Comparing BMT Turret VS. VDI Turret: A Guide To Lathe Turret

BMT Turret VS. VDI Turret

BMT turret vs. VDI turret, how much do you know? In the world of manufacturing, machine tool turrets play an important role in automating the manufacturing process. The two most popular types of turrets are BMT (Base Mount Turret) and VDI (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure) Turrets. While both serve the same purpose, they have different features that make them unique.

In this blog, we will compare BMT and VDI turrets to help you understand their differences and determine which one is the best fit for your manufacturing needs.

What Is The BMT Turret?

The BMT turret is a type of CNC machine tool turret that is attached to the machine spindle by a base mount. It has a radial orientation and typically has six, eight, ten, or twelve tool stations. BMT turrets are known for their ruggedness and precision. It is designed to hold various BMT tool holders, such as static and driven tool holders.

BMT turret

The BMT turret is a common feature on turning centers equipped with live tooling. The following sizes are provided: BMT45, BMT55, BMT60, BMT65, and BMT75.

This turret boasts a unique design that hides the drive inside, resulting in uninterrupted machining operations.

The BMT turret features both radial and axial live tool holders, making it possible to utilize both the main spindle and sub-spindle.

With this capability, you can enjoy enhanced productivity and efficiency during machining operations.

BMT tool holders

Advantages and Disadvantages of BMT Turret


High rigidity and accuracy

Compact size, making them suitable for small machines with limited space

Suitable for heavy-duty machining operations

Can be used for a variety of materials, including hardened steel and exotic alloys

Provides excellent performance in precision turning, drilling, and milling


More expensive than other types of turrets

Longer setup time compared to other turret types

Requires more maintenance due to the base mount design that can accumulate debris and interfere with tool changes

Limited tooling capacity, typically only six to twelve tool stations

May not provide the same versatility as other turret types.

Applications and Industries

BMT turrets are commonly used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, and medical manufacturing, where precision and speed are critical.

What Is The VDI Turret?

The VDI turret is a type of machine tool turret that has a vertical orientation and is bolted directly to the machine spindle. It has a modular design and can accommodate tools of different sizes and shapes.

VDI turret

VDI turrets come in various sizes, ranging from 12 to 80 tool stations. VDI has special holes for mounting tool holders around the outer circumference of the turret.

A VDI turret is designed to hold VDI tool holders, which are specialized holders for holding cutting tools on a CNC lathe. VDI holders have a serrated shaft that is inserted into an opening on the face of the turret

The VDI turret has multiple indexing stations that can accommodate different VDI tool holders, such as VDI boring bar holders, cut-off holders, axial and radial holders, and their respective cutting tools.

VDI tool holders

VDI tool holders have a standardized interface that allows them to be easily mounted onto the VDI turret, ensuring a secure and reliable connection between the tool holder and the turret.

Advantages and Disadvantages of VDI Turret


High tooling capacity, with up to 12 or more tool stations, allows for greater versatility in machining operations.

Faster and easier tool changes due to the axial-mounted design that eliminates debris accumulation.

Lower setup time compared to the BMT turret due to its design and fewer tool holders needed.

Lower initial cost than the BMT turret, making it a more economical option for small and medium-sized machines.

Suitable for both heavy-duty and precision machining.


Lower rigidity and accuracy than the BMT turret due to its radial mounted design which can lead to deflection.

Large size, making it unsuitable for machines with limited space.

Limited compatibility with exotic materials, as it may not provide the same level of performance as a BMT turret.

Higher maintenance requirements due to the potential for wear and tear on the radial mount.

May require additional support if used for heavy-duty machining, as the radial mount can experience significant stress.

Applications and Industries

VDI turrets are commonly used in industries such as automotive, aerospace, and general manufacturing, where flexibility and efficiency are essential.

Comparison of BMT and VDI Turret

Durability and Reliability

BMT turrets are known for their ruggedness and precision, making them highly reliable even in heavy-duty machining operations. VDI turrets, on the other hand, may have a lower accuracy due to their modular design, which can result in reduced durability.

Performance and Accuracy

BMT turrets have a higher accuracy compared to VDI turrets, but they require longer setup times. VDI turrets offer faster tool changes, reducing setup times, but may not be as accurate as BMT turrets.

Ease of Use and Maintenance

VDI turrets are more user-friendly and easier to maintain due to their modular design. BMT turrets, however, require more maintenance because of their base mount design, which can accumulate debris and interfere with the tool change process.

Cost Effectiveness

VDI turrets are generally more affordable than BMT turrets, making them a cost-effective choice for many manufacturers. BMT turrets are more expensive, but they offer high precision and reliability, which can be beneficial in heavy-duty machining operations.

How To Choose the Right Turret For Your Machining Needs?

For BMT turret vs. VDI turret, here are some key factors to consider when choosing the right turret for your machining needs:

Type of machining operations

Consider the type of machining operations that you will be performing. Different turrets are designed for specific types of machining, such as turning, milling, or drilling.

Tool capacity

Determine the number of tools you need for your machining operations. Turret size varies from 6 to 24 tools, and different models may offer different tool configurations.

Tool change time

Look for a turret that offers fast tool change times to minimize downtime during machining operations.

Turret indexing speed

Consider the turret indexing speed when selecting a turret. This is the speed at which the turret rotates to position the next tool.

Power and torque

Check the power and torque capability of the turret to ensure it can handle the cutting forces of your machining operations.

Compatibility with the machine

Make sure the turret you choose is compatible with your machine. Some turrets are designed specifically for certain machine brands or models.

Live tooling capabilities

If you require live tooling capabilities, look for a turret with live tool holders that can accommodate your specific requirements.


As always, the cost is an important factor to consider when choosing a turret. You want to find a balance between affordability and quality to ensure you get the best value for your money.

By considering these factors, you can select the right turret for your machining needs and maximize productivity in your manufacturing operations.


BMT turret vs. VDI turret, have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing between the two depends on your manufacturing needs. If you require high precision and reliability in heavy-duty operations, BMT turrets may be the best choice.

On the other hand, if you need versatility and cost-effectiveness, VDI turrets may be the way to go. Whatever your choice, it’s essential to consider all aspects of the manufacturing process to make an informed decision.

If you need BMT or VDI tool holders for BMT and VDI turrets, contact us now! We are a professional China manufacturer of custom tool holders and provide static VDI tool holders DIN 69880

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