The Differences Between 4 Types of Machining

While it might seem like a relatively new technology, machine tools have been around for quite some time. In fact, the first machine tools date back to around 1200 B.C. Generally, machine tools are those used for shaping and machining materials. However, these tools are most often utilized for working with metals. In this post, you’ll learn the differences between four types of machining services.

Four Main Types of Machining Services

There are machine tools that can complete a wide range of functions including facing and turning. That being said, it’s understandable to wonder what types of machining services you’ll need. Considering that, here are the similarities and differences between four types of machining services.


One popular machine shop service is drilling. This process utilizes drills in order to cut holes into a material. While this process doesn’t necessarily shape a piece of metal, it works well for creating holes.


In a similar manner to turning, facing is often utilized to flatten a surface. Also, the material itself is moved during facing and turning processes. On the other hand, milling moves the tools themselves around the material. While turning is often used for materials that are cylindrical, facing can be used for metals of nearly all shapes and sizes.


Another popular type of machining service is milling. While milling is also a manner of removing excess material, it’s a bit different from the other machining services. There are two main ways that these machines work, either by using face or peripheral milling. Face milling works to cut corners of material, flattening the overall surfaces. On the other hand, peripheral milling takes place along a cutter’s circumference. Peripheral milling is typically used to make cuts in a surface including slots and threads.


For this process to begin, a turning machine or lathe will be needed. The piece of metal or other material that needs to be worked on is secured to the turning machine. Next, the material is quickly spun and placed closer to a cutting device. In turn, the material is continually cut until the proper size is achieved.

To summarize, there are several main types of machining processes. Understanding more about these processes can help to ensure you know which type of machining service you’ll need. That being said, it’s wise to choose a machining company that will be able to offer all of the previously mentioned services. This helps to ensure that your business has a reliable machining partner to work with.

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