News & Events

Different Types CNC Lathes

  1. Standard 2-Axis
  2. 3-Axis With Milling
  3. Multi Axis (Sub spindle/Dual Turret)
  4. Chucking (No Tailstock)
  5. Flat Bed
  6. Big Bore/Oil Country/Hollow Spindle
  7. Axis Definitions


standard lathe is used for removing material from a part by using a variety of tooling and cutters depending on the specific result the operator is looking to achieve. Standard 2-axis CNC lathes use O.D. tooling to remove material from the outside of the part and Boring Bar holders to remove material from the center. Generally, CNC Lathes have a single spindle, a turret and a tailstock. The length, diameter, and weight of the part being turned can make the overall capacity of the lathe vary.

There are many brands that manufacture CNC Lathes. Among those are OkumaMazakHaasDaewooDoosanHardingeHwacheonJohnford, Ikegai, Hyndai Wia, Leadwell, Milltronics, DMG , Mori Seiki and many others.

Things to consider when inspecting a CNC lathe:

cnc lathe
Checking the electrical cabinet for any obvious repairs, changes or add-ons as well as its overall state of maintenance is crucial to a CNC lathe’s overall condition. Is it clean and neat? Is it dirty with loose wiring and missing/damaged components?

Listening to the machine running can tell you a lot about the condition of the lathe. The sound of the spindle can alert you to bearing issues, belt wear and other common wear-issues. Once you know how the machine sounds, it’s important to inspect the turret to see if the turret seats properly when it is indexed or does it retract out of balance? Are there any signs of a previous crash, as well as dings, marks or divots in the turret itself? You also want to check if the turret indexes smoothly and sound quiet.

It’s also necessary to know the way surface condition when inspecting CNC lathes. Make sure to check if the ways are getting good lubrication and are not dry, and see if there are any wear marks visible. The ways should be shiny, smooth and have a good amount of oil on them.

cnc controlThere are many different CNC control manufacturers on the market including: Fanuc, Mitsubishi, Haas, Okuma OSP and more. So considering the CNC Control is essential when inspecting a CNC lathe. It is important to pull the hours on the lathe. This will give you an indication of the number of shifts the lathe typically ran. Keep in mind however, that hours don’t tell the whole story – a machine that has a lower amount of hours might not be as well maintained, whereas a lathe that logged a lot of hours can still be in great condition through regular maintenance.


3-Axis CNC Lathe is similar to the 2-Axis, but adds the live tooling – or milling – feature. The 3-axis CNC lathe allows the operator to do standard lathe work with the option to mill and drill the part, as well as using a high-speed live tool, kind of like having two machines in one.

There are different types of live tool holders, ranging from radial (90° head) and axial (straight thru) styles. There are two configurations when mounting these holders to the turret – either on the outside edge of the turret or on the face of the turret. Live tool holders can also be offered in single spindle, dual spindle or multi-spindle configurations.


multi spindle/dual turretAnother style of CNC Lathe, is a multi-spindle/dual turret lathe, which have two spindles and two turrets. A multi-spindle lathe can have either a dual spindle, meaning two spindles of equal size and power, or a sub-spindle, meaning that the spindle to the right is usually smaller in capacity and horsepower. Because of the two spindles and turrets, this allows the operator to turn both sides of the part in 1 operation, rather than turning one side, removing it and putting it back in the lathe to do turn the other side.

Most configurations allow for the part to be automatically passed off between the two opposed spindles. The operator can do both sides of the part without the need to set the part up a second time. There are two turrets an upper and lower – one being used for the left spindle and the other for the right. They can include live tooling on either one or both of these turrets. Many times this style of lathe also includes a bar feed interface to allow automatic loading of the bar stock for higher production jobs. Overall, this style of lathe allows multiple operations in a single setup, which helps reduce set up times and also increase accuracy.


Chucking CNC Lathe is a lathe that has no tailstock, it’s generally used for small second operation turning. Chucking lathes have a smaller capacity than a standard 2-Axis Lathe, and have a standard turret or gang-style tooling. Parts run on a chucker are usually short and small due to its lack of a tailstock for support of the part.

flat bed cnc lathe


Flat Bed CNC Lathes offer a removable gap for larger turning diameters. Flat Beds however, do not have the typical 30° or 45° slant bed that a CNC Lathe is known for. Instead, they offer more open space for loading large, oversized parts. Brands such as Southwestern Industries make flatbed lathes that offer manual and CNC control in a machine. This helps for small production runs or simple one part projects. Flatbed CNC lathes are often less expensive than their slant bed counterparts.


Big Bore or Oil Field Lathe is a lathe with a large bore size that is typically 6” or larger. The oil field industry generally requires turning of large diameter parts such as rollers, flanges, shafts, pipes, etc. This style of lathe is also used in industries such as paper mills, ship building and repair, textile and energy applications. Due to the work these lathes generally do, they tend to have longer bed lengths (120”+) and many will also feature an outboard chuck mounted on the left side of the spindle.


The movements of a CNC Lathe are defined by “Axis”. There are multiple variations for the term, below are some of the more common definitions for Axis Types:

X-Axis: The movement perpendicular to the spindle.

Z-Axis: The longitudinal movement of the turret.

Y-Axis: Vertical movement for milling/drilling operations.

C-Axis: This axis uses the spindle to position the part in the chuck at a specific degree.

