Logo: Mid Bucks Machine Tools Logo

Buy Used Machine Tools and CNC Machines

Image: machine tools bought sold new used cnc machining centres turning centres lathes mills drills saws plastic moulding machinery sheet metal machinery

Buying Used Machine Tools

As with selling the make sure you know what you want. Again research the market. Set your maximum budget and importantly stick to it. If you find more money is needed it is probably because the ground work hasn’t been done.

Make sure the finances are in place and available before you go looking. Used machines are all a one off. It is very frustrating to find a suitable machine and loose it because the important ingredient of money is not in place.

Many finance packages are available and some of these will agree a deal in principal before an actual purchase is made. This is useful when buying at auction. Now you are researched and financed where to buy from.

Machine Dealer

Probably the most comfortable way to purchase. You should be able to view the machine in suitable premises and under power at least if not actually working under load. Dealers have sharpened their act in recent years and offer many packages including tooling, finance, warranty, delivery and part exchange.
Also offers the buyer the greatest legal protection and many dealers belong to an association with an arbitration service.

Internal or Known Company

What we know as user to user transaction. This type of purchase is probably the cheapest in priced paid terms but may be more of a compromise in specification and selection.


Should offer the purchaser a similar protection to buying from a dealer but this can disappear if the owner sells direct to the purchaser and not through the broker.

Auctions and Tenders

If you follow the rule of fixing and sticking to a budget the price paid can be advantageous but the term “buyer beware” applies to this type of purchase more than any other. Make sure finance is arranged first, ensure you know what you are buying and remember many auctioneers can inflict a buyers premium of up to 20% and you will have to arrange removal and transport in strict time limits.

Visit online machinery auction specialist machinesonline.co.uk This site is cost effective for buyers with only a 5% buyers premium and sellers can build feedback reputations from their buyers and provides a modern hi tech method for buying all types of machinery and related equipment and tooling.

Visit machinesonline.co.uk the professional online machinery auction solution

E-bay Auctions

Not for the faint hearted. Fine for tooling and accessories but make sure you are getting a bargain rather than relieving someone else of their problems. For large value items always use an escrow procedure or arrange cash on collection/delivery.

Should you wish to discuss your machine tool requirements please contact Steve Halson on 07802 753474 or by e-mail on the link below

e-mail the machine tool supplier

Buying Machinery and Safety Laws

A short guide to the law and some information on what to do for anyone buying new machinery for use at work as provided by the Health and Safety Executive Website. We have a link to the HSE on our links page.


This leaflet explains the main requirements of the health and safety laws which you need to know about when you are buying new machinery (for second-hand machinery, see question 16). Although the laws look complicated, they do not change what you have always had to do - make sure that any new machinery you buy for use at work is safe.

The information in this leaflet is arranged in four sections:

the law;
practical matters - what you have to do;
checklists - to use when talking to suppliers and when buying new machinery; and, for those who need it,
more information about the law on supply of machinery.




1 What is the law on new machinery?

There are two groups of law:

One deals with what manufacturers and suppliers of new machinery have to do. This can be called the supply law. The law that you will come across most often is the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992 which require manufacturers and suppliers to ensure that machinery is safe when supplied and to have CE marking. See question II for other relevant supply regulations and leaflets on supplying new machinery. (Note: where the word 'safe' is used, it should be regarded as including risks to both safety and health.)
The other deals with what the users of machinery and other equipment have to do. This can be called the user law. The one which applies most widely is known as the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992. These require employers to:
provide the right kind of safe equipment for use at work;
ensure that it can be used correctly; and
keep it maintained in a safe condition.
If you buy new equipment (including machinery) this law also requires you, as a user, to check that the equipment complies with all the supply law that is relevant.

The user law has other requirements, but this leaflet does not deal with them.


2 Why do we have these laws?

To make sure that work equipment is safe when first supplied, and that it is then used correctly and safely, so that the risk of accidents or ill health occurring as a result of using the work equipment is reduced.

These laws replaced and updated older laws that had similar requirements. However they did not really change what you have to do.


3 What is meant by 'machinery'?

A machine is normally regarded as being a piece of equipment which has moving parts and, usually, some kind of drive unit.

