Unlocking CNC Grinding: 
Your Complete Guide 

Share as:

POSTED ON April 17

Definition of CNC Grinding

About CNC Grinding

CNC grinding refers to the precision machining process which removing material from a workpiece to achieve the needed shape and surface finish.

Unlike conventional grinding methods, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) technology automates the grinding process, so can get highly accurate and repeatable results.

This advanced machining technique is widely used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical devices, and more.These industries request tight tolerances and fine surface finishes are critical.

CNC Grinding Procedure

Primary Characteristics of a CNC Grinder

CNC grinders are highly advanced machining instruments that provide multiple essential features:

Precision Control: They are able to attain very high surface polishes and incredibly tight tolerances.

Automation: By enabling automated operation, CNC technology lowers the need for human intervention and boosts productivity.

Versatility: CNC grinders are capable of handling a wide range of materials, workpiece sizes, and forms.

Handling Complexity: They are capable of handling complex grinding jobs like contour grinding, internal and exterior grinding, and more.

5 Steps of CNC Grinding Process

Step 1: Workpiece Preparation: Choosing the appropriate grinding equipment, securing the workpiece in place, and making sure it is aligned properly.

Step 2: Machine Setup: This involves loading the CNC software and configuring the machine's feed rate, speed, and depth of cut.

Step 3: Rough Grinding: Remove coarse material to approximate the final part's form and size.

Step 4: Fine Grinding: Adjusting the dimensions and surface finish to satisfy strict quality standards and tolerances.

Step 5: Finishing Operations: Putting the finishing touches on surfaces or polishing them if necessary for particular uses.

Four Tips for Productive CNC Grinding

Optimize Tool Selection: Based on the necessary surface finish, workpiece geometry, and material hardness, select the appropriate grinding wheels and tools.

Preserve Machine Precision: To guarantee precision and repeatability, CNC grinders should be calibrated and maintained on a regular basis.

Monitor Process Parameters: Throughout grinding operations, keep an eye on variables like cutting speed, coolant flow, and tool wear.

Put Quality Checks Into Practice: Throughout the grinding process, check the part quality, surface finish, and dimensional correctness using inspection instruments and procedures.

Main Types of CNC Grinding

Surface grinding

Description: In CNC surface grinding, material is removed from a workpiece's surface to create a smooth, flat surface using a rotating grinding wheel.

Application: Generally employed to give metallic or non-metallic workpieces flat surfaces. It can increase the level of flatness, smoothness, and hardness on an object's surface, extending its lifespan and enhancing its quality.

Cylindrical grinding

Description: CNC cylindrical grinding involves grinding the outside diameter of a cylindrical or round workpiece to obtain precise dimensions and surface finish.

Application: Ideal for producing cylindrical or tapered shapes such as shafts, rods and tubes.

Centerless grinding

Description: Centerless grinding is also a common machining process. The workpiece is not fixed between centers, but is supported and positioned between the grinding wheel and the adjusting wheel by a workpiece support blade.

Application: Suitable for grinding cylindrical workpieces with high precision and high productivity, often used in the mass production of shafts, pins and other cylindrical parts.

CNC Grinding Internal Grinding

Internal Grinding

Description: Using a small grinding wheel or abrasive tool, internal grinding is the process of reducing a workpiece's inner diameter.

Application: For accurate internal machining of workpieces' bores, holes, and other internal characteristics.

Thread Grinding

Description: Thread grinding involves precision grinding of screw threads on workpieces using specialized grinding wheels or tools.

Applications: Commonly used in manufacturing threaded parts such as nuts, bolts, and screws with high accuracy and surface quality.

Gear Grinding

Description: Gear grinding is used to produce high-precision gears by grinding the gear tooth surfaces to exacting tolerances.

Applications: Essential in gear manufacturing for producing gears used in automotive, aerospace, and industrial machinery applications.

Tool and Cutter Grinding

Description: Tool and cutter grinding focuses on sharpening or reconditioning CNC grinding cutting tools, such as end mills, drills, and inserts, using specialized grinding machines.

Applications: Essential in tool manufacturing and maintenance to ensure cutting tools maintain sharp edges and optimal performance.

Raw Materials for CNC Grinding

Because of their versatility, CNC grinding operations can be used on a variety of materials, each with its own special qualities and machining needs. The following are a few typical raw materials for CNC grinding:

Raw Materials For CNC Grinding


Steel Alloys/Aluminum Alloys/Titanium/Brass and Copper Alloys/Nickel alloys

Hardened Materials

Hardened steels/Hardened Tool and Mold Materials

Non-Metallic Materials

Plastics and Polymers/Composite Materials/Ceramics

Other Materials

Precious metals/Glass


Steel Alloys: These comprise alloy steels such as 4140 and 4340, as well as carbon, tool, and stainless steel.

