cnc deburring

Why You Should Stop Deburring by Hand

Deburring is a process in which sharp edges and burrs are removed from a part to create a more aesthetically pleasing final product. After milling, parts are typically taken off the machine and sent off to the Deburring Department. Here, the burrs and sharp points are removed, traditionally by hand. However, an operation that takes an hour by hand can be reduced to mere minutes by deburring parts right in the machine with high precision CNC deburring tools, making hand deburring a thing of the past.

High Precision Tools

Hand deburring tools often have a sharp hook-shaped blade on the end, which is used to scrape/slice off the burrs as it passes along the edge of the part. These tools are fairly simple and easy to use, but much less efficient and precise than CNC deburring tools.

red hand deburring tool
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CNC deburring tools are also held to much tighter tolerances than traditional hand-deburring tools. Traditional cylindrical deburring tools typically have a diameter-tolerance window of +/- .008 versus a CNC deburring end mill which has a diameter tolerance of +/-.0005. The tighter tolerance design eliminates the location issues found in traditional deburring tools with loose tolerances, allowing them to be programmed like a traditional end mill.

While hand deburring tools often have just a single blade, CNC deburring tools feature double cut patterns and a high number of flutes. The double cut pattern contains both right hand and left hand teeth, which results in an improved finish. These tools leave completed parts looking far superior to their hand-deburred counterparts, with more consistent and controlled edge breaks. Additionally, there is a large variety of CNC deburring tools available today which can take full advantage of multi-axis machines and the most complex tool paths. For example, Harvey Tool’s 270° Undercutting End Mill is a great choice for multi-axis and more complex deburring options. Further, Deburring Chamfer Cutters are multi-use tools that can perform both chamfering and deburring accurately with no need for a tool change.

examples of cnc undercutters and chamfer mills

Reduce Production Costs and Increase Profits

Having an entire department dedicated to deburring can be costly, and many smaller businesses may have pulled employees off other jobs to help with deburring, which hampers production. Taking employees off the deburring station and asking them to run more parts or man another department can help keep labor costs low while still increasing production rates.

machinist hand deburring with a motorized hand tool
Stop Deburring By Hand and Increase Your Profits

By deburring right in the CNC machine, parts can be completed in one machining operation. The double-cut pattern found on many deburring tools also allows for increased speeds and feeds. This helps to reduce cycle times even further, saving hours of work and increasing production efficiency. Deburring in the machine is a highly repeatable process that reduces overall cycle times and allows for more efficient finishing of a part. In addition, CNC machines are going to be more accurate than manual operations, leading to fewer scrapped parts due to human error and inconsistencies.

STOP Deburring by Hand With Harvey Tool’s Wide Selection of Deburring Solutions

Simply put, the precision and accuracy of the CNC machine, along with the cost and time savings associated with keeping the part in the machine from start to finish, makes deburring in the CNC machine one of the easiest way to increase your shop’s efficiency.

14 replies
  1. randy
    randy says:

    Can you show a picture of an edge chamfered with a Deburring Chamfer Cutter looks like? Particularly in aluminum. Thanks.

    • Jeff Rauseo
      Jeff Rauseo says:

      Hi Robby,

      While some of the deburring tools have the same profiles as standard end mills, the deburring tools have a higher flute count to allow for higher speeds and feeds and a superior finish. They also have a double cut flute style and bur geometry made specifically for removing burrs.

      These tools wouldn’t cut like a regular end mill – they are specifically designed for deburring.

      You can learn more about these tools by visiting our website:

  2. Paul Mutzek
    Paul Mutzek says:

    A video would be nice, especially cnc deburring the type of part that would take an hour by hand that you mentioned. Those types of parts would need more “deburring” programming than just a standard 2D contouring op. I’d like to see what you’re suggesting in action.

    • Edward F.
      Edward F. says:

      I agree, there’s a lot of marketing wank in this post, screw all the claims, show us some proof. Trying to program a tool to de-burr small nooks and crannies is a pain in the ass, at that point it’s more cost effective to just hand finish them.

    • Jeff Rauseo
      Jeff Rauseo says:

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you for the feedback and interest in the tools! We will work towards having some more videos and content around these tools for you, Paul, and many others who have asked!

  3. Cory M. PIO
    Cory M. PIO says:

    To Paul and Chris if you want to debut complex 3d contours in a program like mastercam I would be happy to show you email me at [email protected]. there is a certain workflow to this and once you see the right way to do it you’ll never go back to your old ways especially with high value and high quantity orders.

  4. Sandra Patterson
    Sandra Patterson says:

    I think it is really cool how CNC deburring tools have double cut patterns and multiple flutes versus a hand deburring tool that only has one blade. In my personal opinion, that sounds a lot more efficient than using the hand tool to clean up a piece of machined metal. I also thought it was interesting how you said that these new tools leave much more consistent and controlled edge breaks.

  5. Dave Anderson
    Dave Anderson says:

    That is interesting that there is a sharp hook-shaped blade that scrapes off burrs. It would be good to get a machine to do these micromachining processes. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about my hand cramping up or anything when paying attention to detail.

  6. Thomas Westgren
    Thomas Westgren says:

    It’s really nice how you said that CNC machining can help to finish parts in one go, rather than multiple sessions. This would be really helpful because it would help you to save time and money. Your parts would be of a higher quality as well!

    • Guy Petrillo
      Guy Petrillo says:

      Thank you for the feedback Sergio. We are always wondering what people want to see, we will work on gathering video of a Deburring Undercutter!


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