Examples include:

fork-lift truck;
metal working drill;
paper making machine;
circular saw;
combine harvester;
lifting equipment (and even lifting tackle);
meat mincing machine;
baling machine.
Some types of machinery are not covered by the supply law - there is a list on pages II.



You may already know that most new machinery should have CE marking when you buy it. However, CE marking is only a claim by the manufacturer that the machinery is safe and that they have met relevant supply law. You, the user, also have to check that it is, in fact, safe. To understand what this means when you are buying new machinery, it helps if you understand what the manufacturer (or supplier) has to do.


4 What does the manufacturer have to do?

Manufacturers must make sure that the machines they make are safe. They will do this by:

finding out about the health and safety hazards (trapping, noise, crushing, electrical shock, dust, vibration, etc) that are likely to be present when the machine is used;
assessing the likely risks;
designing out the hazards that result in risks; or, if that is not possible,
providing safeguards (eg guarding dangerous parts of the machine, providing noise enclosures for noisy parts); or, if that is not possible,
using warning signs on the machine to warn of hazards that cannot be designed out or safeguarded (eg 'noisy machine' signs).
Manufacturers must also:

keep information, explaining what they have done and why, in a technical file;
fix CE marking to the machine where necessary, to show that they have complied with all the relevant supply laws (see question 17 for machines which will be part of an assembly line);
issue a 'Declaration of Conformity' for the machine (but also see question 13);
provide you, the buyer, with instructions to explain how to install, use and maintain the machinery safely.



No. The manufacturer is claiming that the machinery complies with the law. You still need to check the machine is safe before it is used.


6 What do I need to do when buying a new machine?

Before you buy it, think about:

where and how it will be used;
what it will be used for;
who will use it (skilled employees, trainees);
what risks to health and safety might result;
comparing how well health and safety risks are controlled by different manufacturers.
This can help you to decide which machine may be suitable, particularly if you are buying a standard machine 'off the shelf'.

If you are buying a more complex or custom-built machine you should discuss your requirements with potential suppliers. They can often advise you on the options available.

For a custom-built machine, you can use the opportunity to work with the supplier to design out the causes of injury and ill health. Some of the items you can cover are in checklist A, on page 7. Time spent now on agreeing the necessary safeguards, to control health and safety risks, could save you time and money later.

Note: Sometimes machinery is supplied via another organisation, eg an importer, rather than direct from the manufacturer, so this organisation is referred to as the supplier.

When you place the order, specify in writing that the machine should be safe.

When you have bought it, look for CE marking, check that you have a copy of the Declaration of Conformity and a set of instructions in English on how the machine should be used and most important of all, check to see if you think that it is safe.


7 How can I check the machine?

First make sure that the supplier (or installer) has given you information on how the machine works and its safety features. With smaller off-the-shelf machinery, this should be included with the machine. With complex or custom-built machines this may be demonstrated by the supplier.

Then have a close look at it. Many things that affect safety are obvious; others can be detected using common sense and taking time to have a good look at your new machine. You can always compare it with any existing similar machines you have, to see if it is at least as good, or (hopefully) better.

Think about the following:

Do any parts look dangerous, eg exposed gear wheels, cutters?
Are there guards and are they in place?
Can the machine operate with the guards removed?
Do you understand the controls?
Can dust or fumes escape from the machine?
Is it excessively noisy?
Is there excessive vibration?
Are any exposed parts likely to be extremely hot or cold?
Are there any live electrical parts which are exposed or easy to get at?
Are there any special features, eg slow speed running, for use when setting?
Are the manufacturers' instructions clear and comprehensive?


8 What do I do if I think the machinery I have bought is not safe?

Do not use it. Contact the manufacturer or supplier for advice and arrange for the machine to be put right.


9 What else can I do?

If your company often buys machinery, you should consider producing guidelines for the people who are responsible for buying it.


10 How is doing all this going to help me and my business?

Allowing employees to use new machinery which is unsafe may cause an accident. Accidents or incidents will cost you money, and the costs can be higher than you realise. (See The cost of accidents at work, HSG96.)

Please note: If you will be forming an assembly line, by connecting several machines together yourself, you will need to comply with some of the requirements of the supply law, see page 9.




What should I talk to a supplier (or manufacturer) about?

Tell the supplier where the machine will be used, what you want to use it for and who will be using it, particularly if it is a complex or custom-built machine.

