• June 21, 2024
  • Shatou, Changan, Dongguan, CN
lathe type

What are the common types of lathes?

A lathe is a machine that processes metal and other materials by turning a workpiece and finishing the surface with cutting tools, There are many types of lathes, and each type can process different parts, Here are some common types of lathes.

Ordinary lathe

The ordinary lathe is a common piece of metal processing equipment. Its principle is to use the motor to rotate the spindle, fix the workpiece using the workpiece clamping device, and then cut using the tool along the rotation axis of the workpiece. The lathe is made up of different components such as a bed, spindle, workpiece clamping device, feed mechanism, and cutting tools.

Ordinary lathes can process shapes such as outer circles, inner circles, end faces, and threads of various metal and non-metallic materials.

Its application advantage is that it can process various shapes, and has high processing accuracy and processing efficiency; the disadvantage is that it has certain restrictions on the processing materials, and there are limitations in processing large-size workpieces.

Turret and rotary lathes

The turret is a multi-station tool-switching system that realizes various cutting processes by switching the tool holder. The rotary lathe is composed of a bed frame, a spindle, and a feed system. The spindle has the functions of rotation and feed. The turret can process parts with complex shapes, such as threads and grooves. Rotary lathes are suitable for machining cylindrical parts like shaft and sleeve parts.

Turrets are widely used in the automobile and machinery industries to improve processing efficiency and precision, while rotary lathes are often used in batch processing and surface processing.

The advantages of the turret are process automation and high cutting efficiency, and the disadvantages are complex equipment and high cost. The advantages of the rotary lathe are simple operation and high efficiency, while the disadvantage is the limitation of processing size.

Automatic lathe

An automatic lathe is a device that can complete processing tasks automatically through a pre-set program. It consists of the control system, spindle, and motion axis, among other components that allow it to achieve high-precision and efficient processing.

Automatic lathes find extensive use in the metal processing industry and can process various types of metal workpieces, including shafts, sleeves, gears, and pins, among others. They can perform several technological operations such as turning, grooving, dressing, boring, tapping, and more.

Multi-tool semi-automatic lathe

The multi-tool semi-automatic lathe is based on the principle of a lathe. The tool holder is driven by a transmission system to process the workpiece. It consists of a bed, a spindle, a feed mechanism, a tool holder, and a control system. The multi-knife design allows for processing multiple channels simultaneously, improving production efficiency. This type of lathe is suitable for producing parts with large batches, such as threads, shafts, pins, and other components. The advantage is it can effectively improve production efficiency. However, due to manual control, processing accuracy is relatively low, and scope of application is limited.

Copy lathe

The profiling lathe is a special lathe that uses a hydraulic system, mechanical guidance, and numerical control technology. It consists of various parts, including the hydraulic system, mechanical guide rail, template, spindle, circuit system, and control system. The machine can process workpieces with complex curved surfaces, such as curves, ellipses, cams, and patterns, with high production efficiency and processing accuracy. This allows for mass production of various complex workpieces. However, the disadvantage of the profiling lathe is its high equipment cost and the need for a more professional operating technique.

Vertical lathe

A vertical lathe is a machine tool that holds a workpiece on a vertical spindle for cutting. It consists of a bed, spindle, feed system, cutting tool, and other components. It can process large diameter workpieces, such as shafts, gears, and flanges. It can flexibly apply various processing techniques, including turning, milling, and drilling. Its advantage is that it is relatively stable, creates uniform cutting force when processing large or heavy workpieces, and has high speed and processing accuracy. Its disadvantage is that the entry and exit of the workpiece is more complex and challenging.

Shovel tooth lathe

The gear hobbing machine tool is a specialized machine tool used for processing gears and racks. It uses the workpiece’s feed motion and the cutting motion of the turning tool for processing. The gear hobbing machine comprises a bed, a main shaft, a feed mechanism, a support slider, a tool holder, and a tool holder moving device.

The gear hobbing machine tool exhibits high processing precision, high efficiency, and stable processing quality. However, low cutting speeds and high tool friction lead to disadvantages such as fast tool wear and high machining costs.

Specialized lathe

A specialized lathe is a lathe that is dedicated to machining a specific workpiece. Its working principle is to cut the workpiece through the relative movement between the turning tool and the workpiece. It is composed of a bed, spindle, feed mechanism, tool holder and other parts, and can process various workpieces with regular shapes. The lathe has the advantages of high precision and high production efficiency but also has the disadvantages of high equipment cost and difficult maintenance.

Combined lathe

A specialized lathe is a lathe that is designed to machine a specific workpiece. Its working principle is to cut the workpiece through the relative movement between the turning tool and the workpiece. It is composed of a bed, spindle, feed mechanism, tool holder, and other parts. The lathe can process various workpieces with regular shapes and has the advantages of high precision and high production efficiency. However, it also has the disadvantages of high equipment cost and difficult maintenance.

Saddle lathe

A saddle lathe is a special type of lathe with an adjustable workpiece angle. It is composed of a bed, spindle, tool holder, feed system, and control system. It can process complex curved surface parts like arcs, oblique lines, and inclined surfaces, and it can be used for turning, milling, boring, drilling, and other processes. This lathe offers the advantages of high precision and efficiency when processing complex curved surface parts. However, it also has some disadvantages, such as limited workpiece size and high equipment cost.


Generally speaking, there are many types of lathes and each type has its applicable processing range and advantages. Choosing a suitable lathe is very important for improving processing efficiency and quality, according to factors such as the workpiece’s shape, size, and process requirements.

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