If you are used to using a Swiss machine, and then you suddenly shift to using a lathe, you can immediately tell the difference. While you can claim that you can finish more work within a particular time frame with a Swiss machine, saying for certain which machine is better will depend on your personal preference.
Regarding safety features, precision Swiss products win hands down. For one, heavy cutting in bulk can be achieved more efficiently – and more safely – with a Swiss machine. Deflection is also something that you should not worry about.
On the other hand, it may take you longer to make the same number of heavy cuts when using a lathe. Cutting force may also need to be set at a lower level, unlike with a Swiss machine where all you need to do is make one cut, and you forget about backtracking.
Regarding chipping on a workpiece, or chipping from one tool to another, it may take a while if you are using a lathe. The same cannot be said when using precision Swiss products wherein every single second count. Since a Swiss machine is compact, no big movements are necessary.
Spotting the differences between a Swiss machine and a lathe is no rocket science. The differences, specifically regarding quality, are evident, specifically when making heavy cuts, which a Swiss machine can complete faster, and in a safer manner.
A lathe, on the other hand, is on par with its Swiss counterpart in terms of jobs that require straightness and roundness on the chosen bar. However, you must keep an eye on the bar when using a Swiss-type machine.
Bear in mind that when opting for a round bar, the result should be something round. Similarly, going for a bent bar should result in a bent output.