A bench lathe is a lathe that is small enough to be mounted to, or sit on top of, a workbench. These machines are most common with general machinists, machining hobbyists and auto electricians, thanks to their size and more modest price. In saying that, these machines are still full-featured and larger than mini lathes. They are used to shape metal or wood by turning on a horizontal axis against a fixed tool.

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There are a range of OEMs that manufacture bench lathes, these include Hafco Metalmaster, Hercus, Optimum, Sieg and many more. Each has their own unique design and features, so it's always best to research different models to see which bench lathe works best for your space and needs.

Some of these manufacturers include features such as bar feeders, gap beds and lathing tools with their products. So if you're after a specific feature, just keep an eye out on the machine's feature or spec list. Other features can include 6 spindle speeds, quick change gearbox, induction hardened V beds, emergency stop button, cast-iron bed, overload protection and much more.

Lathes of this size are used for turning, facing and boring just as you would with larger lathes. The main difference is you'll be doing so on a smaller workspace. Generally, bench lathes are ideal for crafting parts for products such as clocks, remote-controlled cars, models and more.

If you're looking to do some hobby metalworking, or you're in a trade that would benefit from a smaller sized lathe (without compromising on its features), then a bench lathe may be the right machine for you. Otherwise, there are commercial-grade lathes available for producing large-scale products, or mini lathes for small, hobby projects.

The right one really depends how much you need to create, how quickly you need each project completed and what size machine suits your available workspace.

To find the right lathe for your project, be sure to talk to your local dealer or seller and check the lathe's specs.