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What Tools Should a Machinist Shop Have?

Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann

There are several different types of tools that are typically found in a machinist shop. Tools for measuring, cutting and leveling are all common in a machinist shop. Steel scribes, files of all shapes and sizes and hammers are also common tools that are often found in the typical machinist shop. Some types of hand tools commonly found in this type of shop are cold chisels, center punches and C-clamps of various sizes. Oil cans, hex wrenches and screwdrivers are also tools that might accompany the various pieces of machine shop equipment.

Along with assorted milling machines, lathes and boring bars found in the typical machinist shop, a plethora of hand tools also occupy space in the machinist's tool box. Of all the tools in the shop, perhaps none are as valuable as the measuring instruments. Steel rulers, micrometers and dividers are all used to indicate when a machining process has been completed. Other devices, such as a machinist square, are used to make certain that all machining begins and ends on the correct plane. The steel scribe is also important, as it permits a line to be scratched into the surface of steel or aluminum to indicate a starting and stopping point for the machinist.

Hex wrenches.
Hex wrenches.

Occasionally, cutting tools such as hack saws are used in the machine shop to remove small pieces of metal or to trim a finished piece to a final dimension. Files can be found in the machinist shop in flat, round and triangle shapes. The files are perfect for removing a small burr or edge from a freshly-machined piece of metal. The files are also used to touch up the cutting edge of the lathe tools and the various drill bits used in the shop. Many of the various machines used in the machinist shop use hex-type fasteners on the clamping components of the machine. This use necessitates that a selection of hex wrenches be kept on hand to tighten and remove the clamps as the work is completed on the machines.

One of the most-used tools in the machinist shop is the hammer. Used for making fine adjustments, the hammer is able to move the work piece in very small increments by tapping on one side of the work or another. The hammer is also used in conjunction with center punches in order to mark a spot for drilling to begin. The cold chisel is used to cut away a large amount of material from the edge of the workpiece. It is also used to cut through a bolt or to make an indentation in the edge of a steel piece for a clamp to lock into. C-clamps are often used to assist in holding a workpiece in place until the work in the machinist shop has been completed.

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    • Hex wrenches.
      Hex wrenches.