Kent lost their last eight wickets for 120 runs in a session and nine balls to gift Lancashire only their second success in Canterbury since 1936.
The 121-run drubbing moved the Red Rose county up to fourth place in the LV= County Championship Division One table with a game in hand to maintain their outside chance of the title, whereas Kent slip back towards the relegation scrap following their fifth defeat of this top-flight campaign.
Resuming on their overnight score of 84 for 2 and in pursuit of an unlikely victory target of 339, Kent added 13 runs before the start of their nightmare slide against the twin seam threat of Tom Smith and Glen Chapple that saw them lose four wickets for three runs in the space of 27 balls.
The visiting captain, Chapple, was first to strike, running one down the Canterbury slope and away from the right-hander Martin van Jaarsveld ,who edged to Paul Horton at slip to make it 97 for 3.
In the next over Sam Northeast (18) went back and across his stumps to Smith trying to work the ball across the line, only go leg before wicket. In his next over, Smith got one to lift sharply at Geraint Jones (0) who feathered a catch to his wicketkeeping counterpart, Luke Sutton.
Without addition to the score, the all-rounder Darren Stevens followed a Chapple leg-cutter to give Sutton another catch and leave Kent floundering on 100 for 6.
Lancashire struck again through Smith when Alex Blake, chopping down late on a short one, played the ball on to the base of off stump.
Kent partially saved face thereafter with a sprightly eighth-wicket stand of 72 in 63 balls between the left-handers James Tredwell and Matt Coles (51) that at least took the game into its penultimate session.
Coles raced to his maiden half-century for the county from 41 balls and with six fours but, two deliveries after raising his bat, the 20-year-old miscued a slog sweep against Gary Keedy straight into the hands of Sajid Mahmood at deep midwicket.
In the over before lunch, Tredwell, having hit five boundaries to take Kent beyond 200, danced past one from Keedy to be stumped by Sutton by at least a yard. Nine balls after the restart and without addition to the total, Cook swept at Keedy only to be caught at deep midwicket and hand Lancashire their 21-point win while Kent bank only four points.