Lidl Parkside Lathe

For those who don’t live in the EU, there’s a chain of shops here called Lidl who do your normal groceries – veg, meat, frozen goods, dairy, soft drinks, biscuits, cereals, alcohol, baby stuff and cleaning stuff and some pharmaceuticals, but they also have “the magic aisle” where they do an impression of aliexpress every week with varying themes. This week, it was DIY and… well…

So, some expectations. This thing cost €80. It is not a mini-lathe 😀 It is not going to be keeping Record Power execs up at night. The Carpentry Store has nothing to worry about here.

BTW, you can get the full manual here.

However, I expect it to be underpowered enough that I can’t completely remove my fingers with it; and to have just about enough power and capacity to turn a replacement chisel handle and maybe some drawer pulls if I’m lucky. It claims it can turn bowls. I think they mean bowl as in sugar bowl, and I don’t think it’ll have the power for it, but just in case I did order a 3″ chuck today off Rutlands (I was buying an upgraded dust extractor in the black friday sales, but more on that when it gets here). It was an ex-demo chuck so I got it for half price, and I figure it’ll still be a waste but at some point I’ll probably get a real mini-lathe and I might be able to use it on that. Otherwise, well, feck, I’d waste more money smoking I guess.

Small safety note – there’s an unmarked box in the larger box that contains the chisels. That small thin baggie is the only thing between the chisel edge and your fingers if you open the wrong end and you’ve a fifty-fifty chance of that, so if you open the wrong end and tip the contents into your hand, well, it’s gonna hurt a bit.

I mean, it’s quite blunt, you’re not going to be nailed to the bench here, but still. Minus one point there lads, not cool.

The faceplate is pure pot metal, I’d be afraid to drop this thing on the floor lest it snap. The thread is M18 with a 1.5 pitch thread. Not sure how that’ll line up with a 3/4″x1.5 pitch thread like the adapter on that chuck but I guess I’ll find out. Not well I’m guessing.

This looks better than it is, the tailstock is all over the place until you lock it down, which is done with a bolt instead of a cam, so you can align it manually, which of course means you can completely fail to align it manually as well. There’s around 3-4mm of misalignment possible.

Right, well, might as well lose a finger. Small tiny 2cmx2cm spindle of cheap pine. Safety squints on (and glasses and ear defenders and no rings or loose sleeves).

It is loud. It vibrates a lot. It is underpowered. The chisels are remarkably dull to the point where my penknife would cut better. And I haven’t a notion of what I’m doing, obviously.


Still though. That’s a lot of fun for €80 😀

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  1. – “It vibrates a lot”
    Also when running without a blank?
    – 550 W is 0.75 CV which is more than a treadle lathe.
    – on the Lidl web site it is advertised at 99.99 €; let’s say 100. Our government (Be) has decided that when you pay with cash the total bill is rounded to the nearest 0.05€. (but you can use 0.01 and 0.02 coins until they are suppressed at EU level)
    – You could try to clamp it between a dog and the end vise.
    – one day, I might try to make this:

  2. Nothing like a new tool – good or bad – to get you to learn a bit. My bungee lathe, while not a good lathe at all (and my skills are commensurate with that), allows me to do things I couldn’t do before. I hope your lathe gives you some new capabilities.

  3. So in order:
    – it doesn’t vibrate that much when running without a blank, but that was a realllly light blank.
    – it claims 550W, but I suspect that’s how much power it draws and doesn’t translate well to how much energy there is at the chuck. I strongly suspect I could stall that motor by grabbing the blank, not that I plan to try 🙂
    – I don’t know why they have €99 on the website, it was €79.99 on the website and that’s what I paid.
    – I like Maguire’s plan and Ron Ayler ( has a nice design for a spring-pole lathe with the spring pole beneath the table which is nice and compact; but even those designs would not fit into my shed, that lidl one is actually getting on for too big itself. A proper electrical mini lathe would fit; but only if I gave up doing anything else forever, which I don’t want to do.

    Really do want though to stress that I’m not trusting this thing as far as I can throw it at the moment. This was a spur-of-the-moment bit of messing about and at the moment I don’t even plan to keep this thing forever. I’m going to mess with it for a while, and unless it shows it can actually do something useful, I’ll get rid of it. And I’m not treating it as very safe either 😀

  4. Hi.i am a joiner by trade and yes this is only a light machine.but a young nephew of mine bought one a few weeks ago.the gouges are not great but you would be surprised what little projects he has made with it..ok if you have plenty of money buy a quality lathe..but for a starter lathe this is a good investment for the money

  5. I dunno about plenty of money Dominic, but I had a few years worth of birthday and xmas presents saved up in the form of gift vouchers for the Carpentry Store out in Naas and I went out there over the break and bought a mini lathe, one of the axminister ones, and Herself booked me into a course locally as an xmas present so I’ll keep playing with this one for a while, but I think that one will take over once I get it installed…

  6. ASlan Mc Cabe

    Any news on the chuck, did it fit. I would love to buy a chuck for my parkside lathe but I have no idea of what size to get,

  7. […] the last time I played with this was before anyone knew what Covid was, so it’s been a while. And at that point, I had not […]

  8. What kind of things will it do successfully please. It’s on again next Monday in Lidl but don’t wish to waste money if it’s not productive.

  9. Honestly Carol, I can’t think of anything it can do successfully. For the same price you could find an old second-hand minilathe that could do everything you’d ever need unless you became a professional turner, but this thing is just not up to doing anything other than making noise.

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