If you are thinking about a mini vs midi lathe fight then you have come to the right place.
In fact, it is worthwhile to understand that both mini and midi lathe have their own purpose, pricing policy, and, of course, characteristics. In fact, the Midi Lathe comes in between mini and full-sized lathe. Therefore, I propose all the same to understand a little more in detail what is what and why it is needed.
The mini version is ideal for those who do not need to handle flashy and large volumes of wood. The mini lathe is a good choice if you want to create small parts, handles, possibly small dishes, etc. Classically, it is up to 10 inches above the bed. Prices compared to other models are much lower. In my opinion, you can easily find your ideal lathe for under $ 500.
There is an opinion that the Mini lathe was created especially for beginners. For those who are just starting to get acquainted with this craft. In fact, this is a double-edged sword because Mini is very easy to operate, it is understandable to everyone, and with it, you will work with fairly small details.
The appearance of the Midi lathe in the late 90s showed what such compact machines are capable of. They generally have a minimum of 12 inches to 14 inches of bed swings. Which things you can twist and process directly depends on this. For example baseball bats, wooden utensils, toys, jewelry, and more.
It is also very important that the lathe is equipped correctly. It will directly help you to cut and model your products neatly. In fact, a desktop wood lathe is always equipped with a motor, headstock, tailstock, banjo, and the tool-rest. The rotational speed range of this machine is also quite solid, ranging from 60 to 4000 rotations per minute. Often the device is equipped with a special button that actually regulates the intensity of rotation.
Whether you have a midi lathe or mini lathe, it is important that you have a strong, large work table to use them on.
Difference between midi lathe and mini lathe
If we are comparing the midi lathe and mini lathe, it is important to understand that they are both designed for different types of activity. Therefore, there are 2 main differences between them: the size and volume of power that they can produce.
The mini version, as I mentioned, has a swing of 8 ″ to 10 ″ and the length between the center usually would be 12 ″ to 15 ″. This is more than enough for processing relatively small parts. Now the not quite transcendental pricing policy is understandable, from $100 to $500.
On the other hand, we have a midi lathe which is equipped with more powerful hardware that makes it possible to work with more impressive wood samples. Center distance can be increased up to 40 inches if you add a bed extension to rotate longer objects such as chair or table legs.
In general terms, I think the difference is more than clear. Mini is more suitable for beginners, or people who are ready to make relatively small details like doorknobs or jewelry, toys. And Midi is aimed at people who are more serious. Those who are ready to give good money for a worthwhile product but also work with samples is much more complicated.