PEKO Precision Products

Stainless Steel Machining: Quick Tips from a Contract Manufacturer

Posted by Scott Baxter on Mar 26, 2015 1:28:12 PM

stainless steel cnc machiningAs a Contract Manufacturer of Equipment, Instrumentation and Machinery, we are tasked to perform CNC Machining (Milling, Turning, EDM) on a wide variety of different materials.  One of the most common materials we are asked to work with is Stainless Steel.  Due to the Chromium content of Stainless Steel, this material does not rust and corrode very readily.  Common SS alloys like 304, 316, 316L, 430 and others are common to great CNC Machine Shops like PEKO.  These alloys are great for use in the Aerospace, Defense, Marine, Medical, Food, Energy and Semiconductor industries.  Each of these industries has very strict requirements from things like sterile surfaces to harsh environments.  Below I've listed some helpful tips and tricks when it comes to machining Stainless Steel alloys.

  • Use robust and rigid tooling, as SS is a very hard material
  • Ensure workholding devices are rigid and resistant to vibration
  • High Speed Steel (HSS) such as tungsten or molybdenum HSS are great materials for tools
  • Use tougher end mills when edge chipping becomes a factor
  • When higher feeds and speeds are required, use Cemented Carbide tools
  • Use coated cemented carbides to improve wear/reduce breakage
  • Be sure to choose the optimum cooling for your specific SS Machining operation


This super metal is not the hardest in the world to machine but it does take great care to achieve the tolerances and finishes required.  Whether you are going to do the CNC Machining yourself or outsource to a vendor like us, make sure you find a shop with extensive capabilities and experience with Stainless Steel.  Here at PEKO we have over 85 CNC Machines of varying sizes and horsepower to make sure the process is optimized for any material, size and shape.  For more information about how PEKO does CNC Machining of Stainless Steel for customers in the Semiconductor, Medical, Defense and Energy markets, contact me direct at or simply click below for more information.

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Topics: CNC Machining