Aluminum Alloys: These include cast aluminum alloys including alloys 6061 and 7075.

Titanium: Distinguished by its exceptional corrosion resistance and strength-to-weight ratio.

Brass and Copper Alloys: Used for their electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance properties.

Nickel alloys:Such as Inconel, Hastelloy, and Monel, are renowned for their ability to withstand high temperatures and corrosion.

Hardened material:

Hardened steels:including tool steels and hardened alloys, which need to be precisely ground in order to obtain the right surface finish and dimensions.

Hardened Tool and Mold Materials: For use in mold and precision machining applications, hardened tool steels, carbide, and ceramics are included.

Non-Metallic Materials:

Plastics and Polymers: Such as nylon, PVC, acrylics, and engineering plastics used in various industries.

Composite Materials: Including carbon fiber composites, fiberglass, and laminates used in aerospace, automotive, and sporting goods industries.

Ceramics: High-strength and high-temperature materials used in specialized applications like aerospace components and medical devices.

Other Materials:

Precious metals: Used in jewelry and electronic components, such as gold, silver, and platinum.

Glass: Including specialty glasses used in optics and precise equipment, borosilicate glass, and optical glasses.

Considerations like material characteristics, required surface finishes, intended tolerances, and the particular use of the machined item all play a role in selecting the best raw material for CNC grinding. To produce precise and superior final products, CNC grinding methods are very flexible and can be tailored for a variety of materials.

Cost Considerations for CNC Grinding

A number of expenses are associated with CNC grinding, such as the initial cost of purchasing the equipment and continuing operating expenses. Let's examine the expenses related to CNC grinding:

A CNC Grinding Machine Cost

Haas Multigrind: Renowned for their versatility and precision, Haas Multigrind machines offer a wide range of grinding capabilities suitable for every industry.

Haas Multigrind machines, which range in price from $50,000 to $200,000, are favored for their cost-effectiveness and advanced features.

Studer: Associated with quality and dependability, Studer machines are renowned for their high-precision grinding solutions.

Studer grinders are preferred in businesses that need the highest levels of precision and surface polish; their prices range from $60,000 to $300,000 and beyond.

ANCA: ANCA grinders are renowned for their state-of-the-art design and effectiveness in tool grinding uses.

ANCA machines, which can cost anywhere from $80,000 to $400,000 or more, are perfect for sectors of the economy that demand high standards of productivity and tool quality.

Toyota: Toyota grinders are known for their rugged construction, precision and efficiency in achieving tight tolerances.

Toyota machines, priced from $100,000 to $500,000 and above, are popular in the automotive, aerospace and general manufacturing sectors.

Makino: Makino grinders are recognized for their advanced machining capabilities and precision grinding solutions. Makino machines, priced from $120,000 to $600,000, excel at high-speed grinding of complex parts in the aerospace, automotive and moldmaking industries.

CNC Grinding Cost

The total cost of CNC grinding consists of both operational and machine-related expenses:

Configuring and Programming Machines: The machine setup, workholding fixtures, and CNC system programming are included in the initial setup expenses. The expense of setup and programming is incurred in part by skilled personnel.

Tooling and Consumables: The price of the coolant, tool holders, grinding wheels, and other consumables needed for the process.

Workpiece Material Costs: When it comes to expensive materials or specialty alloys, the price of the raw materials or workpieces that need to be ground plays a big role.

Labor Costs: Machine operators, programmers, and maintenance staff are all included in the category of operational costs.

Maintenance and Servicing: To guarantee optimum performance and longevity, CNC grinding machines require routine maintenance, calibration, and servicing.

Energy and Facility Costs: Electricity, coolant, and facility overhead costs contribute to the overall operational expenses.

Comprehending these cost elements facilitates the process of budgeting and process optimization for CNC grinding operations, enabling cost reduction without compromising productivity or quality.

Advantages of CNC Grinding

Precision and Accuracy: CNC grinders provide high precision and accuracy in grinding operations, ensuring consistent and reliable results.

Complex geometries: They can handle complex part geometries and complex features that may be difficult to achieve with traditional grinding methods.

Automation and Efficiency: The CNC grinding process can be fully automated, resulting in increased efficiency, reduced labor costs, and increased productivity.

