Best Small Cnc Lathe??? Need Advice!
I NEED YOUR ADVICE = SMALL CNC LATHE
I am in the market for a small cnc lathe or turning center- perhaps a turret or gang lathe or CNC toolroom lathe, or even a combination lathe or maybe a refitted Hardinge. I would prefer under 5000 lbs/10hp as I need a small footprint, and will run (or convert to) 220v single phase.
Wish to make small parts .25” to 4” dia in brass & aluminum in small runs of 10 to 100. I would like a later machine that I can program conversationally or with g-code from cad-cam and don’t have to worry about controller parts not available. Budget is under $20k or maybe more a for something really nice.
Any suggestions/ favorites/ ones to avoid?? One guy suggested a late ‘90’s Mazac w/ mazitrol, but they are expensive and will they even run g-code? I’ve looked at a Leadwell, and a Omni-turn gang lathes and at the bigger Japanese stuff withFanucs 10’s. 19’s,21’s??? Wondering how old is “too” old on the Fanucs? What about Milltronics? What about Huth? (Sorry, I’ve got a lot of questions about this)
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Hi Buzz2, I have worked with Takisawa CNC Lathes old and new over the last 20 years along with Hardinge, Bridgeport and Haas. Out of all the lathes I like the Takisawa and Hardinge, both will do what you want easy. The ones I use have 2" thru the spindle when used with the collet chuck, take that off and fit a 10" chuck and you can do the rest upto what ever the swing is for your machine but this will have to be billet work. Both of these lathes are a good buy when brought second hand, just check all the important things and make sure you see and hear it running/cutting. With the Fanuc don't go back futher than 18i which is about the 80's , the only other thing is the tool turret on any lathe if it's a 12 station make sure of tool collision when you have the chuck up. Some times you cannot have 2 tools like a drill and a boring bar next to each other, one will hit the chuck. This is userly no problem if you never use more than 6 tools that are a like. This has not been so bad on the 10 station turrets I've used. Same kind of problem can occur even when using a collet chuck, so check the tool clearance if your jobs are complex and require alot of tools. This problem gets worse with power tooling.
I have worked on Haas, Nakamura-Tome, Hardinge and Mazak lathes. By far I prefer
Mazaks. As for your small footprint problem, I am in the same boat in my home shop.
I purchased a Mazak QT-8 about three months ago. It weighs about 6000-6500 lbs.
and has a footprint of 68" long, 50" wide, 70" tall. It has 10hp 6000 rpm spindle.
It came with a 6" 3-jaw hydraulic chuck and a 5C collett nose and cost 20K for a
1994 model. That also included a chip conveyor, parts catcher, tool measuring eye
and a complete set of tool blocks for the 8 station turrett.
I run Mazatrol because I and my wife are familiar with, but my machine has the EIA
and DNC option so it will run standard G-code. I've worked on 6 different Mazak lathes
with Mazatrol and 3 had the EIA G-code option and the other 3 didn't. So to answer
your question, some Mazatrol Mazaks run G-code some don't, it all depends on how
the original buyer purchased their options.
I've been running 2" and 2.250 round stainless steel on it all summer.
Also, Mazak's parent company Yamazaki is the largest machine manufacturer in the
I would best describe this small lathe as a very fast tank. It's fast, accurate and can
cut some serious metal. It's no pretender.
Just my Opinion
I had a Milltronics before the Mazak. No comparison in the Machine Tool, Mazak hands
down. Although the Milltronics parts and tech support was outstanding.
The Haas Toolroom Lathe, TL-1, is around 5000lbs, it has a foot print of about 6 feet by 5 feet and is now available with a full enclosure and a four position auto tool turret. It also runs on 240V, 40amp single phase.
But the spindle maximum is 1800 rpm, the rapids are 200ipm and the tool changer can only be described as sedate - or possibly outright lethargic.
It has the standard Haas control so you can directly program G code or from Cad/Cam.
I have one which I use for developing new components and making small preliminary production runs in aluminum, brass and leaded steel. For this it works great but the slow speed, feed and tool change means a part takes twice or three times as long compared with our regular Haas machines.
I own a mazak quick turn 8g m/c, it is a 1988 model and it has been great, only complaint is the 1.250 thru the drawtube, it is gang tool and very fast, and it has live milling, the control is eia-t and runs g code, i picked this one up for 10k. the shop i bought it from had 4 of these and they liked them