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Better is in the Eye of the Buyer: Is Haas or Mazak Right for You?



Haas or Mazak

I tend to hear a lot of debate on which of the two top-selling Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine brands on the market today is the better brand – Haas vs Mazak. we sell both brands on but the question always comes up with new machine shop owners.

A few things are certain: Both are world-class brands, known for quality. They both are also known for their focus on outstanding service that allows customers to get the parts and maintenance they need when they need it.  Haas is better known here in the United States while Mazak’s reach is on a more global scale.

Mazak offers a large range of CNC machines from machining, laser cutting, and full automation. And Haas has successfully focused on the machining market.

But first, let’s get to know a little about each of these brands.

Founded in 1983, Haas Automation offers a full line of American-made products for the full gamut of machining needs. Their machines are engineered for simple maintenance, easy setup, and low-cost operation. It manufactures a complete line of CNC vertical machining centers, horizontal machining centers, Haas lathe, and rotary tables as well as a number of large five-axis and specialty machines from its expansive facility in Oxnard, California.

Mazak entered the U.S. market in 1968 and established its now 800,000 square foot North American campus and headquarters in Florence, Kentucky in 1974. The company has built a reputation as a leader and innovator in the manufacture of advanced technology solutions including Multi-Tasking, HYBRID Multi-Tasking, 5-axis, milling, turning, CNC controls and automation, and its most popular brand the Mazak integrex.

There are pros and cons to each brand. And because buyer needs vary widely, it is essential to do research based on your specific needs and not go by “word of mouth” alone when choosing between them.  

As someone who works for a CNC machine dealership, I don’t recommend one over the other to customers until I fully understand their manufacturing needs and capabilities. Based on my experience, here are a few questions to be sure to ask yourself before deciding on one brand over the other:

Do you prefer American or Japanese quality?

In simplistic terms, in the U.S., our competitive advantage tends to be based on constant and rapid changes in markets and technologies whereas the Japanese advantage is in making incremental improvements in already stable technologies. Both Haas and Mazak have headquarters here in the U.S. But Haas manufactures ALL of its parts right here.

Do you prefer G-code or conversational programming?

Haas uses G Code and Mazak uses its own proprietary programming language called MAZATROL, which is a conversational (or EIA/ISO) programming language.

G-codes (geometric/preparatory) relate to the motion or positioning of the tool relative to the workpiece.  G-coding is said to be the best at cycle time reduction due to its part production capabilities. Some, however, say it can be tedious and time-consuming as it requires manual calculations and verifications adding risk from human error.

With conversational programming language, there is no G-code to decipher; set-up and programming times are shorter; there are fewer programming errors and less scrap. It is however limited to more basic part geometries and unable to support complex tool paths.

Does Haas Or Mazak offer better service and support?

In general, terms, when it comes to service, both brands are highly regarded. But always be sure that all of the service and support options are available in your area.

Haas offers a wide range of installation, training, service and technical support through its global network of service engineers and local factory outlets. It also offers around-the-clock access to online technical documents, operator manuals, and video tutorials.

Mazak offers its Comprehensive Optimum Plus service, support, and training program. It is the North American Parts Center that provides ordering efficiency of 97 percent of parts shipped from the stock same day and online ordering. It has a dedicated spindle rebuild facility on its campus and offers lifetime support of products.

Which CNC brand does your machinist prefer to use daily in your shop?

Which brand you choose may come down to assessing your shop’s capabilities and the skills and comfort level of your machinists with the different programming languages. Talk to your machinist and the rest of your team before making a final decision.

What is your personal preference?

Never overlook personal preference. If you have deduced that for your manufacturing needs either machine would do the job, then maybe it’s about the simple aesthetics of the machine options. Which is sleeker? What looks best on your shop floor?   

So, which is the better brand? That’s up to YOU. Because better is in the eye of the buyer. Just be sure to weigh your options carefully.

Curt Doherty is the CEO of CNC Machines, A used CNC dealership located in Sanford Florida. CNC Machines has become one of the largest national dealers of Used CNC Lathe & Used CNC Mill. You can find out more about Curt on CNC Machines.