Repeatability: CNC grinding ensures repeatability of grinding operations, maintaining tight tolerances and quality standards across multiple parts.

Broad material compatibility: CNC grinders can process a variety of materials, including metals, plastics, ceramics and composites, making them suitable for a variety of industries.

Substitute for CNC Grinding

Manual grinding

Skilled operators are needed to manually control the grinding process in traditional manual grinding processes. It might work well for straightforward jobs, but CNC grinding offers greater accuracy, speed, and automation.

Conventional Grinder

These devices grind using traditional grinding wheels. Although they are more adaptable than CNC grinders, they might not reach the same degree of automation and precision.

Additional machining techniques

Grinding may not always be the best option; other techniques like CNC milling, CNC turning, or electrical discharge machining (EDM) may be utilized instead. In contrast to CNC grinding, these methods might not be as effective at reaching certain tolerances or surface qualities.

ChooseZ CNC Grinding Service

ChooseZ is a leading supplier of CNC grinding services, differentiating itself in the market with a number of benefits.

Cutting Edge CNC Grinding Technology:ChooseZ ensures that every project maintains the highest levels of quality, efficiency, and consistency by using cutting-edge CNC grinding equipment from leading brands.

Cross-business expertise: ChooseZ has years of experience in a variety of industries and is an expert in CNC grinding for the aerospace, automotive, and medical device sectors, among others. ChooseZ is aware of the particular needs and difficulties that each business has.

Material Diversity and High Tolerance Capability:ChooseZ offers a variety of materials, including metals, alloys, polymers, and composites, for its CNC grinding services. We can process data to fulfill even the most stringent tolerance standards.

Quality Control and Outstanding Customer Service: ChooseZ places a strong emphasis on quality assurance, carrying out checks at each step of the CNC grinding process to guarantee that the delivered components meet or surpass requirements. In addition, we offer outstanding customer service that promotes open communication and enduring relationships with our clients.

Product Display of CNC Grinding

The products and CNC grinding machine parts of our company's CNC grinding process are showcased in the following, showing the various uses and outcomes of the process. demonstrates the various materials, surface treatments, and intricate shapes made possible by CNC grinding:

Case Studies of CNC Grinding

Case 1: Automotive Transmission Components

Raw Material: High-strength Steel Alloys

Application of CNC Grinding: CNC grinding processes were utilized to grind precision components used in automotive transmissions.

This involved grinding gears, shafts, and other critical components to exact specifications to ensure optimal performance and durability in automotive applications.

Tolerance Requirements: Achieved tight tolerances within ±0.02 mm for gear profiles and critical mating surfaces, meeting stringent automotive industry standards for precision and reliability.

Final Results: The CNC ground automotive components exhibited superior wear resistance, precise mating surfaces, and optimal mechanical performance crucial for ensuring smooth operation and longevity in automotive transmissions.

Case 2: Medical Implants Manufacturing

Raw Material: Titanium Alloy

Application of CNC Grinding: CNC grinding processes were employed to manufacture intricate shapes and profiles for medical implants, ensuring biocompatibility and precise fitment in surgical procedures.

Tolerance Requirements: Achieved ultra-tight tolerances within ±0.01 mm for critical implant features, meeting stringent medical industry requirements for accuracy and safety.

Final Results: The CNC ground medical implants demonstrated excellent biocompatibility, precise dimensions, and surface finishes essential for seamless integration and long-term functionality in medical applications.

Case 3: Laser Equipment Components

Raw Material: High-grade Aluminum and Stainless Steel

Application of CNC Grinding: CNC grinding processes were used to fabricate precision components for laser equipment, including optical mounts, mirrors, and structural components, ensuring precise alignment and performance.

Tolerance Requirements: Achieved micrometer-level tolerances within ±0.005 mm for optical components and critical mounting surfaces, meeting the demanding specifications of laser equipment manufacturers.

Final Results: The CNC ground components for laser equipment exhibited exceptional dimensional accuracy, minimal surface roughness, and precise geometries crucial for maintaining optical alignment and overall laser system performance.

CNC Manufacturing

Kevin Zhang
NPI Supervisor

Zhang has been working as an NPI (New Product Introduction) manager for more than ten years. Every endeavor gains energy from his vibrant personality. In his own time, Kevin plays soccer competitively and coaches neighborhood young teams, showcasing his leadership abilities both on and off the field.

You Might also Like

View all  →

Let's start a project together today!

Get in touch today, and experience our dedicated service and professionalism firsthand.
Contact Us


Subscribe to get our latest updates!