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Excelsior Mini Lathe

With solid cast-iron construction, a robust 1/2 hp motor and a precision-machined live center, this little workhorse rivals features found in much larger lathes.
Item #
90% of 100

The Excelsior 5-Speed Mini Lathe can turn bowls of almost 10" in diameter and spindles up to 17-3/4" in length, making it perfect for chair legs, small table legs and an endless array of decorative turnings. A convenient door provides easy access to the belt, along with 5 different speeds: 760, 1100, 1600, 2200 and 3200 RPM. Cast-iron body provides mass for minimal vibration, stable turning and maximum durability.

  • Spur center on headstock
  • Ball-bearing live center on tailstock
  • Heavy-duty knockout bar for spur center
  • Cam-locking ratcheting adjustment levers
  • Convenient belt access door
  • Chrome-plated hardware
  • Removable safety switch
  • Non-slip feet
(1) Excelsior 5-Speed Mini Lathe
More Information
Brand Excelsior
Manufacturer Part Number MC-1018
Weight 80.5000
Tech Spec
  • Distance Between Centers: 18"
  • Turning Diameter: 10"
  • Motor: 370W
  • Powerful 1/2 HP motor
  • Base Material: Solid Cast Iron
  • 6" Tool Rest
  • 3" Face Plate
  • 5 different speeds: 760, 1100, 1600, 2200 and 3200 RPM
  • Spindle Taper MT2
  • 1" x 8 TPI spindle
HP 1/2 HP
Speed Range 760 - 3200 RPM
4.5 / 5.0
267 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Great beginner lathe
This lathe is great for a beginner and perfect for a small shop.
May 14, 2020
1 year ago
Woodworking Experience:
Great little tool for being the hobbyist that I am.
Add variable speed, charge minimal amount
April 20, 2020
6 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
Perfect Lathe for a novice and more
I've had the lathe for a few months now and turned a few ornements, handles, and a small tea bag holder. The lathe is solid, quiet and works great. Can't wait to try more projects. I just purchased the drill chuck so I'll be able to start turning pens and more.
March 1, 2020
8 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
Search no further
Just, awesome. Great starter lathe.
From a pruned pecan limb from last spring.
From a pruned pecan limb from last spring.
February 15, 2020
4 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
Love it for my first lathe
January 31, 2020
5 months ago
Love this tough little machine.
Done all I've asked of it.!!!!!
Overall good value for the price.
January 29, 2020
5 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
Nice lathe for what i want
I got this on sale. To turn small projects and could still turn chair/table legs. I'ts a "cast iron" heavy, so it stays put. Small enough to put on a workbench or even move around. Just a really sound small shop lathe for a very good price.
January 27, 2020
5 months ago
Excelsior Mini
I'm very pleased with it though I've only had it for a couple months. So far so good. As the name implies it's small. When hollowing a cylindrical bowl about 4" long I could barely fit the turning tool and had to work around the tail stock. I got the bed extension and would recommend that to any buyers.
January 23, 2020
5 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
This was a gift for my daughter that does a lot of very crafty stuff. She had not done anything with a lathe before but with the use of the wonderful machine and the tools that I also purchased at the same time she is turning out some great product that she sells on Amazon and at craft shows as well as our retail shop. A very great machine. Well made and she has had no problems with it. Thank you.
January 18, 2020
6 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
Great for beginners
This is my first lathe and so far I love it! Great for me as a beginner. I wish I would have picked one up sooner.
January 15, 2020
5 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
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Browse 103 questions Browse 103 questions and 274 answers
Why did you choose this?
Rockler Store
I want to learn how to use a lathe.
Michael D on Jun 2, 2020
Highly rated and was on sale!
MICHAEL W on May 31, 2020
I want to learn how to use a lathe.
Michael D on Jun 2, 2020
I have wanted to get into wood turning but have a small wood shop. I thought with this on sale and the great reviews it would be an ideal time to try my hand at it.
Paul S on Jun 1, 2020
Highly rated and was on sale!
MICHAEL W on May 31, 2020
looks like quality for price
albert b on May 30, 2020
I wanna turn all the wood!
Jacob B on May 29, 2020
Great reviews
Tariq J on May 29, 2020
I love the size and the addition of the bed extension so I can turn longer legs
john c on May 29, 2020
perfect size for my shop
Phillip N on May 7, 2020
On sale and looking for a quality starter lathe. Based on reviews, this is the machine I need
Ryan M on May 5, 2020
my son worked hard for it. He deserves a toy to play with.
James M on May 3, 2020
Needed a lathe
Johnathan N on Apr 7, 2020
Looks like a fun project
Scott G on Jan 21, 2020
It can do 10" diameter bowls
Elmer H on Dec 27, 2019
Good feedback on the product in the reviews.
