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CNC Milling vs Turning: Understanding the Differences

When it comes to precision machining, CNC milling and turning are two fundamental processes used to shape various materials into intricate parts and components. While both techniques are widely employed in the manufacturing industry, they differ in their approach and applications. In this blog post, we aim to explore the differences between CNC milling and turning, their advantages, and common use cases.

What is CNC Milling?

CNC milling, also known as computer numerical control milling, is a subtractive manufacturing process that utilizes rotating cutting tools to remove material from a workpiece. The workpiece is securely held in place on the milling machine's table, while the cutting tool moves along different axes to create precise shapes and features.

One of the key advantages of CNC milling is its versatility. With the ability to work with both flat and curved surfaces, CNC milling is ideal for creating complex parts with intricate details. Additionally, it enables a wide range of operations, such as drilling, tapping, slotting, and contouring, contributing to its widespread usage in industries such as aerospace, automotive, and medical.

What is CNC Turning?

CNC turning is a machining process primarily used to create cylindrical parts by removing material with rotating cutting tools. During the process, the workpiece is clamped in a chuck and rotated at high speed while a single-point cutting tool shapes it. This rotation enables the cutting tool to move along the circumference of the workpiece, resulting in the desired shape.

Compared to CNC milling, turning is more suitable for producing rotational parts like shafts, pins, and axles. It is incredibly efficient when it comes to creating symmetrical components due to its rotational nature. CNC turning is widely used in industries such as automotive, aerospace, and oil and gas.

Key Differences

Although both CNC milling and turning are used to shape materials, there are key differences between the two processes. The most significant difference lies in the movement of the cutting tool and the workpiece:

  • CNC milling involves moving the cutting tool along various axes (typically X, Y, and Z) while the workpiece remains stationary.
  • CNC turning, on the other hand, revolves the workpiece while the cutting tool remains stationary, allowing it to shape the material efficiently.

Another important distinction is the types of parts they can produce:

  • CNC milling is suitable for creating parts with complex geometries, such as contoured surfaces and intricate designs.
  • CNC turning excels at producing cylindrical and symmetrical components, making it perfect for rotational parts.


In summary, CNC milling and turning are two essential processes in precision machining. While CNC milling offers versatility and the ability to create intricate parts with complex geometries, CNC turning is efficient at producing cylindrical and rotational components. Understanding the differences between these processes is crucial in determining which technique is best suited to a particular manufacturing requirement. Whether it's milling, turning, or a combination of both, CNC machining continues to revolutionize the manufacturing industry with its precision and efficiency.

cnc milling and turning

Asianstar: Professional CNC Machining Supplier

From year of 2005, Asianstar Company establish the CNC Machining Factory in Guangdong Province, China.
We mostly provide CNC Turning, Milling, Drilling, Grinding, and Multi Machining processes service on various materials.
With the Belief of becoming a key supplier in the supply-chain of Precision Components, we strictly control our product quality, keep high precision on our components production, buildup the whole-process QC System and submit the satisfaction for every order.
By long term development, we have buildup partnership with world-wide clients, supporting our partners in Designing, Optimizing, Producing and Testing on each type of components.


CNC Turning Service

CNC Turning Service

Our CNC Turning Service provides different sizes of roll shape work-pieces, the diameter range is from 0.5mm to 480mm, reaching tolerance +/-0.003mm.

CNC Milling Service

CNC Milling Service

Our milling machines and CNC centers are able to produce complicated structure part, five-axis devices produce multi-sides at one-time jag which bring high precision result

Sheet Metal Fabrication

Sheet Metal Fabrication

Our Sheet Metal Fabrication provides slicing, punching, bending, welding, painting and assembling for set products, unique tooling for each project to raise production efficiency

Aluminum Extrusion

Aluminum Extrusion

Our Aluminum Extrusion brings clients various shapes of aluminum parts, high efficiency for mass quantity, our precision extrusion mold control tolerance within 0.01mm

Forging Service

Forging Service

For some steel serious products, we apply Forging Service to make out their outer shape and them use CNC devices to start drilling, forming, rolling, cutting, etc.

Finishing Service

Finishing Service

Our Surface Finishing Service uses chemical or electro post-treatments after machining tasks are finished, normally includes Oxide, Anodizing, Passivation, E-Plating, Painting,etc.


CNC Brass Machining


CNC Machining Brass material is used for wide range components, we support clients to produce a variety of parts such as gears, locks, electronics, pipe fittings, etc.

CNC Copper Machining


CNC Machining Copper material is soft and easy to machining on different shape of components. We mostly produce copper components for electric devices by machining and stamping

CNC Aluminum Machining


CNC Machining Aluminum materials is one of our most used materials. We support clients to turning, drilling or milling on aluminum material from size 0.5mm to 470mm

CNC Stainless Steel Machining

Stainless Steel

CNC Machining Stainless Steel are common material for wide range components, we produce Stainless Steel turning parts, milling parts, high smoothness components, etc.

CNC Titanium Machining


CNC Machining Titanium material brings components superb features, we use titanium to produce high precision work-piece for clients from aircraft, aerospace, medical devices

CNC Plastic Machining


Our CNC Machining Plastic materials includes ABS, HDPE, LDPE, Nylon, POM, Peek, Polycarbonate, etc. We produce them in high precision and high smoothness.


Experienced Skills

Asianstar have long term experience in CNC machining service and built up skillful team servicing clients from designing to product

High Quality

Asianstar QC system controls the production following internal quality protocol, which make sure every procedure are working under quality demands

High Efficiency

Asianstar abundant facilities allows multiple machining process, we can support clients in rapid sampling/prototyping and quick order lead-time

Competitive Price

Asianstar has enough in-house facilities for all machining processes, so we can choose the best machining solutions to make the production cost lowest


  • Q1.Do you support ODM/OEM?

    Yes, we support ODM/OEM, we provide custom-made service for clients or even support clients on designing or improving

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