What Are CNC Lathes – Best Machines for 2020 Reviews

The metal lathe machine is the number one tool used in mechanical manufacturing. Generally, it is made with multiple rotary surfaces and end surfaces. There are some brands and models of lathe machines that are capable of processing threaded surfaces. Lathe tools are the materials you need to start using this machine. They are also known in processing holes, which include dumpling knives, reaming drills, and drills.

What is a CNC Lathe?

The CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control has been associated with a wide range of pieces of machinery and technologies. CNC lathe is a machine that is being used by many for different production processes.

Because we are now living in a technology-driven era, there is no doubt that CNC lathe went through lots of technological advancements. In connection with that, the machine is being used as a replacement for the more traditional and older lathes, which include the multispindle.

The said machine will provide you loads of benefits. You can set it up and operate easily. You will enjoy its excellent repeatability, together with its high-grade accuracy. Turning is the proper term used for the method of cutting material with a CNC lathe machine.

It is designed to use the latest processes and carbide tooling versions. In addition, it has a part that will enable you to customize it. It also has a tool path that can be programmed with CAM or CAD processes. On the other hand, you, as a programmer can make your own customization on a tool path or some of its parts. As a result, you can now upload the G-Code to the machine. After that, the machine will create the preferred part automatically.

What Projects Can You Make With a CNC Lathe Machine?

As mentioned, the CNC lathe machine will enable you to create a part if you have designed it properly. The said machine comes with an electronic sensor, and good programming being run by electricity are the factors that affect the accuracy of a result.

It can be programmed in many ways. Thus, lots of actions and things can be performed with this machine easily and conveniently. The following are some of the things you can create with a CNC lathe;

  • Naval and artillery parts
  • Military equipment
  • Clothing sector
  • Food and beverages parts
  • Auto ancillaries
  • Aerospace equipment
  • Mining
  • Parts of automobiles

How Much Do CNC Lathes Cost?

The cost of a CNC lathe machine will always depend on what for you are going to use it. So, one of the things you need to consider is the budget of the machine.

There are lots of CNC pricing facets that you should know. For instance, project planning refers to the amount of money you are going to spend on your project before starting. Aside from that, you also need to consider the possible cost of the materials you are going to use.

The following are some of the things that you also need to think;

  • The additional completion costs
  • Labor costs
  • The price of the various machine types
  • The particular price of the CNC lathe machine you are going to order

Keep in mind that the cost of a CNC lathe machine will also depend upon the materials used for making it. But, there is nothing for you to worry about since there are some CNC lathe machines that are inexpensive but can still provide you with the work you need.

You don’t need to spend lots of money, leading a hole to your bank, just to get a machine perfect for big projects. Take note that an inexpensive machine does not mean it cannot perform what expensive ones can.

What Maintenance a CNC Lathe Machine Needs?

Avoid Recutting Chips

When using a Lathe Machine, it is important to prevent the recutting of chips. Ensure that you set up the coolant to remove them. There are some situations that the flood coolant can result from dribbling coolant. This is due to the lack of machine to full enclosures.

Be Disciplined with the Regular Maintenance Schedule

When you have a CNC machine, you need to schedule a maintenance routine and make sure that you will follow it with discipline. This will enable you to determine the possible problem to occur before it can result in a full breakdown. If you are using the machine daily, determine for the scrap and grime buildup material. Use a rag and wipe your machine regularly to maintain its new look. Wiping and cleaning the machine can get rid of the debris and residue that can cause problems of the machine in the future.

Always Have Spare Parts Ready

Think of a situation that you experience a mechanical breakdown or problem during production. Take note that the shipping of the spare parts requires some time, which can lessen its costs. So, it is important to make sure that you have available spare parts, most notably those that are susceptible to mechanical problems. When purchasing a CNC machine, ensure that they include available parts.

Monitor the Grease and Fluid Moving Parts of the Machine

The said machine will always vary its work on fluids, such as the lubricants and the hydraulic fluid. Make sure that you are replacing these fluids daily. Be sure to follow the instructions of the machine. Make sure that your machine is not consuming too much amount of fluid than recommended. To avoid the possible wear and tear, you need to grease the movable parts of the machine periodically.

Keep Records

When you did not follow your routine schedule, your machine needs replacement and repair, which can cost higher. When you wait for the needed parts, each minute you waste can lose a huge amount of income. Thus, it is important to record the maintenance history of your equipment. This will enable you to determine the pending repairs, machinery expenditure, and recurring problems.

What Training is Required to Use a Lathe?

The following are the essential skills you need to keep in mind when beginning to use a CNC machine. Read on to know further.

