Enter the total diameter of the bowl or turning piece into the calculator to estimate the proper lathe speed.

Wood Lathe Speed Formula

The following formula is used to estimate the correct wood lathe speed.

WLS = 9000/D

  • Where WLS is the wood lathe speed (RPM)
  • D is the diameter of the work piece (in)

To calculate the wood lathe speed, divide 9000 by the diameter of the piece in inches.

What is a wood lathe speed?


A wood lathe speed is a measure of the rotations per minute, or RPM that a wood lathe should run at for proper working conditions.

How to calculate a wood lathe speed?

Example Problem:

The following example outlines how to calculate a wood lathe speed.

First, determine the diameter of the bowl/work piece.

In this example, the bowl is measured to be 12 inches in diameter.

Next, the final and last step is to use the formula above to calculate the wood lathe speed.

WLS = 9000/D

WLS = 9000/12

WLS = 750 RPM