered. You'll surely be agreed with me to have the best quality lathe before you go for gunsmithing. However, the question arises on how to find the best gunsmith lathe on the market today. 

We did most of the brainstorming jobs from our endpoint bidding adieu to your exhausting brain strain. What you need is to go through the in-depth reviews here we placed for your reading through. 

Go through the reviews and find your best pick, and make sure to comment below if you find these reviews help you the right way. 

Image

Product Name

Bottom Line

Shipping Weight

Click Here to

BestEquip Mini Lathe

(Top Pick)

Dimension: 8"x16"
Material: SS
Power: AC

170 pounds

Grizzly-G8688 Lathe
(Best for the Money)

Weight: 90 ​P
Dimensions: 13" x 30.2" x 13"
Material: Steel
Voltage: 110 v

90 pounds

Shop Fox M1112

Weight: 1,050 ​P
Dimensions: 66" x 50" x 30"
HP: 2 HP

1,377 pounds

Erie Tools Milling Lathe

Weight: 104.2 P
Dimensions: 36" x 17.3" x 14.6"
Material: Metal

104.2 pounds

Shop Fox Lathe Review

Weight: 71 P
Dimensions: 27" x 14.3" x 12"
Voltage: 110 volts

74.2 pounds

Central Machinery Mini Lathe

Material: Steel
Power: Corded-electric
Package: Qty-1

150 pounds

Grizzly G4003 Metal Lathe

Weight: 1020 lbs.
Dimensions: 29" x 66" x 28.5"
HP: 1.5 HP

1020 lbs.

7 Best Gunsmith Lathe Reviews

See our list of 7 best gunsmith lathe machines right here. 

 1. BestEquip 8x16 Inch Mini Bench Lathe

Best gunsmith lathe with attractive features!

Click here to Check Latest Price

In our review, the top pick of the metal lathes is the BestEquip 8x16 inch lathe. It is because of its functionality, ease of use, and precision design to perform with complete satisfaction. It can perform better with metal, jade, and wood with no sacrifice of quality and accuracy. The sturdy workbench is best to suit with the lathe when mounted. The model is truly a top choice right now for the hobbyists and modelers. 

Anyone will find there a high-grade iron construction of the model with nylon gears, so no doubt of its durability and precision. Like other professional lathe machines, it also introduces a variable speed control system that ranges from 50-2500 rpm allowing you to operate manually. Not only does it, but it also applies to forward and reverse modes of speeds. 

You might find there's a difficulty for positioning of tool post in many lathes. BestEquip mini-lathe allows easy change of tool post for internal cutting. A few complex cutting styles like face cutting, or bevel cutting is also possible in this lathe machine. What you'll need is to adjust the compound rest to fit with the angle. 

Anyone will find some advantages from this lathe machine, which any other lathes may not have. You'll find here the telescopic sets and scale, where there is a digital touch. So, it is now easy and standardized to set and adjust the speed by lateral movement. It allows speed adjustment at any stage from 50 RPM to 2500. 

The lathe comes with 4-jaw chucks with a 3/4-inch jaw self-centering chuck. It has a backsplash guard and an emergency stop button to ensure it's handy to operate. 

Finally, it is considered to be a great model to serve your purpose with confidence. Sturdy workbench is suitable for setting up the lathe since it is a bit heavy. That's why the price it costs worth the model. Overall, the lathe is the best model on the market. 

Pros

  • Automatic and infinitely variable speed lathe 
  • 100% professional allowing highly precision works 
  • Generates 750w strong power
  • Digitally equipped with telescopic sets and scale
  • Wear-resistant, sturdy and professional lathe 

Cons​​​​​​

  • Little bit heavy and require a sturdy workbench 
  • Not recommended for the beginners 

2. Grizzly (G8688) Small Lathe

Grizzly G8688 Metal Lathe

Click here to Check Latest Price

When you come to find the best quality lathes on the market, you'll find that Grizzly is the top brand to offer their products. G8688 metal lathe may be a better option for you since it has included the premium components which will satisfy any lathe experts. This one is the best mini metal lathe considering its quality performance, compact size, sturdy and durable structure, and precision. 

If you select Grizzly G8688, you'll definitely get two things with it. 

No-1. It is affordable compared to its standard class. 

No-2. No compromise of its performance. 

This mini size lathe machine is affordable and perfect for small size workshops to turn light jobs. 

At the same time, you'll find everything packed with it, and any features available in the same category lathes it also possesses. What makes it different is that its quality performance though it is compact. 

