The SHOP FOX W1704 Review: 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe

shop fox w1704 review

Wood lathes make it possible to “turn” wood and other materials into a variety of shapes, usually by using tools. Lathes have been used since ancient times for creating bowls, chair legs, and more. Shop Fox is one of the most popular brands when it comes to benchtop lathes.

The Shop Fox W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe is a popular model that has been on the market for some time. The lathe comes with a 2-year warranty and is capable of turning wood in many different shapes, sizes, and materials. It features an easy-to-use design, making it perfect for beginners as well as experts.

In this review article, we will go into detail about what you can do with the Shop Fox W1704 so you can make an informed decision before buying one!

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Shop Fox W1704 Review

Build Quality

This benchtop lathe has a pretty decent build and can last, without any wear and tear. It is lightweight, which makes it easy to carry around from one place to another. The machine has a small footprint so excellent for use in tight spaces.

SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe

It weighs a little bit less than 50 pounds and its dimensions are 7.1 x 27.9 x 13.7 inches.

The SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe is an excellent choice for anyone looking to purchase a new bench lathe. The body of the W1704 is composed mostly of cast iron, making it more durable and comes with a good warranty period.

You can use the machine for many hours at a time without any trouble, as its performance doesn’t decrease in this case. It is also very quiet and there are practically no vibrations to worry about.

With an 8 inch swing over the bed, its size makes it easy to accommodate different kinds of turning jobs. Great for novice turners who want a reliable tool that’s well priced!

Starting off as a hobby wood lathe for small cutting and turning tasks, this particular mac is easy to use thanks to its efficient design. It is light enough in weight that it can be moved easily but also conveniently sturdy. This versatile machine would work well with beginners who are still learning the ropes of woodturning, making it both accessible and dependable.

Motor Power

The ShopFox W1704 Lathe would be a good fit for any woodwork craftsman looking to turn pens or small objects in general. The motor offers a speed range from 700 to 3200 RPM and the lathe can turn both softwood and hardwood stock alike. Furthermore, it incorporates an electronic variable speed system that allows for precise machining at different speeds that you can control with an electronic system.


The SHOP FOX w1704 contains all of the accessories that a wood lathe would need, including both 4-1/2 and 7-inch tool rests. It also comes with a 5-3/4 inch faceplate that fits into the headstock spindle at your convenience. You get all the essential tools you will need.


  • Affordable
  • Safety paddle switch
  • Cast iron construction
  • Lightweight and easy to transport from one place to another.


  • The motor is only 1/3-Horsepower

Is This Wood Lathe Good For You?

The SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe is an excellent option for someone who is into DIY crafting. It’s also perfect for small-scale woodworking projects. The most desirable features include variable lathe speed, and versatility to work with soft and hardwoods alike.

SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe

This benchtop wood lathe is compact in size and adapts nicely to most workbenches. It’s easy to operate, which makes it a great entry-level tool for beginners starting out with the craft. You’ll need plenty of practice on smaller projects before you can go into more complex turning techniques.

Lathes are one of the most versatile tools in a woodworker’s arsenal and they come in many shapes, sizes, and price points. The Shop Fox W1704 lathe is an excellent entry-level machine that comes with everything you need to get started turning. If you’re looking for precision at higher speeds or more power than this model offers, then we have plenty of other options available on our website as well!

Read More Shop Fox Reviews:
Shop Fox W1836
Shop Fox W1758

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is this wood lathe good for turning pens?

A: Yes, this lathe can handle turning pens and other small objects like cups.

Q: What size wood stock can it hold?

A: It depends on the chuck you are using but it can hold around 12″ lengths.

Q: What is the MT on this lathe?

A: MT1.

Q: Can this wood lathe run in reverse?

A: Unfortunately there is no reverse function.

Q: How loud can this machine get when turning?

A: It is not a very loud machine. The loudest it can get is almost as loud as a vacuum cleaner.

Q: Can this lathe handle metalwork?

A: No, this is a wood lathe.

Conclusion Of The Shop Fox W1704 Review

Wood lathes are an essential tool for woodworkers and hobbyists. If you’re looking to get started with a new project, it may be worth investing in one of the many great benchtop models that Shop Fox offers.

All in all, the Shop Fox W1704 is a solid choice when it comes to benchtop lathes. It’s easy and intuitive to use, which means that even beginners can get started right away with turning wood into beautiful creations. If you’re looking for an affordable option that will last for years of DIY projects at home or on your homestead, this may be just what you need!

If you’re in need of a lathe, we recommend Shop Fox. Their benchtop models are versatile and durable while also being affordable and easy to use for beginners. With just a little bit of practice on how to operate it, you’ll have your very own woodworking shop!