Work with marketers that understand manufacturing
Explore cutting-edge marketing services designed for the manufacturing industry.
Let's craft a plan together

SFPM - Surface Feet Per Minute - a fundamental skill for every machinist

Tags: Published On: May 13, 2015 9:00:48 AM

Every now and then we like to go to square one to discuss some fundamental issues surrounding the work done in the average machine shop. This episode is one of those episodes. Jim and Jason are talking SFPM - Surface Feet Per Minute in this episode. If you don’t understand what SFPM is, or if you don’t know how to calculate it, you need to listen in to this episode.

Properly calculating SFPM is a fundamental machine shop skill that enables you to do a handful of very important things:

  1. You’re able to optimize the work-flow of your shop.
  2. You do that by maximizing the rate at which you are making chips.
  3. This results in more money being made per minute.
  4. It also saves tools, materials, and time.

Every machinist, from novice to experienced must understand how to calculate Surface Feet Per Minute in order to do the very best job with every piece of material and with every tool. Without this knowledge they will wear out tools, destroy materials, and ultimately cost the company money, simply because of ignorance of this fundamental skill.

In this episode of Making Chips Jim and Jason also give some examples of how they go about managing the issue of SFPM in their shops, including the kind of conversations they have with employees about SFPM, how they can tell if SFPM has not been calculated accurately, and how to do the actual math to determine a proper SFPM number for the material and tools being used.

Yep, it’s basics. But the basics are important. So get ready to review (or learn for the first time) on this episode of MakingChips.

Here’s the outline of the conversation about SFPM

  • MakingChips is going on the road the summer of 2015.
  • Why surface feet per minute is important for every machinist to understand.
  • How to find the SFPM for the materials and tools you are using.
  • The problems that can happen if you don’t understand SFPM.
  • How a misunderstanding of Surface Feet Per Minute can cost your company.
  • Calculating RPM for the material you are using.
  • How do you know if you’ve calculated SFPM accurately?
  • How Jim manages his employees regarding Surface Feet Per Minute.
  • The risks of SFPM mismatches.
  • Using the RPM to to calculate the feed rate based on the tool being used.
  • How IPR (inches per revolution) relates to SFPM.
  • The optimization of your workflow through proper use of SFPM in your shop.
  • Training entry level machinists to properly calculate Surface Feet Per Minute.

Links mentioned on this episode - sign up for the Making Chips newsletter & podcast posts automatically (your information is never given to anyone else).

You can leave a comment or add to the discussion on this episode by visiting

Or call us at 312- 725-0245

Tweets you can use to tell others about the benefits of vending systems

[shareable cite="Jim Carr"]If you’re not making chips, you’re not making money[/shareable]

[shareable cite="Jim Carr"]If your machinists don’t know how to calculate surface feet per minute, you’re losing money[/shareable]

[shareable]Why is surface feet per minute (SFPM) such an important calculation for your job shop?[/shareable]

[shareable]How to find SFPM (surface feet per minute) in your machine shop.[/shareable]

[shareable]How do you know if you’ve calculated SFPM (surface feet per minute) accurately?[/shareable]

What's keeping you up at night?

Explore topics

Keep in touch

Subscribe to our Podcast and Newsletter to stay in the loop!

Connect with MakingChips

Want to reach out to our team? Fill out the form below.