The most significant part of any lathe machine is its power and variable speed control system. It's also not an exception in this regard. It is super powerful and can turn up to 2500 RPMs. The variable speed will allow you full control over it. Not only does it, but the reversible lead screw also can assist you forward and reverse at any speed levels. It makes this lathe a handy tool for gunsmith or woodworkers. 

Its 7-inch swing over bed and 12-inch distance between centers are standard. The 16mm chuck bore size, and 20mm spindle bore can get jobs done. It also comes with standard 3-inch Jaw chuck with a 6-1/4 inch faceplate. Overall, the lathe is a standard mini metal lathe that will allow you to cut and drill over both wood and metals. The Grizzly lathe offers such similar jobs of any kind as well. 

Pros

  • Affordable, compact and durable 
  • Perfect for hobbyists and mini shop
  • Easy to operate at forward and reverse mode
  • Can cut both metal and wood 

Cons​​​​​​

  • As a mini lathe, it's quite hard to handle over the toughest jobs. 
  • Need to be familiar with the operation 

3. Shop Fox M1112 Gunsmithing Lathe

Shop Fox M1112 Lathe

Click here to Check Latest Price

Shop Fox introduces an improved and appropriate gunsmith lathes compared to any solid pieces. Its cast-iron base and aluminum gear cover ensure long-time durability and higher productivity. The gearhead lathe comes with higher precision spindle bearings that hit the mark with accuracy and precision. 

The model comes with a standard spindle and variable speed control system that ensures a comparatively better user experience. It has a quick change tool post meaning that it allows you to speed up your lathe operations. The well-designed handwheel is set up to permit the movement of the carriage from left to right. It includes the cross slide handwheel too to adjust the workpiece to any angle. It means it permits precise adjustment. 

The lathe is equipped with a few more distinctive features. It comes with two sets of jaws measuring 3-jaw chuck of 6-inches. The 10-inch faceplate and quick change toolpost are available too. A striking feature it has is its halogen work light though it's no direct impact on the operation. But you'll feel its necessity when you'll work in a quite dark zone. 

The lathe has a standard size of the bed that has sufficient space in between. It has a strong ball bearing and D1-5 Camlock spindle to support spindle bore. The motor speed ranges at a lower range of 70 only and you can speed up it up to 1400 RPM. Finally, we noticed its heavy-duty stand that reduces vibration. 

Gunsmith lathes allow metalworkers to accomplish symmetrical pieces of work, drilling out the barrel to make shotgun. Find here the details of how it works and what it is

Overall, it is an excellent option. It comprises all the precision features a gunsmith lathe should have, and you'll surely appreciate them. 

Pros

  • Heavy-duty, sturdy and durable base 
  • Steady ball bearing
  • Variable speed up to 1400 RPM
  • Halogen work light
  • 4-jaw chuck(8-inch each) with reversible jaws 

Cons​​​​​​

  • Costly, heavy and large for only professionals
  • Made in China 

4. Erie Tools Mini Metal Milling Lathe

Erie Tools Mini Milling Lathe

Click here to Check Latest Price

Erie tool is the best mini metal lathe under $1000 compared to any other models in this price range. Professional metal workers like for its ease of use, precision metal cutting, and the maximum speed up to 2500 RPM. So, find the best benchtop mini metal lathe right here. 

This mini-model can assist you in cutting wood, plastic, and metal as well. But you'll notice no looseness of accuracy and sudden breakdown of operation. Moreover, the variable speed adjustability makes it user-friendly and ensures 100% accuracy of every cut. It allows you to handle at the lower level of its speed at 50 RPM.  

The most significant part of any lathe machine is its space between the centers. Don't worry because the model maintains a distance between the centers of about 14-inches. It has also featured a 7-inch swing over bed. The lathe includes multi-jaw chuck and spindle. The 4-inches of chuck diameter allow it to hold the metal piece tight in place. The thread range of the spindle is 12 to 52 TPI, and 0.0004-inch diameter ensures more accuracy. 

Overall, the model is a great option for any workshop for metal cutting. It serves the main purpose any other small size lathe can perform. Moreover, the lathe will give you favor with a comfortable, secure operating system, and no one will disagree. 

Pros

  • Versatile for cutting wood, plastic & metal
  • Perfect for a cut with precision
  • Comfortable, secure and easy to use
  • Comes with sufficient necessary features 

Cons​​​​​​

  • The poor plastic gears may require you some extra penny to replace.
  • Need to be habituated for the newbie 

5. Shop Fox M1015 Micro Lathe

Shop Fox Micro Lathe

Click here to Check Latest Price

Shop Fox aims to provide trouble-free service to its customers. Keeping that in mind, the producer has designed the Shop Fox M1015 model to ensure reliable operation. Unlike BestEquip large size mini-lathe, Shop Fox M1015 is compact and best fit for those who are searching for a lathe to fit the tight space. 

