Shop Fox W1758 – 16″ x 46″ 2 HP Variable-Speed Wood Lathe Review


Shifting from being a hobby woodworker to taking on more complex and demanding projects required me to reevaluate and enhance my toolkit to better align with my improving skills. Following an extensive period of research and careful consideration, I chose to purchase the Shop Fox W1758 – a 16″ x 46″ wood lathe with a 2 HP motor that offers variable speed controls.


  • Motor Specifications: 2 HP, 110V, single-phase, 14A
  • Variable Spindle Speeds: 600-2400 RPM
  • Swing Capacities: Over bed: 16″ – Over tool rest base (banjo): 13-1/2″
  • Distance Between Centers: 46″
  • Spindle Threads: 1″ x 8 TPI, right hand
  • Tailstock Taper: MT#2
  • Tool Rest Width: 11-7/8″
  • Tool Rest Post Diameter: 25mm
  • Footprint: 13-3/4″ x 54″
  • Overall Dimensions: 72-1/2″ L x 19″ W x 48″ H
  • Item Weight: 338 lbs.

This review aims to provide a detailed account of my direct experience with this lathe, focusing on its operational performance, its adaptability for various projects, and how it measures up against other similar tools available on the market. My goal is to furnish both experienced and novice woodturners with practical insights that could assist them in making a well-informed choice regarding their equipment needs.

Key Features:

  1. Variable Spindle Speed with Digital Readout: Enables precise control over the turning speed, ranging from 600 to 2400 RPM, with a digital display for accuracy.
  2. Tool Rest Swivel Arm Extension for Outboard Turning: Offers additional flexibility for larger projects by extending the tool rest, allowing for outboard turning outside the bed.
  3. Headstock Swivels for Outboard Turning: The headstock can be rotated, facilitating outboard turning and providing the capability to work on larger diameter pieces.
  4. Quick Lock/Release Levers for Tailstock and Headstock: These levers allow for rapid and secure positioning and adjustment of both the tailstock and headstock, enhancing workflow efficiency.
  5. Safety Paddle Switch with Removable Key: Incorporates a safety feature that prevents unauthorized or accidental use, ensuring the lathe can be quickly powered down in emergency situations and kept safe from unintended use with a removable key.

Shop Fox W1758 Quality and Visual Design

Upon first encountering the Shop Fox W1758, its substantial build immediately conveyed a sense of reliability and resilience. The lathe’s construction, featuring a cast iron bed, headstock, and tailstock, not only promises enduring durability but also ensures the machine’s stability during operation—a critical factor for achieving precision in woodturning.

Shop Fox W1758 wood lathe in a workshop setting

This solidity, derived from its approximate weight of 300 pounds, plays a pivotal role in minimizing vibration, an often overlooked but vital aspect of woodturning that affects the smoothness and accuracy of the workpiece. Despite its heft, the lathe remains manageable to reposition within the workshop, striking an ideal balance between a firm standing and maneuverability.

Shop Fox W1758 lathe positioned in a garage

This thoughtful design choice underscores the lathe’s commitment to both aesthetic and functional standards, showcasing a visual design that speaks to seasoned woodturners who appreciate the importance of a reliable tool in their crafting arsenal.

Shop Fox W1758 Performance and Versatility

The Shop Fox W1758’s performance is propelled by a robust 2 HP motor, complemented by a variable speed control that broadens the lathe’s operational range from 600 to 2400 RPM. This capacity to adjust speeds seamlessly is transformative, allowing for the precise tuning of the lathe to the specific demands of each project, whether it requires the delicate touch needed for crafting slender pens or the robust force for shaping large bowls.

Blurred motion of wood piece turning on a lathe

The addition of a digital readout for the RPM further enhances this aspect, offering pinpoint accuracy in speed adjustments and thereby elevating the overall quality of the finish on each piece. This precision not only elevates the final product but also mitigates the potential for errors, making the crafting process both more efficient and enjoyable.