Daniel S on Dec 21, 2019
Needed a smaller lathe, for smaller projects.
CHUCK C on Dec 20, 2019
Mostly due to Rockler's great rep, plus items on sale
Rich W on Dec 20, 2019
My husband has been wanting a lathe. The store employees were a great help in determining which one would suit my husbands needs and wants in a lathe.
Kate C on Dec 19, 2019
The product reviews indicated that this was a good starter lathe for pen turning
Al C on Dec 17, 2019
My 23 yr old son is finally becoming interested in woodworking and would like to try turning. Reviews for this lathe are very positive. Going to make a great Christmas gift!
Fred K on Dec 17, 2019
Fine quality and good price!
pinkchef on Dec 16, 2019
Present for my husband
JUDITH R on Dec 12, 2019
Reviews are favorable and space limitation
Francois P on Dec 12, 2019
Christmas gift
Lourie G on Dec 11, 2019
Price and reviews
Duane S on Dec 10, 2019
High quality and sale price made this a good choice.
Charla O on Dec 10, 2019
I was looking for a mini lathe for a beginner woodworker and felt this one was the best option.
Karen S on Dec 10, 2019
First time turner!! Great price and reviews!
Eric L on Dec 9, 2019
Present for my daughter who is a crafter and beginning woodworker
Jim M on Dec 7, 2019
Recommended as a good starter lathe for my daughter by a friend.
Christine S on Dec 6, 2019
Have wanted to get into lathe work for some time. The sale put me over the edge to start now.
Peter M on Dec 5, 2019
I was looking for a good, but inexpensive, starter lathe for my son. I've never had a problem with Rockler quality or customer service, so when I saw this one, I got it.
Terry Alexander B on Dec 5, 2019
The price is right and seems like an excellent lathe for beginners with limited shop space.
SCBill on Dec 4, 2019
Seemed like a good choice for a starter lathe. Always had good luck with Rockler
Nordraw on Dec 4, 2019
Requested by my husband. Found a good review.
Mary M on Dec 4, 2019
Great reviews, definitely great sale and price to start turning.
David W on Dec 4, 2019
see above
George T on Dec 2, 2019
Just purchased the mini-lathe and with this being on the same cyber Monday sale, just had to go ahead and get this also. I know it will add more versatility to the lathe.
James B on Dec 2, 2019
It was a great deal and has many ways to upgrade or use different accessories to make other projects.
Bryan Beverly R on Dec 1, 2019
The Excelsior Mini lathe was affordable and the reviews were really positive. I am a beginner and I believe this lathe is perfect for my needs.
Debra M on Dec 1, 2019
It looks like a good price
Lee M on Dec 1, 2019
Great value!
Brian S on Dec 1, 2019
Great starter lathe at the best price I could find!
Mike G on Nov 30, 2019
Recommended by a friend. Also Several good reviews. On sale.
Johanne P on Nov 29, 2019
This is the Lathe I have and purchased one for my brother in law for his enjoyment. A great hobby Lathe and nice for pen turning too!
Sid on Nov 29, 2019
My husband enjoys woodworking, bought it for christmas
Carolyn P on Nov 29, 2019
Reputation of company and YouTube reviews
Patrick L on Nov 29, 2019
My wife and I wanted to get into wood turning and it was on sale
Michael C on Nov 29, 2019
gift for my husband
Tracie L on Nov 29, 2019
Want to make pens and small turning projects.. Price was right and this should be perfect for what I want to do.
Erik T on Nov 28, 2019
I got it for my husband for Christmas
Wanda J J on Nov 22, 2019
I have wanted to get into wood turning but have a small wood shop. I thought with this on sale and the great reviews it would be an ideal time to try my hand at it.
Paul S on Jun 1, 2020
looks like quality for price
albert b on May 30, 2020
Will this fit the Excelsior Mini Lathe with the bed extension?
Rick on Nov 29, 2015
Excelsior Mini Lathe
Excelsior Mini Lathe
Lathe Duplicator
Lathe Duplicator
Bed Extension for Excelsior Mini Lathe MC-1018
Bed Extension for Excelsior Mini Lathe MC-1018
BEST ANSWER: Sorry no, this lathe duplicator is not compatible with the Excelsior mini lathe.
Where can I get parts?? In need of tailstock bolt
Trav T on Sep 21, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Rockler does carry extra parts for the Excelsior lathe, including the tailstock bolt.
Just give us a call at 1-800-279-4441 and we can help you
What 4 jaw chuck will fit this lathe?
