What is Deburring: Smoothening Out Your Metal the Right Way

What is Deburring

Understanding the meaning of “burr” to understand the question “what is deburring”. If you work with machined parts, you’ve probably seen burrs on parts at some point. Burrs can make what you make less accurate and have a less smooth surface. For this reason, deburring is an important part of machining.

But despite the importance of deburring parts, most manufacturers don’t know how to do it properly. We have better deburring methods that you can find here. In addition, you’ll learn what burrs are and how they can cause machining problems.

Table of Contents

What is a Burr?

Burrs are small, sharp defects on the surface of machined parts. We can call them “impurities” because they spoil the smooth aesthetics of the finished surface.

During the manufacturing process, metal parts go through many steps. These include milling and stamping. These steps are used to make the machined part into the desired shape. However, they are not always perfect. As a result of these defects, small ridges or protrusions of metal can appear on the surface of the finished product. We call these small bumps “burrs.”

Imagine working hard to create a part only to find small bumps on a smooth surface. What would the machined part look like? It probably wouldn’t be pretty. That’s what burrs do to the exterior of a metal part. It makes the part less smooth and may even be harmful to the part.

Because the surface of a machined part looks so smooth, someone might handle it carelessly and end up getting hurt by a surface burr. Burrs can reduce the quality of the finished part’s appearance. That’s why it’s important to deburr parts. But what does deburring mean? It is the process of removing burrs. It helps to remove any imperfections from the surface after welding or milling, leaving a smooth, quality metal part.

Why Do Burrs Occur During Machining?

Burrs can be created during different machining processes. On the other hand, on polished parts, burrs can be stopped or kept to a minimum. Burrs can form during machining or cutting processes. To help you understand how burrs are formed during machining, we have categorized the causes of burr formation into two groups.

The machining processes that may leave burrs on metal surfaces are:

  • Drilling
  • Engraving
  • Milling
  • Turning

Cutting processes that may leave burrs on metal surfaces are:

  • Blanking
  • Punching
  • Laser cutting
  • Plasma Cutting
  • Shearing

After a part has undergone these processes, the surface of the finished part may have burrs.

In addition, other factors can contribute to the formation of burrs. These factors include:

Operator Proficiency

As long as the machine operator is skilled and the machine is set up correctly, the likelihood of burrs being created is minimized. Conversely, if the part is machined by an unskilled person, there may be more burrs than expected. Therefore, it is not only a matter of method, but also a matter of operator.

Thickness and Grade of Material

If a good material that is easy to cut is used, it may not require any post-processing. This is because the material is easy to work with and therefore leaves little or no burr.

There are three ways in which burrs can form during machining. They are:

Flip Burr: This is a small curved metal protrusion sticking out from the surface of the machined part. This is one of the most common types of burrs.

Breakout Burrs: These are small pieces that look like they are coming off the machined part during the cutting process. They look like they are about to detach because of their upturned shape.

Poison Burrs: Poison burrs are when you see tiny fragments on the end of a machined part that want to extend out to the sides, this is the third type of burr that occurs during machining.

How Do I Remove Burrs?

There are many different ways you can remove burrs and smooth the surface of a metal part. Here are a few ways to remove metal burrs:

Manual Deburring

The manual deburring method can be used for small parts that need to be smoothed. This method is less expensive but time-consuming. Hand deburring does not require large machines. All you need are some basic tools such as sandpaper, files, deburring knives, and other finishing tools.

However, you need to be proficient with these tools to avoid causing more damage to the part. Deburring has always been done this way, and it can be difficult. If one or more large parts are to be deburred, it may not be possible or even possible to do it by hand.

Grinding and Rolling

For this method of deburring, you need a machine. Grinding and tumbling are mechanical methods for removing burrs and obtaining a high-quality finish with ease. It works similar to manual deburring but is faster and more cost-effective.

Electrochemical Deburring

Using other fuzzy methods, it may be difficult or impossible to deburr small metal parts. This is where electrolytic deburring comes in. This method can be used if there is a burr in an area that seems to be out of reach of other deburring methods.

