June 12, 2020

Shop Fox W1836 Benchtop Wood Lathe Review

Thinking of getting the Shop Fox W1836. Are you looking for the best wood lathe on the market, that you can place on a workbench? Benchtop wood lathes come in all different shapes and sizes. A benchtop wood lathe is used to give different shapes and structures to pieces of wood. 

If you want to carve wooden shapes that require a certain accuracy and precision, then a lathe is the way to go. this machine works by spinning continuously, with a piece of wood between the two centers. This is how you know that you are getting asymmetrical shape. 

Shop Fox W1836

This is why it is important to know how many rotations per minute (RPM) you get on a lathe. Where you are going to be placing the lathe will also make a big difference in making sure that you keep it steady and get a smooth product.

The machine rotates, because of the different components that the lathe is made of. This is why it is necessary to ask the right questions when you are shopping for a lathe. 

The W1836 12 inch by 15-inch benchtop wood lathe, has a lot going fr it as far as benchtop wood lathes are concerned. This lathe has a powerful 3/4 horsepower, 110-volt motor. It also has a 12inch swing over bed and an impressive 15 inches between centers. 

This means that you can work on products that go up to 12 inches in diameter. This means that you have a space to work on a variety of projects. This lathe also has variable speeds and this gives it an edge over the other versions on the market


The W1836 12inch by 15-inch benchtop wood lathe is a heavy lathe that gives you stability as you work. This is much needed if you are to get a good performance out of the machine. 

It is made of cast iron and has the trademark shop fox logo, as well as safety regulations. This will keep you mindful of the precautions you need to take. 

This lathe comes with a work light attached to it. The extra light helps you be more efficient because you can see what you are doing, better than when you are using the general room light. This is one of the things that make this lathe unique and gives it an edge over other lathe machines on the market. 

The live center and facelift are glistening silver. The digital readout screen is a decent size and at a pace where you can easily see the reading. The variable speed control is within reach and this makes the whole process of changing the speed of the machine easier. 

Whilst everything is within reach, it is also well placed so much that it is not in the way. This is a good looking lathe. 

Performance Review

The Shop Fox W1836 is a powerful benchtop lathe that you will not regret buying. The motor has the power that you need to work on the various pieces of wood that fit in it. You can change the speed of the spindle and this makes this lathe a great buy. 

It has 24 index positions, which gradually increase, and this helps you mark and cut the wood you are working on, evenly. 

One of the other great things with this lathe is that you do not need to be stuck with one speed. It has variable speeds which give you more control over the wood and the shape you want to end up with. 

The live center on this lathe makes sure that you can turn the wood with stability and also without any resistance. This is a feature that you will need in any good lathe.


Safety always comes first when you are dealing with machinery that has moving parts. It can be easy to injure yourself if you do not know how to handle yourself around such machinery. 

The electric motor powers this lathe and causes it to carve with precision and accuracy necessary in woodturning. But this also means that you have to watch your fingers. 

Concentration is important when you are woodturning, and this is why you should not ignore the warning sign that you need to operate the machine when you are sober and can fully focus on your work.

The work lamp helps a great deal as a safety feature. You can focus better when you have a light close by to see what you are doing. 

Read the manual and know what all the parts on the lathe are for and how you can be more careful as you are using it. It also includes different precautions that you will need to be taking.

Such as making sure that you do not wear any loose clothing that could get caught up in the machine as you work. This means loose sleeves or ill-fitting gloves can be a danger and cause injury.

The lathe has a tool rest, which gives you a place to put the tools that you are not using. For your safety, make sure that you remove all loose tools before you start the machine up. 

Loose tools have the potential to become dangerous projectiles. Always make sure that everything is in place when you plug the lathe in. Follow the recommended procedures of starting up the machine. 

Who is this product ideal for?

It is important to make sure that the lathe is used by someone who is experienced and knows what to do and how to start it up.

According to the manual, you are at greater risk if you are untrained on how to use the lathe. This is not a lathe for beginners or someone who does not know how to use it.


  • It is versatile
  • It has a variable speed
  • The 24 index positions will help you mark and cut evenly
  • It is a stable machine


  • It sits on a workbench and that can be difficult if you do not have the space to mount it on. 

Our Verdict

The ShopFox W1836—12″ x 15″ Benchtop Wood Lathe is a good buy as far as benchtop lathes go. It is also a very versatile and stable lathe with a powerful motor that allows you to get the precise cuts that you need. This is a great lathe to add to your workshop. Happy shopping! Also, see our Shop Fox W1704 Bench-Top Wood Lathe Review.

David D. Hughes
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