Units 19-20 Whitworth Road

Washington, NE37 1PP

Mon - Fri 8.30 - 5.00

Saturday & Sunday CLOSED

Sales Department

Units 19-20 Whitworth Road

Washington, NE37 1PP


Mon - Fri 8.30 - 5.00

Sat & Sun CLOSED

Sales Department

How to hold small parts on your CNC router

The bug bare of any business; small parts on their CNC router, as there is little vacuum to hold them. Parts can move and when that happens you do not get an accurate cut.


As a CNC router supplier we come across many possibilities as to why your parts would shift during processing. Below are a number of reasons as to why you may find holding small parts a difficult process.
how to hold small parts on a cnc router

1. Sacrificial Bed

Condition of your sacrificial bed. This is your first port of call. If there are too many cut lines from previous jobs you will have issues cutting with an effective vacuum due to leakage on these previous cut lines. The solution here would be to skim your sacrificial bed or replace it.

2. Zoning

This one is so often overlooked; how many zones on your vacuum bed are open?

You should only be opening zones that cover your work piece for the vacuum to be effective.

3. Swarf

Another issue could be with swarf and chips between your material and the sacrificial bed. If you have an uneven surface because of swarf this will create a vacuum leak, therefore reducing performance.

4. Radial Force

Material thickness; during the last MM of processing there is usually greater radial force on your cut parts, when the greater force happens it can drag and pull your processed parts towards the tooling which can damage both the tooling and material.

CNC Router Best Practices


Use a finishing pass, this is an effective way to reduce radial cutting force. You should cut the majority of the material but leave around 0.2mm – 0.3mm around the cut edges.


A tried and tested method of holding smaller parts or parts where there may be too much radial force; Vectric V Carve Pro supports this as do most modern packages. Please note, extra finishing is required when using tabs.


Use a ramp function within your software. Ramping is supported in V Carve and most other CNC software packages. Ramping entails a ‘ramp’ like movement into your material rather than a direct ‘plunge’ into the material, therefore reducing initial radial force. The ramp effect will be removed as the toolpath end meets the start.

Looking to purchase a CNC Router Machine?

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