Magnetic polishing technology applicable to free-form surfaces such as the die/mold manufacturing field, has been studied using two types of magnetic polishing tool. Finishing efficiency and final surface roughness can be satisfactorily achieved at the same time by magnetic polishing using two types of magnetic polishing tool. One is an abrasive wheel type and the other is a magnetic brush type. The possibility of free-form surface polishing has been confirmed by use of the magnetic polishing technology because it has flexibility of profiling and does not need any complex tool-path control, with respect to workpiece surfaces. Magnetic force was estimated and measured. A two-stage magnetic polishing experiment has been executed using the magnetic polishing tools and mini CNC milling machine without tool-path control. A realization of efficient polishing of curved surfaces is possible using the two-stage magnetic polishing method, and it was also confirmed that automation of free-form surface polishing is possible by this method. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.