  • Troubleshooting: Determine the possible reason of the operating problems and things to do to fix it
  • Speaking: You need the speaking skills to communicate the information associated with how to use the lathe machine effectively
  • Controlling Quality: You need this skill for conducting product inspections and tests, processes to evaluating performance or quality and services
  • Operating Equipment: This skill will enable you to control the operating system of the equipment

Aside from that, you also need to read the instruction manual on how you will use a lathe machine properly. Different machines don’t have the same processes to use. They are slightly different. Thus, aside from the skills we mentioned above, you also need to know the proper usage of a lathe machine to utilize it properly.

What is the Best Brand?

Jet is one of the best manufacturers of lathe machines. They are known for producing high-quality tools made with top-notch materials. In connection with that, you can make sure that their machines can be used for a longer time. They ensure durability and impeccable performances.

Many people purchase machines and other tools made by this brand. This is because they are one of the most reputable, reliable, and trusted brands in the machining industry.

What Parameters You Should Consider Before Buying a CNC Lathe

It cannot be denied that most of the CNC lathe machines are costly. Thus, most of the first-timers prefer buying the machine is used already. If you are planning to purchase your machine, there are lots of things you need to keep in mind.

The condition of the machine is the number one thing you need to check. In connection to that, some hire a machine inspector expert to do the checking work. But even though there is a machine inspector who will help you purchase the best machine, there are still lots of things that should be taken into consideration.

The following are the important things you need to consider when buying a lathe machine. This will help you to choose only the best.

Machine Hours

The time taken by the machine to log is the first factor you need to consider before you purchase one. But most of the hours logged have the same impact because they have the same role played on the machine.

You may consider requiring the seller to cut on both the power-on time and hours. Through cutting the time, it will affect the hours being taken by the machine to work on a particular material. This will help you to determine the different parts of the machine that need to be replaced.

The Weight

If you are looking for a lathe machine that is movable or stationary, you need to consider its weight. The lightweight machine is movable while the heavyweight machine can be stored in a single location only.

The Build Quality

In this kind of machine, you need to consider how the tool has been constructed. Know the materials utilized to make your preferred lathe machine. Make sure that it can resist any damage and is very durable.

The Size

CNC lathe machines differ from the sizes. Even though they are labeled as compact, the size will always depend upon its manufacturers. But keep in mind that the size will not affect the machine’s working capability.

Type of Project That You Want to Use

When you decided to purchase your own lathe machine, you need to ask yourself about the project you will be dealing with. It is also important to determine and understand the different parts that you will use to create a project. Different machines can handle various metal types. So, if you will be dealing with metals, make sure that you will use the one designed to handle your chosen material.

One of the most obvious things that need to be taken into consideration is your budget. Whatever project you are going to create, it cannot be avoided that a lathe machine is expensive.

Some CNC machines are worth buying, even if it is expensive. On the other hand, if you are a starter, you can purchase other machines that are inexpensive but can provide you with the things you need. When doing a project, it does not mean that you will need an expensive machine to get the best results. Sometimes, you need to consider the inexpensive ones, since these days, the manufacturers can give you quality features at a lower price.

Recommended CNC Lathes

1- DC DIY Tool CNC Metal Motorized Mini Lathe Machine – Our Budget-Friendly Pick

We usually experience technological interventions. One of the most popular areas is metalworking. Since we live in a technology-driven world, it is expected that there are lots of technology innovations pertaining to both the amateur and expert metalworkers. On the other hand, there are lots of mini metal lathes available on the market.

The DC 12V 24W DIY Tool CNC Metal Motorized Mini Lathe Machine is made with sturdy materials. It has a bed featuring the industrial-grade iron that will ensure that it can last for many years. The bed, together with its other parts, contribute to the durability of this item.

One of the things you will love about this product is that you can control its speed level with the help of its control knob feature. The said functionality will enable you to make your preferred adjustment varying upon the workpiece type you are going to work with.

The three-jaw chuck of this machine can hold the rounded workpiece you are handling stably. This will help you to create a more accurate cut, which will help you to create a more precise project.

The machine has a cross slide feature that is designed professionally. It gives you the work you expected. It has a well-detailed manual, enabling starters to use it properly.

This is perfect to use with soft metals, plastic materials, wood materials, hardwood, and softwood. You can process all of these items with an arbitrary shape. This is also an inexpensive metal lathe available on the market. You can purchase it for only 240 US Dollars. It will help you to perform your metalwork smoothly. It is also made with high-quality materials.

