Is Wood Turning Expensive?

Is Wood Turning Expensive

Is wood turning expensive? Is it too expensive to get into? These are just a couple of the questions that people often ask when considering this hobby.

This article will answer these questions and more. As we discuss, there is a lot to learn about woodturning, but it is worth it because you can create beautiful pieces of art from raw materials!

Is Wood Turning Expensive

Woodturning is not incredibly expensive but there are a few things you need to buy. Depending on what exactly you want to turn you will pay more or less. You can get started with somewhere around 600$. You can also save some money buying tools second-hand.

The most expensive tool you will buy is a wood lathe. This is the tool you will use to shape your piece of wood. You can buy a cheaper lathe for less than $300 or more expensive ones that go up to 2,500$.

You can read more about why are wood lathes so expensive right here.

How Much Does It Cost To Get Into Wood Turning?

A full-sized lathe can be expensive, so a small model might be better for your first project. The $400 Rikon mini lathe is surprisingly versatile and perfect for beginners.

rikon 70-150vsr review

Use this lathe to turn anything from tiny pen blanks and ornaments to 12″-dia. bowls and 16″-long spindles. The 1/2-hp motor delivers plenty of power and the reliable step-pulley system makes changing speeds easy. Electronic variable speed is available on other mini lathes for faster speed changes, but it also increases the price.

After purchasing a lathe, those who want to start woodturning will need chisels ($75), protective gear ($100), and at minimum a vacuum for the workspace ( $120). A pack of wood blanks can be purchased for under $20.

Another cost that many people don’t think about is the cost of woodturning classes or books. Unless you have a family member or friend that can teach you, you will need to find a class that meets your schedule and budget. You can learn from the internet but for some people that will be quite hard.

A woodturning in-person class can cost from $70 up to $250. Woodturning books are a different story. There are many wood-turning books available on the market and prices range from $20 to as much as $50+.

Tools Needed For Turning

So, to get started in woodturning you would ideally need:

Yellowhammer Turning Tools Essentials 8 Piece Lathe Chisel Set
  • A turning lathe ($400 to $600)
  • A roughing gouge and a spindle gouge (roughly $100 total for a set of chisels – one of these tools is not necessary but will make the job easier)
  • Safety equipment such as face mask, safety glasses, hearing protection, dust mask, etc. (approximately $50)
  • Wood. You will need a lot of wood to practice on (approximately $100+). Unless you have a way to get wood for cheap or free.

So, in total, you might be looking at about $1000+ for getting started as a newbie. Is this expensive? Well, it depends on what your financial situation is and how much money you are comfortable investing upfront. You could buy one very cheap wood lathe for $100-$150 but that could cause more problems in the long term due to the low quality of the machine.

One way to cut the cost is to look for second-hand equipment. This way, you can buy a lathe for $200 or even less if you’re lucky and spend more on wood in the beginning.

If you get good at wood turning then you can consider starting to sell some of your items. That way, you can start turning a profit on your hobby rather than just spending. There are a lot of fun projects that sell very well online or at craft fairs.


It is easy to get caught up in the price of wood and tools, but this may not be as important as you think. Consider your time when considering whether or not it’s worth getting into woodturning – if you are diligent with practicing any new hobby, it will pay off!

If you have a love for working with your hands and creating beautiful things from raw materials, then there’s no better way to spend your free time than turning a piece of scrap lumber into something that can adorn anyone’s home. We hope this blog has helped answer some questions.

Is wood Turning Expensive? Well, it all depends on how expensive is $1000 (or a little bit less than that) for you. Remember that you don’t have to get all of the accessories right away.