What is Slant Bed Lathe – Difference Between Flat Bed CNC Lathe and Slant Bed CNC Lathe | CNCLATHING


CNC lathes can be divided into horizontal and vertical machines, horizontal CNC lathe has flat bed and slant bed type, their main difference lies in the elevation angle of the lathe. In this article, let’s learn about the difference between flat bed CNC lathe and slant bed CNC lathe and help you to decide which to choose for different production plans.

What is a Flat Bed Lathe Machine?

Flat bed CNC lathe is widely used in heavy turning, its common uses are machining of complex geometries, short shafts, disc and other workpieces. In addition, it can machine all kinds of Metric or English internal and external threads. After the rotary head is installed on the flatbed CNC lathe, the workpiece circumference and end face can be milled or drilled. The flat-bed CNC lathe can not only turn the outer circle, groove, and chamfer, but also drill, ream, expand, roll, and so on. It has a high machining range, stability, and productivity.

What is Slant Bed CNC Lathe?

Slant bed CNC lathes are usually equipped with multi-station turret or power turret, is a type of high accuracy, high speed, and high-precision automated machine tool. Slant bed lathes are most suitable for the manufacture of medium-sized components such as aircraft, automobiles, glasses although lighters and can also be used to process linear cylinders, diagonal cylinders, arcs, and various complex components like threads and slots. Slant bed CNC machines have lots of advantages, one of the most well-known benefits is better chip evacuation. The chips produced during the CNC turning or machining processes will be washed down toward the chip bed by gravity and the normal flow of the coolant, which makes the chips from accumulating. What’s more, this feature can also reduce undue wear on the railways and other moving parts, then prolong the lifespan of the machine. 

Difference Between Flat Bed CNC Lathe and Slant Bed CNC Lathe - Flat Bed CNC vs Slant Bed CNC

1. Compared to slant bed CNC lathes, flat bed CNC lathes have higher stability, but they are more limited in the ability of tool changing and indexing. 

2. Flatbed CNC lathes are usually easier to handle large parts. The clearance between headstock and bed is also very helpful to adapt to the increase of turning diameter of parts.

3. The plane of the two guide rails of the flat bed lathe is parallel to the plane of the ground. The plane of the two guide rails of the slant bed lathe intersects with the ground plane to form an inclined plane with the angle of 30 °, 45 °, 60 °, and 75 °.

4. From the side of the machine tool, the bed of the flatbed CNC lathe is square, and the bed of the slant bed CNC lathe is the right triangle. Obviously, in the case of the same width of the guide rail, the x-direction carriage of the slant bed is longer than that of the flat bed, which means more tool numbers can be arranged.

5. The cross-sectional area of the CNC lathe with slant bed is larger than that of the flat bed with the same specification, that is, the bending and torsion resistance is stronger. The cutter of slant bed CNC lathe cuts down from the obliquely above of the workpiece, and the cutting force is basically consistent with the gravity direction of the workpiece, so the spindle runs relatively smoothly and it is not easy to cause cutting vibration. While the cutting force of flat bed CNC lathe is 90 ° with the gravity of the workpiece, it is easy to cause vibration.

6. Flat bed lathe can deal with products that are both lightweight and heavy-duty with precise precision. Slant bed lathes are ideal for the production of medium-sized components.

7. The slant bed is stronger than the flat bed in automation, but it is relatively difficult to make the slant bed. 


Flat bed lathe vs slant bed lathe, which one to choose? They both have their own advantages. Flat bed CNC lathe can achieve the accuracy of rigid materials, while a slant bed CNC lathe can achieve z-axis movement in processing. If the accuracy of rigid materials is required to be higher, it is recommended to select flat bed lathe for CNC machining. The slant bed CNC lathe usually works on light materials, so it is relatively advantageous in loading, entering and processing, while the flat bed CNC lathe needs the operation of skilled professionals who can handle it correctly.