The manufacturer of this item boasts with a big swing range, enabling you to work with larger and heavier workpieces. The Machine is used for bevel cutting, face cutting, and internal cutting. These working activities can be done by adjusting the tool post angle and performing your personal touches on the compound rest.

Its product warranty is enough for you to decide if this machine deserves the money you invest in it. Aside from that, it also has excellent customer support. For instance, if there are some problems you encounter with their machine, you can contact the manufacturer’s customer support. They will immediately assist you and answer all of your queries regarding their product.

It has an RPM that is perfect to use in a wide range of projects. It will help you to have a more precise result. In spite of being inexpensive to this product, you can ensure that it is rich with the helpful features that you can use for your daily metal working activities.

With the well-written and well-explained instructional manual offered by its manufacturer, there is no need for you to hire an expert to install or set up the machine. Aside from being budget-friendly, the DC 12V 24W DIY Tool CNC Metal Motorized Mini Lathe Machine is also user-friendly. The machine comes with the navigation you can use easily. If this is your first time in this industry who don’t know how to use a lathe machine, well, you don’t have to worry anymore with this DC 12V 24W DIY Tool CNC Metal Motorized Mini Lathe Machine. Check it out here on Amazon.

Pros

  • It is made with sturdy materials, which means it is durable and sturdy enough.
  • You can make your work with this machine quickly
  • It has a reverse and forward functionality
  • It is adjustable, enabling you to create perfect cuts.

Cons

  • Some of its customers claim that they don’t find any manual included in the package.

2- Grizzly Industrial tG0602-10” x 22” Benchtop Metal Lathe – Best Benchtop Lathe Machine

Grizzly Industrial G0602 is one of the best lathes that is perfect for those who want to use hard materials. It is very popular and already marked its name on the market because it provides high functionality and performance.

There are lots of benefits that you can get from using this machine. One of these is that it is compact in size. This only means that you can move it easily. Aside from that, it is also capable of performing machining your metal works without the help of its chatter.

It is convenient and user-friendly. It has a ground and hardened V-way bed. This part of the tool will provide it with both longevity and optimal support. It has a benchtop design and only weighs 432 lbs. Thus, you can ensure that it is convenient and safe to store in your working space.

It has enough power to mold the engines. You only have 12 months-time to decide whether this tool can satisfy your working needs and requirements. If you think it is not, you can request a refund to its manufacturer. Its company is always willing to give back the money you used to purchase their product.

The machine is both well-built and solid. It will provide you with lots of useful features, which include the variable speed range. The said feature comes with six different ranges of speed. These include the 2400 RPM, 1200 RPM, 720 RPM, 560 RPM, 300 RPM, and 150 RPM.

Since it is made with the materials that are in good quality, its manufacturer claims that it will provide you with a 2-year operation that is free from hassles. There are lots of customers who have proved that it is true.

If you are going to compare the Grizzly Industrial G0602 with its predecessors, you can conclude that it is richer with the quality features. But it cannot be denied that it is also quite expensive. It has a one-inch bore that can help you to work with the critical metal materials. Many of its customers claim that the product works well with the larger projects.

It is very lightweight compared with the other lathes brands and models. Because of being light, you can move it around your working area without experiencing any problems. It helps you to make accurate finishes and cuts. Also, it can also save much of your time. It is versatile, providing you with top-notch work.

After knowing the advantages offered by the Grizzly Industrial G0602, it is the right time for you to determine the possible drawbacks you might experience while using this product. As we read some of its reviews on Amazon, one of its users claims that the machine comes with slight problems in terms of its quality. Aside from that, another customer also complained about it. He also added that the paint of the machine starts to peel off as time goes by. That’s why he did not enjoy using this product.

Even though the Grizzly Industrial G0602 only provides one year of warranty, it does not mean it is not worth buying. Many metal workers and DIYers love to use this machine because of its impeccable performance and excellent workability. Thus, there is no doubt why we highly recommend you purchase this product.

The said product is capable of performing different works. Aside from that, it comes with the important features you will need for every metal job you will perform. So, make sure that you will invest your money on a high-quality product that provides impeccable work. Thus, make sure you will choose the Grizzly Industrial G0602. Check it out here on Amazon.

Pros

  • High-quality performance
  • Compact
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • It has a short warranty. Some lathe machine manufacturers offer a 2-year warranty. But the product provides you with a one-year warranty, which is enough to decide whether it is worth your money or not.

3- Jet 321360A BDB-1340A 13-Inch Swing by 40-Inch – Mini-Small Lathe Machine

If you are a metal worker for a longer time and want to improve your skills on metalworking, then Jet 321360A BDB-1340A 13-Inch Swing may be your best buddy.

