What Are the Different Types of Cutting Tools On a CNC Lathe? | CNC Turning | Roberson Machine Company

What Are the Different Types of Cutting Tools On a CNC Lathe? Lathe cutting tools are pivotal parts of Roberson Machine Company’s CNC machining services. In our CNC turning process, cutting tools are mounted on a lathe, move along the lathe’s axis, and their paths – programmed via CAD and CAM software inputted by our machinists – determine the workpiece’s final shape. Extremely accurate, we use our CNC lathes to turn out thousands of identical components for our clients in a variety of industries across the country.

Get a fast and reliable online quote for your next CNC project. Give us a call today at 573-646-3996 or connect with us online.

CNC Lathe Cutting Tools: What Are the Common Lathe Operations?

There are different lathe cutting operations we use to get your part’s desired size and shape. These are the basic operations we utilize depending on the specifications of your CNC machining project:

  • Facing: The first step in most lathe operations. It involves cutting the metal from an end to make it fit at the right angle of the axis.
  • Tapering: This operation involves cutting metal to a cone shape using a compound slide. Depending on your job’s requirement, we can change the angle by adjusting the compound slide.
  • Parallel Turning: This involves cutting a material parallel to the axis. It is an important operation used for decreasing the diameter of the material.
  • Parting: Parting is the removal of a part so that it faces the end. It involves using a parting tool.

CNC Lathe Cutting Tools: What Are the Different Types of Lathe Machine Cutting Tools?

There are essentially three major classifications of lathe cutting tools – material, uses, and method of applying feed. The following provides the classifications, along with a breakdown of the common types of cutting tools we use in our CNC machining:

Lathe Cutting Tools Based on Material

Many materials are suitable for making cutting tools used on a lathe, each with unique characteristics:

  • High-speed steel
  • This type of steel, which can maintain hardness despite service temperatures up to 1000°, contains elements such as tungsten, carbon, vanadium, and chromium. High-speed steel cutting tools are known for their extreme hardness, strength, and wear-and-tear/heat resistance. They are ideal for rough machining and semi-finish machining.

  • Carbide tool
  • These types of cutting tools are extremely hard and therefore ideal for iron, plastic, glass, stone, steel, and other difficult-to-cut materials.

  • Diamond blade
  • This cutting tool is essentially a saw blade which has diamonds fixed on its edge. The tool is beneficial in the precision machining of brittle, wear-resistant, conforming, and hard materials like graphite, glass, or ceramics.

  • Cubic boron nitride
  • This cutting tool is durable, abrasion resistant, and suitable for rough machining and intermittent cutting, especially cast iron workpieces.

Lathe Cutting Tools Based on Use

Oftentimes we select a cutting tool based on what we are using the lathe to accomplish:

  • Turning Tool
  • There are two general types of turning tools in terms of their uses:

    • Rough turning tools: These are used for removing large parts of a workpiece in a very short amount of time. They have a ground cutting angle that allows for the removal, and they can withstand maximum cutting pressure.
    • Finish turning tools: These are ideal for removing small parts of the workpiece, and, like its name suggests, the end product has a smooth and accurate surface.
  • Boring Tool
  • A type of lathe cutting tool used for enlarging a hole. The tool is inserted into a preexisting hole and used to widen the diameter.

  • Chamfering Tool
  • These are lathe cutting tools used for creating a furrow on a part, or for creating smooth or jagged edges.

  • Knurling Tool
  • A type of lathe cutting tool that can produce knurled lathe parts by creating a specific pattern into a round section. The tool is often used to make grips for handles or grooves for fasteners.

  • Parting Tool
  • A parting tool is a narrow-bladed tool used for removing pieces of material from a workpiece. It can function as both a turning tool and cutting tool.

  • Thread Cutting Tool
  • As the name suggests, these tools are used to cut threads on a lathe part, whether they be internal or external threads.

  • Facing Tool
  • This tool is used to cut a flat surface that is perpendicular to a workpiece rotational axis. The tool holder situated on the lathe carriage holds the tool during the process so that it can feed perpendicularly across the rotational axis of the part.

Give our expert machinists a call today for more information regarding the different types of cutting tools on a CNC lathe at 573-646-3996 or contact us online.

Lathe Cutting Tools Based on Method of Applying Feed

On occasion, we need to choose a cutting tool based on how we are going to feed the workpiece into the lathe:

  • Right-hand tool
  • A right-hand tool removes material when moving from right to left. The name is derived from the human hand – using your right hand, the thumb represents the tool feed direction. Therefore, the principal cutting edge is on the tool’s left side.

  • Left-hand tool
  • Unlike a right-hand tool, the left-hand cutting tool removes material when moving from left to right.

  • Round nose tool
  • These tools can move from left to right or right to left, as they have no side rake or back rake angles. Due to the round edges, these tools are popular in machining parts with smooth surfaces.

What Are the Different Types of Cutting Tools On a CNC Lathe? | CNC Machining | CNC Turning Near You | Roberson Machine Company

What Are the Different Types of Cutting Tools On a CNC Lathe? | Roberson Machine Company

Lathe cutting tools are vital parts of Roberson Machine Company’s CNC operations. Speed, accuracy, and volume are important factors to consider, both for our clients and us. By relying on our lathes and their cutting tools, we can produce precision parts to meet your specifications, your budgets, and your timelines.

Give us a call before your next CNC machining project to discuss the viability of our lathe cutting tools at 573-646-3996 or reach out to us online.