June 12, 2020

Shop Fox W1852 Variable-Speed Wood Lathe Review

Considering getting the Shop Fox W1852? Are you looking for the best machinery for woodturning? There are several factors that you will need to consider when you are looking for a woodturning machine. Woodturning is a craft that has continued to evolve over the years. 

It is an art of being able to create vases or bowls or anything that needs to be symmetrical around a rotating axis. It’s an intriguing art that needs both the woodturner and the tools being used to be on top of their game. 

ShopFox W1852 Variable-Speed Wood Lathe

If you want a product that is smooth and symmetrical, you need to look for a lathe that has the right amount of capacity and torque. Different manufacturers specialise in this and yet it is not all that do a great job.

Knowing the projects that you expect to be working on, will also help you handpick the right lathe for you. 

If this is your first time buying a wood lathe, then it may all seem overwhelming. This is why it is important to know what you will want to be turning so that you get an efficient lathe.

The Shopfox W1852—22″ x 42″ Variable-Speed Wood Lathe, has a 3 horsepower, 3 phase motor, and it runs off single-phase power. It has electronic variable speed control and a 22-inch swing as well as a 1-1/4″ x 8 TPI RH spindle. 

One of the reasons why this is a favorite for a lot of people is the fact that it has varying speeds, from between 100RPM to 3200RPM. This means that you can work on both large and small turning projects.


It is a very sturdy looking lathe. It weighs close to a quarter tonne. It is two-toned, black and white, the bed rests on a black stand that keeps everything firmly in place. The overall dimensions are  81 inches by 23 inches by 49-1/2 height. 

There is an impressive 4 inches between the two centers. The tool rest is 14 inches wide. The entire lathe sits on a black sturdy stand. This makes it sturdy and will give you the precision and accuracy that you need when you are woodturning. 

There is also an on and off button along with an emergency stop switch, within reach, to help you control the machine within a matter of seconds.

Performance Review

This lathe is a powerful woodturning tool that has amazing capacity and woodturning capabilities. It has a low-speed range of between 100 RPM and  1200 RPM.  It has a high-speed range of between 330 RPM and 3200RPM. 

The speed control is variable. The digital spindle speed tachometer headstock rotates 180 degrees. It also positions anywhere along the bed and has a variable frequency drive for 3 phase speed control with a single-phase power 3 phase motor. It also has a tool rest support feature.

Remember that the lathe is not the only thing that you will need to buy. You will also need to get other tools to complement it and so it is important to make sure that you can get the other complementary tools. 

The lathe is one of the cheapest tools that you will own in your workshop. This is not because it is cheap when you buy it, but because it will last you for years, and will need very little maintenance or replacement of parts. It is a durable machine that will deliver the precision that you need along with power.


It is important to make sure that you always read the manual and take the necessary precautions when you are working with this lathe, just like with any other woodworking machine. Always make sure that you are wearing the right protective gear. Eyewear will keep your eyes protected. 

Whilst the lathe is on a very stable stand, you need to mount it on level ground, where there is no danger of it shifting. Make sure the ground is solid too. Remember that this is a very heavy piece and needs to be put on the ground that can hold it up like a concrete floor. 

Other protective clothes that you can wear that are necessary for keeping you safe, are dust masks. They help you keep dust particles out and also harmful toxins.

Also make sure that you practice safety with the electrical cables and electrical connections, such as unplugging the machine when you need to make any adjustments. 

Also, make sure that you are not wearing any clothing items that could easily get caught in the machine as you work. It is also important that you check on the machine as a whole and make sure that all the parts are working properly and there is nothing loose.  

It also helps and makes the workplace safer if you can verify the integrity of the wood and make sure that there is nothing in the wood that can hurt you. It is also important to make sure that the tools that you use are very sharp. Blunt tools can be very dangerous. 

Who is this product ideal for?

This machine is meant to be used by trained operators. You need to have a certain skill level to operate the machinery and also you need to be sober and focused.

Wood-turning requires a lot of power from the lathe and this means that you have to know what to do to control the wood.  


  • It is very durable 
  • It is sturdy
  • It has a powerful motor. 
  • It gives you the precision you need.


  • It is not sold with all the tools that you need, you will have to buy some of those yourself. 

Our Verdict

Woodturning is not something that you can just pick up. You will need to take the necessary classes to learn how to do it properly. Doing it properly also involves making sure that you have the right lathe and tools.

The result of this synergy is so satisfying you will not regret it. We think this is a great quality lathe that is sure to deliver what you require. Happy shopping! See our Shop Fox W1758 Wood Lathe Review.

David D. Hughes
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