Vertical Machining Centre Buying Guide

At ETG, our lineup includes a variety of vertical machining centres.

What is a Vertical Machining Centre?  

A vertical machining centre(VMC) is a type of machining centre where the spindle axis is oriented vertically. It is primarily used for cutting, drilling, and milling operations on various materials such as metals, plastics, and composites.  

VMCs are versatile and commonly employed in industries like aerospace, automotive, and manufacturing for producing precision components and intricate parts. 

Picking the right vertical machining centre can be difficult, but we’ve made it a breeze.

We’ve simplified the process for you to compare key factors.

Find out more about our vertical machining centres, and the factors you should consider when buying your VMC.

Axile’s 5-Axis Vertical Machining Centre


  • DC Series: The DC Series is the most robust VMC in AXILE’s arsenal, perfectly suited for handling larger, lengthy workpieces. The DC series boasts double-column type full 5-axis vertical machining centres, offering maximum rigidity for heavy-duty cutting of long workpieces.
  • G Series: The G Series is a gantry-type VMC – one compact machine with limitless applications. These vertical machining centres designed for precision and ultra-high-speed material removal rates, ideal for intricate and challenging cuts on all types of metals. 

CHIRON’S Vertical Machining Centres

  • The CHIRON range of CNC vertical machining centres offers exceptional productivity and a wide choice of 5-axis, twin spindle, swivel head and two-axis rotary table options.

Vulcan’s Vertical Machining Centres


  • Box Way VMCs (B): The Vulcan box way Vertical Machining Centre series is ideal for heavy cutting.
  • Linear Guide VMCs (L): The Vulcan linear guide Vertical Machining Centre series offers high-speed and precision.

1. Why buy vertical machining centres from ETG?

As an ETG customer, you can look forward to the following benefits when purchasing your vertical machining centre through us:

2. Factors to consider when buying a vertical machining centre

Some CNC buyers waste money by investing in vertical machining centres far beyond the demands of their projects. Others invest in “cheap” machines only to find they sacrificed quality, repeatability, and accuracy to save money.

Both overspending and underspending on your vertical machining centre can cut into your profits – which defeats the real purpose of any machine investment. The goal, after all, is to maximise profits and ROI.

Before buying a vertical machining centre, take a moment to assess your machining needs. Consider the specifics of your machining process – the operations you want to perform, the production goals you want to achieve, and the materials you’ll be cutting. Your chosen vertical machining centre (VMC) should have suitable spindle speeds, table load capacity, maximum tool weight, and tooling capacity for your requirements.

Let’s review all the factors you should consider before buying a vertical machining centre.

Axile's DC12 Vertical Machining Centre
Quaser's MF 400 CELL – C / U Vertical Machining Centre

Tooling Capacity

Some VMCs limit tool capacity to only 20 or 24 tools, stifling the flexibility and variety needed to machine efficiently.

However, larger machines, like our Quaser MF 400 Cell – C/U with its 120 magazine positions, can accommodate more tools and enhance versatility.

Furthermore, machines with higher tool capacity streamline setup and reduce time spent on tool changes, contributing to overall productivity.


Tool weight

Tool weight plays an essential part in the efficiency of the machining process. Larger, longer, heavier cutting tools are the most efficient as they reduce cutting times. However, many vertical machining centres have a low maximum limit for tool weight.

Limiting the use of these heavier tools can slow down the production process and increase the cost per part.

A VMC with a higher tool weight capacity allows for heavier and more versatile tool combinations.


Power, torque, and speed

Cutting at high spindle speeds isn’t just about removing metal quickly but also about creating top-notch surface finishes.

However, speed is not the only factor you need to consider.

A machine’s performance in terms of power and torque is also crucial for machine shops working with various materials. Here are some scenarios that might require a machine with high torque:

  • Heavy cutting operations: When machining dense materials like titanium or hardened steel, high torque is needed to power through the material efficiently.
  • Large diameter tools: Using larger diameter cutting tools, such as face mills or drills, requires high torque to maintain cutting stability and prevent tool deflection.
  • Deep cavity machining: In applications where the cutting tool needs to reach deep into a workpiece, high torque helps maintain cutting performance and chip evacuation.
  • Tough materials: Working with tough or difficult-to-machine materials, like Inconel or high-strength alloys, requires extra torque for effective material removal.

The key is having a versatile VMC that can handle all your requirements effortlessly – power, torque and speed.


Table load capacity

Table load capacity determines the maximum size and weight of the workpieces that the VMC can accommodate.

This is crucial, especially if you regularly work with large or heavy parts. If the table load capacity is insufficient for your intended applications, you may face several limitations and challenges:

  • Workpiece size: Exceeding the table load capacity can lead to poor machining performance, decreased accuracy, and potential machine damage.
  • Tool life: Excessive loads can accelerate tool wear and reduce tool life, leading to more frequent tool changes. Choosing a VMC with an appropriate table load capacity helps maintain tool life and cutting performance.

3. Manufacturing sectors:

Our vertical machining centres are suitable for applications across various sectors, including but not limited to:

  • Automotive & EV
  • Aerospace
  • Medical
  • Toolmaking
  • Power Generation
  • Defence
  • Motorsport
  • Education
  • Construction

Find out more on our Manufacturing Sectors page.

Get in touch for a consultation

If you’re unsure which vertical machining centre suits your needs, contact our experts for a consultation. Share the specifications you’re looking for, and they’ll guide you to make the best choice.