Our Services  •  Wire EDM  •  Small Hole EDM  •  FAQs

What is Wire EDM?

Machining conductive materials with electrified wire, delivering ultra-high tolerance, precision parts—efficiently and accurately.

Wire Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) is a non-contact, force-free subtractive industrial CNC tooling process for electrically-conductive materials like metals, carbides, alloys, and graphite. The target material to be cut is submerged in dielectric fluid while an electrically charged single strand wire electrode literally melts or vaporizes the workpiece into the desired shape. Precisely engineered fixtures holds the workpiece in place as the wire traces the CNC controlled pattern and the deionized water flushes away the melt.

The electrode never actually contacts the workpiece. The electric current is run through the wire, creating an electrical spark of intense heat (8000-12000°C). The dielectric fluid flushes away the melt while cooling the material and preventing the debris from adhering to the workpiece. The result is a smooth, burr-free cut requiring no secondary machining.


Wire EDM



  • Versatile
  • Complex patterns and shapes
  • Fragile workpiece materials
  • Accuracy
  • Precise tolerances
  • Tapered cuts
  • Rapid, single stage cutting
  • Continuous, uninterrupted cutting
  • Rarely requires further processing or finishing.


  • Precise and accurate
  • Complex designs
  • Small, highly detailed parts
  • Fragile parts
  • Burr-free cuts
  • Continuous cutting


  • Conductive materials only
  • Additional finishing may be required (if workpiece produces oxide layer; i.e. Aluminum)

Perfect For

  • Fragile materials like aluminum
  • Tough materials like titanium
  • Heat affected materials like steel
  • High tensile strength materials like super alloys
  • Brittle materials like carbide and graphite

Wire EDM
Cutting Tools

Charmilles Robofil 440cc

Charmilles Cut 300


Small Hole EDM


As small as


Small Hole EDM drilling:

Northwest Wire EDM provides EDM expertise to tool & die shops, OEMs and contract manufacturers who do not have their own wire EDM capabilities. We also offer services to supplement the existing capabilities of customers that have their own in-house EDM departments.

Small hole EDM resembles conventional drilling, but with several distinct advantages:

  • Accuracy – Holds very tight tolerances on thick, hardened materials
  • Delicate parts. Very low machining forces allow for versatility between delicate parts and hardened materials
  • Micro-hole sizes.
  • Large work envelope – Our machines can cut pieces up to 11.3” thick and up to 682 lbs in weight
  • Perfect for removing broken taps
  • No workpiece contact allows any entry angle. Custom engineered fixtures can accommodate compound angles even on round surfaces.
  • Burr-free finished holes

Small Hole EDM is often used to produce holes in
fuel injectorsturbine bladescutting tools

Current™ CT300 EDM Drilling Machine

Wire EDM – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the normal inside corner radius from wire EDM?
Our normal inside corner radius would be .006 to .0065 cutting with a .010 wire. We can go down to a .0025 radius cutting with a .004 wire if required.

What kind of accuracy can you hold?
Tolerances of ±.0002 are common. In extreme cases we can hold tolerance’s of up to ± .00005, with multiple finish passes. On a 1 cut ruff pass you could expect around ± .002 or less depending on height of the material.

What is the “kerf” width of the wire you run?
We normally run a .010 wire which produces a .012 to .013 “kerf” depending on the height of part.

How tall of a part can you cut?
We can cut up to 15.75″ tall part

What kind of surface finish can wire EDM produce?
Wire EDM can produce a finish that is similar to a surface ground finish with a fine wheel. A multi pass finish can get very close to a “mirror finish”. A ruff cut finish will be better than most mill cut finishes. In general a wire EDM finish has a “matte” look to it.

How large of taper can you cut?
Standard taper capability is up to 30 degrees. With special guides and correct moon phase we can go up to around 50 degrees.

Is there a certain rate per “square inch” of cut?
With all the material, height, tolerance, number of cuts, and flushing condition variations that arise, it is just about impossible to have a “standard” price per square inch of cut. It is best just to send a file or print for us to have a look at to get an accurate cost for cutting the part. We will also tell you if the part is good candidate for wire EDM, water jet or if it would be more efficient with a different machining process.

Is NW Wire EDM ISO 9001 certified?
Not at this time. At NW Wire EDM, we prioritize quality standards above all else. All of our workpieces are meticulously cut to meet precise customer specifications.

Is NW Wire EDM AS9100 certified?
NW Wire EDM is working towards becoming AS9100 certified, but in the meantime, we can work under our customers’ AS9100 standards.

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Trusted by engineers at: