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CNC Lathe Machine – BUYER’s GUIDE


October 21, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ CNC Machine


large horizontal cnc lathe

CNC Lathe Machine

Note: if you already know cnc lathe (CNC turning machine), you can skip the introduction and jump right to our advice on how to choose a cnc lathe, and our list of metal lathe manufacturers.

A lathe is a machine that holds and spins a workpiece by its main spindle, while feeding a set of tools on a turret along linear axis X, Y, Z, to cut the various surfaces of the workpiece, including its inner diameters, outer diameters, end face, holes, threads, etc, corresponding to the cutting operations of turning, facing, drilling, threading. Because a lathe is rotating the workpiece to perform the cutting, it is also called a turning machine.

Lathe machine

A conventional lathe machine with headstock, chucks, turret, guideways

A lathe equipped with computer numerical control system is a CNC lathe, or a cnc turning machine.

The turning of component is accomplished by inserting the component into the hollow center of the main spindle, then tightening it with chucks. This way, when the spindle is spinning at appropriate speed and torque, the workpiece will be spun with it. When cutting tools are fed into the spinning workpiece, they perform cuttings of its materials.

lathe cutting

Cutting of metal components with lathe chucks, turrets, cutters

A lathe can be as small as a mini lathe operating on a desktop, as big as a heavy duty lathe turning a steel component of tons of weight. A lathe can have horizontal spindle (horizontal lathe) or vertical spindle (vertical lathe), it can also have multiple spindles (multi spindle lathe). A lathe can cut workpiece of different materials – wood (wood lathe), metal and alloys (metal lathe), plastics, composites etc.

A cnc lathe can be upgraded to a cnc turning center by integrating automated workpiece load/unload, automatic tool change, 3 axis or 5 axis simultaneous control, and multiple machining operations ( turning, drilling, facing, grinding etc.) into one machine.

large horizontal cnc lathe

A horizontal cnc lathe

Table of content
1. What is a lathe
1.1 Turning as a process
1.2 Materials to cut
1.3 Purpose of turning
1.4 Construction of a lathe machine
1.5 Lathe tools
1.6 Turning center
2. Types of lathe machine
2.1 CNC lathe vs manual lathe
2.2 Metal lathe vs wood lathe
2.3 General lathe vs special purpose lathe
2.4 Single spindle lathe vs multi spindle lathe
2.5 Lathe vs turning center
2.6 Vertical lathe vs horizontal lathe
2.7 Micro lathe vs heavy duty lathe
3. Applications of cnc lathe machine
3.1 Make industrial components
3.2 Make consumer components
4. Typical industries that use cnc lathe
4.1 Machinery building
4.2 Aircraft, aerospace
4.3 Automobile, vehicle, locomotives
4.4 Power plant
4.5 Chemical industry
4.6 Defense industry
4.7 Shipbuilding
4.8 Toolmaking
4.9 Home appliance
4.10 Consumer products
4.11 Woodworking
5. How to choose a CNC lathe machine
5.1 Key considerations
5.2 Quality lathe machine parts
5.3 Experienced lathe manufacturer
5.4 Rich application knowledge
5.5 Lathe accuracy, other specs
5.6 Lathe Tools
5.7 Lathe spare parts
5.8 Service
5.9 See lathe machine in action
5.10 Collect user feedback
5.11 Compare
5.12 Price
5.13 Terms
5.14 Checklist
6. CNC metal lathe manufacturers
7. CNC wood lathe manufacturers
8. Review a lathe machine
9. Your feedback
10. Additional resource

1. What is a lathe

A lathe is a machine that holds and spins a workpiece by its main spindle, while feeding a set of tools on a turret along linear axis X, Y, Z, to cut the various surfaces of the workpiece, including its inner diameters, outer diameters, end face, holes, threads, etc, corresponding to the cutting operations of turning, facing, drilling, threading. Because a lathe is rotating the workpiece to perform the cutting, it is also called a turning machine.

A lathe equipped with computer numerical control system is a CNC lathe, or a cnc turning machine.

The turning of component is accomplished by inserting the component into the hollow center of the main spindle, then tightening it with chucks. This way, when the spindle is spinning at appropriate speed and torque, the workpiece will be spun with it. When cutting tools are fed into the spinning workpiece, they perform cuttings of its materials.

A lathe can be as small as a mini lathe operating on a desktop, as big as a heavy duty lathe turning a steel component of tons of weight. A lathe can have horizontal spindle (horizontal lathe) or vertical spindle (vertical lathe), it can also have multiple spindles (multi spindle lathe). A lathe can cut workpiece of different materials – wood (wood lathe), metal and alloys (metal lathe), plastics, composites etc.

A cnc lathe can be upgraded to a cnc turning center by integrating automated workpiece load/unload, automatic tool change, 3 axis or 5 axis simultaneous control, and multiple machining operations ( turning, drilling, facing, grinding etc.) into one machine.

1.1 Turning as a process

Turning process refers to turning the workpiece by a lathe spindle. The lathe spindle is driven by its motor and gearbox to achieve the desire power, torque, and speed, it also holds the workpiece tight by some holding devices, so when the spindle rotates, it spins the workpiece too. While the workpiece is spinning, a cutting tool is fed to contact the surface of it to perform the cutting of its end face, inner diameters, outer diameters, threads, etc. So the workpiece is turning while the cuttings tools are moving along the linear axis to cut the components to its desired shape, dimensions, and surface finish quality.

lathe turning a shaft

A cnc heavy duty lathe turning a axle component

1.2 Materials to cut

The lathe is widely used in cutting metals – irons, steels, alloys, woods, plastics, composite materials.

1.3 Purpose of turning

A turning machine is to cut the component to the desired dimensions, shapes, and surface quality. Typical components machined by a lathe are shafts, barrels, pins, flanges – those with outer diameters and end faces.

1.4 Construction of a lathe machine

With a many variants, a lathe machine is typically constructed with a machine bed, main spindle, headstock, tailstock, turret.

1.4.1 Machine bed

The machine bed is the base the lathe is sitting on, for mini lathe or small lathe, the bed is mostly fabricated structure (welded steel structure) because it is light, easy to make, and of good enough property. For medium and large lathe, most of the beds are made of cast iron due to cast iron’s better performance of stability and vibration dumping property.

The machine bed can be flat bed or slant bed, on top of the bed there are ground steel guideways to provide the linear movement of table, turret, tailstock etc.

1.4.2 Machine table

Many lathes have no tables, the workpiece is directly held by the main spindle. For more advanced lathes and turning centers, there are machine tables to hold heavy components, sometimes the machine tables are rotary tables, or tilting tables, or swiveling tables to provide 2 rotating axis in order to achieve 5 axis simultaneous machining.

1.4.3 Main spindle

The main spindle is to spin the workpiece at certain speed and torque. The spindle is driven by a electric motor providing the power, and a gear box for speed switch.

1.4.4 Headstock

The headstock is a housing that contains the main spindle and its power supply (motor) and power transmission device (gearbox), it also contains chucking devices, coolant supply circuit, etc.

1.4.5 Tailstock

The tailstock is typically sit on the other end of headstock, providing the additional support necessary for holding the workpiece tight. Alternatively, a steady rest is in place that provide the same support/fixture of the workpiece.

1.4.6 Turret

Also known as tool turret, it is a turret with multiple tool posts. The turret can be progressed linearly along X axis, Y axis to provide the necessary feed to cut the workpiece. The traditional turret has 4 or more tool posts, each can be rotated to the cutting position to perform the cutting.

Lathe spindle, chuck, workpiece, cutters, turret

Lathe spindle, chuck, workpiece, cutters, turret

1.4.7 Servo motors, linear drives

A cnc lathe is equipped with servo motors, linear actuators, ball screws for each linear axis, to provide the programmable linear movement.

lead screw of cnc lathe

a lead screw for cnc lathe

1.4.8 CNC

The CNC – computerized numerical control, is a system contains computers, electric boards and controls encapsulated in an electric cabinet. It is the programming and controlling device to drive servo motors and linear actuators to provide the accurate machining feed.

1.4.9 Lathe accessories

Lathe accessories include coolant supply, chip conveying, fixtures, tool magazines, tool change manipulators, auto workpiece feeding, auto workpiece loading and unloading, machine safety closure, etc.

1.5 Lathe tools

Lathe tools are the cutting tools for machining the workpiece. The small, sharp cutters are inserted into the tool body, when the tool body is fixed on the turret, it can be fed to the spinning workpiece to perform the cutting. For turning machine, it is typical and convenient to machine the component’s outer diameter, the end face.

flange component for cnc lathe

CNC lathe tool cutting a flange

1.6 Turning center

A turning center is a cnc lathe equipped with tool magazine, automatic tool change manipulator, sometimes with automatic workpiece load/unload. A turning center can perform a wide variety of cutting operations including turning, milling, boring, drilling, grinding, polishing etc. In most cases the machine is built out to include the milling operation, therefore a turning center is also known as turn mill, or mill turn, or simply a machining center. Many turning centers are equipped with CNC rotary tables or swiveling table to provide programmable rotation of 2 axis, therefore achieving the 5 axis machining together with its 3 linear axis X, Y, Z. Most turning centers are constructed very similar to machining centers with machine columns.

2. Types of lathe machine

Lathe machine is one of the oldest machines invented, it has many variations, many applications, a big variety of designs and configurations. Below is just a brief overview of the lathe types.

2.1 CNC lathe vs manual lathe

Lathe was invented as a manual lathe, it requires a human operator to feed the cutters in X, Y, Z axis to cut the workpiece to the desired dimensions. The accuracy of the cutting depends on the human operators’ skills. When numerical control was invented, it was equipped on the lathe, making it a NC lathe. Later on computer is added to the numerical control system, making it a CNC lathe. The CNC is responsible for programming the machining technology, controlling the movement of axis, controlling the tool changes etc.

2.2 Metal lathe vs wood lathe

Metal lathe is the machine for machining metal components, wood lathe is for machining wood components which are often less stressful and less accurate than metal machining. Lathe is also widely used for machining other materials such as synthetics, plastics, polymers, etc.

2.3 General lathe vs special purpose lathe

General lathe is a all purpose lathe that can machine a variety of components – shafts, pins, flanges, axles, etc. Special purpose lathe is designed to machine one type of components, such as engine lathe – which manufacture only engine shafts, or locomotive wheel set – which manufacture only wheels of locomotives and train cartridges, or camshaft lathe – which machines camshaft for engines.

Some special purpose lathes include:

Jewelers lathes – they are the lathes that manufacture jewelry parts;

Watchmaker lathes – they are the lathes that manufacture watch parts;

watchmarker's lathe

A conventional watchmaker’s lathe

Centering lathes – they have 2 spindles that are facing each other to manufacture a centering shaft;

Engine lathes – they are the early lathes powered by steam engines, versus the nowadays motor powered lathe, sometimes engine lathes also refer to the lathe machines that manufacture engine parts such as engine shaft, cylinder etc.;

Oil field lathes – these are the very large lathes, typically horizontal lathes, with large spindle diameters and chucks on both sides of the spindle;

Automatic lathes, or screw lathes – these are the lathes that employ cams and gears to control the movement of machine, they are also called screw machines;

Below is a video showing a Swiss type automatic lathe in action.

Turret lathes – these are the machines with the most conventional layout, most lathes are built this way – a tool turrets that can be vertically rotated to position the cutting tools for different cutting tasks. The turrets is a standalone device between the headstock and tailstock, and can be fed to move linear along X axis, Y axis.

Woodworking lathes – these are the machines for turning the wood components;

Metalworking lathes – they are the lathes that turn and cut metal components;

Toolroom lathes – these are the lathes for making and sharpening the cutting tools or tool holders in the toolroom;

Gang tool lathes – they are the lathes with arrays of tools being set on the cross slide, providing the tool combinations for each cutting job;

Wheel lathes – these are the heavy duty lathes to manufacture wheels for railway cars;

Brake lathes – these are the lathes to manufacture or re-condition the automobile brake disks and drums;

Oil field lathes – these are the heavy duty lathes that manufactures long string components for oil field, they typically have extra supports a long the X axis to fix steady the super long rod/string workpiece.

2.4 Single spindle lathe vs multi spindle lathe

Usually a lathe is equipped with only one spindle, but in some cases a lathe can have multiple spindles (multi spindle lathe) for higher productivity, or for machining special workpiece such as camshaft.

Multi spindle lathes – they are mostly seen in automatic lathes, or screw machines, or cam lathes, or chuck lathes, multiple spindles are built into each machine, each spindle has its own bar feeder, when the bar is fed into the hollow spindle and chucked, the tools on the turrets will perform the cutting, facing, threading to manufacture the component. The final components are typically pins, shafts, small discs, etc. Multi spindle lathes are ideal machines for mass production of suitable components.

2.5 Lathe vs turning center

A lathe is a conventional machine that turns the components to perform cutting of its end faces, outer diameters, etc. A lathe can be manual or CNC lathe. In contrast, a turning center is definitely a CNC machine that combines lathe and other machining operations (milling, boring, drilling), therefore making it a machining center, or a turning center. Also, a turning center is mostly equipped with a NC rotary table (rotating programmably around one axis) or with a NC swiveling table (rotating programmably around 2 axis), so the machine can perform 5 axis machining of complex 3D surface.

2.6 Vertical lathe vs horizontal lathe

Vertical lathe has its main spindle laid vertically to the ground floor, horizontal lathe has its main spindle laid parallel to the ground floor.

2.7 Micro lathe vs heavy duty lathe

Lathe varies hugely on sizes, a mini lathe can be as small as handheld, yes you read it correctly, you can hold a mini lathe with your hand, it is typically a micro lathe for machining jewelry parts and wrist watch parts. The size grows to desktop lathes which you can place on a tabletop, these small lathes are for machining small shafts and pins. The size further grows to medium sized lathe typically with a spindle rotating diameter of 0.1 meter to 0.5 meter. Any rotating diameter that is larger than 0.5 meter can be viewed as large lathe, any rotating diameter that is larger than 1 meter can be regarded as heavy duty lathe. For a heavy duty lathe, it is not unusual to machine a workpiece with outer diameter of 5 meters.

3. Applications of cnc lathe machine

Lathe is probably the most popular machines in a machine shop due to its versatility and flexibility in making a large variety of industrial components and consumer components.

3.1 Make industrial components

A lathe machine can typically manufacture industrial components like shaft, spindle, axles, bearings, pins, flanges, wheels, discs, bars. A turning center can further manufacture complex 3D components with milling, boring, tapping, 3 axis machining, 4 axis machining, 5 axis machining.

3.2 Make consumer components

A lathe can manufacture components for consumer products, such as the pins, shaft, screws in mechanical wrist watch, decorated jewelry, lawn mowers, electric power tools, etc.

4. Typical industries that use cnc lathe

Lathe is an essential equipment for almost every workshop, all industrial sectors we can think of are employing lathe machines for producing components, making tools, doing experiments, making prototypes etc.

4.1 Machinery building

People use machines to build machines, they use lathe to produce lathe parts, such as spindles, shafts, bearings, gear shafts, hydraulic cylinders etc. Lathe is also used to produce parts of other machine types – machine tools, metal forming machines, earth moving machinery, construction machinery, printing machinery, textile machinery.

4.2 Aircraft, aerospace

There are many cylindrical components in the aircraft industry that are ideal for lathe machine to manufacture. Typical components include shaft, pins, cylinders, bearings, rollers, etc.

4.3 Automobile, vehicle, locomotives

Automobile industry is probably the biggest user of CNC lathe, many cylindrical components in car or vehicle, such as spindle, axles, cylinders, shafts, pins require CNC lathes to manufacture accurately. The same thing happen for the vehicle industry that require the same nature of manufacturing but larger components. Railway industry uses a lot of lathe too, typical railway components are wheels, wheel axles, rods, pins, shafts etc.

4.4 Power plant

Power plant is an industry that employs heavy duty lathes, vertical lathes and horizontal lathes. All the motor rotors, turbine rotors require super large, longitudinal CNC lathe to manufacture. In oil fields, people employ oil field lathe to manufacture the long rod for oil field machinery. According to a report, Japan’s Shin Nippon Koki (SNK) has manufactured the world’s largest rotor lathe (for power generation) that can manufacture a workpiece of 400 tons, or of diameter of 3.4 meters and 20 meters long.

4.5 Chemical industry

Chemical plants are full of equipment, device, parts that require CNC lathe to manufacture, the bolts, the rod, the pins, tubes, cylinders, flanges, discs, valve pipelines, etc.

4.6 Defense industry

Many military equipment are the product of lathe machines, gun barrels, for example, are manufactured by lathes. The many barrels, shafts, cylinders on military equipment are manufactured by various lathes.

4.7 Shipbuilding

Shipbuilding is another industry employing a lot of heavy duty lathes, according to one report, the world’s largest lathe is a CNC roll lathe used to manufacture the propeller shaft of 3 meters diameter and 13 meters long. Many smaller but still heavy duty lathes are used to manufacture smaller parts for ships.

4.8 Toolmaking

Small, precise CNC lathe, or CNC turning center is an essential machine for making, sharpening, and re-sharpening cutting tools.

4.9 Home appliance

The shafts, cylinders, rods, strings, flanges in many home appliances such as vacuum cleaner, dust collector, lawn mower etc are manufactured by lathes.

