Types of CNC Machines

Types of CNC Machines

There are many different types of CNC machines available in the market nowadays and it is advised that before you buy one, you should understand what each different type does. Understanding the purpose of each machine will help you clarify which one you would need, which is particularly important when buying a CNC machine in Malaysia.

These machines mainly differ in their fixtures and this means that their functions differ from one another. You wouldn’t want to buy yourself a CNC router when your primary work requires a CNC plasma cutter because that would cause undue problems, especially with such a big investment.

The six main types of CNC machines include the following:

Milling Machines

CNC milling machines have rotary cutters fixed in them. They make use of the cutters to form the design that has been uploaded on to the computer. CNC milling machines are the most popular type as they are more affordable and provide a great amount of precision in a short period of time. These machines are programmed to provide you with the length and depth that you require using your desired cutting direction.


CNC lathes are also quite popular and common. The lathes of the machine are used to make precise conical or spherical shapes. In this CNC machine, the material rotates on a spindle while it is cut and shaved with the lathe.


Bed mills are a type of CNC vertical milling machine and they are the most basic type. Bed mills have spindles and rotating tools that can move along the vertical axis to create cuts on the surface of the workpiece.

Moving Columns

Another common piece of CNC machinery, CNC routers are used to create larger dimensions and have been built with the notion of using them to cut materials like wood and metal. Routers can function on 3, 4, 5 and even 6 axis setups. They are generally used to cut complex shapes and prototypes.

Plasma Cutters

CNC plasma cutters are quite similar to CNC routers when it comes to their size and setup. As the name suggests, plasma cutters use a plasma torch or laser to cut through material and form designs. The torch is usually suspended above a table, so it is generally used to cut two-dimensional shapes. CNC plasma cutters are most useful for cutting into sheet metal.


CNC grinders make use of grinding tools and a rotary wheel to shape the material. This grinding action is quite effective in guaranteeing that the desired shape is achieved.

Electric Discharge Machines

One of the less common machines, CNC electric discharge machines make use of electrical starts to create the desired shapes. Electrical starts between two anodes release the material from the desired shape. The anodes need to be surrounded by dielectric liquid for the process to work.


Determining the type of CNC machine Malaysia that you would like to buy can seem difficult if you have not completed the requisite research. However, with the above-mentioned information, your decision should become clear as to what type of CNC machine you would need. All of the types that have been mentioned are different sizes and of different prices. However, making the investment should not matter as long as you get a CNC machine that best suits you.