Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe Review

Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe Review

If you are the creative type, the wood lathe is one of the most self-rewarding power tool you can have in the workshop. It allows you to perform all sorts of wood works, from bowls to decorative furniture legs. Truly, the result is limited only by your imagination. There are hundreds of models of wood lathe available online, making it very difficult to find a good reliable unit, especially if you have never owned one before.

Today we are going to review one such contender - the Delta 46-460 Midi Lathe. Hopefully, by the end of this review, you will know if this wood lathe belongs in your workshop or not.

Delta 46-460 Midi Wood Lathe

1. Technical Feature

Model:Delta 46-460 Midi Wood Lathe
Motor:1.0 HP
Voltage:120V
Swing Size:12.5” 
Center to Center Distance:16.5"
Speed: 250-700, 600-1,800 and 1,350-4,000 RPM
Dimension:36” x 11” x 17-3/4”
Warranty:5 years
Learn more:Check reviews & rating on Amazon

Swing Size:

The Delta 46-460 has a generous swing over bed size of 12.5 inches. This is a surprising size for this class of “midi lathe” and it will allow you to turn fairly large materials in diameter. Midi lathes are generally compact benchtop lathes that have a swing size of 9.25 inches. We’re glad Delta didn’t skimp on the swing dimension in this model. What is even more surprising, the bed can be extended to a whopping 42 inches. You can wood turn long pieces of material very comfortably at this size. Turning furniture legs or decorative wood rods is a common task that this wood lathe will be able to perform quite easily.

Furthermore, it is an extremely accurate midi wood lathe and out of the box, the drive center of the headstock and live center of tailstock touches each other perfectly. We see that Delta did not sacrifice functionality and accuracy for compactness. Despite its small form factor, this wood lathe allows you to work just as you would in a larger, and much more expensive lathe. 

Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Lathe

Power:

Power is very important in a wood lathe. The headstock spindle needs all the torque it can get to turn heavy materials with a smooth and consistent rotation speed. When the motor lacks power under heavy load, your belt can skip or even break causing a general stall. The 1.0 HP motor in this model will make this problem history. It is powerful enough to handle very demanding woodturning and it is well calibrated and compensates the 12.5 inches swing size well. 

Speed:

There are 2 ways to change the speed in this model. It has both an automatic variable speed control and a manual belt speed adjustment. The belt speed control consists of a 3-speed setting. It can easily be accessed by lifting the headstock. The headstock backcover has an easy to read diagram that shows you the various speed settings. On setting #1, the belt is on the largest gear and it does 250 - 750 RPM. On setting #2, 600 - 1,800 RPM and setting #3 (the smallest gear) 1,350 - 4,000 RPM.

Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Lathe

In conjunction with the belt speed controller, the electronic automatic speed control knob found besides the headstock can adjust the speed of the spindle on the go while working with material. It is a 10-speed electronic controller that allows you to customize the speed even further for more versatility and control over your finish. It is very quiet at the lowest speed of 250 RPM and you will probably need sound canceling cans on the 4,000 RPM speed.

Other Features:

  • Forward and Backward Motion: You can easily change the rotation of the spindle, forward or backward by toggling a switch right on the headstock.
  • Tailstock Handwheel: The tailstock handwheel is very easy to operate and made from a polished metal alloy.
  • Tailstock Lock: The tailstock can be firmly secured with a tailstock lock. 
  • Tool Rest: The tool rest can be guided in any direction and will provide constant support.
  • Belt Tensioning System: The belt tensioning system makes it easy to change the belt speed in this unit. Simply pull, place the belt on your preferred setting and release.

Accessories:

Out of the box, you get quite a few interesting accessories. The unit comes with both a 6-inch and a 10-inch tool rest. A 6-inch is preferred where you need a wider view area and doing accurate woodturning and for cruder woodturning, the 10-inch is preferred. You can use your own custom tool rest base with either the 6-inch or 10-inch tool rest. It also comes with a 3-inch chrome face plate to secure your material against the tailstock without damaging it. Additionally, a tool rest base, a knockout bar, live center, wrenches, and a detailed user manual comes with this purchase.

2. Price:

At the time of writing this article, price is around $700 (check current price on Amazon), we think that this midi lathe is reasonably priced. It is compact and offers a lot of power and versatility when turning wood. It competes neck to neck with the Rikon 70-220VSR and is offered at the same price point of $600 - $800 price point. Some prices may be cheaper, others more expensive depending on the outlet. If we have to make a choice, we prefer the Delta 46-460 because it has a larger center-to-center working distance. Other than that, it is simply a question of preference.

3. Expert Reviews

An expert from Woodworkers Guild of America (WWGOA) made an excellent review of the Delta 46-460 Midi Lathe. It comes to no surprise to us that they highly recommend this model. With hands-on pictures of the unit, they cover the speed control and point out the ease of use. They also like how intuitive and easy to reach the buttons and knobs in the model are.

John from ToolInAction.com made another hands-on review of this model on his YouTube channel. It gives you a good idea of what to expect with this wood lathe. He covers all the important details, including how to change the speed with the belt tensioning system. Watch his overview video below.

4. Pros/Cons

Pros:

  • Compact: The small form factor does not take a lot of space on your work bench. In the past, wood lathes were huge power tools. This model is much smaller and packs more punch.
  • Center to Center and Swing Size: This unit provides a very generous extendable 42” center-to-center working area and a 12.5” swing size. 
  • Motor: The 1.0 HP motor is excellent for turning tough materials. It will not hamper or stall because the spindle receives a constant and powerful torque at all times. 
  • Speed: The electronic variable speed control in this wood lathe allows you to adapt both to the material and the way you work.
  • Accessories: It is delivered with a rich set of accessories. Everything that you need to get started with woodturning out of the box. 
  • Ease of Use: Straightforward and easy to use. Adjusting the speed and changing the forward/backward motion is only a switch (or knob) away.

Cons:

None

5. Who Should Buy?

This compact Midi wood lathe packs a serious punch in the face. It does not sacrifice performance or versatility for size. It can perform any woodturning tasks with great ease and does so quietly. The large center-to-center distance makes it ideal for those who need to turn long material and the generous 12.5 inches swing size allows you to make almost any type of artisanal objects.

Further down the line, you can even purchase accessories to help enhance your woodturning. Bottom line, we recommend this model to everyone - newbies and professionals alike. It is one of the most complete woodturning packages we know of.

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