What is A Speed Lathe – How to Change Spindle Speed | CNCLATHING


Unlike ordinary lathes, numerous different speeds can be achieved by the use of AC motors on a variable speed lathe. What is a speed lathe and how does it work? Let’s learn about it and how to change the spindle speed on your machine tool.

What Is A Speed Lathe?

A lathe is a machine tool that performs a turning operation to remove unwanted materials from a workpiece rotated against the cutting tool. A lathe is characterized as affecting a workpiece in a symmetrical way, which is done by spinning the part. A speed lathe is a type of lathe that runs much faster than an ordinary lathe. These machines are usually only used for small tasks, such as finishing a part of removing burrs left by early manufacturing steps. Increasing speed is usually achieved by changing the motor speed of the lathe, these changes enable the lathe to get a required faster speed. A speed lathe is a type of finishing lathe, with much smaller motors and sizes, generally sit on a worktable, can’t perform some tasks that larger lathes do. A speed lathe has a faster speed and a more robust braking system, which makes the operators can operate on more pieces per work cycle, increasing productivity and output. 


Here are two more definitions of speed lathe:

– A power lathe with a rapidly revolving spindle, for turning small objects or polishing.

– A hand lathe.

– A small lathe with high speed is adapted for drilling.  


Twister speed lathes generally have a collet closer and are fast and low-powered compared to an engine lathe. They are designed for deburring, polishing, removing material and precision cutting. Some lathe operations leave burrs and it can re-chuck it and work it off afterward. They can be moved and setup anywhere. 


A variable speed lathe refers to those lathes that have a modern and precise means to control the spindle speed. On the variable speed lathe, the combination of electronic variable speed control and variable speed motor can increase the operating range. 

How to Change Spindle Speed?

The spindle speed is the rotational frequency of the spindle of the machine tool, measures in revolutions per minute (RPM). Spindle speed affects the torque or power applied to the cutting action. Low speed generally applies more torque. The cutting speed is proportional to the spindle speed and the diameter at which cutting is being done. To adjust the spindle speed, follow the steps below.

– Select “SPINDLES” from the Manual Control options by touching the right selection on the display. 

– On the operator control box, turn the “SPINDLE SPEED” potentiometer right (higher number) to increase the RPM or turn it left (lower number) to reduce the RPM. The spindle speed will be displayed on the screen.

– Press “Setup Screen” on the display to return to the Setup Screen.

How to Calculate Spindle Speed: Turning Speed and Feed Calculator