8 Common Types of CNC Machines You Need to Know

CNC Machines

CNC machines are precision machines and work in an automated manner. These machines control the movement of machine tools to perform different machining operations, such as milling, drilling, cutting, drilling, and others.

They are used for manufacturing different parts of machines and equipment. 

With the evolution of technology, there is a wide range of CNC machines available in the market today. Each machine type has different applications, benefits, and drawbacks. 

Choosing the right machine type for your application can save you time and money while delivering high-quality parts. In this blog, 

we’ll cover different types of CNC machines that’ll help you select the ideal machine type for your requirements.

Different types of CNC machines

There are many different types of CNC machines, with each type having different characteristics, functions, and materials. 

Common types of CNC machines include lathes, routers, and mills.

CNC Lathes are machine tools used to milling or cutting a shape on a sturdy disk-like object. They are capable of turning the tool of choice at high speeds and can be used for making milling cutters, milling rings, and other similar pieces of machinery.

CNC Routers are computer-controlled machine tools that work similar to machining lathes. They have servos that guide the machine through the CNC machining process. 

CNC Mills are machine tools used to grind or cut milling cutters and milling rings. They can be capable of cutting objects of varying shape on a sturdy disk-like object.

CNC machines are computer-controlled machine tools with servos that guide the machine through the process of machining a part or tooling. The main advantage of using CNC machines is their precision and accuracy, as they work according to computer programs. 

Besides being common in the automotive and tech industries, cnc machines have been around for decades. 

They were previously manually operated by machinists who would control them using manual inputs such as dials and axes.

1. CNC Milling Machine

CNC milling machines are machines that are controlled by a computer, allowing for automated manufacturing operations. 

Common types of CNC milling machines include horizontal milling machines and vertical milling machines. Vertical milling machines machine workpiece vertically while horizontal milling machines machine workpiece horizontally. CNC milling machines are used to create cylindrical parts by cutting and shaping materials such as metals, plastics, and composites. 

These machine can be easily divided into vertical milling machines or horizontal milling machine depending on the type of workpiece being machined.

CNC milling machine is a traditional milling machine which has a spindle equipped with a tool holder and can rotate around a fixed axis. These types of machines allow for precision machining of complex geometries, making them valuable in industries such as engineering, automotive, and medical manufacturing.

Output: CNC Milling Machines can be easily divided into vertical milling machines or horizontal milling machine. Vertical milling machine machining workpiece vertically while horizontal machining machine machine workpiece horizontally. 

These types of machining machines can be used to precision machine complex geometries and make them valuable in different industries.

2. CNC Router

A CNC router is a computer-controlled machine that can perform a variety of operations, such as cutting, milling, routing and drilling. 

These machines are commonly used in the manufacturing of furniture, cabinets, doors, and other wood products. They are also used to create intricate shapes and designs in stone, metal, or plastic materials. 

CNC routers can be used to make complex 3D objects with precision accuracy and speed. The size of the router and the software capabilities will depend on the type of project you are working on. 

Thus, it is important to carefully consider the type of router you need for your particular project.  

There are several types of CNC machines out there, each with different capabilities and applications. It’s up to you to choose which one best suits your work needs.

3. CNC Plasma Cutting Machine

CNC plasma cutters use a plasma torch to cut electrically conductive materials with precision and speed. These machines are capable of cutting through tough materials, such as metal and wood. 

They are also used for cutting different types of materials, such as plastics and glass. The plasma torch of a CNC plasma cutter is more efficient than other types of cutting torches, which allows it to cut through thicker materials quickly.

CNC plasma cutters are typically more affordable than CNC laser cutters of the same capability, making them an attractive option for small-scale manufacturing projects. 

However, their cutting process is faster than laser cutters and can be used to cut different types of materials with precision and ease. Overall, CNC plasma cutters are a versatile tool for cutting different types of materials quickly and accurately.

4. CNC Lathe Machines

Lathe machines are used to cut and shape cylindrical parts, such as pipes and tubes. They work by cutting the material on a lathe that is rotating at high speed. Lathes are useful for precision machining of various materials, including metals, plastics, and composites. 

With lathes and other machine tools, workers can produce finished products rapidly and with great precision. Lathes have a long history of use in manufacturing, dating back to the 19th century. 

Today, they are often replaced by CNC machines, which automate some of the work process and allow for greater precision and efficiency. However, lathe machines can still be useful for certain jobs, especially those that require precision or require the ability to work with many different types of materials

5. CNC Laser Cutting Machine

CNC laser cutters are machines that use highly focused laser beams to cut sheets of materials with precision. These machines work by directing the output of a laser at the material to be cut, which either melts, burns, vaporizes away, or is blown away by a jet of gas.

