The Best Machinist Tools: A Comprehensive Guide

Machinists are some of the most hardworking professionals in the industrial sector. They play a very important role in ensuring that manufacturing facilities and other industrial hubs across the globe can function at their best.

However, a machinist cannot do anything on their own. They require assistance to do the task. They need help to get the job done. In particular, they need measuring tools to ensure their work is accurate.

This article lists 11 essential tools every machinist should have to do their job well.

What Does A Machinist Do, Exactly?

Machinists are people who use machines to make metal parts. They usually work in factories, but some work in machine shops and tool rooms.

A machinist will do the following daily:

  • Make use of machine tools like lathes and grinders.
  • Read and interpret computer-aided design (CAD) and blueprint files
  • Install computer numerical control (CNC) machinery.
  • To calculate dimensions and tolerances, use measurement equipment (such as those indicated below).
  • Make machine parts.
  • To assure quality, measure, and test final machine parts.
  • Show completed machine parts to supervisors or customers.

11 Essential Measuring Tools for Every Machinist’s Toolbox

1. Micrometer

Micrometers are tools used by professionals in the industrial field to measure the size of an object. There are several different micrometers, but the most common is the outside micrometer. This tool calculates a thing such as a bar or a block.

Micrometers have a spindle that attaches to a calibrated screw. The operator winds the screw until the measured part is sandwiched between the spindle and a fixed anvil.

Micrometers are a tool that machinists use to gather important information. This information helps them do their job more efficiently.

2. Digital and Vernier Calipers

Machinists use two types of calipers for their measuring jobs: digital and vernier.

Digital calipers are among the most flexible equipment available to machinists. They have an extensive range, which means they can be used to measure both interior and exterior items.

Digital calipers are easy to use. You just put them in place and push a button to measure. The result will show up on the screen.

Vernier calipers are similar to digital ones but have no digital components. They are simple to operate and serve as an ideal backup for machinists.

3. Telescoping Gauge

A telescoping gauge is industrial measurement equipment used to determine the size of a hole. It does not give the measurement directly to a machinist. Still, it needs to be used in combination with a micrometer.

Telescoping gauges work by being inserted into a circular hole. Two plungers, then lock in place. Using a micrometer, the machinist pulls the indicator out of the hole and measures the distance between the two plungers.

4. Ball Gauges

Ball gauges are tools machinists can use to measure small circular sizes accurately. They work similarly to telescoping gauges but can be used on smaller holes.

5. Pin Gauges

Pin gauges are a great way to measure tiny holes. They come in sets, and they are very easy to use.

You will need to use a pin gauge to measure a small hole. You will stick the pin gauge into the hole and see if it fits. Try your set’s next biggest pin gauge if it doesn’t work. Once you find the size of the hole, that is what the measurement is.

6. Indicator of Dial Test

A dial test indicator is a tool used by machinists to determine whether an object is flat or square. It is also capable of measuring depths and distances. This tool is helpful for machinists since it offers a variety of functions.

7. Self-leveling Laser

When creating parts, it is essential to ensure they meet the specifications. To do this, the machinist must ensure that the part they are building is level. A self-leveling laser is perfect for this.

What makes a self-leveling laser great is that it is very simple to use. You place it on the object you want to check if it is level and then read the level. It makes it easy for anyone to use, even someone who does not have a lot of experience with machines.

8. