Primarily used in the headstock of your lathe, the drive centre is what "drives" your work around. These come in various formats, but can commonly be broken down into the five categories below.
Most lathes will be suppled with a 4-prong deive centre as this is the most versitile format available. However, two brong variations are also available, which are especially useful in harder timbers as they are easier to 'seat'.
Steb drives offer a great alternative to traditional drive centres, given a greater contact area, thus requiring less 'puncture' of the timber, but also less stress on the timber, making them very useful if your timber happens to be brittle.