We Need the Best Lathe Tools, So We Make the Best Lathe Tools

For more than 70 years, manufacturers have turned to BIG KAISER for tooling solutions. We’ve built our name on tool holders, boring tools, cutting tools and specialized solutions for the everyday and most demanding machining operations. That’s how people know us. What a lot of people don’t know is that we have deep expertise in lathe tooling as well. We have to. Lathes are critical to the development and production of our tools.

As a result, we’ve had to innovate new and creative lathe solutions and tools in our own shops around the world. This includes for multi-axis turning, CNC and Swiss-style automatic lathes. In fact, some of the solutions we’ve come up with have been downright groundbreaking, first-of-their-kind ones, we felt obligated to take to market because of the impact they had on our work. In other cases, we’ve even found ways to repurpose tools we’ve developed that are typically used for other operations to achieve impressive results in lathe work.

Here’s a quick rundown of a few of the more notable turning solutions we have available.

Multi-Axis Turning Tooling

Modular Tooling

Best lathe tools modular tooling

Not unlike how our boring tools work together and a first for mill-turn machines, the BIG KAISER modular tooling system offers better efficiency, material selection, heat treatment an optimal tool lengths. It also makes it easy and economical to replace damaged tool holders caused by broken inserts. Modularity is at the core of a lot of our dedicated turning solutions and other types of tools that translate well to the work.  

45° Tilt Style Type S

Best lathe tools 45 degree tilt.

Tilting the B axis 45° helps minimize the forces transmitted to the spindle, increasing spindle and insert life. Another first in the turning arena when it was introduced, this tool is design specifically for this approach, also minimizing tool length to address accessibility problem with the chuck or tailstock. It is coolant-through and there are 17 different cartridges available for the Type S.

90° Right Angle Style Type F

Best lathe tools 90 degree right angle.

This is another versatile tool that gives you more turning options. It’s double-clamping system simultaneously pushes an insert downward and draws it into the contact faces to achieve secure and rigid clamping. It’s coolant-through and can be assembled with right- or left-hand versions of 36 different cartridges.

CNC Lathe Tooling

Smart Damper

Best lathe tools Smart Damper

A popular choice for challenging boring work with HMCs and VMCs, the Smart Damper boring bar has also proven viable for use on turning centers. The patented de-vibe system absorbs chatter instantly solving many common problems in precision and roughing work like poor finish, slow cutting and shortened tool life.

CKB Straight Shank

Best lathe tools CKB straight shank.
The modular CKB holder system is another arrangement most often used on milling machines, but it can be just as powerful in CNC lathe work. It’s versatility not only can reduce tool quantity but also offer solutions for specific hole making challenges: indexable insert drills for on-center or offset diameter stationary drilling, spade drilling and compatibility with the SW twin cutter for accelerated rough boring by step cutting.  Adapting the CKB modular system to lathes is made possible by straight shank holders ready for set up on a turret station.

Cross hole fine boring with 4-axis lathes using driven tools can always be challenge. Tools have to be as short as possible and adapt to a range of different connections such as the most popular ER systems. High-precision EWN heads are available with internal threads of the ER system, it simply takes the place of the standard ER clamping nut and provides for ultra short projection. Additionally, boring bars can telescope into the head as deep as necessary so only the minimum boring bar projection to fit the part is possible. We have even made threaded bushings to adapt between the ER sizes, so an ER32 head can still fit onto a driven tool with ER16.

Swiss Automatic Lathe Tools

Straight Shank Hydro Chuck

Best latge tools Hydraulic Chuck.

Another result of necessity in our own shops, this holder is a revolution for Swiss lathes. When we introduced it last year, it really was the first tooling improvement for this kind of machinery in three decades. The Hydro Chuck was designed to address two of the biggest challenges in small Swiss lathe work: setup time and runout. A single wrench and two or three turns clamps and unclamps while runout of less than three microns at four times diameter can consistently be achieved. Awkward spanner wrenches that require complete removal of the tool from the slide to change the cutting tools are not necessary.

Small-Lathe Centering Tool

Best lathe tools Centering Tool.

Once time-intense holder setups can be dramatically trimmed with this accessory with the help of a static dial gage and sensitive stylus. Its magnetic base makes it easy to mount and set with fine adjustment possible.

Next time you’re tooling up a lathe, don’t forget about BIG KAISER. While our milling, boring and drilling tools are widely recognized as the best of the best, we’re proud to be able to offer world-class turning solutions as well.

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