Factors to Consider While Buying A Used CNC Machine

by Jeff Banes Marketing Manager
CNC machines are costly, and therefore you should always go for a used CNC machine rather than a new one, especially if it is your first time. Now, if you have made up your mind to buy a used one, it is essential for you to check certain aspects of the machine. 

The most important aspect while looking for a used CNC machine for sale is to check the condition of the machine, for which you should appoint a certified machine inspector.

But, even though you have an inspector to guide you through the purchase, there are certain aspects you need to take in consideration while buying a used machine so that it is ensured you are not scammed.

1)  Machine Hours

The amount of time spent by a machine logged is another crucial factor you need to look into before buying one. But, all hours logged play the same role and cause the same impact.

You should ask your dealer to cut on power-on hours & time. Cutting time is directed towards the hours the machine invests working on materials.

This determines what work each part like spindle has gone through, and you will come to know whether the parts are supposed to be replaced or not.

2) Tolerance of the Machine 

While purchasing always ask the seller about the tolerance. Here, tolerance refers to the deviation of the physical dimensions of a manufactured piece.
Even though normal, a deviation is a part of the manufacturing process caused by external factors which can easily affect the machines like temperature and humidity.

The measurement unit for this is thousandths of an inch, knows as thou, expressed in numerical as 0.001in. Similarly, two thou will measure as 0.002in. If tolerance is closer to the ideal measurement, this means the tighter it is.

The importance of this is that in case of too much deviation means the pieces are unusable. Therefore, it is essential to be crucial regarding numbers while inquiring about tolerance.

Power-On means for how long the machine has been turned on, but this doesn't indicate it was being used for cutting.

Even though this doesn't sound very important, power on hours is the reason being battery and mechanical issues which will cost you a lot of money to get repaired.

3) Machining Center: Vertical or Horizontal

While buying a used CNC machining center, there are other issues to take into consideration. First of all, they are of two types:
1) Vertical Machining Center (VMC)
2) Horizontal Machining Center (HMC)

Vertical machines are cheap in comparison to horizontal machines and HMC are better with productivity. 

Therefore, the followings factors are what to need to consider while selecting between the two-

1) Price
As mentioned above VMC are cheaper than HMC which is why they are always favored by small and mid-sized businesses.

Also, as per Smarter Finance USA, the cost of a Vertical Machining Center is $115,000 (average) and contrary to this on an average a Horizontal Machining Center costs $375,000.

Due to this vast difference majority prefer VMC over HMC. However, other factors should also be taken into consideration.

2) Productivity

Even though VMC are more pocket-friendly than HMC, HMC is faster when it comes to the productivity of the machine. 

This is because Horizontal Machining Centers use their 4th axis 85% of the time whereas Vertical Machining Centers uses it only about 25% of the time.

Which also means that HMC does the job in 1/3 of the time than VMC. If an HMC saves your cost of labor and increases your profits, then it is purchasing an HMC rather than a VMC.

3) Other Factors

In addition to the points mentioned above, there are other contributing factors to consider before buying one of these.

The first to consider is your workspace. VMC take less space in comparison to HMC, and since VMCs are more massive, the shipping should be taken care off.
It is a known fact that VMCs are common in the market, therefore, you will find the operators and repairers of VMCs easily than HMCs.

It also makes it easy to find spare tools for VMCs than HMCs, however, the latter doesn't require spare tools and saves some bucks.

All these are the factors that should be taken into consideration while buying a CNC machine. Keep the size of your workspace, your need for the machine and the budget you have in mind as the prime factors while buying them.

Hatfield Machinery for Used and New CNC machines

If you are looking for used CNC milling machine in Pennsylvania, they are the right place for you.

Hatfield has been serving Delaware Valley for over 25 years, and they also provide a demo of the machine under power on request.

You can email your queries at, or you can check out our website here - Hatfield Machinery

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About Jeff Banes Junior   Marketing Manager

3 connections, 0 recommendations, 17 honor points.
Joined APSense since, March 23rd, 2018, From Hatfield, United States.

Created on Jun 8th 2018 04:50. Viewed 399 times.


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