Episode 16: CNC and Manual Machining - Why it's Important to Know Both

January 15, 2021 12:47 pm



Ian Sandusky (@Let’s Machine) talks about why it’s important to master both manual and CNC machining to be a successful machinist. CNC machining vs manual machining is a classic, yet always relevant debate among machinists. The older generation, those who started their career running only manual machines, will say that manual machining is still the best way and will likely be reluctant to learn about the new technology that has inevitably become the dominant technology. On the other end, the younger generation, those who only learnt how to run a CNC machine, will say that CNC is the main way to make parts nowadays and will likely be reluctant to learn the old school way of making chips.

The reality, as Ian brilliantly says in the video, is that you should have at least a basic knowledge of both methods.

Manual machining provides a basic understanding of why some processes are preferred to other to machine a part and it makes it easier to understand what happens inside a CNC machine once the doors are closed. On top of that, knowing how to set up and run a manual machine can also sometimes save you time. If you are working in a production shop and you just need to add a couple of holes to your part, doing it on a manual machine will likely be faster than having to set up a CNC machine.

CNC machining, on the other hand, is the predominant technology nowadays. If you want to be a successful machinist and take your career to the next level, knowing how to run a CNC machine is key.

Do you agree with Ian? How important is it for a modern machinist to master both manual and CNC machining methods? Share your opinion in the comments.

Stay tuned for more machining videos!

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