"Which lathe should I buy?"

This is a frequently asked question on woodturning discussion forums. As you should expect, there is no single answer that works for everyone's needs. Woodturning also involves much more than simply choosing a lathe.

Getting started in woodturning can be a confusing and frustrating task. There are literally hundreds of tools and accessories available. Turning is often referred to as "The Vortex" or "Slippery Slope", and for good reason. If you get too carried away you can quickly find yourself at the bottom of that slope wondering what happened! But with good research and wise buying you should be able to get started with the right tools for your needs at a reasonable cost.

How much, you ask? That depends on what your needs are.

This article won't choose your gear for you but perhaps it can offer a few pointers, pitfalls, and things to look for in choosing the right lathe, tools, and accessories for you. Turning is very much a "personal preference" endeavor; there are few hard-and-fast rules that apply to all. The information presented here is only intended to aid you in your research. It remains up to you to do that research based on your specific needs.
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