Guide to Buying Machine Tools

This probably isn’t mind-blowing, but machine tool purchase decisions are not to be taken lightly. A shop looking to acquire a new machine (or several, as the case may be) has to weigh its options. This means, among other things, carefully considering the work it needs the machine to do and evaluating any number of financial variables against the machine models available.

This Knowledge Center is dedicated to trying to make those tasks a little easier. We'll continue to add content over time. For now, read industry verteran Barry Rogers' article covering the basics on What to Consider When Buying a Machine Tool as well as some recent machine introductions from some of the industry's leading players.

Making Machine Tool Research Accessible

It's obvious that the search for a new machine tool starts with gathering data, but how does a shop go about it? 

How does it know what’s out there to begin with? How does it find out who distributes them? And when this data is all gathered, how does the shop compare among them to find the right machine for the job?

Once a shop has outlined and refined its questions, it’s time to find answers. That’s where comes in. Techspex is the largest machine tool database, providing specifications on more than 8,600 machines from more than 500 builders, as well as extensive information on importers and local distributors. Instead of having to keep track of multiple catalogs and websites, Techspex simplifies the data-gathering process with the goal of making disparate information as accessible as possible.

Basically, Techspex is a free research and analysis tool for shops concerned about getting the machining center, lathe, EDM, grinder or multitasking machine that best fits their needs. To that end, Techspex provides users with several functionalities for machine research:

Search by specification. Users can search based on specific features (such as spindle orientation), as well as by inputting a range for horsepower, spindle speeds, chuck diameters or axis travels, among other variables.

Compare models. Users can select among a search query’s results to generate a downloadable spreadsheet that compares multiple machines’ specifications side by side.

Find distributors. After narrowing the search to several machines, users can view an applicable list of machine distributors and their locations.

Request quotes. Users can access a simple form from each Techspex machine tool page to make contact with a machine supplier and request a quote.

Share datasheets. Users can email machine data sheets, links, spreadsheets or other supplier data to colleagues directly from Techspex.

Most importantly, full access to the entire database and its accompanying features is offered for free. With a free registration, users can save the custom searches, and downloadable machine and manufacturer data.

A significant number of Techspex users (around 37 percent) are from companies with fewer than 50 employees. While making wise acquisition choices is important for companies of all sizes, it could be argued that smaller manufacturers in particular need an easy, accessible way to make the most of the precious time it takes to research their options and make the best choice of new machine tool.