Exploring Different Types of CNC Lathe Tools for Precise Turning Work

  • Updated: June 29, 2024

About the Authors

Michael Yu

As a compound talent with History, Filmmaking, and Digital Manufacturing background, Michael Yu has dedicated his life to dispelling misconceptions about the manufacturing sector and transforming it into a fascinating and competent industry.
  • Read His Bio

Ancient Chinese people believes that ‘Sharpening the knife does not delay the chopping of wood’. This sentence still works when it comes to CNC lathe tools. Understand various CNC lathe tools would help us better understand the whole CNC process.

Follow this article, I’ll introduce you several common types of cutting tools used in CNC turning, which will make you easier to find the right tool for your lathe project.

Introduction of Machine Tools of CNC Turning Operation

XMAKE-machine tool

What I’m gonna introduce is cutting tools used in lathe and related CNC machines. In turning process,  it is used to remove materials from a workpiece by rotating the workpiece and cutting tool against each other.

With different types of lathe cutting tools, CNC turning operators can program the machine to follow precise instructions, allowing for consistent and repeatable results.

This not only reduces the risk of human error but also speeds up the production process, leading to shorter lead times and faster delivery to customers.

Choosing appropriate tools in essential for whole manufacturing. By using the right tools for the job, machinists can create intricate and accurate parts efficiently and effectively.

Types of CNC lathe tools for turning

After our esteemed reader understand the machine tool itself, I’ll introduce you several different types of lathe tools and their suitability for different CNC lathe.

Standard turning tool

XMAKE-standard tool

Standard turning tool is an common type of tool used on a lathe, which is specifically designed for turning. It is used to cut and shape metal or other materials by rotating the workpiece against the cutting tool, eventually remove material from a workpiece to create the desired shape.

These tools come in various types determined by its effectiveness and durability, such as high-speed steel, ceramic, and carbide tool. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the material being worked on and the desired outcome.

In manufacturing processes, these tools are famous in the field where precision and accuracy are crucial. They are designed to withstand high temperatures and pressure while maintaining their sharp cutting edge.

Attributes Standard Turning Tool
Related Material Carbide, High-Speed Steel, Ceramic
  • Rotating the workpiece against the cutting tool to remove excess material
  • High precision and efficient
  • Withstand high temperatures and pressure
  • Maintain sharp cutting edges
Application Field
  • Precision and accuracy orientated manufacturing

Rough turning tool

XMAKE-rough tool

Rough turning tool is used in machining to create a rough surface finish.

Commonly, this tool is used in the initial stages of shaping a workpiece before finishing cuts are made with a finer tool. It’s a kind of high-speed steel cutting tool that increase productivity in the overall machining process.

Key component of this tool is the insert, which is typically made of a hard material like carbide or ceramic. This material is chosen for its toughness and abrasion resistance, allowing the tool to withstand the high cutting forces.

Attributes Rough Turning Tool
Related Material Carbide, Ceramic
  • Create a rough surface finish
  • High cutting speed
  • High productivity
Application Field
  • Initial stages of process

Finishing turning tool

XMAKE-finish tool

Finishing turning tool is used to complete the final shaping of a workpiece. The tool is applicable in making finishes that have critical demand in precision and quality.

Its main function is to create smooth and precise surface finishes on different materials such as aluminum, steel, and plastic. The tool is typically made from high-quality carbide or high-speed steel, ensuring durability and longevity to withstand maximum cutting pressure.

This tool is used to provide excellent surface finishes without extra polishing or sanding, which saves time and ensures high accuracy and consistency of final product.

It also famous for accommodate different machining requirements and the flexibility from small precision parts to large industrial components.

Attributes Finishing Turning Tool
Related Material Carbide, Hih-Speed Steel, Aluminum, Plastic
  • Create smooth and precise surface finishes on different materials
  • High accuracy and consistency
  • Accommodate different machining requirements
  • Production flexibility from small precision parts to large industrial components
Application Field
  • The field requires precision and quality

Boring Tool

XMAKE- boring tool

Boring bar is a specialized tool used in lathe machine to create holes with precise dimensions and finishing. Usually, this tool made by hard materials such as carbide or high-speed steel, which can withstand the high cutting forces involved in the process.

The main function of a boring bar is to create and enlarge holes in a workpiece. This tool is commonly used in applications where high precision is required, such as in the manufacturing of engine cylinders, gearboxes, and hydraulic components.

boring bar produce holes with high accuracy and surface finish quality to ensure the proper function of the end product. It also can be used in various machining operations, including internal turning, facing, and grooving.

Attributes Boring bar
Related Material High-Speed Steel, Carbide
  • Create and enlarge holes in a workpiece
  • High accuracy and quality
  • Can be used in various machining operations
Application Field
  • Where high precision is required

Grooving tool

XMAKE-grooving tool

Grooving tool is ideal in creating grooves with variety of materials. Its primary function is to cut elongated, narrow channels with precision and consistency.

These tools are commonly used in scenario of creating precise, repeatable grooves that meet specific design requirements and tolerances, like in woodworking, metalworking, and plastic fabrication industries.

Use grooving tool can create customized designs and profiles in different materials as well as produce clean, accurate cuts that enhance the overall quality and aesthetics of the finished product.

It also increase productivity by speeds up the process and reduces the need for manual labor.

Attributes Grooving Tool
Related Material High-Speed Steel, Carbide
  • Cut elongated, narrow channels with precision and consistency
  • Can create customized designs and profiles in different materials
  • Enhance the overall quality and aesthetics of the finished product
  • Speeds up the process and reduces the need for manual labor
Application Field
  • Creating precise, repeatable grooves that meet specific design requirements and tolerances

Threading tool

XMAKE-threading tool

Thread cutting tool is popular in metalworking by create threads on a lathe part or workpieces, which is important in applications where tight tolerances are required, such as in the aerospace or automotive industries.

The main function of threading tool is to cut threads on a lathe, concentric it onto a rod or other cylindrical material. This cutting operation is achieved by using the tool to remove material in a helical pattern, leaving behind a precise thread profile.

Key advantages of threading tool is its high accuracy and repeatability. It also being praised for versatile on different lathe and materials, including aluminum, steel, and titanium.

In the hands of a skilled operator, a threading tool can produce threads that are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing.

Attributes Threading Tool
Related Material Aluminum, Steel, Titanium
  • Cut concentric threads onto a rod or other cylindrical material
  • High accuracy and repeatability
  • Versatile on dealing wide range of materials
  • Unique aesthetically pleasing value
Application Field
  • Applicaions requires tight tolerances

Parting off tool

XMAKE-parting off tool

Parting off tool is a cutting tool typically made of high-speed steel or carbide. It’s main function is to create a clean and precise cut to separate a workpiece into two distinct pieces without causing any damage to the surrounding material.

Using parting off tool can simplifies the process of separating workpieces and ensures a high-quality finish every time. Whether you are working on a CNC milling or lathe machine, this lathe machine tool offers you power to separate the workpiece with ease and benefit you for its adjustment ability.

It is also a versatile tool that can be used in a wide range of applications across various industries, especially those applications requires smooth and efficient cutting process.

Attributes Parting Off Tool
Related Material High-Speed Steel, Carbide
  • Create a clean and precise cut to separate a workpiece into two distinct pieces.
  • Causing no damage to the surrounding material
  • Simplifies the process of separating workpieces
  • Ensures a high-quality finish
  • High adjustment ability
Application Field
  • Applications requires smooth and efficient cutting process

Conclusion: What Type of Lathe Cutting Tool Shall I Choose for Turning?

XMAKE-lathe cutting

To sum up, right cutting and machining tool can benefit the turning process. There are many types of cutting tools and each of them has its own advantages and suitable applacations. Manufacturers need to check specific manufacturing condition and needs to decide which tool is ideal for machining.

XMAKE and turning

As leading digital manufacturing platform, XMAKE can do professional lathe operation and turning process with different types of tools. If you have needs that requires various lathe tools, welcome to contact with us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Is there any common types of lathe tools didn’t being mentioned in the article?

A: Yes. Due to the length limit, we didn’t expand on some common lathe tools like facing tools, chamfering tools, and knurling tools.

Q2: Why do manufacturers put lathe tools mounted on a lathe?

A: Lathe tools are mounted on a tool holder, which is then secured on the tool post of the machine.

Q3: What is cutting pressure in relation to lathe tools?

A: Cutting pressure refers to the force applied by the tool on the workpiece during the cutting operation.

Q4: How does a left-hand cutting tool differ from a right-hand cutting tool?

A: A left-hand cutting tool is designed to remove material from the left-hand side of the workpiece(aka tools can move from left to right), while the right-hand tool removes opposite.

Q5: How does technology enhance the use of various lathe tools?

A: Technology has introduced advancements in lathe tools design and materials, allowing for more precise and efficient machining processes.


  1. Commonly used tools and selection for CNC lathe – Dongguan Langsade Hardware Tools Co. (n.d.). http://www.szcxlace.com/NewsView.Asp?ID=323
  2. Characteristics of Lathe (Turning) Machining, Representative Machining Methods – Mismi. (n.d.). https://info-meviy.misumi.com.cn/details/1298/

Read Additional Related Posts

Let’s Start A New Project Today

Content in This Article