Lathes are one of the top machines purchased second-hand. These machines have the capability to last over a decade and save you thousands as well if you buy used. Lathes, especially CNC, are quite expensive with some going for over $100,000. With almost everything online these days, it is easier than ever to find the machine that is the perfect fit for your shop. Below we will go over some basic tips on what to know when looking for a second-hand lathe for sale!


  • Request video and pictures of the machine– This helps give you an idea of the machines overall condition before you even set up an in-person visit. A video of the machine running will be essential if you cannot make a trip to see the machine.
  • Try to schedule an in person visit before committing to the purchase. – You can have a professional inspector help you with this if need be. Sometimes this is not possible depending on time or how far the machine is from you. It would be preferred but if it is not possible, video and pictures should suffice.
  • Check specific components that are prone to wear and tear. – There are specific components related to the type of Lathe you are purchasing that should be inspected prior to purchase. An example is the spindle, which is critical to a Lathe machine. You would want to run the spindle at high speed to see if you can catch any odd noises. Another example are the bed ways as they are responsible for the accuracy of the cuts. This part of the machine should be parallel so that the carriage is able to also move with the axis of the spindle. Keep in mind, it is normal to have wear and tear on these components with a used machine. You just want to make sure the wear is not so severe that it would impact the machines performance.
  • What type of lathe machine is it? -There are several types of Lathes available. There are Manual Lathes (although not as popular today as CNC Lathes are), as well as various CNC Lathes such as Vertical Turret Lathes, Swiss Lathes, Engine Lathes and Multi-Axis Lathes. Most Lathe machines that are sold today are CNC, which would be great asset to your manufacturing facility as it increases productivity.
  •  How old is the Lathe and how many hours has it logged? -Lathe machines will last decades if they were well taken care of. You will have to keep an open mind because used machines will sometimes have high hours logged. If the machine has a CNC system, you should be able to keep it up to date with the latest software.
  • Are there maintenance records for the Lathe?- Following the above, this is also important to have so that you can see if the machine was well maintained. It can also put your mind at ease that the used machine will be able to perform for many more years to come.
  • Does it have a CNC system? (Computer Numerical Control) -CNC Lathe machines are preferred in the manufacturing industry as they automate jobs and are great for mass production.  
  • What are the costs to transport this machine to you if need be? You will want to make sure you understand the full cost of purchasing the machine, including the cost of transporting it to your facility.
  • Does it meet OSHA regulations or your company’s safety regulations? This would be something that could come up if it is an older manual Lathe machine. CNC Lathe machines should not have an issue meeting safety regulations.

     With all of the above in mind, make sure to find a reputable used machinery dealer to assist in your search for a used Lathe machine. We here at Revelation Machinery have a large selection of used machinery and can offer top quality industrial equipment. Our team is experienced and ready to help your company find the right machine for your facility. Contact us and let us know how we can assist with your machinery needs!

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