For electrochemical deburring, you need an electrode that is the same shape as the edge you want to smooth. It uses an electric current and chemicals to remove the burr, just like its name suggests. Electrolytic deburring requires an electrolyte and an electric current. There are two types of sodium salt: sodium chloride (table salt) and sodium nitrate. With a solution and an electric current, the burr is successfully removed. This method allows for quick and accurate treatment of difficult areas.

Removing Burrs from Holes

Seeing the name of this method, you probably already know what it is used for. Removing burrs from holes is a different method than removing burrs from flat surfaces. Different tools can be used to deburr the inside of the hole and the process is simple.

You need to spring the cutting tool and place it on the spindle to deburr the hole. You need to place the tool in the right position so that it can easily go through the hole and grind the burr without scratching or damaging the part. Check if the cutting tool has a tapered end. If it does, use it to make a chamfer at the front of the hole. This will allow for faster and better deburring. This method of deburring is both faster and less expensive.

Using Brushing

As you know, brushing is removing burrs with a brush, but not with a regular brush. It requires a type of brush made of a rough material. The idea of this method is the same as that of the manual method using sandpaper and other related tools.

However, unlike the manual method, you can use a machine tool with specialized brushes for brushing. This technology makes these jobs easier and faster. Brushing is a fast and inexpensive way to deburr both simple and complex workpieces.

Tips on Design and Cost Savings

There are a number of things you may want to consider when making machined parts. These things will help you save time and money. The following are cost-saving tips:

Minimizing or Preventing Burrs

Yes, you can make your metal parts burr-free or make burrs less noticeable. To do this, you need to learn how to use your machine properly and set it up correctly. When grinding, you should try to avoid or minimize burrs. This is very important when machining expensive or hard items.

Remove Burrs Only When Necessary

You do not always need to remove burrs from the finished product. For example, you may not need to remove burrs from a part that is going to another machine shop for further processing. There may be more burrs in the next step of the process.

Why not save it for the last step and have all the burrs removed? If a burr is found in certain areas when the part is being made, then it must be removed during the manufacturing process. If the part to be machined will not harm anyone or affect the function of the part, then there is no need to remove the burrs.

Cheaper to Apply with an Abrasive Brush

Using abrasive brushes saves time and money by allowing multiple edges to be deburred at the same time. In addition, brushes last longer, so you don’t have to keep buying new deburring tools.


It’s important to know which deburring method is best for you. Not only will you avoid wasting time and money, but you won’t cause more damage to your workpiece. If done correctly, deburring can help you achieve the smooth, perfect finish you need for your machined parts. However, you should also know when you don’t need to deburr because it saves time and money.

Yonglihao Machinery Machining Services

Are you looking for a company that can machine and fabricate your products, Yonglihao Machinery is the right choice for you. Not only can we machine, but we can also make sure that your products are burr-free and look as professional as possible.

No matter what size, material, or finish you need, we can help you machine CNC parts. We can quickly produce prototypes in a day or parts that will be used for months. Yonglihao Machinery will provide you with the quality service you need in the time allotted.

You don’t need to be on-site to benefit from our expertise. Simply send us your design file, and we will provide you with a quote within 24 hours. Additionally, we offer complimentary reviews of your artwork for production if needed.


A burr is a small, sharp defect on the surface of machined parts. These defects are typically created during processes such as drilling, milling, and cutting.

Burrs are caused by many factors. These include the operator’s skill, the material’s thickness and grade, and the machining methods used. Common machining steps like drilling, engraving, milling, and turning can all produce burrs.

There are many ways to remove burrs. These include manual deburring, grinding, and tumbling. There is also electrochemical deburring, deburring holes, and brushing. The best method depends on the specific part and the location of the burrs.

Manual deburring is suitable for small parts and does not require large equipment, making it less expensive. However, it is time-consuming and requires skilled operation to avoid further damage to the parts.

Electrochemical deburring uses electric current and chemicals. They remove burrs, especially ones in hard-to-reach areas. This method is fast and precise, making it ideal for complex parts.

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