Even when it is purchased secondhand, CNC equipment still requires a substantial investment. Is the investment worthwhile? In most cases, the answer is yes. In addition to improving your cutting accuracy, CNC equipment can benefit you financially by reducing waste work and increasing production capacity. If you need to invest in a pre-owned CNC router
, but you are not experienced in assessing pre-owned equipment, the tips below can be helpful:
Learn About the Previous Owner
Learning about the previous owner of the product can help you asses how it was operated. For example, if a furniture company owned the machine, it was probably operated strenuously for at least eight hours a day, but if a trade school owned it; it probably received light use for less than eight hours a day. How its previous owner operated a product can have a significant impact on its lifespan.
Check the Maintenance Record
Excluding the quality of its design, how well equipment is maintained is perhaps the greatest predictor of its lifespan. Consequently, you should only consider buying a used CNC router that has a flawless maintenance record. You can check the maintenance record of equipment by asking the seller for a copy of its official logged service record.
Find Out if the Equipment has Been Reconditioned
Pre-owned equipment that has been reconditioned typically offers excellent value, as it has essentially been restored to new condition. Reconditioned equipment usually costs more than non-reconditioned equipment, but the extra investment is worth it. Reconditioned products seldom experience sudden and unexpected problems, whereas used products that are not reconditioned often do.
Read Reviews of the Equipment
Wood boring machines, routers, and other essential woodworking equipment is typically well reviewed by its owners and independent experts. Reading these reviews can inform you of the strengths and weaknesses a particular brand of router exhibits initially and over time.
Have an Expert Inspect the Equipment
Inspecting a product firsthand is always a good idea, especially if its photographs on the Internet or in a woodworking magazine do not reveal it from all angles. If you know how to operate CNC machinery, but not how to inspect its interior components and cutting mechanism for wear, hire a CNC technician to inspect the equipment before you buy.
Put the Equipment Through a Test Run
Exposing the equipment to a light test run-with or without production materials involved-can reveal whether it operates smoothly, or displays worrisome rattling or whining noises. Most CNC equipment operates quietly when it is not cutting. A product that produces strange noises as it moves the cutting mechanism should be investigated for internal problems.
Buying a used CNC machine can require a substantial investment, but one that is justified when you properly assess the quality of the product. Following the tips above will help you find a product that offers the right combination of reliability and performance. The tips are also helpful for evaluating pre-owned wood boring machines, milling machines, saws, and sanders.
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