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Customer Images (10)
  • Great Small Lathe
  • March 05, 2017
  • Recommended Product

This is my second lathe, my first being an old Craftsman with a longer bed that is mostly for spindle work. I got this Wen because it has a somewhat larger swing, and it has variable speed (the craftsman relies on step pulleys, and I usually just run it at a medium speed). I wasn't sure what to expect, as Wen has a kind of spotty reputation, but so far, I am really pretty impressed with this lathe. It is plenty powerful enough to do work on medium sized bowls. The variable speed mechanism is very smooth, and the display clearly shows the RPM you are running at. I have had one bad catch since owning this lathe, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it has a function that shuts down the motor when it detects that the lathe suddenly stops spinning. Generally speaking, the lathe is a real pleasure to use. There are a couple of minor drawbacks. The set-screws for the banjo and tailstock feel a bit flimsy, and it's a bit awkward to spin the lever to allow proper clearance in certain situations. The locking mechanisms for the tailstock and the tool rest really need to be muscled down to be sure that they don't move while you work. And the mechanism for driving the live-center on the tailstock is a bit wonky--you have to generally the live center with one hand and screw it in with the other to keep the screws engaging. But those are pretty minor concerns, and don't really detract from the workability of the lathe. With this and a few basic chisels and something to sharpen your chisels on, you can be making some very nice round things very quickly. Just FYI, if you want to swap chucks or centers or what-have-you, the threads on the headstock are 1x8tpi, and both ends accept Morse Taper #2.

Pros Easy to Use, Powerful, Sturdy

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Nick

Florida, USA
35 to 44, Male
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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By: Nick
  • Great for my needs!
  • March 26, 2017
  • Recommended Product

The WEN 12 in. x 15 in variable speed multi-directional wood lathe is a great machine. It does everything that I need it to do. You are able to do spindles up to 19 inches and you can also do bowls with the 2 face plates. If you need to make longer spindles there is an optional bench extension that lets you make spindles up to 39 inches. The motor speed is variable for the job at hand. The motor has the ability to rotate in either direction. This lathe has heavyweight construction and is easy to use. The tool rest locks solidly into position. Easy to use and easy to set up.I am happy having this new lathe in my shop. I would recommend this product.

Pros All In One, Durable, Easy to Use, Good Size & Weight, Sturdy Cons i wish the extension was included

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Ben527

NY
45 to 54, Male
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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By: Ben527
  • There are many things to like about this lathe, but build quality may keep you from buying. I hav...
  • May 09, 2017
  • Verified Purchase & Recommended Product

There are many things to like about this lathe, but build quality may keep you from buying. I have turned several bowls and pens on mine with no problem (but see below). It runs smooth and quiet with enough power for the types of turning I do (maximum size bowls I turn is about 10", all kiln dried wood). The key features are: - Variable speed control (500 to 2500rpm) without having to move a belt to a different pulley. Great feature. - Reverse: great for sanding. -Digital readout: Not as useful as I thought it would be. The main problem is you cannot read the display while standing right at the lathe, you need to back up a little. But I set the speed by ear and feel--increase it to a comfortable speed with no vibration. -Built-in accessory holder on the back side of the headstock. Holds the spur center, knockout rod, and Allen wrench. -Hand wheel is a faceplate. You can attach a blank to the outboard (left) side of the headstock because the handwheel is a removable faceplate. The lathe also comes with an outboard tool rest support for mounting the tool rest on the left side. -Tool rest has a wide range of vertical travel. With my old lathe, I could just get the tool rest low enough for use with carbide tools. With this one, I drilled out a block of wood to fit the tool rest post so it supports it in the lowest position I need. Problems While the tailstock is self ejecting (retract the quill and the live center pops out), this does not work if your center is a little shorter than the one that comes with the lathe. For example, I have a pen mandrel with the mandrel saver. The mandrel save is too short to self eject. The real problem is that you cannot use the knockout rod because of the hole in the end of the mandrel saver--the rod gets stuck. The solution I found was to put a bolt in the end to block the hole so the knockout rod can be used. But this means you can slide the mandrel saver too far over the mandrel, so you need to use more spacers so it doesn't have to slide on so far. This may sound confusing, but if you try using this mandrel, you'll see what I mean. Lastly, the biggest issue is build quality--two problems: First, the treads on the spindle were not finished very well. There were burs and the treads were very rough. They worked, but they just weren't finished/polished like you'd expect. If you rub your finger along the thread, you'll cut it up. Second, on my lathe, the spur drive center and live center did not line up. See photos. the problem was actually that the spindle was not installed centered in the housing. Wen support sent my issue to their engineering department and it seemed to enter a black hole. You can call support and they seem responsive, but for a problem like this, they let the ball drop. I returned my lathe and ordered another Wen. I will give it one more try to get one that's built correctly. If the next one is not satisfactory, I'll spend the extra money (almost double the price) and buy the Jet-1221VS.

