Elevate Your CNC Machining Finishes: A Guide to Different Finishing Processes by Lone Peak Precision

Elevate Your CNC Machining Finishes: A Guide to Different Finishing Processes by Lone Peak Precision

In the realm of CNC machining, the finishing processes applied can make all the difference. At Lone Peak Precision, we understand the critical role that finishing plays in delivering high-quality components for makers and OEM manufacturers alike. In this finishing overview, we delve into four distinct finishing processes: As Machined Finish, Vibratory Tumbled, Magnetically Tumbled, and Polished, shedding light on their unique characteristics and benefits.

Surface Quality
Use Case
Appearance Minimum Roughness Description
As Machined Low gloss <63 µin Shiny smooth finish
All tool marks are still visible
If the part has aesthitic use, purley mechanical functions. Prototypes and faster turn around $
Vibratory Tumbled Matte <63 µin Matte low gloss finish
More unfiorm than as machined
Tool marks mostly removed
Removes sharp edges of machined parts, good for creating a uniform look across multiple parts $
Magnetically Tumbled High gloss <32 µin Shiny very smooth finish, glossier than as machined but less reflective than polished
Somewhat flat but glossy
Little to no tool marks
Best for parts that have high visibility and need to be aesthetically pleasing $$
Polished Mirror <24 µin Reflective mirror-like finish
Very shiny and smooth
Little to no tool marks
Can be mechanically polished or electropolished
Decorative pieces, may be required in a optical/mechanical system to increase the emissivity of a material $$$

As Machined Finish: Preserving Precision


The As Machined Finish is the baseline standard in CNC machining. It represents the surface quality directly after the machining process, leaving all tool marks present. This finish is ideal for components requiring tight tolerances and a clean, uniform appearance. At Lone Peak Precision, our CNC machine shop ensures that every component undergoes a meticulous inspection to achieve this initial level of quality.

Pros: very cheap due to simplicity. The part comes off of the CNC mill and is ready for delivery.

Cons: Can be a less uniform surface finish. Sharp edges may be present.

Vibratory Tumbled Finish: Smoothing and Deburring


For components that need a smoother more uniform texture and rounded edges, Vibratory Tumbling is an excellent choice. This process involves placing the parts in a vibratory tumbler with abrasive media, creating a gentle yet effective mass finishing action. Vibratory Tumbling removes sharp edges, burrs, and surface imperfections, enhancing both aesthetics and functionality.

Pros: The cheapest and fastest way to improve surface finish. Creates uniform surface quality across many runs and part geometries and removes majority of sharp edges. Very repeatable among various machine shops and processes.

Cons: Surface finish becomes dull and flat. 

Magnetically Tumbled Finish: Precision with a Polished Touch


Magnetically Tumbled Finishes take surface finish to the next level by utilizing magnetic fields to move small steel rods and the parts within the tumbler. This controlled movement removes sharp edges and deburrs parts while ensuring consistent and uniform surface treatment, making it ideal for intricate components requiring a polished appearance. Lone Peak Precision employs advanced magnetically tumbling techniques to achieve unparalleled finish quality.

Pros: Magnetically tumbling adds am additional level of bling. Very shiny and consistent surface finish.

Cons: Part size is limited to smaller parts. Increases leadtime and price for parts.

Polished Finish: Reflecting Excellence


When aesthetics and high-end presentation are paramount, a Polished Finish is the ultimate choice. This process can be done by mechanically polishing a part or by electropolishing a part. Mechanically polishing machined parts involves abrasive polishing compounds and buffing wheels to create a glossy, mirror-like surface. Polished components not only look impressive but also exhibit enhanced corrosion resistance and durability, making them ideal for premium applications.

Pros: Extremely reflective surface finish. Polishing will change the material characteristics of the surface layer for aluminum, increasing corrosion resistance. Very bright uniform surface finish.

Cons: The most expensive finishing operation and increases lead time.

Why Choose Lone Peak Precision for Your CNC Machining Needs?

At Lone Peak Precision, we prioritize excellence in every aspect of CNC machining, including finishing processes. Our commitment to precision, high quality, and manufacturing expertise sets us apart as a trusted partner for OEM manufacturers. By leveraging advanced technologies and a skilled team, we consistently deliver exceptional results that meet and exceed industry standards.

Whether you require an As Machined Finish for precise tolerances or a Polished Finish for a flawless appearance, Lone Peak Precision has the capabilities to fulfill your CNC machining requirements. Contact us today to discuss your project and experience the difference of working with a leading CNC machine shop.


  • CNC machine shop
  • Machining
  • OEM manufacturer
  • Precision
  • High quality
  • Manufacturing
  • As machined finish
  • Vibratory tumbled finish
  • Magnetically tumbled finish
  • Polished finish
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