Difference between CNC turret Milling machine and a normal milling machine

Milling is the process by which rotating cutters remove extra material from a metal or wood piece of work to give it a definite shape by means of a machine. It is a frequently used process in the industry and unit shops for shaping parts to exact shape and size. It works on the law of rotary motion. The multi teeth cutter spins around the axis at a high speed and as the work piece moves ahead the blades shear pieces off it. These are vertical mills or horizontal mills and under the category of vertical mills there are turret mills and bed mills.

Difference between CNC turret mills and normal milling machines:

• The cutting process in CNC turret milling is controlled by a computer where as in normal milling it is manual which can lead to human error.

• CNC mills are more versatile than normal mills. A number of jobs that are not possible with normal mills can be easily done with CNC mills.

• The movement along the Z-axis in a CNC turret mill allows precision cutting, like engraving, which cannot be done in a normal mill.

• CNC turret milling are smaller in size and are more compact as compared to a normal mill.

• In a CNC mill the spindle is stationary and the table can move parallel as well as perpendicular to the axis of the spindle for the cutting process. Where as in a normal milling machine the spindle rotates on its axis and the cutters are held in it.

• Turret mills have a quill which lets the cutter move up and down like in a drill press.

• As the CNC mills are programmed with a computer the work pieces are consistent in design, size and finish even if a large number of pieces are made. This is not possible in a normal mill.

• Complex work pieces can be made with turret mills as these equipments can produce versatile movements and so complicated shapes can be made with these mills which are not possible with normal mills.

• Work done with CNC machines is faster than a normal mill so more work pieces can be made in less time.

• CNC turret mills can work nonstop, for 24 hours a day throughout the year where as a normal milling device needs to be stopped.

• Less skilled workers can operate a CNC mill but only a trained and skilled engineer can operate a normal mill.

• Once the CNC turret mills are programmed they can work on their own and one person can supervise them. But for each normal mill one engineer is needed to operate it. Click here to know more about CNC turret Milling machine.


A CNC turret milling machine is worth the money you invest in buying it for your work. This versatile device can make your work much easier and faster. You just need to program the equipment once, and feed in the design in the computer and you can make any number of identical objects in a short time.

Written by Yash Shah

This blog written by Mr. Yash Shah is about machine tools including workshop machinery, wood working machines, sheet metal machinery provided by Bhavya Machine Tools, a leading distributors of machine tools in India.