Cutting processes – tolerance and surface roughness

tolerance and surface roughnessHere’s a useful table of tolerance and surface roughness achievable with cutting and machining process (collectively termed “material removal processes” or “Subtractive Manufacturing“).

More useful info on surface roughness designations can be found here.

This information has been collated from a variety of sources. If you have any suggestions of processes to include in this table please leave a comment and they will be added.

Tolerance and surface roughness table

  Tolerance (mm); Surface roughness (µm)
Process name min max min max
Electro- discharge wire cutting 0.01 0.125 0.1 30
Band sawing 0.8 3 0.8 45
Circular sawing 0.2 3 0.8 45
Cropping/guillotining 0.2 2 0,1 12.5
Sheet metal 0.01 1 0,1 12.5
Sheet metal (non-tooled) 0.01 1 0,1 12.5
Water jet cutting 0.1 0.25 3.2 27
Oxyfuel gas cutting 0.8 2 6.3 71
Plasma arc cutting 0.5 2.54 12 128
Chemical machining 0.004 0.3 0.8 12.5
Chemical polishing 0.0001 1.3
Electro-Chemical Machining 0.013 0.5 0.2 12.5
Electro-Discharge Machining 0.05 0.1 0.1 30
Electron beam machining 0.005 0.05 0.2 6.3
Electropolishing 0.012 1.3
Abrasive jet machining 0.05 0.125 0.1 1.6
Abrasive grinding / polishing 0.0006 0.1 0.025 6.3
Broaching 0.0015 0.02 0.4 6.3
Drilling 02 0.5 0.4 12.5
Honing 0.00055 0.04 0.025 1.6
Lapping 0.00055 0.04 0.012 0.8
Milling (CNC) 0.01 1 0.2 25
Milling (manual) 0.01 1 0.2 25
Planing/shaping 0.02 1 0.4 25
Reaming 0.002 0.07 0.4 6.3
Turning/boring (CNC) 0.003 0.2 0.05 25
Turning/boring (manual) 0.003 0.2 0.05 25
Ultrasonic machining 0.005 0.05 0.2 1.6
Laser beam machining 0.013 0.13 0.2 6.3

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