The Different Types of Lathe Tools

Posted by Penn Tool Co. on 26th Feb 2021

The Different Types of Lathe Tools

The Different Types of Lathe Tools

A lathe is one of the most important tools in any machine shop for many different reasons. As one of the most versatile machines available, you can equip it with several useful cutting tools based on your project's needs. Here is a closer look at the different types of lathe tools.

External Turning

External turning tools are useful for quickly removing the maximum amount of material. Rougher versions of these turning tools are for shaping the piece you will be working on. After this is complete, a finishing turning tool creates the finer details and a polished surface.


Drills are useful for making holes in objects, specifically in the piece on the lathe. Unlike the bit on a regular power drill, the lathe is spinning while the bit remains stationary. These drills create rough holes that you must finish or thread later.

Boring Bars

Boring bars make existing holes wider for pieces that are on the lathe. These bars bore into the wood or metal, creating plunge cuts you can smooth out or thread. Though drills typically start the hole, boring bars are occasionally just as useful for getting the work done.


Threading tools make up one of the largest categories of the different types of lathe tools. There are many different varieties of thread cuts available, including square, large, and small threads. Threading tools can create internal threads like a nut or external threads like those on bolts or screws.


You use parting tools for cutting chunks away from the piece on the lathe. But these pieces can do much more than simple cuts. Parting tools are available for tasks such as cutting grooves, beveled edges, and shoulders. These tools are easily amongst the most common items in a machine shop.

You can turn to the experts at Penn Tool Co. for all your machine shop’s tool needs. We have many tools and industrial lathes for sale and can have them in your hands in no time.