Flat Bed vs. Slant Bed CNC Lathes

May 6, 2015

The lathe is piece of equipment that is used for turning, drilling and shaping certain materials including metal, glass and wood. There are two types of lathe machines based on bed alignment: The flat bed and slant bed lathe. The CNC services from HPC use both types of lathes. What are the differences between the two…?


Flat Bed CNC Lathe

flat bed


As its name suggests, it is a flat CNC lathe where you are required to place materials accurately to avoid mistakes in the cutting process. It can be used for light and heavy metal machining, delivering a precise finish for the working material.


Slant Bed CNC Lathe

Slant Bed


Slant bed lathes are aligned sideways. They produce a Z-axis movement. However, they only function at a certain speed throughout the machining process.


The Differences between Flat Bed and Slant Bed Lathes

  • Flat Bed: It can handle both light and heavy duty materials with exact precision.
  • Slant Bed: It is advisable to use for light materials only.


  • Flat Bed: It has low power consumption.
  • Slant Bed: It has high power consumption.


  • Flat Bed: It has a high range of machining, stability and productivity.
  • Slant Bed: It has a lower range of productivity due to its machining capacity.


  • Flat Bed: It remains stable throughout the machining process.
  • Slant Bed: It obtains Z-axis movement in the machining process.


  • Flat Bed: Only skilled professionals are allowed to handle this type of lathe because it is a heavy-equipped machine. It may cause injury if not properly operated.
  • Slant Bed: It is a user-friendly lathe where machining is a lot easier. (Source: Bhavya)



Similarities of Flat Bed and Slant Bed Lathes

Flat bed and slant bed lathes are both used for:

  • Mining industries
  • Shipping materials and equipment
  • Different parts of machinery
  • Industrial materials
  • Power plant materials and equipment


In general, both flat bed and slant bed lathes are useful for achieving a precise finish. The lathe you should use will depend greatly on the material you are working with.

Are you looking for a CNC Turning service provider? HPC Services Ltd. can process your materials using either a flat bed or a slant bed CNC lathe. Call us on 0115 932 3773 or send an email to lee.harrison@slidinghead.com.