A shopper on May 18, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Any chuck would work as long as is has a 1" 8 TPI.
I would recommend the Nova G3 Comet II Reversible Chuck Item #: 44597
After installing the jaws on it, you can screw it onto your lathe and start turning
Can you recommend an appropriate chisel set for this lathe? I'm a complete beginner, more interested in small bowls than in pens.
A shopper on Apr 24, 2015
BEST ANSWER: In my opinion so far, these Rockler carbide turning tools are ideal for a beginner like myself. I got them on sale recently which was great! The best part is that I never have to worry about sharpening, as the cutter heads have multiple cutting surfaces you can rotate through before eventually just replacing the tip. Carbide is built to last, so I'm not concerned about having to replace the tips very often at all, but time will tell. Lots of good tools out there I'm sure, but these are great.
Mini Ergonomic Carbide Turning Tools, 3-Piece Set
Mini Ergonomic Carbide Turning Tools, 3-Piece Set
Pen-Turning Ergonomic Carbide Turning Tools, 3-Piece Set
Pen-Turning Ergonomic Carbide Turning Tools, 3-Piece Set
I have been using this lathe for several months turning small bowls and wine stoppers'. I really like the performance but am concerned by how hot the motor gets in a very short period of time. So hot you really can not touch the motor casing. Is this normal?
Eric M on May 6, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Mine gets pretty hot also but hasn't caused any problems. I sometimes turn 3 or 4 hours at a time and there has been no problem with it overheating.
will the Rockler Router Speed Control, Item 25278 work with this lathe?
Jimmy D on May 27, 2015
BEST ANSWER: The speed control 25278 is only compatible with universal motors such as a router. The lathe has an induction motor so the speed control will not work with the lathe.
I'm looking for a present for my husbands birthday. He likes to work with wood and has made some rings and other pieces using his drill.. I don't know much about this stuff so is there a specific mandrel set for this particular lathe for ring/ jewelry making I can get?
Chash on Oct 13, 2018
BEST ANSWER: This is a great beginner's lathe and it will do all the pen projects and larger ones if he would need.
Is the motor reversible?
Chuck C on May 27, 2015
\Does this larhe come with the tool rest, chuck or any other item?
Buzzard on May 24, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Yes, it has a tool rest, drive center in the head stock and a center in the tail stock. All you need to add is the turning tools and you are set to go. It does not come with a chuch, but if you watch, you can pick them up on sale.
I would like to turn vessels, specifically urns at the maximum size which I guess is 10." I wouldn't be able to turn something that big because of the banjo, so is there a way that I could use a tool rest not attached to the lathe? Can this lathe handle something that size?
Stephen R on Nov 15, 2015
BEST ANSWER: I have not tried to turn anything larger than 8" and that was tough because of the banjo size. I have heard of after market products such as you are leaning towards. Myself, I would not want to try something free standing because of potential movement. I hope this has helped.
Inside the headstock there is play of about an inch of the drive pulley going back and forth. Is it supposed to be secure??
jim H on Apr 17, 2016
BEST ANSWER: You may have to tighten the screw that holds the pulley to the headstock shaft. Mine was loose but tightening it took care of the problem.
I'm going to build a new shop table for this lathe and optional extension. How long overall is it with extension ?
Michael S on Nov 5, 2015
BEST ANSWER: The length of the lathe with the extension is 52" long and the width is 8"
Is this lathe motor able to run with an external speed control?
Joe D on Nov 29, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I don't think you should put a speed control on a AC motor. I't could over heat. You will also loose power.
Do you have spare belts available? My belt is stretched after 8 years of using my Mpower lathe
Matt G on May 17, 2017
BEST ANSWER: yes we do, in fact the belt for this is item #29424
What extra items do I need to drill a pen blank with this lathe?
Tberry on Apr 3, 2017
BEST ANSWER: A Jacob's chuck to hold the bit, a chuck to hold the pen blank.
what is the working voltage of this lathe is it 220vac.?
Raja v on May 11, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Hello Raja , the working voltage on this lathe is 110vac.
What extras would you advise for newbie to purchase with this late. Tools, etc.?
Joseph R on Apr 2, 2017
BEST ANSWER: I am not am avid turner, turner, but I would purchase either Robert Sorby 3 piece pen turning set. If you are going to do a lot of turning I would purchase Rockler Carbide mini turning tool 3 piece. I would also purchase a Nova chuck G3. These tools should get you started off right.
Can you retrofit a variable speed controller?
Alan F on Jul 7, 2016
BEST ANSWER: You can use Penn State industry conversion kit to allow for variable speed motor and control. I have converted my lathe with this unit and love it
How big is the mini lathe?