Though the model is equipped with all the moderate features, we found some troubles that might not bring benefits for you. The motor generates speed up to 2000 RPM and variably controlled. But what noticeable is that the motor frequently halts and starts up again. It is not convincing for the users at all. 

The small size lathe is economically designed to offer precision parts for the toolmakers or gun hobbyists. As the maker says, it comes with threaded parts and fittings. 

You may notice some of its weak components though it comes with a convenient and standard control panel. You'll find there some directive buttons to get a variety of adjustments. Beyond this automatic control panel, you can also use the manual feed handwheel to move the carriage in the right place. 

Overall, the lathe is not so powerful and well-equipped. Small in size, the lathe performs low-quality functions so far. The chunky design and light components may not perform better with heavy operations. However, the price it takes worth the jobs. 

Pros

  • Best pick for the beginners
  • Standard control panel
  • Manual feed handwheel allowed 

Cons​​​​​​

  • Weak and chunky design
  • Equipped with some poor components
  • Not recommended for the professionals 

6. Central Machinery Precision Mini Lathe

Central Machinery Lathe Machine

Click here to Check Latest Price

Central Machinery mini-lathe is a benchtop model to fit with numerous applications. This one is the prototype of the mini metal lathe that can turn for making bushings, spindles, or things like these. 

This lathe is best for beginners, and you can buy it at a super cheap rate right now. But for quality, it is limited since it is produced from some low-quality components. 

What the lathe comes with is very common, and its speed ranges from zero to maximum 2500 RPM. At the lower stage of its speed, it ranges from zero to 1100 RPM. The lathe comes with an 18 threads chuck guard to make precision. The micro-switch enables it to produce pinpoint and accurate cuts. 

Other than chuck guard, it comes with automatic feed, variable speed controlling knob, threads, and tailstock taper as well. The distance between the centers is moderate about 10-inches. You'll find a thread dial indicator set against the lead screw and a tool post holder. 

It has steel rotator handles to pick the tool in the right order. But the component is very weak since it is a plastic material. 

Overall, the lathe is moderately designed and recommended for beginners and hobbyists. However, you can buy this tool kit for doing your jobs at home or workshop. But keep in mind, it is a low priced lathe machine, and you can't expect performance like a real workhorse. 

Pros

  • Affordable and best for beginners
  • Variable speed ranging up to 2500 RPM
  • Micro-switch chuck guard 

Cons​​​​​​

  • Not a powerful workhorse
  • A few components found with plastic materials 

7. Grizzly Industrial G4003 Gear Head Metal Lathe

Grizzly Industrial G4003 Metal Lathe

Click here to Check Latest Price

When I was researching overnight for some gunsmith lathes, I could pretty much narrow down my selection and reach to the Grizzly G4003 model right here. I was a bit curious about its origin. It is originated from an Asian country, and I found most people seem to give a bad rap for China products in general. But I found Grizzly lathes work out well. 

The model G4003 is a precision metal lathe featuring cast-iron construction, and a complete workhorse. It comes with a 2hp motor with variable speed control and overload protection system. 

It is a heavy electronic device, and the chance of an unexpected occurrence is associated. You'll find a gear-head spindle that will let you operate smoothly. 

The model comes with 6-inch 3-jaw chucks, and 8-inch 4-jaw chucks. A D-1 Camlock is included with the chucks, and a chuck key is available for locking cams. 

You'll find there a live center to support the stock, and a taper is associated with assembling tailstock and the live center. The pretty good thing is that it comes with two levers at the bottom of the headstock. It helps cutting threads fast and easy. 

Overall, the lathe is good enough, but the model G4003G is perfect for long barrel rifles. 

Pros

  • Nine different ranges of speed
  • 2hp, 220v powerful motor
  • Cast-iron construction, sturdy and durable 

Cons​​​​​​

  • Failure to be conscious may be the cause of accidents
  • Heavy-weight & China manufacturing 

Final Thought

Before you go for gunsmithing, you need to learn about gunsmithing, gunsmith's duties and responsibilities. 

We researched and found that these machines are the best gunsmith lathe so far. If you have the right budget, you can go for the BestEquip mini bench lathe. It is our top pick. However, Grizzly G8688 lathe is another budget-friendly lathe you can depend on it. But you need a huge budget for the high-end lathe Shop Fox M1112, which will give you many more things at a time. 


Resources:

Richard K. Christensen
 

As a hobbyist, I love DIY and want woodworking life better. I took writing as a profession and never looked back.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
SEO Reseller Program - January 28, 2020

Awesome post! Keep up the great work! 🙂

Reply

Leave a Reply: