Different Types of Lathe Cutting Tools for Turning, Boring, Facing, Chamfering and More Operations | CNCLATHING


If you have a lathe toolkit features a series of lathe cutting tools, many works can be done on a lathe machine. To get more benefits from the machine, you need to figure out the different types of lathe cutting tools for completing various operations.

Lathe Machine and Operations

Lathe or CNC lathe is a machine usually used to produce turned parts, shaping different materials into desired shapes. In the CNC turning process, the lathe cutting tool is fed to the rotary workpiece that held in a chuck and removing excess materials from the block. A lathe machine can also perform lots of other operations, including facing, hard turning, parting, grooving, knurling, drilling, reaming, taper turning and threading, as well as woodturning, metalworking, thermal spraying and metal spinning. Woodworking lathes are the most commonly used type. 

Different Types of Lathe Cutting Tools​

There is a wide range of lathe tools can be classified according to materials, structures and purposes or uses.

Classification by Use

1. Turning Tool

Turning tools are designed for removing the materials from the stock, a rough turning tool is used to remove the maximum amount of material and the finishing turning tool is serve for good surface quality, just remove a small amount, to make the piece more accurate.


2. Boring Bar

A boring bar is required when you want to make an existed hole bigger, a boring bar can easily bore into the hole that is already drilled, and widen its diameter. It can enlarge the hole quickly and process it in the proper size to fit other components correctly.


3. Chamfering Tool

Chamfer is a transitional edge between two faces of an object, also defined as a form of the bevel. The chamfering tool is used to create a bevel or furrow on the part. A chamfer can be used to smooth sharp or hazardous edges on a workpiece. 


4. Knurling Tool

Knurling tools are used to produce knurled lathe parts, through creating or pressing a pattern onto a round section, used as a grip for a handle, also usually created on fasteners like nuts. A knurling tool is designed with a specific pattern. 


5. Parting Tool

A parting tool refers to a narrow-bladed tool used in turning or planing or for cutting a piece in two, or defined as a tool used for cutting off pieces from the main body of stock being machined, it is manufactured in many forms.


6. Thread Cutting Tool

Thread cutting tools are used to cut a thread on the lathe part. In external thread cutting, the piece can be held in a chuck or mounted between two centers, in internal thread cutting, the part is held in a chuck, the tool moves across the part linearly, taking chips off the workpiece with each pass. 


7. Facing Tool

A facing tool is used for facing operation on the lathe to cut flat surface perpendicular to the piece’s rotational axis, the tool is mounted into a tool holder that rests on the carriage of the lathe, during the process, the facing tool will feed perpendicularly across the rotational axis of the part.


8. Grooving Tool

A grooving tool is usually a carbide insert mounted in a special tool holder, it’s designed to an insert with multiple tips, often ground to the dimensions and shape required for a particular job, including cutting a slot and complete other work.


9. Forming Tool

Forming tools are made flat or circular in shape when used in the lathe. Simple forming tools have cutting edges ground to the shape of the groove, undercut, or thread to be cut.

Classification by Structure

1. Integral type: the head and rod of the cutter are made of the same material, which is generally high-speed steel. The rigidity of the cutting tool is good, which is suitable for small turning tools and non-ferrous metal turning tools.

2. Welding type: it is connected through the welding process, the cutter head and rod are made from different materials, the carbide insert is inlaid on the rod. It is compact in structure and convenient in manufacture. It is suitable for all kinds of turning tools, especially for small tools.

3. Clamp type: the cutter head and rod are made of different materials, the insert is fixed on the cutter bar with mechanical holding, and the blade can be replaced when it’s blunt. It is a commonly used tool in CNC lathe, and the cutter bar can be reused.

Classification by Material

1. High-speed steel tool: it is made of high speed steel and can be ground continuously, a general cutter for rough machining and semi finish machining.

2. Carbide tool: the blade is made of carbide, which is used to cut cast iron, non-ferrous metal, plastic, chemical fiber, graphite, glass, stone and ordinary steel. It can also be used to cut heat-resistant steel, stainless steel, high-speed steel, tool steel and other difficult materials.

3. Diamond: diamond blade has the advantages of high hardness and wear resistance, low friction coefficient, high elastic modulus, high thermal conductivity, low thermal expansion coefficient, and low affinity with non-ferrous metals. It can be used for precision machining of non-metallic brittle and hard materials such as graphite, high wear-resistant materials, conforming materials, high silicon aluminum alloy and other non-ferrous metal materials.

4. Other materials, such as cubic boron nitride tool and ceramic tool, are developing towards rough machining and intermittent cutting of high hardness alloy cast iron.