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7 Important Steps To Consider While Choosing A CNC Machine Shop

A CNC machine is required for various reasons and is suitable for many industries, helping in processes such as grinding to turning. A CNC machine shop can help you with all of that.

There are hundreds of CNC machine shops around the North American continent; however, not all the shops are at an equal standard. While choosing a suitable option, one must focus on the bigger picture instead of only 2-3 attributes. You should examine certain operations from various angles to see what value you get for the price. These are only one of the few things that can go wrong while choosing the right machine shop. And that’s where you need to be careful.


Here are a few points that can help you make a wise decision:

The technologies that the shop is using

The technology is evolving and every CNC equipment requires regular updates. These updates are necessary and make these machines more efficient. You don’t want to risk your project handled by a tool that is outdated.

Therefore, it’s important to know about the machining equipment, this helps to find out whether the equipment functions on new or old technologies. Because of this, you can make a better buying decision.

Customer support should be top-notch

A CNC machining company is usually ultra-precise with the projects and delivers the best work. This might not always match your expectations, that is where the need for contacting customer care arises.

If a company is not able to address the customer’s concern and answer their queries after completing the service, you don’t want to work with that company. Make sure that the company you are planning has a customer-friendly support system.

Focus on quality and precision

When we are focusing on the CNC machine shop, quality is a no-brainer. Each company will say that they manufacture only precise parts. Go for machine shops that regularly share news about new equipment and also focus on precision on their company website, the marketing materials.

Another clue is when the shop is willing to take responsibility for their work. A confident team stands behind every machined part and its CNC machining services. And vendors who avoid accountability can hamper your ability to meet quality requirements.

Experience in various industries

The right custom machine shop is likely to meet your demands if they have experience in the needed industry. They will handle the problem at the initial stage and are familiar with any compliance requirements. The more industries they have covered the better it is.

You will need experts eventually. When a machining vendor has a panel of experts that can answer all your questions, you can move forward with no problem. You can ask for case studies or services range list, you are sure that they’ll meet your demands when you grow.

Capability to offer the right materials

Some shops may have softer materials but charge a bomb on harder to machine elements like steel or titanium. And plastics often required knowledge to fixture and machine properly to tolerances. It can prove difficult for some machine shops.

A CNC machine shop that has experience in using the diversity of materials is ideal for your manufacturing needs. You need to understand about the manufacturer and what they are not willing to cut. By this, you can make a better choice in building a relationship.

The CNC shop can perform finishes and secondary operations

After a part is manufactured, it may need a secondary finishing like chem conversion coating, anodizing, nickel plating, etc. But even after these secondary finishes, a custom part may need features such as silkscreen, laser marking that needs to be done before shipping.

For example, if you are looking for a turn-key component, where you are able to unbox the part and drop it in the assembly, ensure the CNC shop you choose can perform all the necessary secondary finishes and operations.

Research about their current/previous customers

The current customers of the machining facility give you an idea of the services the company offers. A successful CNC machine shop has customers that include large scale businesses. Find out who a CNC machine shop has worked for in the past, get this information from the company’s website. If it has done business with well-known corporations, hiring such a shop will grow your business.

Also check out the testimonials for the shop. What experience did former customers have? Carefully examine these reviews to get a picture of what to expect from the company.


A perfect CNC machine shop can make or break your manufacturing business.

Let’s quickly go through the steps while choosing a CNC machine shop.

Go for a machine shop that is reputable, can provide secondary finishing options, can offer the material you need for manufacturing, focus on precision and quality, customer support should be excellent. Plus they should have a dedicated team that focuses on helping the customers to determine the best fit for the project needs.

Keep these factors in mind and search your dream CNC machine shop.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Norm Grimberg