There are lots of machines that are associated with industrial turning jobs. But only a few of them are recommended by the experts. These include the Jet 321360A BDB-1340A 13-Inch Swing. This is because it will provide you with the entire things you will need to perform a more precise industrial turning work.

There are lots of features that you will love about this product. It is known for its quiet work performance since it comes with an enclosed headstock feature. You can also make sure that it is stronger and more stable because it features a V-way bed.

It has a full-length guard. This works as a wall that can minimize the coolant splash. The speed of this task will always depend upon the type of work you are doing. It can provide you with more effective and efficient work because you have full control over adjusting its voltage level.

There are lots of people who love the smooth performance of this machine since it has tapered roller bearings responsible for making a smooth and consistent performance.

The quick-change gearbox of this machine will enable you to change its gears easily, quickly and hassle-free. Since the Jet is confident about every product they are making, they provide a long-term warranty for this one. In connection with that, when you experience some problems associated with the product, and you think it is not providing you with the work expected, you can request a full refund to its manufacturer.

There are lots of advantages that you can get from using this machine. The company makes sure that their machines are reliable. Thus, they made it precisely together with their professional engineers. The manufacturing process is top-notch, ensuring that each part of the machine will function properly once used.

The types of machinery made by the Jet are created and tested to have a tight tolerance feature. This will provide you with more precise work and enjoy its consistent quality operations. You can install this machine easily with the help of the included instructional manual. Even though you are new in this industry, you don’t have to worry about using this product. Through this manual, you can make sure that the machine will work more efficiently, safer, and faster.

If you are living in the US, you can hire a knowledgeable technician to perform some repair on the machine when problems occur. Aside from that, you can also purchase some of your needed accessories easily because they have more than 750 authorized service centers in the US. So, you don’t have to worry about the shipping fees.

If your tool starts to show some defects, the company will send you a maintenance specialist or a technician from one of their service centers located near your area. This only means that your machine will always work at its best. But you can only avail of their free repair service within the two years of warranty.

If you are one of the DIYers or professional metal workers, then you might be asking yourself about the lathe that will suit your needs and requirements. Well, your search is over since the Jet 321360A BDB-1340A 13-Inch Swing is finally here. The said machine can provide you with the things and features you need to perform quality work.

The fact that the Jet 321360A BDB-1340A 13-Inch Swing’s manufacturer provides you with a long-term warranty, you can expect that the product is on high-quality and can provide you with a top-notch performance. Check it out here on Amazon.

Pros

  • It is known for its quiet work
  • Full-length guard
  • Made with high-grade materials

Cons

  • It is not budget-friendly

4- TECHTONGDA Brushless Motor Precision Mini Metal Lathe DIY Bench Lathe 110V – Hobby CNC Lathe Machine

TECHTONGDA is one of the experts in the industry of machine manufacturing. The CNC lathes they produce are perfect for a wide range of machining. It is being used by many metal workers to create a more precise model processing, sample processing, and parts processing. The TECHTONGDA Brushless Motor Precision Mini Metal Lathe has a high demand on the market since you can operate it easily and will provide you with more extensive use.

Since their lathe is made with metal gears, you can expect that it is durable and wear-resistant. So, you can expect that it can provide you with its service for many years. It can be used by both professionals and hobbyists, providing you with a more accurate rotation.

This automatic machine can provide you with lots of functions, and you can clean its gearbox easily. It runs quietly and smoothly. You can also expect that it will not cause any problems or mistakes when used for manufacturing. All of its body parts can provide you with a smooth work. That’s why experts highly recommend it.

If we are going to compare it with the conventional models, you can see on the market. You can notice that this lathe comes with bearings and gears that are made with top-grade metal materials. This only means that the said machine will enable you to perform high-quality work. That is the main reason why lots of expert metal workers and hobbyists love to use this machine.

These include a brushless motor that powers 600 wattages. This feature will enable you to perform any job easily and conveniently. You don’t also need to maintain it more frequently in the long run. In addition to that, this unit features 100 Voltages. This only means that you can use the TECHTONGDA Brushless Motor Precision Mini Metal Lathe anywhere for as long as there is a power source.

In addition to its 100 V of brushless motor, the TECHTONGDA Brushless Motor Precision Mini Metal Lathe also comes with easier maintenance and stronger power. Keep in mind that the said lathe machine only features a metric scale. When you purchase this machine from their store, you can automatically receive a three-month warranty. So within these months, you can determine if this item is worth your penny.

When it comes to its speed, it is ranging from 50 ROM to 2500 RPM. But we cannot deny the fact that everything in this world is imperfect. These include humans and even the machinery made by the most intelligent person. So, it is expected that TECHTONGDA Brushless Motor Precision Mini Metal Lathe also has some minor and noticeable imperfections.

