Machining Titanium vs. Stainless Steel: How to Make the Right Choice

by | Jan 2, 2023 | CNC Machining, Machining Materials

Machining is an essential process for creating metal parts and components across many industries, from aerospace to automotive. Choosing the right machining material is an important decision that needs careful consideration.

This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of using titanium and stainless steel for machining. It also covers the factors you should consider to help you choose between them.

Overview of Machining Titanium vs. Stainless Steel

Titanium vs. stainless steel

CNC machining involves cutting or shaping metal into specific sizes or shapes with specialized equipment. It allows you to even produce parts with precise tolerances — like medical implants, screws, and bolts. There are various types of CNC machines like mills, lathes, drills, and laser cutters.

Titanium and stainless steel are two of the most commonly used machining metals, due to their superior properties. Both metals offer advantages in different scenarios, but you should consider the differences between them to make the best choice for your part.

Titanium Overview

CNC machining titanium is challenging due to the metal’s high hardness and low thermal conductivity. Despite these inherent difficulties, titanium is a good material for many industries because of its increased strength, corrosion resistance, and ability to withstand extreme temperatures.

For successful machining, operators must consider feed rates and cutting speeds, cutting tools, and other factors. With careful consideration and expertise, titanium has many potential benefits for an array of industries.

Stainless Steel Overview

Machining stainless steel presents unique challenges but offers many rewards. It’s a hard, durable material, used in various applications, from small parts to large maintenance projects. Machining difficulty depends largely on the grade and type of stainless steel you choose.

For example, grades with high chromium and nickel content require careful management during the turning and milling processes. Depending on your requirements and tolerances for the components, you may also need an application-matched coolant. This helps maintain surface integrity while increasing productivity levels.

Differences between Titanium and Stainless Steel in Machining

Machining titanium vs. stainless steel

Choosing the most suitable material is a critical decision you should not take lightly. There are several key differences between stainless steel and titanium you need to consider.

Corrosion Resistance

Titanium naturally has superior corrosion resistance to stainless steel. This makes it ideal for marine applications or environments where it will have exposure to salt water.


Electrical and thermal conductivity vary between these metals. Titanium is less conductive than stainless steel in both areas.


Is titanium stronger than steel? Yes, titanium has a higher strength-to-weight ratio and a lower melting point than stainless steel. Hardness and melting point differ as well.

Metal Cost

Titanium tends to cost more than stainless steel due to its rarity and harder-to-machine properties.

Other Factors

You will need to consider factors such as weight, durability, and machinability when making this decision.

How To Select The Right Material For Your Project

Engineer interested and curious

Ultimately, the choice between titanium and stainless steel depends on your specific application needs. Each material offers unique strengths that you must weigh carefully before selecting one over the other.

Factors such as cost, durability, strength requirements, and corrosion resistance should all play into making this decision, but ultimately much will depend on what exactly you’re trying to achieve with your project and the environment in which you expect it to operate regularly.

You also may need to consider accessory items such as fasteners if you expect them to interface with either material directly. Certain types of fasteners may require additional modifications if used with either type of metal.

Work with the Best

Gensun machining workshop

Gensun offers an extensive range of CNC machining services for anyone in need of precision-manufactured stainless steel and titanium components. Our superior equipment, experienced technical staff and stringent quality processes ensure rapid turnaround times, high accuracy, and consistent repeatability.

In addition to this, we understand the engineering importance of material specifications and selection for the most suitable component creation. We strive to provide our clients with top-of-the-line mechanical assemblies that meet their precision requirements every time. Utilizing our advanced machinery and expertise, discover the innovation possible when you partner with Gensun.

Make Your Machined Parts With Us

Learn about our CNC milling and turning services.

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