Are You Paying Too Much for Custom Metal Washers?

Are You Paying Too Much for Custom Metal Washers?

Many manufacturers still turn to punching for producing custom washers, but they don’t realize that photo chemical etching can provide several cost advantages over traditional punching dies.

Let’s explore four ways photo etching can reduce the cost of your custom washers:

1. Burr Free Component

Punching dies often leave burrs that must then be removed. In some cases, a jagged edge is acceptable, but for many applications, burrs add unwanted dimensions to the precise specifications of the washers.

This means you must pay a hidden expense: deburring fees. Even if you don’t see a “deburring fee” line item, the cost of the process is most likely bundled into the punching service itself.

Photo chemical etching, on the other hand, always creates a burr free component. This means your washers require no added expense, and no added production time for additional processing.

2. Low Tooling Cost

Punching dies are complex tools that require their own manufacturing processes. This of course adds to the cost of the tooling, not to mention the additional lead time.

Depending on the complexity of your design, punching dies can cost you $1000+ and might take weeks to produce.

Phototooling, however, is created digitally in hours. Since it’s so quickly and easily produced, phototooling usually ends up costing you a fraction of the price.

You’ll also see long-term savings from phototooling: since punching puts such physical stress on the tooling, you must pay for regular maintenance and repairs. Phototooling, on the other hand, rarely requires repairs or maintenance since it does not face such physical strain.

3. Fast turnaround time

Since you avoid the deburring process and greatly reduce the time required for tooling, you can conceivably receive your photo etching washers in a few days.

The same cannot usually be said of punched washers: you’ll need to add additional time for deburring, not to mention the initial wait for production of the tooling.


Many manufacturers are still discovering the advantages that photo etching offers them.

For companies that produce custom washers, photo etching can greatly reduce cost and lead time by circumventing costly post-processing fees, reducing tooling costs and expediting production.

If you would like to see how much photo etching can save you, please do not hesitate to contact Newcut.

Advanced photo etching tips design engineers should know.