There seems to be a common misunderstanding regarding whether or not customers should use o-rings or lathe-cut gaskets. Often, manufacturing clients tend to think that o-rings and lathe cut gaskets are the same, while other customers simply don’t know the difference between them, which can cause them to purchase the wrong parts for their job. 

We have decided to explore the main differences between lathe cut gaskets and o-rings to discover which is favorable in most applications. 

Lathe Cut Gaskets

Lathe cut gaskets are created from a rubber tube as precise solutions to custom size or OEM specifications. Upon completing the process of making lathe cut gaskets, a mandrel is inserted into the tube and lathe cut for the finished dimensions. Lathe cut gaskets can also be made out of any polymer group and are primarily used as alternatives to o-rings in numerous applications. 


While technically considered gaskets, the material o-rings are made from actually differs from that of most gaskets. O-rings are commonly made from neoprene, rubber, or synthetics, and their cross-sections can be round or square.

When A Lathe Cut Gasket Works Best

Lathe cut gaskets are known to be the optimal choice for any static application. Static applications include anything with movable parts in which the lathe cut gasket’s rectangular or square cross-section offers a larger sealing surface. The design of a lathe cut gasket also lends it to having a higher resistance to compression than that of o-rings. 

Seal failure is minimal with lathe cut gaskets due to their design, enabling them to maintain their shape under stress. Due to these factors, lathe cut gaskets are ideal when your application requires tight tolerance or beveled edge gaskets. Also, the cutting process of lathe cut gaskets is optimal and most cost-effective when out-of-dimension gaskets are necessary.

When An O-ring Is The Best Option

O-rings are more advantageous in applications where motion exists between two parts. In these dynamic applications, o-rings plug the surface between the moving and the stationary objects assembled. Examples of active applications in which o-rings work best include rotary shafts and piston rings. 

High volume o-rings use standard o-ring molds; however, for o-rings over standard size, economical options may be few and far between. O-rings can be ideal in specific dynamic applications such as v-cup packaging, pump seals, oil sealing, rotary seals, and hydraulic and pneumatic applications.