When it comes to machining, there are two dominant methods that we often talk about dry machining and wet machining. These methodologies determine the manner in which cutting operations are conducted and how the cutting tool interacts with the workpiece. Delving into the specifics of both techniques can provide us with a better understanding of machining methods so that we can increase our productivity.

Dry Machining

Dry machining is a machining method that uses no cooling or lubricating liquid during the processing. This method operates in a dry state, without the need for heavy lubrication or water-based coolant.

Advantages of Dry Machining:

  1. Environmental Friendly: Dry machining eliminates the need for coolants, reducing the potential environmental impact.
  2. Cost Savings: Dry machining can be more cost-effective without the expenditure on coolants and the systems required to manage them.
  3. Reduced Cleanup: The absence of coolant translates to less post-machining cleanup. No coolant means no residue, making the process tidier.

Challenges of Dry Machining:

  1. Heat Generation: The absence of coolant can result in increased heat generation during cutting. This may lead to thermal expansion of the workpiece and reduced tool life.
  2. Tool Lifespan: Without a cooling lubricant, tools might wear out faster due to increased friction and heat.

Wet Machining

Wet machining is the opposite of dry machining. It is a method that involves using a coolant or lubricant during the machining process. This liquid is sprayed onto the workpiece and cutting tool, which helps to reduce the heat generated during the operation and helps to flush away the chips or debris from the cutting area.

Advantages of Wet Machining:

  1. Heat Control: Coolants effectively dissipate heat, preventing excessive temperatures that could damage the workpiece or tool.
  2. Extended Tool Lifespan: By reducing friction and heat, coolants contribute to longer tool life, resulting in fewer tool changes and increased efficiency.
  3. Chip Evacuation: Coolants flush away chips and debris, preventing chip buildup that can negatively impact machining accuracy.

Challenges of Wet Machining:

  1. Environmental Concerns: Coolants and lubricants need careful management and disposal due to their potential environmental impact.
  2. Operational Costs: The cost of purchasing, managing, and disposing of coolants adds to the overall operational expenses.


Here, we have a chart to compare these two machining methods.

ComparisonDry machiningWet machining
Cutting fluid×
Fluid delivery system×
Workpiecewood/polymer.soft/metal/steel/TitaniumPreferred like steel/titanium
Cutting temperatureHighlow and steady
Environmental pollutionNoused cutting fluid
Operational costno extraextra cost like cutting fluid
Surface effectsmoothnesssmooth and better surface
Tool lifespan(mold steel)less than wet machininglong lifespan
Milling process(mold steel)mainly rough millingsemi-milling/finishing milling
Comparison of dry and wet machining

As a manufacturer in the mold industry, we recommend dry machining with air cooling for our tools during rough milling processing. When semi and finishing milling, wet milling will provide a better precision and surface effect.