4.10 Consumer products

Many mini shafts, pins in the traditional mechanical watches are manufactured by CNC lathes, the same components for many other consumer devices are manufactured by lathes.

4.11 Woodworking

One big application of lathe is woodworking lathe, lathes are used to produce wood shafts, wood vases, bowls, rods, and many other rotating components that can be manufactured by turning.

5. How to choose a CNC lathe machine

We’ve covered how to choose a cnc mill, how to choose a cnc router, choosing a cnc lathe shares the same principle but also have its unique aspects to consider.

5.1 Key considerations

You start with the job you want the lathe to do – your workpiece, you want to mainly consider now, but also a bit into future. Ask yourself these questions, by answering them you are formulating the lathe you should buy.

1. What are the dimensions of your workpiece?
2. What material is your workpiece?
3. What is the machining accuracy/tolerance of your workpiece?
4. What cutting technologies are required for machining your workpiece?
5. How many simultaneous axis are required for machinging your workpiece?
6. What’s the spindle power you need for the lathe?
7. What type of lathe is the best?
8. What degree of automation do you want?
9. What CNC system do you prefer?
10.What’s your operating environment for the lathe?
11.What’s your budget?

The sizes of your workpiece defines the work space of your lathe, it must be reasonably larger than the workpiece, so you know the X, Y, Z axis traversal of the lathe. Your workpiece materials is equally important, if it is wood you will need a wood lathe, if it is metal or alloy+ you definitely need a metal lathe which is more robust, powerful, precise, also more expensive. If your workpiece requires tight tolerance on machined sizes, you need a lathe that can achieve the accuracy of machining. If the workpiece requires milling, drilling, tapping, boring in additional to turning, you know you actually need a cnc turn mill or a cnc turning center. You will need 4 axis, 5 axis machining if your workpiece has surface/areas that can’t be machined with 3 axis machining.

The machined object – the workpiece – also has a lot to say about the type of lathe machine. Should it be a vertical lathe? A special purpose lathe? If your workpiece is locomotive wheels, you definitely need a heavy duty, special purpose, wheel lathe. If your workpiece is a precision pin inside a wrist watch, you probably want to go with Swiss type automatic lathe with bar feeders. Looking at all your workpieces you want your lathe to do, you will form a good concept how the machine should look like.

You need to think about the lathe machine too. What spindle power (torque, speed) do you want? Do you want to load the tools manually? For smaller or simpler jobs it’s good to go manual, but if your workpiece requires many tools during one machining process, it’s wise to consider an automatic tool changer. What CNC it carries, are you familiar with it? Can it interface with your current CAD/CAM software?

You also need to look at some environment parameters, what is your power supply voltage, it is 3 phase or 2 phase? What’s the power supply the lathe requires? What coolant the lathe use? Is it easy to buy from a local store? What’s the lathe machine’s size? Do you have enough space for it? Where do you collect chips?

Lastly how much money do you have for this lathe? We are constraint to what we can afford, if your budget is low, you can still buy a decent lathe but you may want to look at China, India for your suppliers.

5.2 Quality lathe machine parts

A lathe is made of all its parts, its bed, column, headstock, tailstock, guideways, servomotors, linear actuators, ball screws, rack & pinions, these parts are making the quality of machine. The lathe manufacturer is just an integrator of these parts. You want to make sure the parts are from reputable manufacturers – for example, a servomotor from a unknown manufacturer or from Siemens, which is better? I would bet my 2 cents on Siemens. You may have a different view, but I hope you got the point – if you want a quality lathe you first look into all the parts of it, their brands, their technical specifications, you want to make sure they are all good. When they are, they are more expensive, but you get what you paid for.

5.3 Experienced lathe manufacturer

A lathe manufacturer is just an integrator of lathe machine parts, but there is a big difference in the quality of integrating. You want to deal with an integrator with years of expertise, a reputation of quality, and tradition of reliability.

5.4 Rich application knowledge

Another trait to look into the lathe builder is its application knowledge in machining your workpiece. If your workpiece is a precision bearing ring, you want the manufacturer to have manufactured similar bearing ring before, so they know the material, how to achieve the machining accuracy, how many steps needed, what tools needed. A quotation from a manufacture with prior experience is much reliable than the one without, it contains pretty much everything you need, so you receive a turnkey solution. It is a big time saver and uncertainty eliminator.

5.5 Lathe accuracy, other specs

Now you pay attention on the lathe’s specifications, what’s its axis motion accuracy, what’s its machining accuracy? What’s its spindle power speed and power? Read through the specifications in the quotation, ask questions if you are not sure.

5.6 Lathe Tools

We recommend to buy cutting tools with the lathe, so you have a turnkey cutting solution which saves you time. The manufacturers will be happy to provide a tool package to machine your workpiece, if you choose automatic tool changer, they can even work out a CNC program for the complete machining process, include the tool changing. When selecting cutting tools, pay attention to the reputation of the their manufacturers too.

5.7 Lathe spare parts

You probably want to include a small spare parts package in your purchase, the machine builder would recommend it too. More importantly, make sure you can easily buy more spare parts in the future, make sure these parts are and will be actively supplied in the market. You don’t want the machine to halt due to one or two non-replaceable parts.

5.8 Service

Check if the manufacturer has a service center near you, ask the ETA of their service staff after receiving your call. It is to your interest to minimize the downtime of the machine, check if the manufacturer has service experts with quick response time. If possible, make the estimated time of arrival a contractual obligation.

5.9 See lathe machine in action

If possible always try to see the machine operating, try to visit a machine shop that is producing with the same model of machine you intend to purchase. Seeing is believing, you will get a good idea how the machine performs “under pressure – when doing the heavy cutting, is it vibrating? is it producing too much noise? is the air duct doing a good job sucking away the dust? These are invaluable information you normally won’t get from a quotation, so try to tour the machine whenever you can. You can ask the manufacturer to make such arrangement.

5.10 Collect user feedback

Try to get a reference list – the list of companies who use the lathe – from the machine builder, make some calls, learn their experience working with the machine. A small sample of such feedback can be a big indication.

5.11 Compare

As an important investment, you should request for quote from at least 3 cnc lathe suppliers, compare their quotes, their technical specifications, their solutions. Meet their salesman or engineers to discuss their quotes, ask questions, ask for revisions, etc. Comparing multiple suppliers side by side is a good process for decision making.

5.12 Price

If you have come this far, good for you! It should be easy to tell who offer the best price and best value proposition.

5.13 Terms

Pay attention to the delivery terms, payment terms. Try to negotiate payment terms in installments, you pay each time the supplier reaches a milestone. If you buy a turnkey solution, pay the final installment only after the lathe has machined your workpiece to its specifications, to your satisfaction.

5.14 Checklist

So far we’ve covered a lot about how to choose a cnc lathe, to recap, we compose a checklist below.

Things to consider when buying a lathe
1 Key considerations
1.1 Workpiece dimension – length x width x height
1.2 Workpiece material – wood? metal?
1.3 Machining accuracy/tolerance requirement
1.4 Cutting technologies required, turning? milling? drilling?
1.5 Workpiece machining axis complexity required – 3 axis? 4 axis? 5 axis
1.6 Required spindle power?
1.7 Required/preferred lathe type? vertical? special purpose?
1.8 Automation required – automatic tool changer? manual or cnc?
1.9 CNC system preferred
1.10 Workshop environment
1.11 Budget
2 Quality lathe machine parts
2.1 Bed
2.2 Table
2.3 Guideways
2.4 Servomotor
2.5 Linear actuators, ball screws
2.6 Spindle
3 Experienced manufacturer?
4 Manufacturer ever worked on my workpiece?
5 Machine specifications
5.1 Axis motion accuracy
5.2 Machining accuracy
5.3 Other specs
6 Cutting tools
6.1 Cutting tools quality?
6.2 Cutting tools manufacturer reputed?
7 Spare parts
7.1 Small package of spare parts include?
7.2 Easy to buy spare parts in the market?
8 Service
8.1 Service center near me?
8.2 Expert service staff?
8.3 Provide onsite service?
8.4 Onsite service ETA?
8.5 Any contractual commitment?
9 See the lathe in action?
10 Collect user feedback
10.1 Ask for a reference list?
10.2 Call the references?
11 Compare
11.1 RFQ from multiple suppliers
11.2 Follow up discussions with each supplier?
12 Price
13 Terms
13.1 Payment in tranches?
13.2 Workpiece machining required?

6. CNC metal lathe manufacturers

CNC lathe is probably the most popular machines made by hundreds of or even thousands of lathe manufacturers worldwide, below is a list of nearly 200 turning machine manufacturers we composed, you are welcome to suggest the manufacturers we miss herein. Note that the same manufacturer may have multiple lines of products – in addition to cnc lathe, they may also manufacture cnc turning center, cnc milling machines, cnc router, and other cnc machines as well.

ManufacturerHQSizeV/HAxisType
Akira Seiki Co. Ltd.Taiwanmediumhorizontal2,3turning center
Arco Cheer EnterpriseTaiwanmediumhorizontal3flat type cnc lathe
Campro Precision MachineryTaiwanmediumhorizontal3turning center, turn mill
Mario Carnaghi SPAItalylargevertical3cnc lathe
CMI DURANGOSpainlargevertical32 column vertical lathe
EMCOAustriamediumvertical3,5cnc turn mill, cnc turning center, high performance turning center, precision lathes
Fair Friend EnterpriseTaiwanmediumhorizontal, vertical2,3cnc lathe
FrejothTaiwanmedium, largehorizontal, vertical2,3flat bed lathe, slant bed lathe, heavy duty lathe, heavy duty vertical lathe
GoratuSpainlargehorizontal3horizontal lathe, multiprocess lathe, vertical lathe, railway lathe
Hannsa PrecisionTaiwanmediumhorizontal2box way lathe, linear way lathe
Hegenscheidt – MFDGermanylargehorizontal, vertical2underfloor wheelset lathe, portal wheelset lathe, mobile wheelset lathe
Huron GraffenstadenFrancemediumhorizontal, vertical3lathe, turning center, oval lathe, twin spindle turning machine, multi-task turn mill
Jangsu Feiya Machine ToolChinamediumhorizontal2manual lathe, cnc lathe
Jyoti CNC AutomationJapanmediumhorizontal, vertical2,3horizontal turning center, vertical turning center, oval turning center
KAASTGermanymedium, largehorizontal, vertical2,3engine lathe, vertical lathe, heavy duty lathe, slant bed lathe, flat bed lathe, turret lathe, heavy duty facing lathe, teach-style lathe
KNUTHGermanysmall,medium,largehorizontal,vertical2,3bench lathe, heavy duty lathe, box way lathe, tube turning lathe, mill turns, mini lathe, turret lathe, swiss type cnc lathe, slant bed lathe
KOVOSVITCzechmediumhorizontal2,3,5cnc lathe, cnc turning center, cnc turn mill
NILES-SIMMONSGermanymedium,largehorizontal2,3cnc slant bed lathe, heavy duty lathe
OPTIMUMGermanymedium,largehorizontal2,3screw lathe, center lathe, precision lathe
RaisBulgariamediumhorizontal2,3slant bed lathe, flat bed lathe, 2 spindle lathe
Pro RichYoungTaiwanmediumhorizontal, vertical2,3slant bed lathe, flat bed lathe, cnc vertical lathe, automatic lathe
RomiBrazilmedium,largehorizontal,vertical2,3,5turning center, vertical turning center, heavy duty cnc lathe, cnc vertical lathe
SahosCzechmediumhorizontal2cnc center lathe
Skoda Machine ToolCzechlargehorizontal3heavy duty cnc center lathe
DanobatSpainmedium,largehorizontal,vertical2,3,5universal lathe, coupling machining lathe, pipe machining lathe, valve machining lathe, heavy duty horizontal lathe, heavy duty vertical lathe, vertical turning center
TongtaiTaiwanmediumhorizontal,vertical2,3vertical cnc lathe, vertical turn mill, cnc turning center
TrevisanItalymedium,largevertical2,3cnc vertical lathe, double spindle lathe
Waldrich SiegenGermanylargehorizontal,vertical2,3heavy duty horizontal lathe, heavy duty vertical lathe, heavy duty turning center
WeingärtnerAustrialargehorizontal2,3heavy duty lathe, heavy duty turn mill
WEMASGermanylargehorizontal,vertical2,3heavy duty lathe, vertical lathe, double spindle lathe
YCMTaiwanmediumhorizontal2,3turning center, cnc lathe, high performance turning machine
Zhejiang HeadmanChinamediumhorizontal2,3turning center, flexible manufacturing system, cnc lathe
Nantong JiarongChinamediumhorizontal,vertical2bench lathe, engine lathe, gap bed lathe, big bore gap bed lathe, double spindle lathe, double column vertical lathe
HardingeUSAmediumhorizontal2,3cnc lathe, cnc turning center
OverbeckGermanymediumhorizontal,vertical2,3hard turning machine, vertical lathe
Slovacke StrojirnyCzechlargehorizontal2,3heavy duty center lathe, multifuntional turning center
Accut MachineryChinalargevertical2,3heavy duty vertical lathe, double column vertical lathe, double spindle vertical lathe, portal lathe
Accuway MachineryTaiwanmediumhorizontal,vertical2,3cnc lathe, cnc vertical lathe, multitasking turning center
ACE MicromaticIndiasmall,mediumhorizontal,vertical2,3cnc lathe, turnmill, twin spindle lathe, cnc vertical lathe
Alex-Tech MachineryTaiwanmediumhorizontal,vertical2,3cnc lathe, universal lathe, vertical lathe, y axis lathe
Carl BenzingerGermanymini,smallhorizontal3,5high precision cnc lathe, mini cnc lathe, jewelry lathe, watchmaker lathe, 5 axis turn mill, twin spindle lathe, multi spindle lathe
BigliaItalymediumhorizontal3,5cnc turning center, bar turning machine, integrated turn mill
BostSpainlargehorizontal,vertical3horizontal turning milling lathe, heavy duty vertical lathe, double column vertical lathe, twin spindle vertical lathe
Pietro CarnaghiItalymedium,largevertical2,3vertical lathe, double column vertical lathe, heavy duty vertical lathe
CastekItalymediumvertical2,3vertical lathe, double column vertical lathe
Citizen Machinery MiyanoJapansmall,mediumhorizontal2,3sliding stock cnc automatic lathe, twin spindle lathe, high precision turning machine
CMZ MachinerySpainmediumhorizontal2,3cnc lathe, cnc turning machine, cnc turning center
600 UKUKmediumhorizontal2cnc lathe, cnc center lathe
COMEVItalymediumhorizontal2conventional lathe, manual lathe, heavy duty lathe, horizontal lathe
DMCSouth Koreamediumhorizontal2,3cnc turning center, horizontal turning center
DMG ECOLINEAustriamediumhorizontal,vertical2,3cnc lathe, cnc turning machine
DMTGermanymediumhorizontal2manual lathe, cnc lathe
DSK MachinerySouth Korealargehorizontal,vertical2,3heavy duty vertical lathe, heavy duty horizontal lathe
DugardUKmedium, largehorizontal2,3sub spindle cnc lathe, automatic lathe, twin spindle lathe, multi axis cnc turning center, programmable tailstock cnc lathe, slant bed lathe, heavy duty lathe, multi function cnc lathe
DugardTaiwanmediumhorizontal2cnc inclined bed lathe, cnc turning center, high precision lathe, high speed lathe
EmsilRomaniamediumhorizontal, vertical2cnc turning center, cnc lathe
ErgomatBrazilmediumhorizontal2cam lathe, automatic lathe, multi slide cnc lathe, multi slide compact turning center, double turret cnc lathe, high precision cnc lathe
FATPolandmedium, largehorizontal2,3horizontal cnc lathe, heavy duty cnc lathe, cnc slant bed lathe, conventional lathe, manual lathe
Focus CNCTaiwanmedium, largehorizontal2linearways cnc lathe, boxways cnc lathe, compound cnc lathe, aluminum wheel cnc lathe, heavy duty cnc lathe
Force One MachineryTaiwanmediumhorizontal,vertical2,3cnc lathe, turning center, vertical lathe, cnc heavy duty vertical lathe
Dalian FulltonChinalargehorizontal,vertical2heavy duty lathe, horizontal lathe, vertical lathe, double column vertical lathe, manual lathe, cnc lathe
GDWGermanysmallhorizontal2,3manual lathe, cnc lathe, horizontal lathe, precision lathe
Heinrich GeorgGermanylargehorizontal2,3cnc roll lathe, cnc turbine lathe, cnc universal lathe
Giuseppe GianaItalylargehorizontal2,32 bed guideways cnc lathe, heavy duty cnc lathe
DMG MoriGermanymediumhorizontal,vertical2,3,5universal cnc lathe, turn mill center, twin spindle lathe, high performance lathe, cnc vertical lathe
GoodwayTaiwanmediumhorizontal,vertical2,3,5multi axis turning machine, vertical turning machine, horizontal turning machine, Swiss type turning machine, wheel turning machine, bar feeder
GurutzpeSpainlargehorizontal2,3heavy duty lathe, 2 guideway lathe, 4 guideway lathe, B series lathe, wheel lathe, windmill shaft lathe, petroleum drill pipe lathe, roll lathe, generator shaft lathe
HankookSouth Koreamedium, largehorizontal,vertical2,3heavy duty cnc lathe, horizontal lathe, vertical lathe, double column vertical lathe
Hanwha TechMSouth Koreamediumhorizontal2,3cnc lathe, cnc turning center
Colchester-HarrisonUKmediumhorizontal2,3center lathe, cnc lathe, manual lathe, 2 axis lathe, 3 axis lathe
HembrugNetherlandsmediumhorizontal,vertical2,3,4slant bed cnc lathe, universal cnc turning machine, 4 axis vertical turning machine
HirscheiderGermanymediumhorizontal2end facing machine, OD turning machine
HWACHEONSouth Koreamedium,largehorizontal2,3horizontal turning center, box way turning center, turning center for long shaft, heavy duty cnc lathe, large cnc roll lathe
Hyundai WiaSouth Koreamediumhorizontal2,3cnc turning center
IMT IntermatoItalymedium,largevertical2,3high speed lathe, vertical lathe, double column vertical lathe
INDEX-WerkeGermanymediumhorizontal,vertical2,3,5production turning machine, multi spindle turning machine, turn mill center, vertical turning center, turn grind center
Ingersoll CM SystemsUSmedium,largehorizontal2,3camshaft turning machine, crankshaft turning machine
InventhorGermanymediumvertical2,3vertical turning center, twin spindle turning center, cnc vertical lathe
Jarng YeongTaiwanmediumhorizontal2cnc lathe, automatic lathe, dual spindle lathe, swiss type lathe, multitasking cnc lathe, sliding head type cnc lathe
Jesco MachineryTaiwanmediumhorizontal2,3high speed precision lathe, flat bed teach in lathe, slant bed cnc lathe
Jinn Fa MachineTaiwanmediumhorizontal2,3Swiss type cnc lathe, turret type cnc lathe, compact lathe, automatic lathe
Zhejiang KaidaChinamedium,largehorizontal,vertical2,3cnc vertical lathe, universal turning center, large turning center, face turning machine, thread turning machine, cnc turn mill, heavy duty turning machine
KREWEMAGermanylargehorizontal2,3horizontal cnc lathe, heavy duty turning machine
Kummer FreresSwitzerlandmediumhorizontal2high precision lathe, 12 station turret lathe, 15 station turret lathe, twin spindle lathe, cnc lathe automation line, cnc lathe
MACPOWERIndiamediumhorizontal,vertical2,3cnc turning center, cnc turn mill center, cnc vertical lathe
MAIERGermanymediumhorizontal2,3Swiss type turning machine, automatic lathe, cnc turning center
MANURHIN K’MXFrancemediumhorizontal2,3Swiss type lathe, cnc lathe, automatic lathe
MatechTaiwansmall, mediumhorizontal,vertical2,3slant bed cnc lathe, piston turning machine, ultra precision turning center, nana class turning machine
MAUSItalymediumvertical2vertical turning machine, cnc vertical lathe
MCMItalymediumhorizontal2horizontal lathe, heavy duty horizontal lathe
Mekay MakinaTurkeymediumhorizontal2,3cnc lathe, horizontal lathe
A. MonfortsGermanymediumhorizontal2,3cnc turning center, double spindle cnc lathe, high precision cnc lathe, mill turn drill center, high performance turning center
Murata MachineryJapansmall,mediumhorizontal2,3twin spindle cnc chucker, cnc chucker, cnc turning center, cnc lathe, in-line opposed twin spindle turning machine, cnc shaft turning machine, self loading chucker
Nakamura-TomeJapansmall,mediumhorizontal2,3ATC super multitasking lathe, twin spindle turret lathe, opposed twin spindle and twin turret lathe, cnc turning center, cnc turning line
Ningjiang Machine ToolChinamediumvertical2vertical turning machine
OMG ZanolettiItalymedium,largehorizontal2,3horizontal lathe, heavy duty horizontal lathe
OMOSCzechlargevertical2,3cnc vertical lathe, heavy duty vertical lathe, double column vertical lathe
PINACHOSpainmedium,largehorizontal2cnc horizontal lathe
PittlerGermanymedium,largevertical2,3cnc vertical lathe, double column vertical lathe
Quick-Tech MachineryTaiwanmediumhorizontal2,3sliding stock cnc lathe automation, cnc turn mill center, cnc turret lathe
RAFAMETPolandlargehorizontal,vertical2,3double column cnc turning center, vertical turn mill center, cnc wheel reprofiling lathe, heavy duty vertical lathe,
RASOMAGermanymedium,largehorizontal,vertical2,3,4vertical turning center, 4 axis shaft turning center, turn mill center, end machining center
SafopItalymedium,largehorizontal2,3horizontal lathe, axle turning machine, wheel turning machine, turning and grinding machine, shaft turning lathe
SalaItalysmallhorizontal2,3high precision cnc turning machine, multispindle turning machine, diamond cnc turning machine, multispindle turning centers for bar, tube, coil, castings, forgings
SchaublinSwitzerlandmini,smallhorizontal2,3high precision mini lathe, mini cnc lathe, 3 axis turning center, high precision production turning machine, cnc lathe automation, cnc turn grind center
Scherer FeinbauGermanymediumvertical2,3cnc vertical lathe, flexible turning center, twin spindle turning machine, vertical shaft turning center
SCHIESSGermanylargevertical2,3heavy duty vertical lathe
SchütteGermanymediumhorizontal2,3multiple spindle automatic lathe, high performance cnc turning machine, multi spindle cnc turning center
SCHUSTERGermanymediumvertical2,3flexible turning center, pick up turning center, turn grind machine, twin spindle lathe, vertical turn mill cell, vertical turning hobbing cell, end facing cell
Willi SeigerGermanymediumhorizontal2,3cycle controlled lathe, facing lathe, bench lathe, special lathe
SELICATaiwanmediumhorizontal22 axis cnc lathe, y axis cnc lathe, Swiss type cnc lathe, vertical cnc lathe
SEMAAustriamediumhorizontal2slant bed cnc lathe
SIRMUItalylargevertical2vertical turning machine, wheel set turning machine
SPINNERGermanysmallhorizontal2high precision cnc lathe, high performance cnc turning center, turret cnc lathe
Star MicronicsJapansmallhorizontal2,3Swiss type lathe, 3 turret cnc lathe, y axis cnc turning center, automatic cnc lathe
TAJMAC-ZPSCzechmediumhorizontal2cnc sliding stock lathe, Swiss type cnc lathe, multispindle cnc turning center
TakamatsuJapanmediumhorizontal,vertical2high speed turning machine, multispindle chuck automate, cnc vertical turning machines
TakisawaJapanmediumhorizontal,vertical2,3cnc lathe for long workpiece, cnc turn mill center, twin spindle cnc lathe, twin turret twin spindle cnc lathe, combination lathe
JashicoTaiwanmediumhorizontal2,3cnc turning center, c axis turning center, large cnc turning center, multi axis turning center, manual lathe, toolroom lathe
TornosSwitzerlandmediumhorizontal2multispindle Swiss type lathe, multispindle cnc lathe
TranscoGermanymediumhorizontal2,3axle joint lathe, multispindle chucker automates, single spindle chucking automates, twin spindle automatic lathe
TRAUBGermanymediumhorizontal2,3cnc turning machine, high speed automatic lathe, bar automates, chuck automates
TsugamiJapanmediumhorizontal,vertical2,3cnc Swiss type lathe, twin spindle cnc lathe, cnc vertical lathe, cnc turn mill center, y axis cnc turning center, high precision cnc lathe
Union MechatronicTaiwanlargehorizontal2,3heavy duty lathe, bar turning lathe, crankshaft turning machine, camshaft turning machine, roll turning machine, wheel set turning machine, cnc turning center
Weiss MachineryChinamedium,largehorizontal2variable speed lathe, bench lathe, engine lathe, heavy duty lathe, combination lathe
WEISSERGermanymediumhorizontal2,3cnc pick up lathe, cnc precision lathe, twin spindle pick up lathe, cnc precision pick up lathe
ZiegenhainGermanymediumhorizontal2,3cnc vertical lathe
WohlenbergGermanylargehorizontal2,3cnc horizontal lathe, heavy duty horizontal lathe, heavy duty turning machine, heavy duty mill turn center
YU SHINETaiwanlargevertical2,3heavy duty vertical lathe, double column turning machine
Yunnan CY GroupChinamediumhorizontal2,3cnc lathe, cnc disc lathe
ZMMBulgariamediumhorizontal2conventional lathe, universal lathe, cnc lathe, automatic lathe
Acer SpringwoodUSmediumvertical2cnc turning center
Bardons & OliverUSmediumhorizontal2cnc lathe, cut off lathe, 4 axis turning center, 2 axis big bore lathe, 4 axis sub spindle lathe, 4 axis center drive lathe, 4 axis disc lathe, slant bed lathe
Clausing IndustrialUSmediumhorizontal2,3large swing cnc lathe, cnc combination lathe, cnc turning center
Doosan InfracoreUSmediumhorizontal,vertical2,3horizontal turning center, vertical turning center, multitasking cnc turning center
Ecotech MachineryUSlargehorizontal2,3cnc flat bed lathe, big bore oil country cnc lathe, manual facing lathe, cnc facing lathe, heavy duty horizontal lathe, heavy duty vertical lathe
Eurotech EliteUSmediumhorizontal2,3multi axis turn mill center, multi axis Swiss type automatic lathe
Fryer MachineUSmedium,largehorizontal,vertical2,3toolroom lathe, vertical turret lathe, slant bed turning machine, heavy duty cnc lathe
Ganesh MachineryUSmediumhorizontal2,3multi axis bar turning machine, cnc turn mill center, cnc slant bed lathe
HurcoUSmediumhorizontal2,3cnc lathe, horizontal turn mill center
Marubeni Citizen-CincomUSsmallhorizontal2,3Swiss type turning center, fixed headstock turning center
MilltronicsUSmediumhorizontal2,3slant bed turning center
MTABIndiamediumhorizontal2cnc turning center, turret turning machine
OkumaJapanmedium,largehorizontal,vertical2,3horizontal cnc lathe, vertical cnc lathe
Southwestern IndustriesUSsmall,mediumhorizontal,vertical2cnc lathe, cnc turning machine
Toyoda MachineryJapanmedium,largevertical2,3heavy duty vertical lathe, vertical turning machine
Machinery SolutionsUSAmediumhorizontal2engine lathe, toolroom lathe
New WayChinamediumhorizontal,vertical2,3cnc horizontal lathe, cnc vertical lathe
Citizen MachineryGermanymediumhorizontal2sliding head automatic lathe, fix head automatic lathe,
EMAGGermanymediumhorizontal,vertical2,3cnc vertical lathe, multi spindle automatics, vertical turning center, shaft turning center
FFG WerkeGermanymediumhorizontal,vertical2,3universal cnc lathe, horizontal turning center, horizontal turn mill center, vertical turning center
MaierGermanymediumhorizontal2,3cnc Swiss type lathe
Konrad SeidlerGermanymediumvertical2,3cnc vertical lathe,
Waldrich CoburgGermanylargevertical2,3cnc vertical lathe, heavy duty lathe, double column vertical lathe
LehrwerkstätteSwitzerlandmediumhorizontal2manual horizontal lathe, cnc horizontal lathe
WEYRAUCHGermanymediumhorizontal2manual lathe, cycle controlled lathe
Wuhan HeavyChinalargevertical2cnc vertical lathe, heavy duty vertical lathe, double column vertical lathe
Yangzhou SuperChinamediumhorizontal,vertical2cnc horizontal lathe, cnc vertical lathe
Nanjing CNCChinamediumhorizontal2cnc lathe, hexagon lathe, special purpose lathe,
Jinan FirstChinamediumhorizontal,vertical2cnc horizontal lathe, cnc vertical lathe

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cnc computer numerical control
cnc grinding machine

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