machiningFrom the guts of a car to the components of an airplane, machining cutting tools craft hunks of metal into reliable precision parts. Machining cutting tools range from rough cutting equipment, like chop saw or grinder, to programmable, production oriented machines, like the metal mill. Learn about the different types of cutting tools used by machinists so you can deck out your shop with basic tools for hobby pieces or heavy equipment for industrial-level projects.


If you have ever wondered how to turn stairway posts, a lathe is the answer. The lathe of a machinist functions like a wood-burning table, but gives the power and precision for milling metal. Mount the material at each end to the lathe, then turn the lathe and press the cutting edges against the material as it rotates. You can also manually press cutting edges against the material, or program and operate the cuts via computer input.

Drill Press

The drill press bores precision holes, reams openings and cuts threads. The drill press features an arm that suspends a drill over a stationary base. Put the material at the base, then activate the drill and lower it through the material. Drill presser lower on a fixed axis; they cut precisely straight up and down.

Milling Machine

A machine otherwise known as metal mills; milling machines refer to a variety of metal cutting and shaping machines that can be specially built, commercially available or proprietary. Programmable milling machines that perform numerous cutting operations on various axes are called CNC machines. Most milling machines feature mobile, rotary cutting tools that pierce, cut and shape a piece if fixed material.


A handheld power tool that spins abrasive or sharpened discs to grind, shape and cut materials. The portability of the grinder allows it to cut and shape in areas where stationary cutting tools cannot.

Chop Saw

The chop saw is a stationary rough cutting tool that can be used to cut materials to length. A chop saw features a spinning abrasive or sharpened blade suspended from an arm above a stationary base. When lowered, the blade cuts through material resting on the base in a chopping motion.


Welding tools use ultra-hot, concentrated flame to cut through material. A welders flame can melt its way through hard and thick materials without physical resistance. However, this usually results in rough or dirty edges.

Handheld Rotary Tools

The spin attachments of rotary tools, called bits, are used for carving, cutting, reaming and de-burring. Handheld rotary tools usually weight less than a pound and, because their attachments are small, can be used to complete detail or precision work by hand.

If you have some training or experience, you should be able to handle some cutting tools on your own. But if you are still fairly new to this trade, it would be best that you contact a machining San Jose company. This way, you are assured of quality and precise cuts for your hobby or machine parts.