Shop Fox W1704 Review

  • Shop Fox W1704
9.6 score
[Editors rating (9.6)] = ContractorCulture score (9.6)/10

Editor rating: 9.6 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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The Shop Fox W1704 benchtop wood turning lathe gets points for offering variable spindle speeds, as well as for its ease of use and setting up. The machine is ruggedly built and leaves the impression that it can be used for long periods of time. It comes with a great set of features for the price, and buyers praise it as one of the best lathes for beginners who seek to learn the craft. Great for turning pens, sharpening, cutting and other small-scale wood turning projects.


Some customers complain at the late arrival of parts, and there are incidental reports of machine malfunctioning shortly after being started up. This may be because the 1/3 horsepower motor is not suitable for turning larger projects.


The Shop Fox W1704 is the beginner's wood turning lathe that provides great service. Great parts assure safe and reliable operation. Best suited for small woodworking projects, like turning pens.

Its name is the Shop Fox W1704. Made of cast iron, it is a sturdily built benchtop wood lathe designed to fit neatly on any workbench. While not large and not very heavy, it is still very stable. Very easy to set up, the Shop Fox W1704 seems like the perfect tool for those wanting to learn the craft, especially when it comes to small-scale woodturning projects.

While it is not the most powerful option on the market, its variable-speed motor complements its size perfectly and delivers speeds between 600 and 3,300 revolutions per minute (RPM). This option to change the speed from anywhere between 700-3200 RPM, literally by twisting a knob, comes in very handy when turning soft or hard species of wood. It is worth noting that even more expensive wood turning lathes don't offer such speed control on the fly, so we have to commend Woodstock International on their design choices.

All in all, the Shop Fox W1704 lathe is loaded with features which makes it a steal for the price.