 CNC laser machine generally works with rigid materials as their powerful laser produces increased accuracy and can cut custom designs and shapes into raw material. They are an ideal choice for cutting rigid materials such as metals and wood as they produce increased accuracy and precision. 

Overall, CNC laser machine is an efficient tool for cutting different types of materials with precision.

6. CNC Waterjet Cutting Machine

CNC Waterjet cutters use high-pressure water jets to cut through materials such as plastics and aluminum. They are more expensive than plasma cutters with similar specifications, but less costly than CNC laser cutters with identical specifications. 

CNC Waterjet cutters typically have a slower cutting speed than CNC plasma cutters and CNC laser cutters. These machines can cut through any material and are capable of cutting in different directions and at different angles. They are versatile machines that can be used for many applications in the manufacturing industry. 

They are often faster and more precise than other types of machine cutters, making them ideal for a wide range of tasks from small prototype production runs to large-scale production work.

7. CNC Electrical Discharge Machine

CNC electrical discharge machines or spark CNC machines are commonly referred to as EDM. These machines use electrical sparks to vaporize the workpiece and produce a desired shape. They are used to machine different types of materials, including metals, plastics, and non-metals such as glass.

These machines require the workpiece to be electrically conductive as the tool acts as an electrode, disintegrating only conductive materials. This makes EDMs ideal for machining micro slots, holes, and angled features in difficult-to-machine metals, such as high-carbon steel and hardened steel. They are also useful for milling machining centers and turning lathes. 

Overall, EDMs are versatile machines that can be used for a variety of different tasks.

8. CNC Grinder

CNC Grinders are precision tools used to smooth and finish machined products, such as engine parts, high-precision gears, automobile parts, medical equipment, and aerospace parts. 

These machines are capable of quickly and accurately machining different types of materials, such as metal, plastics, and wood. They work by using a variety of abrasive materials, such as plated or vitrified cesium- based binary nitride (CBN), diamond grinding wheels, aluminum oxide, and ceramic blend grinding wheels. 

They can be used to machine different types of surface finishes and substrates. CNC Grinding Machines are a type of CNC machine that uses rotating ceramic-blend grinding wheels to remove material from a workpiece.

Selecting the Best CNC Machine for Your Application

– CNC machines such as lathes, milling machines, and multi-axis machining centers offer high speed accuracy and can help improve productivity. – The types of machines vary widely depending on the type of work that is being done.

– CNC lathes are popular with industries that mass produce symmetrical objects, and require low human intervention. – They use computerized rotary axes to machine metal and other materials with precision.
– Hydraulic tracer systems are also common on CNC machines. These machines trace the path of a desired shape or line of cut through a soft material like plastics or rubber by moving tooling along a pre-programmed path.

– CNC machines use actuators, drives, and software programs to produce a variety of products. They automate many manufacturing operations and reduce the risk of human error.

– They can be used in industries like manufacturing, aerospace, and healthcare to create unique products with high levels of precision.
Besides, cnc machining has also become one of the popular ways of cutting different types of materials like wood, plastic, metal etc. It helps in faster cutting and accurate work piece handling. With cnc machine cutting different types of materials gets easier than ever before.

Get CNC Machining High-Quality Parts

– CNC machines are heavy-duty and accurate performers for getting high-quality parts.

– They are used in manufacturing to machine different types of materials, such as metal, wood, and plastics.

– There are different types of machines, such as vertical machining centers, horizontal machining centers, 5 Axis CNC mills, and other universal mills. Each type of machine has its own unique features and purpose for use in manufacturing.

– CNC machining involves mechanical, chemical, electrical, and thermal processes to produce custom-designed parts or products. To get high-quality parts from a machine, it is vital to understand the types of machines available and their features.

– Ideally, you should purchase a machine that suits your production needs and budget. This will help you get high-quality machining results for your projects.


CNC machines are the future of machining. They’re cost-effective, versatile, and accurate machines that can cut manufacturing time and costs while improving precision and surface finish. 

They’re computer-controlled machines that work by cutting, drilling, milling, or machining a material based on a computer design file. When you compare CNC machining to traditional machining methods like drilling, turning, milling, or lathe work, you realize how automated and efficient machining technology has become. 

With CNC machining, you can machine precision parts with accuracy and precision in a matter of hours – not days or weeks!

EOS: Now that you know about different types of CNC machines, it is time for you to start using them. Ensure your manufacturing process is efficient and precise by opting for CNC machines today!

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