5 Best Cue Lathes For the Money [Reviewed in 2021]

It’s time we question where do we stand in a world proceeding so fast towards personally modified and signature stuff?

Today everyone looks for brands, and the common phenomenon among all brands is that they have their own unique and signature quality.

best cue lathe review

The same goes for cue lathe manufacturers and within it, their cue lathe machineries.

So below we have compiled for you the top five cue lathe reviews, in which we have filtered the top 5 cue lathes out of all the brands and their products.  So sit tight and read how much the technology has grown!

Top 5 Best Cue Lathe Comparison:






Nova 71118 Comet II DR

12×16 inch

Expandable up to 42 inch


WEN 34018 Lathe

12×18 inch

Expandable up to 41 inch


RIKON 70-100 Lathe

12×16 inch



JET JWL-1221VS Lathe

12×21 inch


Our 5 Best Cue Lathe Picks:

Here is our detailed review on top cue lathes-

1. GRIZZLY G9972Z Bench Lathe with Gearbox, 11 x 26-Inch 

One of the most convenient things in Grizzly G9972Z is the availability of 6-speed variations (150, 300, 560, 720, 1200, and 2400), which completely enhances the control over the motor.

Even though the manual speed shifting is a bit tricky, you will get used to it in no time.

This machine is perhaps technology-wise way more improved than other cue lathes. The best thing about G9962Z is the powerful 1HP motor that won’t reduce the RPM even if used against harder or larger chunks of wood.

This machine is designed in such a way that it is lighter than what you think and can easily be carried for jobs purposes which only requires a 10-1/2’’ swing, a 25mm spindle bore, and separation of 26’’ between the centers or origin.

So if we do a total comparison of price versus features, the machine is totally worth it and you won’t regret the decision of buying it.

key features

  • Designed for various speeds rated at different RPMs.
  • Have a greater capacity than benchtop lathes.
  • Six different speed variations enhance overall control.
  • Ball oilers design is not good enough.
  • Paint doesn’t stick to the metal when there is still oil on the metal.
  • V belt is a little complex for changing speeds.

2. Nova 71118 Comet II DR – Midi Lathe Flexible Woodworking System

This user-friendly equipment comet II by NOVA is a new and latest machine designed with variable speed adjustment.

It’s a portable and space-saving machine that despite its size and weight, delivers the required capacity. The best thing about Comet II is the huge range of motor speed that goes from 450 RPM to 4000 RPM.

When one sees the huge range of RPM of comet II, the vulnerability of vibrations arises. But not to worry, since comet II comes with a very solid casting and heavy metal throughout the body that assures stability while operating over huge RPM speeds and eliminates any interfering vibrations.

The availability of a very smooth and convenient forward and reverse switching system is what makes the machine totally worth the money. In terms of weight too, the machine is quite portable weighing 82 pounds only.

You can, however, get this weight increased too if you install more extensions since the machine has the ability to install various extensions and become a 41” cue lathe tool.

So overall, Comet II is a sufficiently reliable machine and the brand name Nova too simply adds the remaining trust that one needs to buy a branded cue lathe.

key features

  • Have a good material and solid cast iron throughout.
  • A strong 2MT spindles.
  • Precision Machining.
  • Extendable beds.
  • Precisely adjustable to your speed requirement.
  • Failure to perform the procedure of break-in, which may cause damage to the motor.
  • The tailstock gets rough with extensions.
  • Footprint is a little narrow.

3. WEN 34018 – Variable Speed Cast Iron Lathe (12” by 18”)

In a very feasible price of up to 400$, who wouldn’t want a cue lathe’ of one of the top brands – WEN. WEN 34018 comes with a powerful rotatory motor granting a variable speed from 450 to 3500 rotations per minute.

It has a 4.5 Amp motor that has the unique characteristic of ‘Soft-Startup’, which means that a sudden shock will never be given to the cue, thanks to the smooth startup.

Another huge factor that urges people to buy this machine is the capacity of extensions in the machine. You can have a WEN 3424EX Table extension installed that will increase the capacity of your machine to 12” by 41”.

Every workman requires extensions and thankfully this machine comes with a wide variety of available extensions that can be bought for a few hundred dollars from the official JET factory outlets.

Moreover, the machine is totally quiet and smooth while operating. This eliminates the vulnerability of vibrations that may cause damage to sleek designs and hence enhances the overall experience. In short, it is a great little tool for home and workshop.

key features

  • Excellent beginners cue lathe
  • Smooth speed control
  • Easily operable
  • Huge range of speed variations.
  • Quiet and vibrations-free design.
  • Slow-Startup technology.
  • Rear chuck is less sturdy.
  • Power switch position is where the user stands while turning.
  • Arbor is slightly longer than standard lathes.

4. RIKON 70-100 – Mini Lathe (12” by 16”)

If you are looking for a highly powerful mini cue lathe, RIKON 70-100 is just the perfect model. With a 0.5 HP motor and self-ejecting tailstock, you will never have to consume much of your own energy.

The speed shifting adaptability of this machine is extremely good, even though the speed shifting and pulley shifting operation are manually controlled.

However, users have been reported getting used to manual shifting since it gives way more control over the machine as well as delivers the pure workmanship experience.

RIKON 70-100 is specially designed for home or mini-workshop use. However, its miniature design does not make it incompetent against huge ones because of its 0.5 HP powerful motor.

One may be vulnerable to the vibrations which may occur due to lesser weight, but RICKON has totally considered the area of vibrations and has designed the machine fully vibrations-free.

Besides, the best thing about this cue lathe is that it comes with numerous extensions. So if you are looking to buy a powerful mini cue lathe that can be extended as much as you want, RIKON 70-100 is your model!

key features

  • Minimum Noise
  • Smooth Operation
  • Convenient Speed Shifting Adaptability (by machine)
  • Powerful Motor
  • Manual Pulley Shifting
  • Manual Speed Shifting
  • Weak Tail Stock
  • Tail Stock gets a bit sturdy with extensions.

5. JET JWL-1221VS – Variable Speed Cue Lathe (12” by 21”)

A big guy in a very feasible price range, JET’s JWL 1221 VS is perhaps the strongest 12” by 21” lathe. It has a pretty solid body and hence a heavyweight of 136.4 pounds.

Designed by JET tools which is quite a renowned brand, this machine is specially designed to give complete control to the user.

One of the best things about this cue lathe is that it grants the most convenient speed control system. Guess the engineers in JET know that we all crave for enhancements in speed control.

When it comes to operation, there is no competitor of this machine. A cue lathe needs to be pretty solid, vibrations free and swift; and so is JWL 1221VS.

The Slow-Startup and vibration-free functioning keep every angle that you work upon smooth and delicate. Not just all this, but to make it a complete 10/10, JET has even added smooth forward and reverse transitioning capabilities into this product.

Besides, another feature that makes this machine totally worth the money it has been asked for, is its threshold and range of speed.

There is in fact no other lathe that gives an rpm as low as 60 and then up to 3600. In short, JET JWL 12221VS is the best lathe in a very affordable price range.

key features

  • Solid Built
  • Quiet Operation
  • Very Smooth Reversal
  • Huge Speed Variance Range
  • Powerful Motor
  • Slow-Startup Automation
  • Lack of Quality control even though the Quantity of controls the user gets is large.
  • 3 Bolts instead of 4 makes it prone to vibrations.

Final Verdict

So these were the top 5 cue lathes that we dug out of hundreds of available lathes. We must ensure that the cue lathes we have mentioned in this review guide have been selected by following the below-mentioned parameters in a prioritized way respectively:

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