How to Use Wood Lathe Tools

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Things You'll Need

  • Gloves

  • Wood-turning Gouges & Tools

  • Goggles

Use Wood Lathe Tools

A lathe wood turning kit requires an accurate set of tools. Learning to use these tools is essential in the proper operation of a wood lathe. The tool kit includes gouges, skews, parting tools, spear points, calipers, dividers, and rulers. Each tool has a certain function for different projects. Where to place the tools while working, how to hold the tools while turning, and a general information guide are included in the steps that follow. If you are thinking about acquiring a wood lathe and you need simple guildelines for how to use the tools, read on.

Step 1

Sharpen your wood lathe tools. Sharp tools work better and create higher quality cuts.

Step 2

Hold the wood lathe tools in your right hand firmly, but not overly tight. The right hand should be held secure at the back end of the tool.

Step 3

Use the left hand to guide the tool by holding your hand over the tool near the blade edge. Rest your little finger and the back of your palm on the tool rest, located in the center of your wood lathe machine.

Step 4

Lay your lathe tools on the tool rest, positioned at an angle; the cutting edge above the cylinder. Firmly support the tool with both hands. Let the wood come to the tool for best results.

Step 5

Place the first cut at least an inch from the end to prevent your lathe tool from catching. This could cause your wood to split or the tool to be thrown from your hands.


Wear gloves and eye goggles when working with any wood tools.


When using wood lathe tools, never grab a tool by the left hand. When using a chisel try not to cut too deep, as this will cause the tool to burn.