Lathes and Mills: Specialized Equipment for Specialized Production

Monday, January 16, 2017


Lathes and mills are two types of machinery that are often used to cut and refine metal components into final shapes for a wide variety of purposes and applications. While lathes and mills can perform similar jobs, they go about it in two very different ways. So before you decide to use one over the other, you should try and get a better understanding of what separates lathes and mills so that you can select the best machine for the job.


Lathes are machines that are used to make cylindrical parts with a series of cutting tools in different shapes and sizes. When using lathes, the blank material is spun quickly on a tool post and the cutting implements trim away pieces to refine it into a desired finished product. With lathe production, the material itself moves around the axis that it’s placed on while the tools may often stay stationary, meaning that the product being worked on rotates into position for any needed cuts to be made.


Milling machines, on the other hand, work in the opposite way. While lathes spin the materials that you are cutting, milling machines have spinning cutting tools like drills that bore away and cut your material while it is held in place by a vise or a similar tool. Milling machines use these tools to cut and refine the stationary starting material, creating a finished product by cutting, milling and drilling.

As you can see, lathes and milling machines operate in different ways, but they can both be used to cut raw metals and other materials to transform them into the parts you need. The key is picking the equipment that is best suited for your individual needs. At Lowrance Machine Shop, we have lathes and milling machines that are equipped for both CNC and manual use, meaning that we can make nearly any product you may need. Our team can also discuss your options with you to make sure that we use the right machine for your specific creation. Learn more by calling us at 281-449-6524 today and discover how our lathes and milling machines can help you create the parts and equipment you need.


  • CNC
  • cnc machining
  • lathes
  • mills