In spite of the features being given by the said machine, there will always be flaws you may experience while using it. For instance, this machine weighs 150 pounds. For some, it is lightweight, but for others, it is heavy to carry. Thus, if you are going to move it from one place to another that has a quite distance, you might have a hard time doing so.

Aside from that, if we are going to compare it with the other models and brands on the market with the same caliber, you might notice that it is quite more expensive. But it does not mean that its manufacturer overpriced their product.

Since it is loaded with high-quality features and made with good-quality materials, there is no doubt why this item is quite costly than the others. The tools of the lathe are made with top-notch materials. You can ensure that each tool will provide you and meet all your needs and requirements for the work. Thus, if it is okay for you to spend quite an amount of money from your pocket, then we highly recommend you to try this one. Check it out here on Amazon.

Pros

  • It helps in creating more precise parts processing, model processing, and sample processing
  • It is both resistant and durable
  • More accurate rotation

Cons

  • It is quite heavy for some
  • It is quite expensive

Which CNC Lathes Are Recommended for Cutting Wood?

Among the three CNC lathes we have reviewed, the recommended model for cutting wood is the DC 12 V 24W DIY Tool CNC Metal Motorized Mini Lathe Machine 20000rev/min. Aside from woods, you can also use it for cutting plastic materials, aluminum and copper. Since it is made from quality steel materials, you can ensure to create great shapes smoothly. 

Which Machines Are The Best Mini or Small CNC Lathes?

A small CNC lathe is a good machine to cut, engrave and carve plywood and various materials. Aside from that, this type of machine is also inexpensive. If you want to use a mini CNC lathe machine, you might consider the Jet 321360A BDB-1340A 13-Inch Swing by 40-Inch that we have reviewed above.

Which Machines Are The Best Benchtop CNC Lathes?

A benchtop machine is good for those who are seeking a CNC lathe that has a compact size. If you are one of them, you might consider using the Grizzly Industrial tG0602-10” x 22” Benchtop Metal Lathe that we have reviewed above. Since it is compact, you can move it from transferring from one place to another. Benchtop CNC lathe machines are also great for performing metal works.

What Machines Are The Best Desktop CNC Lathes?

If you are performing metal works, then consider using a desktop CNC lathe is perfect for you. You might consider using the DC 12V 24W DIY Tool CNC Metal Motorized Mini Lathe Machine 20000rev/min as well as the Grizzly Industrial tG0602-10” x 22” Benchtop Metal Lathe. These two machines are made of steel. Thus it is more rigid compared with the other machines out there.

What Machines Are The Best Hobby CNC Lathes?

Hobby CNC lathe machines are good for those DIYers and starters. If you have decided to take your hobby into the next level, then the Grizzly Industrial tG0602-10” x 22” Benchtop Metal Lathe is a hobby CNC lathe machine that is worth trying. It is made of metal. Thus, you can ensure that it is wear-resistant and durable. Aside from that, you can also use it for a longer time.

Which CNC Lathes Are For The Money?

The DC 12V 24W DIY Tool CNC Metal Motorized Mini Lathe Machine 20000rev/min is a budget-friendly lathe machine. You can use it for cutting, carving, and engraving soft metals, aluminum, copper, and woods. It features a three-jaw chuck feature that will hold the material you prefer cutting. It is good for those who have a tight budget since you only need to plug it into the available socket in your working area.

Which CNC Lathes Are Automatic?

If you are looking for a CNC lathe that works automatically, then the TECHTONGDA Brushless Motor Precision Mini Metal Lathe DIY Bench Lathe 110V is for you. It comes with the latest carbide tooling versions, enabling you to use it without any hassle.

CNC Lathe Programming

As we mentioned earlier, the CNC lathe is a machine used by many business owners and manufacturers to make their preferred program instructions. The CNC lathe programming is the process where a person gives an instruction to the PC that will control the lathe. 

The CNC Lathe programming is perfect to use by those individuals who are working in the manufacturing industry. The CNC lathe machine can help you to enhance its flexibility and automation at the same time.

The CNC programmer is the one that creates instructions that will be sent to the machine. They use a computer as well as a mill. These two should be connected with each other. To complete the system, the programmer also needs to use sensors and electrical drives. As mentioned, the computer will be the one that will manage the axis movement of the lathe machine.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, I have helped you a lot of time with this article. If you have found value in this article, I would appreciate it if you could share it. Don’t hesitate to navigate on our website and read other articles about CNC.

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