What to Consider When Buying a Used CNC Machine

When buying a used CNC machine, you would want to consider a few things before buying and make sure that it can provide all the needs that your shop needs. Here are some of the things you want to consider before committing to buying a used CNC machine. Tolerance – Tolerance refers to the acceptable […]

How To Maintain Your CNC Machine Tools

A CNC machine could be very costly if the machine is not maintained properly. When purchasing a CNC machine, it is important to know how to take proper care of the machine. Maintaining it could save the engineer and company from spending and replacing parts of the machine, and it could help the machine to […]

The Benefits of Purchasing Used Machinery

Computer Numerical Control(CNC) machining is a manufacturing process in which pre-programmed software dictates the movement of factory machinery. CNC Machines are used to create parts and components for almost every industry. This helps the modern-day manufacturing with its high productivity and fast relying method. There are a lot of advantages and benefits this machine could […]

What Are The Uses Of CNC Machines

Evolving from the numerical control machining process which utilized punched tape cards, CNC machining is a manufacturing process that utilizes computerized controls to operate and manipulate machine and cutting tools to shape stock material such as metal, plastic, wood, foam, composite, etc. into custom parts and designs. While the CNC machining process offers various capabilities […]

How To Avoid Issues With Used CNC Machines

CNC machining is a metal fabrication method where written code controls the machinery in the manufacturing process. The code determines everything from the movement of the cutting head and the part to spindle speed, RPMs, etc. CNC machines are rather expensive so most shop owners buy used CNC machines. You can save a large amount […]

How to Choose Your CNC Machine

CNC (Computer Numerical Control) is an automated control of machining tools such as drills, lathes, mills, and 3D printers using a computer. It takes digitized data and is controlled, automated, and monitored by a computer and CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) program. CNC machining uses highly detailed programming operations. These machines follow instructions without allowing any unwanted […]

The Best CNC Brands

A CNC (computer numerical control) machine is a machine tool that is controlled by a coded program with instructions to cut and move material. There are many types of CNC Machines, such as milling machines, lathes, routers, grinders, lasers, waterjet cutters and sheet metal stamping machines. With the variety of CNC Machines, it’s easy to […]

The History of The Lathe Machine

One of the oldest tools used by machining services is called the Lathe. It is a tool believed to have been created by the ancient Egyptians back in 1300 BC. It is known as the mother of machine tools, as it was the first machine tool that led to the invention of other machine tools. […]

What Is CNC?

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control is an automated control of machining tools such as; drills, lathes, mills, and 3D printers using a computer. It takes digitized data and is controlled, automated and monitored by a computer and CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) program. CNC machines are fully automated, needing only digital files with instructions about cutting […]

Comparing Different Types of CNC Machines

Since CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines are broadly used in the manufacturing industry, it also plays an important role in the manufacturing industry. It uses CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) software to enable users to create wealth for both industrial and creative products. The types of CNC machines can be classified into the […]

Understanding CNC Milling

Milling is the process of machining using rotary cutters to remove material by advancing a cutter into a workpiece. It covers a wide variety of different operations and machines, on scales from small individual parts to large, heavy-duty gang milling operations. A milling machine is operated manually or through CNC (Computer Numerical Control). CNC Milling […]

History of Makino

Makino (Makino Milling Machine Company) developed Japan’s first numerically controlled (NC) milling machine in 1958 By Tsunezo Makino. It was established on May 1, 1937, and by 1966 it established Japan’s first machining center 1966. It was headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Makino introduced game-changing solutions for performance. The company was first known as Makino Iron […]

5-Axis CNC Machining

What is 5-axis CNC machining? How does it work and benefit your business? What is the best 5 axis CNC machine you can get? A 5 axis CNC machine is a machine that has the ability to move a tool or a part in five different axes simultaneously. It enables the machining of very complex […]

Vertical Machining Center Features For Improving Productivity

A Vertical Machine Center is a spindle with a vertical orientation. With a vertically oriented spindle, tools stick straight down from the tool holder and often cut across the top of a workpiece. It improves metal removal rates and reduces parasitic non-cutting time and eliminates unnecessary interruptions to production. The difference between a Horizontal Machine […]

History of Haas

Haas Automation, Inc started in 1983 by its founder Gene Haas. Eugene “Gene” Francis Haas (born November 12, 1952) is the founder, president, and sole stockholder of Haas Automation, a CNC machine tool manufacturer. The company also has a presence in motorsports, having founded NASCAR team Haas CNC Racing (now known as Stewart-Haas Racing) and […]

Product Overview of DMG Mori Seiki CNC Machines

CNC Milling Machine – Milling is a process performed with a machine in which the cutters rotate to remove the material from the workpiece present in the direction of the angle with the tool axis. DMG Mori has 7 types of CNC milling machines, and as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of machine tools, […]

History of Mazak

Mazak Corporation started in Nagoya, Japan in 1919 founded by Sadakichi Yamazaki. The company started as a small company making pots and pans. In the 1920s the company elevated from mat-making machinery to woodworking machinery, then to metalworking machine tools. It was one of the companies that were part of Japan’s industrial build-up before WWII. […]

History of Doosan and The Puma Turning Center

What is the history of Doosan? How did they become successful in their field? Who founded it and what’s its vision? We answer these questions as we dive into the history of the company. Doosan is a combined word of “doo” (unit of grain) and “san” ( mountain). If combined means “little grains of sand […]

Machine Tool Tips Every Machinist Should Know

Having the right tools makes all the difference in getting the job done quickly and correctly. No one wants to start a new machine shop or a new job as a machinist without the proper equipment, knowing the maintenance routine, and even without the help of the internet. Here are some Machine Tool tips for […]

Buying Guide For Used CNC Lathes

We’ve previously covered what CNC Lathes are, but now you want to buy one. You can save a fortune when buying a used CNC Lathe machine, often it’s a smarter and more economical choice. So what should you consider when buying used CNC Lathes? We need to make sure that it is worthy of the […]