Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe Review

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In Brief: Shop Fox W1704 Lathe Review

The Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe brings precision turning operations to small shops and garage setups. The 3-amp motor delivers up to 3200 RPM for optimal accuracy and efficiency. Most importantly, it weighs just over 40 pounds to allow for maximum versatility and ease of use.

Shop Fox is the line of lathes that Woodstock International Inc. produces.

They have been in the business since 1989 and have been producing a myriad of woodworking and metalworking machinery, workshop tools, and machine accessories.

Woodstock International has also found itself among the fastest-growing companies in in America for the last two years.

While they are primarily known for their lathes, the company offers over 3,000 different tools to the North American market.

They pride themselves on fast and efficient services thanks to all of their centrally located warehouses.

Key Specifications of the Shop Fox W1704

SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe

The 1/3 HP motor delivers the perfect amount of power for smaller projects as well as pen-turning applications.

Even better, it offers variable speed settings all the way up to 3200 RPM for greater accuracy and precision.

The cast iron construction ensures that the Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe will stand up to the test of time.

Whether used in a shop setting or as a hobby, this lathe is built to hold up to regular wear and tear with little to no issue.

The multiple tool rests allow for greater cleanliness and organization. Don’t deal with a cluttered workspace when using the Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe.

Best of all, it is small enough that it can be moved anywhere at a moment’s notice, great for settings where space is at a premium.

Read the long list of Shop Fox W1704 specs here :

Model Number/ NameW1704
Ideal ForWood
Current (amps)3.2
Speed (rpm)3200
Distance between centers (in)13
Spindle thread (in)¾”-16 TPI
Overall dimensions29 x 10.5 x 13
Weight (lbs)41
Other FeaturesSafety paddle switch

Top Features to Look For

SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe

While the Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe isn’t the biggest or most powerful lathe on the market, it delivers a greater level of precision and accuracy that is perfect for any setting.

Its compact size is a real selling point as it can be moved from place to place, optimizing space as it becomes available.

Safety Features

The Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe comes standard with a number of safety features that make using it more effective and safer.

The safety paddle switch in particular delivers a quick, safe method to kill the power in an instant.

Totally Compact

At just 40 pounds in total weight, the Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe can be easily moved from space to space as room permits.

For garages and small shops, space can be one of the most valuable assets and the Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe works within those boundaries.

Variable Speeds

The Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe features variable speeds of up to 3600 RPM.

Accuracy is of the utmost importance, especially in small woodworking operations. Choosing the right speed can make the difference.


Power and Performance

The Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe has a 120-volt, nearly 4-amp motor that delivers more than enough power for small woodworking operations.

It is also what powers the various speed selections, maxing out at up to 3600 RPM.

Ease of Use

SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe

Perhaps the greatest feature of the Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe is its ease of use and size.

With everything in a compact size, users can implement any of the built-in features without much effort.

This is a great lathe for inexperienced woodworkers that are looking to hone their craft without having to meddle with larger, more powerful, and more complicated lathes.


Ease of Maintenance, Repairs, and Warranty

Maintaining the Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe is very easy thanks to its small surface size. A quick wipe down can keep it clean and free of debris with relative ease.

It is recommended that you replace the cutting tool every once in a while (yearly is fine) to ensure that ti delivers proper cutting quality.


Woodstock International, the company that produces the Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe, offers a limited 90-day warranty on all of their products from the original date of purchase.

There are various protection plans that are offered depending on the vendor in question.

The warranty is in place to protect against any components that may become damaged from materials and workmanship over the life of that warranty.

For more answers, check out Woodstock’s warranty page.

Price of the Shop Fox W1704

At under $300, the Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe is one of the most affordable benchtop lathes on the market. It won’t overwhelm you with power or features, but it will get the job done effectively.

Users were thrilled with the price point.

They feel that it is affordable enough for even amateurs to implement into their shop or garage, allowing them to learn and develop their skills without the pressure of using a larger, more expensive machine.


Pros and cons of the Shop Fox W1704

Here are some of the pros and cons of the Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe :


  • Variable Speeds
  • Built-in Safety Features
  • Compact Size
  • Cost-effective


  • Very small
  • Lacking major power


Who Should Buy the Shop Fox W1704 ?

Amateurs that do woodworking as a hobby out of their garage or small shops will benefit from the Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe.

While it doesn’t deliver major power, its accuracy and ease of use cannot be ignored.

Our Recommendation

The Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe is great for learning on the job. Larger lathes have a lot more features and the extra power can be intimidating to inexperienced woodworkers.

The Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe is compact, efficient, and highly easy to use in all settings.

Last update on 2024-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Michael Adams

Michael has been providing handyman services for the last 14 years. He also contributes as a writer sharing his experience and experience for design projects.

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