Mini wood lathes are a very useful tool for any wood shop. They operate at very high speeds and can turn small pieces of wood that can be carved into nearly any shape. With a mini wood lathe you can build spare legs for a chair, or create rungs for a small banister. Other projects include making a base for a lamp, or shaped broom handles. There's no end to the projects you can complete with one of these versatile tools.
Shop around and price a few models you are interested in. The best place to look is at your local hardware store, or a specialty wood workers store, if one is nearby.
Shop the Internet for these mini wood working tools. They can be found with a simple Google search for "mini wood lathes" or at wood working stores online. The emachine Tool website is one place to look.
Compare the voltage or wattage of each machine. A higher wattage usually results in a higher spindle speed. The faster the spindle turns the easier and more precise a cut you will be able to make. It also makes wood turning much easier and faster.
Compare the length of the mini wood lathe. Each lathe will list the length of the spindle it can handle. This should be long enough to handle the projects you want to work on.
Compare the construction materials used to build the power box and base. Heavy duty materials like steel might last longer, but aluminum will be lighter and make the unit easier to transport.
Make sure the machine includes the collets you will need to use, as well as all the other options you need, like variable speeds, which you will need if you plan to use the lathe to turn different types of projects like model ship parts, small chair legs, or wood pens.