central machinery wood lathe review

The central machinery wood lathe review (Should You Buy It?) 2022

A wood lathe is an ancient woodworking “old-school” tool. It is a machine that is used to shape and form wood. It is definitely not for complex woodworking projects such as making furniture or carvings. However, it is great for the basics of woodworking than even the average hobbyist can use.

A wood lathe is a great tool for making various projects from bowls and pens to flower pots. The reason that wood lathe has become the go-to tool for a wide range of projects is due to the various advantages it has over other methods.

Wood lathe machines come in several sizes. Large lathes may be as much as 300lbs with a capacity of 1,000lbs. A small lathe can be as little as 5lbs with a capacity of 50lbs. All lathes perform the same basic tasks; they cut, drill, face, turn and deform all the same. The differences are in the sizes and speeds of the lathes, as well as the workpiece itself.

The wood lathe is a great way to make things out of wood, and there are many different types that can help you create your own. But what is the best wood lathe for you? First, you should consider your needs. If you just want to make bowls or vases, a small wood lathe is probably all you need. However, if you are a woodworker and want to do much more than that, you can start with a larger, heavy-duty wood lathe.

Central machinery wood lathe 12” x 33-3/8” with Reversible Head

312p17HXa4L. AC

Who Is This Product For?

To begin your journey this wood lathe by Central Machinery is a perfect choice. It is possible to find a cheaper machine than this one on the market today, but you will end up with some toy-type machine that you will not like. 

In the past, this was the starter lathe machine and was the go-to machine for all beginners. It is a plus to own this machine because you can learn about it and you can earn by using it. 

This simple machine can even continue to perform your task if you become comfortable with it and get used to it. 

Some people have been using this machine for a long time. In general, this machine is great for beginners.

Why is this lathe the right choice for you?

This machine is easy to operate, starts working after just pressing the on/off button and you can control the speed with a simple dialer.

If you are afraid of the price of a lathe and are unsure of how to operate it, this machine is an inheritance.

What’s Included On Central machinery wood lathe review ?

You will get everything that helps to operate this machine in the parcel. You can use it for many various things and run smoothly with the stuff it includes.

The central machinery wood lathe is a portable machine that is easy to operate and can be easily transported from one place to another. This product uses beginner-friendly materials to ensure it functions well.

Overview of features

One other thing I do like that they didn’t have on their small harbor freight lathe is the self-ejecting tailstock so you don’t actually have to put a bar in there to hammer that out like you have to on the headstock. You can just back it up and it eventually hits a point so it’s easy enough to take that in and out.

This machine has a self-ejecting tailstock, which is pretty much rare among harbor freight lathes. It was not there in that range of machines. Because of that, you do not need to hammer the spindle out. On the headstock, you can just back the will up and it eventually hits a point to the back of the spindle and easily gets out of the hole.

There is a plane working surface that is easy to work on and if you compare the machine with those from the 80s and 90s, you will find that the machine has a pipe surface. Which is not comfortable enough.

With the pivoting headstock, you can turn extra-large bowls

The headstock can be rotated through 45, 90, 135, and 180 degrees and can be locked into place

Bed swings 12″ from side to side

The item is CSA-listed

Set includes a stand, a tool rest, a drive center, and a set of Allen wrenches


The swing diameter of the machine is 12 inches and the travel length is 33 and a half inches. This much space is enough to make a complicated material like a bowl.

The length is ideal for making any kind of household stuff. You will rarely work on stuff more than 33.5 inches long. On the other hand, too long equipment can’t be designed wisely so most of the time the operator also tries to control the stuff in range.

For a person who is 5feet 8 or 9, the height of the machine is perfect. You can customize the stand’s stand by adding some support to its bottom leg if you are more or less than this.

The working area of this machine is five feet by twenty-four inches deep. So you don’t need a huge space to set up this machine. A small, tiny area is fine.

Ease of Use

This wood lathe can be used for both learning and professional purposes. This machine Is there since 2000 and for that long, it has been at the same level it used to be.

One of the main reasons for the popularity of this lathe is its usability and flexibility. 

Weight and Durability

The build quality of this machine is average. That is made of average steel and some handles are made of plastic. It is not unreasonable for this price range. 

Whereas the competitors offer the same machine for $1000, Central Machinery is supporting us with this machine for less than half that price.

The reason I consider it support is that you will not only be able to learn your job, you will also be able to run your business.

You may need to add some weight to it if you do not want to set it up in a dedicated place.

To use it as a portable machine and use it anywhere, just remember to add some weight since it is too light and can move during work. This can be considered as advice.


A lathe machine’s speed is the most important characteristic since it determines its usability. For different work, you should use a different kind of speed. 

As time goes you will be well aware of the control of the speeds. However, this machine has a minimum speed of 600 and the fastest speed is 2400.

There are 10 different controls you can set to decide the speed.

  1. 600
  2. 750
  3. 910
  4. 1080
  5. 1260
  6. 1460
  7. 1680
  8. 1910
  9. 2150
  10. 2400

600 is a little fast for bowls. If there was an option to reduce the speed to 600, that would be great. It is not that it can’t be done at 600, but it is tough. Only experts can handle the speed of 600 for bowl-like material.

Tips for using central machinery wood lathe

Be as careful as possible when turning your wood. Try to wear hand globs to support your hand from getting hurt.

In addition, since it is a starter machine, it needs extra care. Make sure the machine is placed in a clean and cool place. Avoid placing the machine near a sweaty area. Make sure to keep the machine away from water as well.

Clean the machine and the working area after every use. Doing so will extend the machine’s lifespan.


If you are considering a wood lathe, I would strongly suggest you consider central machinery wood lathe review. They have a reputation for being a great value. This is a great little wood lathe for the money if you can live with the weight. If you are just getting started in woodturning.

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