CNC Milling vs. CNC Turning: Five Differences to Know

cnc milling vs. cnc turning

If you’re considering investing in a CNC machine for your business, it’s important to understand the difference between milling and turning.

As a leading corporation in this field, in this article, we’ll break down the key differences between these two types of CNC machines so you can make an informed decision about which is best for you.

Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll delve into each type of machine in more detail!

What Is CNC Milling?

CNC milling is a machining process that uses computer numerical control (CNC) to operate rotate tools. While the workpieces remain still, mills can move freely around the X, Y, and Z axes.

This process can create parts with complex shapes and features, and it is often suitable for the aerospace, automotive, and construction industries.

CNC milling machines are typically operated by a computer program that controls the movement of the machine’s cutting tools.

The first CNC milling machines were developed in the 1950s, and since then, they have become an essential part of manufacturing operations around the world.

Today, there are many different types of CNC milling machines available on the market, each with its own unique capabilities and features.

cnc milling

What Is CNC Turning?

CNC turning is a machining process used to create conical or cylindrical parts by spinning a workpiece while holding it against a cutting tool. This cutting tool, typically referred to as a “lathe”, is fed into the workpiece to remove material and create the desired shape.

CNC turning can create a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and is capable of creating both simple and complex parts. It is a versatile machining process that can create both small and large parts.

CNC turning centers can also be suitable for the mass production of certain specialized parts, such as screws or bolts. CNC turning is often suitable for the production of medical devices, automotive parts, aerospace components, and more.

cnc lathes

The Advantages Difference Between CNC Milling And CNC Turning

When it comes to machining parts, there are two main approaches: CNC milling and CNC turning. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right method for the job at hand. Here’s a quick overview of each approach:

CNC milling is a versatile machining method that can create complex shapes and detailed designs. However, it is also a relatively slow process, so it may not be the best choice for high-volume production runs.

CNC turning, on the other hand, is a much faster machining method. This makes it ideal for large production runs where speed is of the essence. However, CNC turning is not as versatile as CNC milling, so it may not be able to create complex shapes and detailed designs.

Related Machining Articles:

CNC Milling: Its Definition, Machines, And Operations

CNC Turning: Its Definition, Machines, And Operations

CNC Machining: A Beginner’s Guide

When To Use Each Type Of Machine

There are many benefits to using CNC machines. They are much more precise than manual machines and can produce parts with tight tolerances. They can also operate at high speeds, making them ideal for mass production.

CNC lathes and CNC mills are similar to complete many similar projects, but there are also important differences between them.

So, when should you use CNC turning? If you need to create parts with cylindrical symmetry, CNC turning is the way to go. This is because it is specifically designed for this purpose. CNC milling can also create parts with cylindrical symmetry, but it is not as efficient or precise.

On the other hand, if you need to create parts with complex shapes, CNC milling is the better option. This is because CNC milling can create just about any shape imaginable. CNC milling uses a variety of rotating cutting tools to remove material from a workpiece. CNC turning is limited by the fact that it can only create parts with cylindrical symmetry.

In general, CNC milling is more versatile than CNC turning. However, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to choose the right machine for the job at hand. Depending on your specific needs, one may be better suited than the other.

Which Material Is Best Suited For Each Type Of Machine

There are many factors to consider when choosing a material for CNC machining. The most important factor is the type of application the part will be used for. Other important factors include the strength and hardness of the material, the machinability of the material, and the cost of the material.

Some common materials that are suitable for CNC turning include aluminum, brass, bronze, and stainless steel. Each of these materials has its own unique set of properties that make it ideal for specific applications.

There are also a variety of materials that can be milled using CNC technology, including metals (steel, aluminum), plastics (acrylic, polycarbonate), and even wood. In terms of which material is best suited for CNC milling, it really depends on the application.

For example, if you need to create intricate designs or need a very precise finish, aluminum may be the best choice. Ultimately, it is important to consult with a CNC expert to determine which material is best suitable for your specific application.

Parts Made With CNC Milling

CNC milling is often used to create parts for aerospace, automotive, and medical applications. In recent years, the affordability of CNC milling machines has led to a surge in popularity among small businesses and hobbyists. Today, it is not uncommon to see products that were created using CNC milling, ranging from custom car parts to one-of-a-kind jewelry.

Here are some parts created by CNC Milling:

1. Aerospace parts

2. Car engine blocks

3. Camera lens barrels

4. Computer hard drive cases

5. Dental implants

6. Musical instruments

Parts Made With CNC Turning

There are a variety of parts that can be made with CNC turning. This process is often suitable for creating cylindrical objects, such as gears, shafts, and spindles. It can also manufacture other objects with rotational symmetry, such as stainless steel screws and bolts.

In addition, CNC turning can be used to create objects with complex geometries, such as those found in turbines and engine parts.


CNC turning and milling are both our CNC machining services, they use computers to control the movement of machines. As a professional provider of CNC machining services, we can turn and mill various precision parts for your projects.

We hope you will find the information above useful, and if you can not decide which one is more suitable for your business, please contact us, because we have experienced experts who can design an optimal plan for you.