Deburring is an essential step across metalworking operations. This process efficiently removes the rough edges and burrs from metal materials that are created from various machining operations, including drilling, punching, and shearing. Traditionally, deburring is completed by hand using specialized tool sets. Unfortunately, these tools are drastically less efficient and productive compared to dry metal finishing machines. If you’re thinking about upgrading your shop’s deburring process with a dedicated machine, it’s important to understand the benefits and potential drawbacks of that investment. So today, let’s review some of the key considerations to make when deciding whether a deburring machine is the right choice for your team’s metalworking operations.
Hand Deburring vs Metal Deburring Machines
Hand deburring tools can remove sharp edges and burrs from machined metal parts. The problem with this manual operation is that it’s inefficient and prone to errors. Some parts can take over an hour to deburr by hand, and even the most experienced workers can make mistakes when finishing parts, leading to costly errors and inconsistencies. It’s also important to note that manual deburring can lead to significant injuries for workers. The sharp edges on parts are a major risk for employees, resulting in serious cuts and lacerations. Heavy or unwieldy parts can also pinch or crush the hands of workers during handling and deburring, causing work-affecting injuries and downtime. Dry metal finishing machines address many of the challenges and limitations associated with hand deburring. These efficient solutions can manage a wide variety of metal applications, ranging from deburring and edge rounding to polishing and heavy slag removal. Leading deburring machines can quickly, accurately, and safely finish almost any kind of metal part, significantly reducing your production costs in the process.
3 Core Benefits of Metal Deburring Machines
1. Production Quality
Deburring machines improve production quality by finishing metal parts with extreme precision. For example, Apex 1000 Series Dry Metal Machines feature individual cam adjustments down to .001” per head to ensure ultra-precise finishing.[a][b] Thanks to the accuracy of deburring machines, your team can also reduce the number of scrapped parts it produces due to human errors, driving improvements in quality, capacity, and throughput.
2. Employee Safety
Deburring machines are significantly safer than hand deburring operations. These solutions use conveyor belts and infeed and outfeed pinch rolls to make sure every part feeds through the machine correctly—ensuring a clean, consistent finish without putting the hands or fingers of workers at risk. Automating the deburring process also helps protect employees from hand strain and other issues associated with hand deburring tools.
3. Shop Efficiency
Deburring machines are much faster and more repeatable than hand deburring, allowing your shop to produce finished parts more efficiently without compromising on quality. At Apex, we even offer a unique design that allows both large and small parts to run on the same machine. This refined deburring system is a perfect solution for shops finishing a wide range of part sizes (as small as 3” x 3”).
Potential Drawbacks of Metal Deburring Machines
One of the biggest deterrents for investing in a metal deburring machine is upfront cost. A high-quality dry metal machine is much more expensive than a simple hand deburring tool kit. But despite this initial drawback, deburring machines more than make up for their costs over time. These solutions can produce fully finished, precise, and high-quality parts in minutes instead of hours—producing greater returns on investment (ROI) across your metalworking efforts. At Apex, we offer flexible financing options for our selection of dry metal deburring machines. If you’re interested in the benefits of our deburring machines but unsure whether it makes financial sense, be sure to contact our application specialists. We’ll work together to help you make the best choice for your team’s unique needs.
Selecting the Right Type of Deburring Machine
Another challenge with deburring machines is choosing the correct model for your specific process and space. To help get you started, we’ve compiled a short description of our four deburring machine variants—along with their ideal use cases: 1000 Series Machines are flexible tools with a smaller footprint—and can be used across deburring, dross removal, edge radiusing, and finishing applications. They can accommodate up to three heads. 2000 Series Machines are built for heavier production requirements. They can be used for a combination of deburring, slag grinding, edge radiusing, and finishing operations—and accommodate up to four heads. 3000 Series Machines are suited for the heaviest production requirements possible and ideal for deburring, grinding, and edge radiusing applications. They can feature up to four heads—and are built for seven-day-per-week operations. Top/Bottom Dry Metal Brush Machines can process both the top and bottom surfaces of metal parts in a single pass. These tools are well suited for deburring, edge radius, laser oxide removal, and surface prep—and are ideal for finishing parts with 100% uniformity.
Find Your Shop’s Deburring Machine Today
As a world leader in the metal deburring and finishing market, Apex is here to help you achieve optimal results and ROI for your metalworking shop. Connect with us online to learn more about our industry-leading deburring machines—or for advice on when and how you should invest in this important asset for your team.