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KnotNow

4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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By: KnotNow
  • Works better than I could have imagined. I love it!!
  • February 26, 2017
  • Recommended Product

This Wen variable speed multi-directional wood lathe takes spindal wood working to a whole new level for me. I have had experience working with wood lathes but on a minature scale Dremel lathe. The making of minature furniture...Compared to what this fine piece of percision equipment can produce. I had no woodworking/turning chisel tools full scale so I have had to purchase them here and there at flea markets as I have so far not found a set of tools that I like from any hardware shop. Home Depot does not have any turning tools in my local store. I checked them 1st On line and they have one set which is Brand Proxxon Turning Tool Set (5-Piece) at around $52.00. They are under 8 inches long overall and shorter than what I wanted to use so I have opted to look for used. I have found a few pieces and have been able to work with them on this lathe. I am little by little becoming familiar with its operation and love what it can do. My shop/shed has limited space to work making this unit perfect in that it does not need to be mounted permanently on a table but rather can be moved and set atop a work station and then removed and stored when not in use. It weighs about 89 pounds so it does stand in place when in use. It is heavy yes but can still be moved without straining your back. It has a large Digital display for reading RPM variable speed and turns forward and reverse. This is one professional lathe built to last and operate for a very long time. I am able to also run this lathe from my solar power station making it even that more rewarding when turning out a project from this Wen lathe. Extremely easy to set up and run. Built in storage in back of unit for 4 misc tools to keep close when needed. Included with this unit. I love working with wood but by no means am I a professioanal. When operating a fine tool such as this one I feel like I am. My next mission now will be finding a place to get wood that I can make a few projects that I wanted to try and create. It is February right now and not the best time of year to search for materials. This is a great unit and I love it. It is also set up to be expanded if in need of a longer project. That I am not interested in at this time to do but it is good to know that it is possible if I choose to do so down the line.. I am extremely happy with this unit. Two thumbs up on this great Wen product. I highly recommend this lathe.

Pros Accurate, Powerful
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Jimbo

Wyomissing, PA, USA
55 to 64, Male
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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By: Jimbo
  • I got this lathe as an upgrade to my WEN 8 x 12 lathe. I needed my power and size capacity to tur...
  • June 18, 2019
  • Recommended Product

I got this lathe as an upgrade to my WEN 8 x 12 lathe. I needed my power and size capacity to turn larger bowls. I am very happy with this lathe. It was easy to setup. The motor has plenty of power for turning bowls. 8" diam is the largest bowl I've turned on this lathe. I had no issues with the motor being bogged down. The speed adjustment is easy and convenient. It is nice having the digital display of the rpms however you are not able to read it without bending down. The tool rest & tail stock lock firmly in place. The tool rest has plenty of vertical adjustment below center for larger gouges. I use up to a 5/8" bowl gouge without issue. The quill extends out about 3" from the tail stock. I used this to drill a hole in a red pine blank using a 2" forstner bit and did not have any issues with it. I selected this unit over the less expensive one because this unit has the outboard faceplate to mount larger pieces. I have not used it yet, but have it just in case. It seems that you can mount a chuck on it as well. The instruction do not mention the use of chucks anywhere for the product. I do use Nova & WEN chucks on the inboard side which work very well with this unit. I also purchased the optional bed extension. The only issue I experienced, after about 4 hrs of use (not continuous) I turned the machine off. I tried to turn it on and there was no power. I experienced this with the 8 x 12 lathe and the fix for that was to blow out the motor & brushes. On this unit the motor is sealed and you cannot get to the brushes. I contacted customer support via email. While waiting for a response I turned the unit on it's side since I saw there was a sensor listed in the parts diagram. I blew air around the sensor and also pushed on all of the electrical connectors. After that it worked so I don't know if a connection was loose or the sensor was dirty. WEN did respond to my email & stated that they thought a part needed to be replaced. They were going to send me the new part, but I had stated that I got it to work and would let them know if I had any other issues so they could replace the part. I have not had an issue since. WEN customer service as been very good so far. It may take a while for a response via email, 24 hrs in my experience.

