Are you considering the purchase of a CNC machine and want to know whether to choose Haas or Mazak? Both are popular manufacturers and have their own loyal followers. As you will see, we compare the companies, machines construction, CNC controls, service and training. Both companies have their own strengths and serve their markets very well. In the end, you’ll have to evaluate each machine company’s strengths as compared with your needs. We encourage you to keep in mind your needs for machine service and training, types of materials that you’ll be machining, tolerances that you’ll need and part complexity requirements as you read through this guide. We also recommend that you call your local support technicians for both Mazak and Haas to evaluate the kind of local support that is available before you make your final decision.
Mazak is an international manufacturer of machining centers with a diverse product line including multi-tasking, 5-axis, turning, vertical and horizontal machining centers as well as an exclusive parts-moving cell system and automation software. They manufacture many CNC machines in their expansive Kentucky plant and machine even their largest cast-iron CNC equipment parts on their very own equipment. Because of their extensive capabilities, Mazak even sells CNC’s to competitors for making their machines. Mazak is known for their quality construction, service and innovative technology. They support Mazak CNC’s of any age with service and parts with factory-trained technicians.
Haas is a manufacturer of four main product lines: vertical machining centers (VMCs), horizontal machining centers (HMCs), CNC lathes and rotary tables as well as 5-axis CNC’s and other specialty machines. All products are made in Oxnard, California in a large modern machine tool shop with most of their machines being made on their own equipment. They have been known for making economical and reliable machine tools since 1988, when they introduced their first VMC, called the VF-1. This machine was introduced for a price under $50,000 and solidified their position as CNC manufacturer for the small job shop. Today they have an extensive line of machines of all sizes and applications.
Haas CNC are made with cast-iron construction which provides ten times more damping capacity as compared to steel. The castings are analyzed for flaws in reinforced with numerous heavy ribs to resist flex and damp vibration. They add bulk and ribbing to the headstock and tailstock of the Haas lathes for stability, repeatability and cutting accuracy. Haas machines are built to be economical but still solid. However, they are not considered the most heavy-duty. For applications machining aluminum and softer materials or lower production job shops, the Haas is often the CNC of choice.
Mazak has been building machines and innovating for over 100 years and has a reputation for designing and supplying high-quality, innovative and customer-friendly machines. No matter what your machining needs, there’s a good chance that there’s a used Mazak that will be a good fit for your application. Mazak builds heavy-duty CNC’s with solid cast iron bases that they machine in their own plants. They use heavy-gage external steel housing, which sets them apart from most of their competitors including Haas. Mazak CNC’s are known for solid construction and engineering – they are considered top quality CNC’s and new go for as much as 40% more than similar Haas machines. For tight-tolerance work, especially machining tougher materials, many prefer the Mazak.
The Haas control is considered one of the easiest to operate. Even models going to back to the year 2000 had Haas-only features like “Word Processor Editing” to help operators easily make changes. They carried features like one-touch, multi-function jog-handle and quick code programming even on early milling machines. Haas provides a robust dependable control that is integrated with the Haas CNC machine. They do not rely on third-party NC suppliers. Haas CNC’s have dedicated keypads with a full array of keys including a complete alphanumeric keypad with all common functions clearly labeled for operator use. Operators don’t need to remember any encrypted codes. As computer technology advances, Haas makes their controls even faster and smarter. Their goal is to keep the spindle turning which keeps the cash flowing into your pocket. Haas is known for their easy-to-learn controls.
The primary operating system for Mazak CNC’s is the Mazatrol, which was first introduced in 1981 and has since been developed into an advanced connected digital platform. In 2014 Mazak introduced the CNC Mazatrol Smooth controller and now offers five versions of their controllers for various applications. They are known for their technology which optimizes machining speed and accuracy with numerous advanced features. From position-controlled hobbing, to fast rotary axis speeds and variable acceleration controls as well other features to shorten cycle times, Mazaks are excellent for high-production shops and/or product lines with complex features in competitive markets. Mazak offers multiple software solutions and boasts the ability to connect and secure there CNC’s of all ages. This makes it possible for you to buy a used Mazak CNC machine and still take advantage of newer software solutions. For example, the Mazak SmartBox, developed in 2015 together with Cisco, provides security, analytics and machine monitoring which is backward compatible with older Mazak machines. Mazak also provides many automation accessories to CNC machining such as bar feeders, gantry loaders and articulating robots. Newer CNC’s are available with digital solutions including MTConnect, which is a key component of Mazak’s iSMART Factory concept since 2015.
Haas provides extensive online resources for training and support. They have troubleshooting guides, how-to procedures, mill operator manuals and lathe operator mills readily available on their website. You can watch videos for troubleshooting as well as service and maintenance and get regular tips on how to best operate and care for your Haas machines. In addition, operators can search from alarm codes for all kinds of resources. They also have an extensive network of service technicians at their Haas Factory Outlets and recommend that certain machine repairs be done only by authorized personnel.
Mazak has a well-defined pyramid of learning that they use to approach training. They are addressing the problem of the industry skills-shortage by offering a tiered approach to take a non-machinist and carry him or her as far as possible in the use of CNC equipment operating, programming and the creation of manufacturing process solutions. Most training starts online and advances with hand-on classes that can be held at your company or at other locations. Training resources include:
Mazak customer service support is provided in the USA by over 350 factory-trained Mazak service representatives. You can find your support resource easily on their website or by calling them. Mazak offers free phone technical support – so you can directly call the company for help, not just your local support resource. For their software, Mazak machines are supported with free software upgrades for life as well as diagnostic software support direct from the company.
Be informed. When you buy a used Haas or Mazak machine, you’re going to need to do more research than when buying a used CNC. Start by making a list of your requirements. You should consider the:
You may want to buy a similar CNC to a Haas or Mazak that you already have, or you may want to look for one that is newer, so you can begin to connect everything via ethernet or Wi-Fi to take advantage of software innovations.
When choosing between a Mazak or Haas, Make sure to call our experts and we can help you find the ricght machines for your needs