Manual Machining vs. CNC Machining Services Explained

manual machines in sawyer machine shop
Manual machines in Sawyer’s machine shop

Both CNC machining technology and manual machining processes are commonly used throughout the modern commercial manufacturing sector. At Sawyer Fabrication, we provide a complete range of custom machining services which utilize some of the industry’s most capable CNC machines alongside expertly crafted manual machining solutions.

The Difference Between CNC Machines and Manual Machining Services

Technologically speaking, CNC machining is a much more advanced process than conventional manual machining methods. Nevertheless, there are still custom product applications and specific machining processes for which manual machining techniques are beneficial.

The essential difference is that manual machine tools are controlled by hand – machining operations are carefully performed by skilled human operators. With a CNC machine, the robotic tool path is pre-programmed by the machinist, but the actual machining operations are entirely automated.

As a full-service industrial machine shop and metal fabricator, Sawyer provides a complete range of both manual and CNC machining services.

Benefits of CNC Machining Services Compared to Manual Machining

Robotically controlled by extremely precise preprogrammed coordinates, CNC machines are able to achieve a level of precision and repeatability that is not possible through manual machining methods – at least not in a timely or cost-effective manner.

For example, consider a complex custom pipe fitting used in an oil and gas pipeline application. Depending on the project, dozens or even hundreds of the components may be required. At the same time, each component must exhibit extremely close tolerances in order to ensure proper fitment and compatibility. Manual machining each product by hand while ensuring every precision tolerance is met would require far too much time and labor. On the other hand, once a proper prototype is built and tested, CNC machining services will be able to continually reproduce the product with an extremely high degree of accuracy and repeatability.

Combining the Advantages of CNC Machining with Manual Machining Capabilities 

At Sawyer Fabrication, our team takes pride in our highly skilled manual machining service capabilities. Many of our dedicated craftsmen have mastered the art of custom manufacturing utilizing conventional machines and manual tools. From single-part custom machined prototypes to small-volume production runs on CNC or manual machines, Sawyer can tackle your project from start to finish and deliver the quality your products deserve.

Quality Custom Machining Services for the Midwest Region and Beyond

Based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sawyer Fabrication operates a expert production facility integrated with a full-service custom machining department. Equipped with a full range of manual machining tools and CNC machining technology, our company is capable of meeting your precision machining requirements.

View our Projects and follow us on Instagram.