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HomeDepotCustomer

45 to 54, Male
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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By: HomeDepotCustomer
  • This wood turning lathe was very easy to assemble. It does everything I expected it to do. I ad...
  • December 05, 2017
  • Verified Purchase & Recommended Product

This wood turning lathe was very easy to assemble. It does everything I expected it to do. I added the extension for longer pieces which makes it even better for me. I recommend this machine for anybody that is looking for a good dependable turning lathe.

BigJim

2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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By: BigJim
  • Very Pleased!
  • May 31, 2017
  • Recommended Product

Overall, I am quite pleased with this benchtop lathe. I am new to turning, so this review should be taken in that context. But I'm not sure what else I could ask for out of this machine. Out of the box it was pretty quick and painless to set-up. I did have a problem with the digital speed readout not operating, but WEN customer service very quickly resolved the issue. I could not have been happier with how they handled the situation. The machine runs great and has plenty of power. You can buy an extension to make longer pieces, but the standard size is perfect for most hobby projects (razor handles, pen blanks, bowls, etc). I cannot say enough how much fun this thing is! Unlike most other wood working tools where most of the time is setup, here you spend most of your time shaping wood and sending chips flying! The only thing I will say as a newbie is I didn't realize how much time I would have to invest in learning to sharpen tools even before learning to cut wood. This is not the simpliest hobby to get into. But it sure is fun! I would definitely recommend this particular lathe.

Pros Easy to Use, Good Size & Weight
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MIke

MI
25 to 34, Male
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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By: MIke
  • The lathe came in several pieces but was very easy...
  • December 12, 2017

The lathe came in several pieces but was very easy to assemble and had good instructions provided. The variable speed is a very cool feature without having to change belt pulleys. I’m very happy with this WEN lathe and my 10 year old daughter is using it to make Christmas ornaments.

Leonard

1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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By: Leonard
  • Note that this is my second lathe so this review is really just an update. See my previous review...
  • May 30, 2017
  • Verified Purchase & Recommended Product

Note that this is my second lathe so this review is really just an update. See my previous review to sense out of this. I received my second Wen 3427 lathe on May 15. The spindle was centered correctly in the headstock, however, the tailstock casting was very badly done and should not have passed quality control. It had a protrusion on the bottom which kept it from sitting flat on the ways (the ground surface of the bed on which the tailstock travels). Also, there was a small crack where the handle that tightens the tailstock in place enters the tailstock. The good news is that I contacted support and they immediately agreed to send me a new tailstock. I asked that they inspect it before shipping, and apparently they did. It took them a few days to ship it, but I did receive the tailstock and it works perfectly. I finally have a fully functional Wen lathe.

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KnotNow

3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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By: KnotNow
  • excellent looking lathe, tool rest is of soft metal "scars easily" wen does not like to refund i...
  • February 22, 2017

excellent looking lathe, tool rest is of soft metal "scars easily" wen does not like to refund items even if damaged, the lathe worked for making 3 bowls total,,, then blew fuses over and over n over, others have had same issues, if they could just work out the bugs and have better customer service they could be a contender with some of the high dollar lathes, was very disappointed save your money and get a grizzly or something better like a delta or nova, craftsmans are to under powered on every item they make now a days. don't settle for anything less than 3/4hp.

wonderwond

3 out of 5 people found this helpful
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By: wonderwond