What All Should You Know When Buying a Used CNC Lathe?

written by: Ricky • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 3/29/2009

It is a very attractive idea to buy a second hand or used CNC Lathe which would save you a significant sum of money. But it is worth the effort to spend some time taking a look at tips you would need to know when going for the deal.

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    CNC machines are sophisticated pieces of equipment and hence as one would expect, machines from reputed and branded manufacturers come with a relatively higher price tag. Of course the performance and efficiency of such machines also speak volumes in terms of the justification of their costs, yet most of us would not like to buy a new CNC machine possibly due to the cost factor involved. We also talked about making a low cost CNC machine at home from pieces of equipment found in common households but it may not be a good option for everyone because of the time, efforts, dedication and skills required to build such a machine. For the rest of us, the better option would be to go for purchasing a second hand CNC machine and we will learn a few tips about buying a used CNC lathe in this article.

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    Tips for buying used CNC lathe

    Though I have been talking in general about buying used CNC machines, I would talk specifically about buying a used CNC lathe in this section. Most of the tips that we would discuss are applicable more or less to all types of CNC machines.

    Be Alert – this is a very general tip and some people will not bother reading about it, yet I must remind you that this is one of the most common mistakes that people make while buying any kind of stuff be it a simple toothbrush or a sophisticated CNC lathe. Being alert includes a lot of things and not simply by your physical awake condition. I could aptly rename this tip as “Be Informed" and that would work fine too. Unless you know what are you going to buy and what all requirements you have, you will not be in a position to match your requirements against the facilities and options available in the machines you are seeing. Of course cost does matter but obviously you would not go for anything that is cheap but only if it matches your requirements.

    Check/Inspect – this is a continuation of the above principle of alertness and one of the parameters of being alert is not to rely blindly on information given by the salesman or seller but thoroughly check all the functions by actually carrying them out. If you are not knowledgeable enough to do it on your own, you can utilize the services of an experienced mechanic who could do it for you. Mechanical inspection consists of checking for free movement of all axes, spindle movement, tool alignment, abnormal noises, guides and so forth.

    Documentation – try to get hold of as much documentation as you want regarding the old machine such as original bills, manuals and repair history. This will certainly help you in case you have problems at a later date either by getting help from the company or when you want to order new parts or components so that you can tell the detailed specification of each part.

    Best Deal – unless you have an emergency situation you should try to go for the best deal by shopping around physically or on the net. Even if you have to buy a used machine online, that might give you additional options but make sure you buy from a reputed source so that you get what you see.

    Given above are a few tips to buy used CNC lathe machines, apart from that there are several other factors which could influence the deal such as you might get discount on prompt cash down payment and so forth. To conclude it can be said that try to get the best value for your money whenever you go out to buy a used CNC machine.