Which Is Right for you?

CNC machining is a growing industry that’s currently worth 47.5 billion USD. It is rapidly being introduced in manufacturing facilities across the US, and indeed the world. This new type of technology is seen as an alternative to conventional or traditional machining. Both options provide similar solutions, and this guide will explain why opting for CNC machining is a smarter choice. 

How do CNC and traditional machining differ?

CNC machining is a modern type of machining that uses computer software to dictate and aid the manufacturing process. Software is pre-loaded and pre-programmed into the machine, and the tool will effectively follow this preset path. CNC machines are seen as a way of automating the manufacturing process by limiting human involvement. A human operator is only required to load software onto the machine and conduct any routine maintenance checks.

Traditional machining refers to more manual techniques. Instead of using computer software to guide machines, human beings outline and dictate where cuts must take place. This can be done using pens or pencil lines as reference points, or by using other tools as guides. 

Unlike CNC machining, traditional machining is not automated and requires constant human involvement. 

What are the benefits of CNC machining?

When compared against one another, there is a remarkable difference between the two types of machining. CNC machines clearly pose a range of advantages that make them a more attractive option: 

Consistent replications

One of the main benefits of CNC machines is their ability to constantly churn out replications again and again. Once the software is loaded onto the machine, it will be programmed to carry out a specific task. It does this as often as required, leading to virtually no deviations in replications. 

Traditionally machining needs a human being to plot the initial course and carry out the work. This can lead to small variations when producing mass replicants, disrupting the consistency of your products. The most accurate and consistent replications are available via CNC machining. 

Improved quality

CNC machines come in many varieties with different tools implemented. You have certain machines – like CNC laser cutters – that deliver unrivaled accuracy and quality. Even a standard CNC milling machine is capable of better quality when compared to a similar traditional machine. 

There is no reliance on a human being to outline where a tool needs to go or what needs to be cut. The use of technology means more accuracy can be delivered every single time. As skilled as a human workers can be, they are no match for modern technology. 

Reduced labor costs

Buying a CNC machine is a significant investment for any business. The upfront costs can be extensive, yet the machine pays for itself over time. A sizeable return on investment will be seen thanks to the benefits provided by CNC machines. Labor costs will be dramatically reduced when CNC technology is used. There is less need for skilled workers in your facility as the machine can automate everything by itself. 

You will have fewer staff members on your books, and those that you hire do not need to be of a high skill level. This lets you hire workers with smaller wage demands than before, further reducing the overheads and widening your profit margins. 

Improved efficiency & manufacturing speeds

Maintaining a high level of efficiency is necessary to achieve true productivity in your facility. An efficient workspace is one that reaches maximum output, enabling you to handle more orders during a day’s work. 

Traditional machining poses problems in terms of efficiency. The over reliance on manual interactions and human workers can result in numerous roadblocks. Human errors may slow down the manufacturing process, and dedicate precious time to corrections. CNC machining is an automated process that happens by itself. Hardly any roadblocks appear, allowing for a more efficient facility that optimizes manufacturing speeds. More work can be produced in a shorter timeframe. 

More versatility

CNC machining offers a higher degree of versatility. This is all thanks to how accurate the technology is inside these machines. It lets you cut more complicated shapes without any issues, with a wider range of materials. Metal, glass, plastic, foam, and wood are all compatible with CNC machines. 

Versatility opens manufacturing companies up to new possibilities. Instead of only focusing on a specific product or making one part, your facility may be able to branch out and try something new. 

Are there any downsides to CNC machining?

Compared to traditional machining, CNC machining doesn’t have many downsides. Price is perhaps the only factor that might make you think twice. Traditional machining is more affordable, but this is because it doesn’t have the same technology inside. CNC machining is going to be more expensive, yet it makes up for this. 

The benefits above showcase the capabilities and possibilities presented to you by CNC machines. You will pay more for this new type of machining, but it will be worth it in the long run. 


CNC machining offers a modern approach to manufacturing, cutting, and parts fabrication. It has many advantages over traditional machining. CNC machines allow for greater accuracy and more precision, leading to better consistency when mass-producing replica items. These machines offer a greater return on investment thanks to a reduction in labor costs in your facility. The ability to no longer rely on skilled human workers will also mean CNC machining is more efficient and streamlines the manufacturing process. Thanks to the unique technology and software inside these machines, more versatility is provided, opening a chasm of opportunities for manufacturers. 

If you’re interested in making the switch to CNC machining, you need to get your hands on a reliable machine that’s capable of handling your specific requirements. At MachineStation, we stock a wide range of used CNC machines that could be perfect for you. Browse through our online catalog or get in touch with us today to learn more.