Wooden bowl being shaped on a lathe

Moreover, the lathe’s swivel head feature introduces an unprecedented level of flexibility, enabling the turning of larger diameter pieces without the prerequisite of a more substantial lathe. This capability has significantly expanded the scope of possible projects, fostering creativity and exploration in larger-scale work while maintaining the precision and detail that define high-quality woodturning.

Shop Fox W1758 Capacity and Usability

The generous dimensions of the Shop Fox W1758, with a 16″ swing over bed and a 46″ distance between centers, provide a spacious platform for a diverse array of projects. This capacity marks a notable advancement from smaller lathes, accommodating everything from compact, intricate pieces to substantial, lengthy works with ease.

Measuring thickness of wood on Shop Fox W1758 lathe with digital caliper

The ability to handle such a wide range of project sizes without compromising on performance is a testament to the lathe’s thoughtful design and engineering. This versatility ensures that as my projects grow in ambition and complexity, the W1758 can rise to the challenge without the need for constant adjustments or compromises.

Shop Fox W1758 lathe with spindle and tailstock visible

The lathe’s capacity and usability converge to create a user experience that is both empowering and enabling, providing woodturners with the tools they need to push the boundaries of their craft. Whether tackling a new technique or taking on a larger-than-usual piece, the W1758 stands as a reliable partner, ready to facilitate the realization of creative visions with precision and ease.

Additional Features

The Shop Fox W1758 is equipped with several additional features that significantly enhance its usability and versatility, making it an even more valuable asset for woodturning projects:

  • Heavy-Duty Tool Rest: This feature provides a stable and reliable support for tools during operation, allowing for precise control and safety. Its robust design accommodates a wide range of tool sizes and shapes, ensuring compatibility with various woodturning techniques and styles.
  • Live Center in the Tailstock: The inclusion of a live center increases the lathe’s functionality, offering additional support for longer workpieces. This feature is crucial for maintaining accuracy and reducing wobble in extended projects, thereby improving the quality of the final product.
  • Faceplate for Bowl Turning: The provided faceplate is an essential accessory for bowl turning, facilitating the attachment of larger, non-spindle workpieces securely to the lathe. This expands the machine’s capability beyond traditional cylindrical turning, opening up possibilities for creative bowl designs and other faceplate-mounted projects.

Together, these additional features complement the W1758’s variable-speed capability, resulting in a comprehensive and adaptable tool setup right from the start. These enhancements not only improve the machine’s functionality but also its appeal to woodturners looking for a lathe that can grow with their evolving skills and project demands.

Review of Visual Design Principles

The Shop Fox W1758 excels not only in its functional attributes but also in its adherence to visual design principles, presenting a harmonious blend of aesthetics and utility. Its robust cast iron construction not only ensures durability and stability but also contributes to a visually appealing, professional appearance that speaks to the quality of the machine.

The thoughtful layout of controls and the digital readout integrate seamlessly into the design, enhancing usability without compromising the lathe’s sleek, industrial look. This careful consideration of visual design principles alongside operational functionality makes the W1758 a standout product, appealing to woodturners who value precision in both their craft and the tools they use to achieve it.

Pros and Cons


  • Sturdy build: Reduces vibration and enhances precision.
  • Variable speed with digital readout: Offers control and versatility for different projects.
  • Generous capacity: Accommodates a wide range of project sizes.
  • Swivel head: Allows for larger diameter projects without the need for a bigger lathe.


  • Weight: While its heft is a pro for stability, it can be a con for those with limited space or the need to move the lathe frequently.
  • Price: It’s an investment. For hobbyists, the price might be steep, but for serious woodturners, it’s a worthy investment.

Maintenance Procedures and Safety Management

Maintaining the Shop Fox W1758 wood lathe and managing safety effectively are crucial for ensuring both the longevity of the machine and the well-being of its users. Here are eight essential maintenance procedures and safety management practices:

  1. Regular Lubrication: Keep all moving parts of the lathe, including the spindle and tailstock, well-lubricated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This prevents wear and tear, ensuring smooth operation.
  2. Dust Management: Use a dust collector or regularly clean the lathe to remove wood chips and dust. Accumulation of debris can affect the lathe’s performance and pose a fire hazard.
  3. Check for Wear: Regularly inspect components for signs of wear or damage, such as belts, bearings, and the tool rest. Replace any worn or damaged parts promptly to maintain optimal performance and safety.
  4. Ensure Stability: Periodically check that the lathe is securely mounted to the bench or floor. A stable lathe reduces vibration, improves accuracy, and decreases the risk of accidents.
  5. Safety Equipment: Always wear appropriate safety equipment, including safety goggles, dust masks, and hearing protection, to guard against potential hazards like flying chips, dust, and noise.
  6. Use of Safety Paddle Switch: Familiarize yourself with the safety paddle switch, which allows for quick shutdown in emergency situations. Regularly check its functionality and ensure it is easily accessible during operation.
  7. Training and Knowledge: Ensure that all users have read the manual and understand the lathe’s features and safety procedures. Knowledge and proper training are key to preventing accidents and injuries.
  8. Avoid Loose Clothing and Jewelry: When operating the lathe, avoid wearing loose clothing, gloves, jewelry, or anything that could become entangled in the machine. Keeping the work area clear and wearing fitted clothing can significantly reduce the risk of accidents.

By adhering to these maintenance procedures and safety management practices, users of the Shop Fox W1758 can enjoy a safe working environment while extending the lifespan and maintaining the performance of their wood lathe.


The Shop Fox W1758 has been a significant upgrade to my woodworking arsenal. Its robust build, variable speed control, and generous capacity have allowed me to expand the scope of my projects and improve the quality of my work. While the price and weight might be considerations for some, the investment has paid off in terms of the capability and versatility it adds to my workshop.

For anyone serious about woodturning, looking for a lathe that combines power, precision, and versatility, the Shop Fox W1758 is an excellent choice. It’s a machine that grows with you, capable of handling both the learning curve of beginners and the demands of experienced craftsmen. In my book, it’s the best overall for those ready to take their woodworking to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the horsepower of the Shop Fox W1758 motor?
    The Shop Fox W1758 is equipped with a 2 HP, 110V, single-phase motor.
  2. Can the spindle speed be adjusted?
    Yes, the lathe features variable spindle speeds ranging from 600 to 2400 RPM, allowing for precise control over your projects.
  3. What is the maximum swing over bed on this lathe?
    The maximum swing over bed is 16 inches, accommodating a wide range of project sizes.
  4. Does the headstock swivel for outboard turning?
    Yes, the headstock can swivel, enabling outboard turning which is great for working on larger diameter pieces.
  5. What type of taper does the spindle and tailstock have?
    Both the spindle and the tailstock are equipped with an MT#2 taper.
  6. What is the distance between centers?
    The distance between centers on the W1758 is 46 inches, providing ample space for larger workpieces.
  7. Does it come with a tool rest, and if so, what is its size?
    Yes, it includes a heavy-duty tool rest, which is 11-7/8 inches wide.
  8. Is there a digital readout for the spindle speed?
    Yes, the lathe features a digital readout for accurately monitoring the spindle speed.
  9. What are the overall dimensions and weight of the lathe?
    The overall dimensions are 72-1/2″ L x 19″ W x 48″ H, with an approximate shipping weight of 338 lbs.
  10. What safety features are included with the Shop Fox W1758?
    The lathe includes a safety paddle switch with a removable key to prevent unauthorized use and allow for quick shutdown in emergencies.

We’d love to get your input! If you’ve used the Shop Fox W1758 – 16″ x 46″ 2 HP Variable-Speed Wood Lathe, please take a moment to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Your feedback is incredibly valuable to fellow craftsmen and those considering this tool, helping them make informed choices based on your personal insights. Let’s support our woodworking community by sharing our knowledge and experiences!

Edward Smith
Edward Smith
Forestry Author

Woodworking is about more than crafting; it's a harmonious connection with nature, mastering tools, and preserving our environment. I'm here to share my knowledge and experiences with you, forging a future where we can embrace wood's beauty and utility while safeguarding our forests' health and diversity.


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