A shopper on Jun 24, 2015
BEST ANSWER: The length is 29 inches, height is 14.5 inches and width is 7 inches. I bought the extension and that makes my lathe's overall length about 51 inches.
My lathe is running hot is that normal and ok for the motor?
A shopper on Jun 1, 2015
BEST ANSWER: I've noticed that using mine for extended periods of time will also leave the outside of the motor shield being hot as well. I haven't noticed any change in how well the machine works and I would imagine there is very little insulation to prevent the motor from heating up the outside of the motor cover. Just to be safe, I will occasionally brush any saw dust or shavings off of the top of the motor as they tend to bunch up right on top.
I've been turning my first bowl and I find the motor bogs down. It's 8.5" diameter. My tools are sharp and I'm trying to use a light touch. I checked the belt tension. Am I expecting too much from this size lathe?
Thomas J. S on Jun 11, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Maybe. I haven’t turned bowls and haven’t had problems. Two suggestions: Drop your speed and check out the Fine Woodworking video just released today on sharpening turning tools.
What type of Chuck can be used with the Excelsior lathe that can hold the outside of a wood wrapped ring? Outside diameter of the ring is aprox 1 inch or less
David B on Feb 25, 2018
BEST ANSWER: you will need to go to a smaller jaw on the chuck. Mine is a 4jaw nova chuck and I went to a smaller jaw. works good. I have not tried it on something that small. hope this helps
Which pen mandrel do i get for this lathe?
Brennan M on Dec 27, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I use the number 2 mandrel. Seems to work best with this lath and for all the pens I have made. At least that is my experience.
Can you remove dead center and put in drill chuck?
Patches S on Oct 11, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Not sure if you mean the 8 tpi head or not, but there is a live center in the tailstock. What I have used for a Jacobs chuck (drill chuck) is one that threads onto the 8 tpi headstock with reasonable success. There are other Jacobs chucks for the tailstock, but it would be stationary instead of turning like the one that threads onto the head.
Do you need to order any other part or adapter for it to be operational?
Chris L on May 9, 2020
BEST ANSWER: No - this lathe works right out of the box. Obviously you'll need turning tools, but as for parts or adapters, no. You'll probably want a jaw chuck really soon, but not necessary to get started. I've had this lathe for a couple of years now and have been very happy. It's my first lathe - really enjoying it.
Does this operate from standard house-hold current power (110-120v) or do I have to upgrade my power source?
Skeeter on Apr 28, 2017
BEST ANSWER: It runs on the standard electric. I have had this lathe for 2 years. Works great
I would like to have a drill chuck that fits the excelsior mini lathe. Is there one available?
Elwood on Feb 14, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Here is the link to rocklers web page with the chuck and the #2 taper you will need.
Does this fit on an Excelsior lathe?
Krifred on Dec 23, 2015
Excelsior Mini Lathe
Excelsior Mini Lathe
Nova Mini Step Jaw Set
Nova Mini Step Jaw Set
BEST ANSWER: Yes,these fit with the Nova G3 Insert Chuck and a 1 inch, 8tpi adapter. Alternatively, the Nova G3 Comet II Reversible Chuck, which comes with 1" 8-TPI RH/LH threading. Separately sold step Jaws comes with the necessary screws to attach to these chucks. I have used these jaws on both of the chucks mentioned above, on the Excelsior. They worked perfectly!!!
Nova G3 Comet II Reversible Chuck
Nova G3 Comet II Reversible Chuck
Nova SuperNova 2 Insert Chuck
Nova SuperNova 2 Insert Chuck
Nova Chuck Inserts/Adapters
Nova Chuck Inserts/Adapters
I got one of these, but the faceplate is stuck on - I am having trouble finding a tool suitable to hold the headstock spindle in place to un-freeze it. Any recommendations?
Gary S on May 1, 2020
BEST ANSWER: Try using tommy bars in the holes at the end of the spindle to hold the spindle while you lightly tap on the face plate to loosen from the spindle. Excelsior does not have a pin to lock the spindle.
MY tailstock broke, the cast iron from the lock lever to the open end of the tailstock broke off. How can I get a new one? Only had the lathe for a year. Disappointed in this purchase.
John H on Feb 7, 2020
BEST ANSWER: Please contact Rockler Product Support at 800-260-9663 for additional information on replacement parts for your Excelsior lathe.
Prop 65 WarningWARNING: Cancer & Reproductive Harm -

Prop 65 WarningWARNING: Drilling, sawing, sanding or machining wood products can expose you to wood dust, a substance known to the State of California to cause cancer. Avoid inhaling wood dust or use a dust mask or other safeguards for personal protection. For more information go to