At B&B Precision we offer both CNC Grinding and Hard Part Turning services. In this blog we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both so that you can make an informed decision.

Before the introduction of hard turning in the 90’s, cylindrical grinding of high precision components was the industry standard. However, finish hard turning has become widespread since its introduction and has replaced many grinding processes. Both processes are fundamentally sound but differ and which method is best suited depends on the components to be machined and the number of parts in a production run.

Hard Part Turning Benefits

Compared to grinding, these are the benefits of hard part turning:

  • Better machine utilization – same machine is used for external and internal machining (in grinding you would 2 need machines, which means 2 setups).
  • Lower machining time. Lower cost per part, because turning is a faster and cheaper process than grinding.
  • Complex part shapes can be machined in one set-up.
  • No coolant is used, hence more environment-friendly (no grinding sludge).
  • Saves the cost of coolant, which can be up to 15 % of machining cost.

Grinding Benefits

Compared to hard part turning, these are the benefits of grinding:

  • A Grinding process can achieve a 6 Ra surface finish, hold a size tolerance of less than 0.0002 inch and grind parts to within 30 millionths roundness.
  • Possible to grind over 65HRc, and certainly any specialty metals should be ground as opposed to turned.
  • Dedicated cylindrical ID and OD grinding is better suited for high-volume applications.
  • Hard part turning has geometric limitations, for example long and thin components but most parts can be ground independent of shape.
  • Dis-similar materials and hardness variations, in the same component can be ground but may be problematic for hard part turning.
  • Wide surfaces can be finished effectively, often with a single plunge grind operation.

Hard Part Turning or Grinding?

Have you decided whether you’d rather chose Hard Part Turning or Grinding? Hopefully you found this blog useful and informative. If you require any further help our experienced engineers can offer impartial advice to help you choose the best solution for your requirements.

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If you’d like to discuss any machining or coating requirements, please contact us either by email at or call us on +44 (0) 1484 866 386.

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