Should you buy new or used CNC machinery?

January 31, 2017

Ultimately, only you can decide whether new or used CNC machinery makes sense for your business. However, this list outlines some of the top factors to consider when making your decision.

Here are a few things to think about:

1. What do you want to do with your CNC machine?

The main difference between old and new CNC machinery is the customization options and controller performance. Old CNC machines would quite possibly need extensive software and a controller updates in order to comparably perform to newer machines. However, if the old machine you’re looking at does exactly what you need and is up-to-spec in every other way, the price difference may justify the purchase.

2. How urgently do you need your CNC machinery?

If you need machinery in a pinch, it may make more sense to buy a new machine. It’s easy to find newer machines, and they typically don’t take as much effort to set up. But to find the right used CNC machinery for the job, at a good price, and in relatively good condition, usually takes extensive research.

3. What’s your employees’ skill level?

Generally speaking, newer CNC machinery has more sophisticated software that is user friendly and is capable of producing a consistent cut quality. Older CNC machinery may require more training since the software may not be as robust. Much of this depends on the specific CNC machine you’re considering or looking to purchase.

4. Will you link the CNC machine to an existing network in your shop?

Older CNC machinery is more difficult to network into your shop’s workflow since there may be compatibility issues. If the machine you need to purchase will operate stand-alone, then you don’t have to worry. Although, depending on what the machine might do it may be best to consider a machine that can quickly and easily join your shop’s network.

5. What’s your budget?

With used machines, you want to look for later models with lower hours of usage. Generally, you’ll look at spending approximately $70,000 – $90,000 for a decent used model. You can, of course, pay much less than that but as the price lowers, so does the quality of the machine.

New machines go for approximately $100,000 – $300,000.

6. Do you have time to figure your CNC machine out on your own?

Before you invest in a used machine, consider the support that may come along with it. Is there a learning curve and will you have a difficult time getting support? You’ll have to do much of the setup, upgrading, and training on your used machines unless it is backed by the company you purchased from or the manufacturer.

Do you have the time for that?

Compared to used machinery, new machinery comes with great support and service readily available. More than likely, you’ll get up and running faster and more efficiently.

What Makes Sense for You?

There is no set right or wrong way when purchasing new or used equipment. What may work for one shop may not work for another. Be sure to take a step back and analyze what works best for your business in order to get the most bang for your buck!

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