Ask the supplier the following:

What health and safety risks might there be when using the machine?
Are there any dangerous parts and what guards will be provided?
Will it need emergency stop controls and how will it be isolated?
How do the controls and control systems work?
Will dust or fumes, etc be produced by the machine? If these are likely to be in significant quantities, can an existing extraction system be adapted to cope with the new machine or will you have to buy a new system?
Has the machinery been designed to minimise the noise and vibration levels produced?
Are there any extremely hot or very cold parts of the machine, and can they be insulated or protected?
Are there any lasers or thickness gauges, and can any exposure to radiation be eliminated? If not, what precautions are there to stop any exposure to radiation?
What has been done to eliminate the risk of electric shock particularly during maintenance work, when covers or control panel doors may be open?
Are there possible risks from other sources of energy such as hydraulic or pneumatic?
Is there clear information about installation, maintenance and breakdown procedures?
Will you inform me if problems arise with similar machines bought by other users?
In addition it is good practice for the supplier or manufacturer to have a service back-up or help line, so that you can get further information as you need it. You could check what is in place before buying.




What do I do when I have bought new machinery?

Check that it has CE marking (where necessary) and ask for a copy of the EC Declaration of Conformity if you have not been given one.
Check that the supplier has explained what the machinery is designed to be used for and what it cannot be used for (unless this is off-the-shelf machinery).
Make sure a manual has been supplied which includes instructions for safe use, assembly, installation, commissioning, safe handling, adjustment and maintenance.
Make sure the instruction manual is written in English. (The maintenance instructions may however be written in another language if specialised staff from the manufacturer or supplier will carry out maintenance.)
Make sure information has been provided about any remaining risks from the machine, and the precautions you need to take to deal with them. These may include electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, stored energy, thermal, radiation or health hazards.
Check that data about noise and vibration levels have been provided and, where necessary, explained to you.
Ensure that any warning signs are visible and easy to understand.
For a complex or custom-built machine arrange for a trial run so you can be shown the safety features and how they work.
Check to see if you think the machine is safe.
Make sure any early concerns about the safety of the machine are reported to the supplier.
REMEMBER NEVER assume that machinery is safe just because it has CE marking.



This section is for those who need to know a bit more about the supply law.


11 What other supply law is there?

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, which apply to electrical equipment whose risks are mainly electrical, for example photocopiers, portable electric tools.
The Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 1992 which cover equipment likely to cause electromagnetic disturbance, or whose performance is likely to be affected by electromagnetic disturbance.
For more information, read Supplying new machinery, INDG270.


12 What does a Declaration of Conformity have on it?

The name and address of the manufacturer or other responsible person.
The make, type and serial number of the machine.
The signature of an authorised person and information on:
which standards have been used in the design and manufacture (if any);
what European Union laws (directives) the machine complies with.


13 What is a Declaration of Incorporation?

If the machine is intended for:

incorporation into another machine; or
assembly with other machines;
the manufacturer can issue a 'Declaration of Incorporation'. In this case the machine should not have CE marking.


14 Do importers and suppliers have to follow all these requirements even if the machinery is made outside Europe?

All suppliers have to make sure the machinery they supply in the European Economic Area (EEA) is safe no matter where it is made. The EEA includes the European Union member countries and also Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, but excludes Switzerland even though that country is implementing the European Directive.

They also need to check that:

the manufacturer has carried out all the steps involved in making sure the machine is safe;
there is a Declaration of Conformity or Incorporation for the machine;
there are full instructions for installing, using and maintaining the machine; and
if complete, the machine has CE marking.
Warning: If you are importing or constructing the machine yourself, you take on the responsibilities of the supplier.


15 Does new machinery have to be made to any particular standards?

The machine must comply with the Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) of the supply law. However, when a machine has been made to the specification in a harmonised European Standard (identified by an EN before the number, eg BS EN ...), there is a presumption that it conforms to the relevant EHSRs. The use of these standards is voluntary. Some European Standards for particular types of machinery are already available, others are being written.

Manufacturers can design and manufacture their machinery to other product standards, eg British or American standards, as long as they are certain the machine will comply with the relevant EHSRs and be safe. However, the use of such standards, during manufacture, does not give a presumption of conformity with the relevant EHSRs.

In some circumstances, machinery (for example, some woodworking machinery and power-presses) must be type-examined by an independent third party if they are not made in accordance with a harmonised standard. Details will be given on the Declaration of Conformity.


16 What about buying second-hand machinery?

It has to be safe for use. In most cases it will not have CE marking, but it is still the duty of the supplier to make sure that it is safe and has instructions for safe use. There is also the duty on you (the user) to make sure that second-hand machinery is:

suitable for the work it is to do;
maintained in a safe condition.
If a second-hand machine has been totally refurbished (for example, adding CNC control to a machine, together with other work) it may have CE marking. This is because the way it operates is different after the refurbishment and as a result it has been treated as if it was a new machine.


17 What about machinery which is going to be part of an assembly line?

If a machine is designed to be incorporated into other machinery, it might not have CE marking fixed to it. It should be manufactured to be as safe as possible and be provided with a Declaration of Incorporation. Instructions on safe installation and use should also be provided. When the machine is fitted into the assembly line, particular attention must be given to any hazards which may have been caused by the machine being fitted into the line. For instance, additional guarding or other controls may be required.

Once the machine has been fitted and the whole line is safe, the technical file should be completed and either the machine or the whole line should have CE marking. This can be done by a project manager (eg the installer, assembler or the manufacturer) but in many cases you can do it, particularly if you operate a small company.



Normally it is better to buy the machine with all the manufacturer's safeguards included. However, in some special circumstances, for example where particular tools, etc are going to be incorporated or an existing noise enclosure is going to be re-used, there can be a specific written agreement relating to the provision of these particular items, between you, the buyer, and the supplier. But you must sign to accept this responsibility and in effect become involved in the final part of the manufacturing process. The CE marking should be added to the machine by the manufacturer or by you, the user, after the other safeguards, etc have been fitted.



The supply law does not apply to the following machinery:

Those intended for use outside the EEA.
Second-hand (when not refurbished).
Manually-powered machinery except machinery used for lifting or lowering loads.
Medical machinery used in direct contact with patients.
Specialised fairground or amusement park equipment.
Steam boilers, tanks and pressure vessels.
Nuclear equipment which will emit radioactivity if it fails.
Radioactive sources forming part of a machine.
Storage tanks and pipelines for petrol, diesel, inflammable liquids and dangerous substances.
Passenger transport vehicles and their trailers (air, road, rail or water).
Sea-going vessels and mobile offshore units and their equipment.
Cableways including funicular railways used to carry passengers.
Some agricultural and forestry tractors.
Military and police equipment.
Some lifts.
Mine winding gear.
Theatre elevators.
Construction site hoists.




Guidance on legislation

A guide to the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 LI ISBN 0 7176 0441 1

Work equipment Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992 L22 Guidance on Regulations HSE Books 1992 ISBN 0 7176 0414 4 (currently being revised)


DTI publications

Product standards - machinery - A guide on UK Regulations HMSO/DTI 1995 URN 95/650 Copies of this publication are available from the DTI's Business in Europe Hotline on 0117 944 4888.


Other publications

Supplying new machinery INDG270

Using work equipment safely INDG229 (free leaflet, but also available in priced packs of 5, ISBN 0 7176 1326 7)

Keep the noise down! - advice for purchasers of workplace machinery INDG263

The future availability and accuracy of the references listed in this publication cannot be guaranteed.

HSE priced and free publications are available by mail order from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 6FS. Tel: 01787 881165 Fax: 01787 313995.

HSE priced publications are also available from good booksellers. For other enquiries ring HSE's InfoLine Tel: 08701 545500, or write to HSE's Information Centre, Broad Lane, Sheffield S3 7HQ.

HSE home page on the World Wide Web: http://www.open.gov.uk/hse/hsehome.htm

This leaflet contains notes on good practice which are not compulsory but which you may find helpful in considering what you need to do.

This leaflet is available in priced packs of 15 from HSE Books, ISBN 0 7176 1559 6. Single free copies are also available from HSE Books.

This publication may be freely reproduced, except for advertising, endorsement or commercial purposes. The information is current at 04/98. Please acknowledge the source as HSE.

INDG271 04/98 C200
Printed and published by the Health and Safety Executive

Other pages:

This is the text-only version of this page. Click here to see this page with graphics.
Edit this page | Manage website
Make Your Own Website: 2-Minute-Website.com