Rockler Excelsior 5-Speed Mini Lathe Review

The Rockler Excelsior 5-speed mini lathe is built-in materials of cast-iron and is powered by ½ powerful horsepower, perfect for any woodworking from professionals to beginners. It is a great device that can work with chair legs, small table legs, and other decorative turnings. Despite its being a small model, it can work with big capabilities just like a regular-sized lathe found in the market.

Since 1954, Rockler has been producing quality woodwork tools enough to get its name be trusted. This version of a mini lathe has satisfied a lot of customers, and has been continuing to perform excellently.

In this review, you will be given the features and specifications, as well the possible cons of the Rockler Excelsior 5-speed mini lathe. This is to help you have an in-depth view of the product before actually buying it. Without further ado, here are the important features that you have to know about this product.

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Durable Cast-Iron Construction

Since the product is largely made of durable cast-iron, it is intended for long-lasting life while giving high quality performance. Its headstock, which is fixed in place, is also made of cast iron. This kind of construction is the ideal for every midi lathe because it is durable and convenient.

With its standard configuration, this midi lathe can turn bowls even 10 inches in diameter; its spindles measure up to 17-3/4 long. Paired with the cast iron construction and these added features, the Rockler Excelsior mini lathe is not only durable but also versatile.

Manual Speed Change In 5 Different Speeds

For added control of the machine, there user can easily change the speed by selecting from the five different speeds available: 760, 110, 1600, 2200, and 3200 revolutions per minute (RPM). These choices for speed shows that the device is great for any wood work, since there is different speed needed for each task. Although it is manual, it still does perform well and can be used with so much ease as compared to the variable ones.

To be able to make speed changes, move the drive belt within the headstock. This belt can be relaxed just by adjusting the motor with a front-mounted locking lever.

Rockler Excelsior Features

Because there’s just a lot that this mini lathe offers, the two key features are not enough to sum it all up. Here are more specifications that you have to know about the Rockler Excelsior mini lathe:

  • ½ horsepower motor built for powerful performance and excellent solid base
  • Has a special ball-bearing knockout bar for spur center
  • Offers an additional bed extension and between centers capacity that is 38-1/2 inches wide
  • Easy to use on and off switch that comes with a removable key
  • Non-clip rubber feet for ensured stability while working
  • Manual speed change available in 5 different speeds
  • Headstock and tailstock in #2 Morse tapers for different accessories
  • Knockout rods that frees the headstock tooling
  • 3 inches face plate included in the set
  • 6 inches tool rest that can mount to a cast iron
  • Not painted, it is a sturdy chrome-plated hardware

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Rockler Excelsior Reviews

Gathering an overall product rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars (at the time of this writing), the Rockler Excelsior 5-speed mini lathe has proven to be satisfying to most customers. Majority of the customer reviews in Amazon are ranging from 4 to 5 stars. This number of positive reviews only proves that the product is able to meet the standards of the customers.

According to one customer, the product is great and highly recommended. It is an excellent machine for wood turning. It is great especially that its spindles are really running as well as the tailstock. The parts are also locked down tight. The changing of speeds is a little slow since it is manual, but is it very easy to do; it just takes a little time to be done. Another good thing is that the machine comes with tons of accessories that are all useful for getting any wood work done with ease.

Things to Improve

For some users, the Rockler Excelsior mini lathe is heavier than expected. It may be small in measure but it is heavy in weight, which means that it cannot be easily carried and transferred from one place to another. So it is best to observe proper caution when handling the machine. The instructions in the manual are also not well-written. Most customers just tend to search over the internet about the product and how it works.


The Rockler Excelsior mini lathe is indeed among the top grade woodworking machines available in today’s market. It is sturdy, well-built, and has a number of excellent features perfect for any type of wood work. This machine goes well with professionals and beginners since it is very easy to use.

Coming from a trusted company, this mini lathe is indeed a great find for any of your woodworking needs. Read more about best wood lathe reviews, or check out the wood planer section.

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