What type of motor is used in a CNC spindle?

CNC spindles typically use brushless AC servo motors to power the cutting tool's movement. These motors offer high torque, precise speed control, and energy efficiency, making them ideal for use in CNC machines.

CNC machines have revolutionized manufacturing by enabling precise, automated control of cutting and forming tools. At the heart of these machines is the spindle motor, which drives the spindle, and thus the cutting tool. This article will take an in-depth look at the various types of motors used in CNC spindle applications, focusing on their technical aspects and providing examples of their use in the industry.

Types of motors used as CNC spindles

There are two main types of motors often used in CNC machines, namely AC induction motors and brushless DC motors. In addition, some machines also use synchronous motors.

  • With their low cost and high reliability, AC induction motors are often used in entry-level or economical CNC machines where cost and simplicity take precedence over high-performance requirements.
  • Brushless DC (BLDC) motors are becoming increasingly popular for CNC spindle applications, thanks to their high efficiency, low maintenance, and compact design. Desktop CNC routers and small CNC machines often use BLDC spindle motors because of their small size and low maintenance requirements.
  • Synchronous motors are another type of AC motor used in CNC spindle applications and are particularly suitable for high-performance machines that require precise speed control. In these motors, the rotor speed is synchronized with the rotating magnetic field of the stator, resulting in better control and higher efficiency. Synchronous motors may be used in high-precision CNC mills and grinders, which require consistent and accurate spindle speeds.


In summary, the type of motor used in a CNC spindle depends on the specific application and performance requirements of the machine. Induction motors are suitable for cost-sensitive applications, while synchronous motors and brushless DC motors offer higher performance and efficiency for more demanding projects.

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