Wen 3421 Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe Review

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In Brief: Wen 3421 Lathe Review

The Wen 3421 Lathe is the perfect lathe for amateur woodworkers. With a 3.2-amp motor, turners get ample power for smaller workpieces like cups, bowls, pens, etc. The soft start allows for a variety of speeds from 750 RPM all the way up to 3,200 RPM. And its 12” between center allows for any small and some medium-sized workpieces to fit.

Wen has been in the business of producing power tools for a wide array of different uses. Starting their business in 1951, Wen has become a trusted name in the power tool and equipment community.

Wen is made primarily in China, though their parts and stocks come from factories located in either Illinois or California.

Wen’s line of lathes in particular have become one of the more trusted in the industry and the Wen 3421 Lathe is a prime reason why.

Key Specifications of the Wen 3421

WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8' by 12' Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe

The Wen 3421 Lathe is an excellent benchtop lathe for two reasons. The first is that it is easy to use for amateur woodworkers.

Learning with this lathe is easy and can help to build up woodturning knowledge and experience. Even better, it can handle smaller, more precise workpieces with the greatest of ease.

The 3.2-amp motor may seem modest when compared to larger lathes, but the Wen 3421 Lathe delivers more than 50% more power than most of the other 8-inch wood lathes on the market today.

That means greater power for those who seek it without becoming overwhelming to those new to woodworking.

Lastly, the Wen 3421 Lathe comes with a number of accessories to provide greater convenience. The 2.3” face plate, the MT tailstock and spindle, and the interchangeable tool rests allow for better workpiece placement and easier storage. Great for smaller spaces in particular.

Read the long list of Wen 3421 specs here :

Model Number/ Name3421
Ideal For120
Current (amps)3.2
Speed (rpm)750 to 3200
Distance between centers (in)12
Spindle thread (in)1”-8
Overall dimensions
28 x 10 x 12
Weight (lbs)
Other Features2.3” face plate

Top Features to Look For

WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8" by 12" Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe

The Wen 3421 Lathe doesn’t have a ton of features, but the ones that it does have make for a smoother, easier experience for smaller workspaces and those that are still learning their way through the woodworking process.

Variable Speeds

The Wen 3421 Lathe offers a number of variable speeds for greater precision and accuracy.

Starting at 750 RPM and working all the way up to 3,200 RPM, turners can get the precise turning speed that they want for any job they can think of.

Soft Start Motor

One of the safety features implemented on the Wen 3421 Lathe is the soft start motor. For those with lesser experience, it can be startling to have a motor that starts at full speed.

The soft start allows for a slow build up and a greater level of comfort.

Powerful Motor

Despite its small size, the Wen 3421 Lathe delivers over 50% more power than others in its class.

So, while it is built to handle smaller workpieces, it certainly doesn’t lack in the amperage needed to get the job done.


Power and Performance

WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8" by 12" Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe

The 120-volt, 3.2-amp motor on the Wen 3421 Lathe brings with it a surprising amount of power. As mentioned, it brings over 50% more power to the table than other lathes in its class.

The perfect amount of power for smaller spaces, smaller workpieces, and amateur woodworkers that are still learning the craft.

Ease of Use

Perhaps the most appealing thing about the Wen 3421 Lathe is that it is great for amateur woodworkers. There aren’t an overabundance of features to cause confusion.

Instead, the ample power, variable speeds, and soft start motor make comfort a reality for new users.

Even better, there are interchangeable tool rests on the Wen 3421 Lathe that make storing tools in a smaller space all the easier.

Compact, versatile, and powerful, the Wen 3421 Lathe is tough to beat in its class.


Ease of Maintenance, Repairs, and Warranty

Because of its small size, maintaining the Wen 3421 Lathe is relatively easy.

Wipe off the individual components and the face plate when finished and you can prevent the build up of wood chips over time.


Wen offers a limited two-year warranty on each of their products. This warranty is meant to protect against defects in the material or workmanship as well as manufacturer-produced defects.

More importantly, parts and repairs are covered throughout the life of the warranty.

If you have any questions or concerns about the warranty, be sure to check out Wen’s warranty page for more.

Price of the Wen 3421

Coming in under $200, the Wen 3421 Lathe is one of the most affordable out there.

Amateur woodworkers aren’t going to want to spend upwards of $1,000 for a lathe, especially when they are just learning.

Those who bought the Wen 3421 Lathe were thrilled with the price. They feel that it makes getting a lathe affordable for anyone and encourages amateur woodworkers to get one of their own to practice on.


Pros and cons of the Wen 3421

Here are some of the pros and cons of the Wen 3421 :


  • Affordable
  • Compact
  • Powerful
  • Interchangeable Tool Rests


  • Meant for small workpieces only


Who Should Buy the Wen 3421 ?

Those still learning the craft of woodworking or acclimating themselves to using a lathe will love the Wen 3421 Lathe.

It doesn’t hold back on power but has enough features in it that comfort is never in question.

Those looking to get a quality lathe in a tight space will also love the Wen 3421 Lathe. With more than 50% more power than comparable lathes, this is a tough lathe to beat.

Our Recommendation

While it won’t make its presence known in shops or serious workspaces, the Wen 3421 Lathe is fantastic for working on smaller workpieces and helping those amateur woodworkers gain the experience that they are looking for.

The price cannot be beat and the Wen 3421 Lathe would make for a great addition to any small garage or workspace.



Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Karen Taylor

Karen is an expert woodworker. He has been working as a professional in the domain for more than 12 years now. She has experience of working on a variety of power and other tools while working on her projects.

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