lathe power

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More questions about which lathe I'm afraid. I am going to upgrade my lathe and am looking at various models.One of my concerns is the power.Does the actual H.P make much difference in a hobby lathe? I don't imagine I will ever want to turn very large bowls but I would like this lathe to carry me on for a good while.


Hi Jaymar,

In my experience, which is not extensive, hobby lathes do not require much horsepower to be effective. The amount of wood removed in a pass is not usually very great and it is this which governs how much power is needed to keep the wood spinning, so 1/3 or 1/2 hp is just fine.

If you are concerned about wear & tear and getting a long life out of your new lathe the type and size of the drive shaft bearings are more important than sheer horsepower. Unfortunately not much information about these components is given in most manufacturers' specifications. I bought a Record CL1 secondhand and it has bearings that are quite cheap (about a fiver) to replace - I read somewhere that they are the same size as motobike wheel bearings. So a Record lathe might be an option for you.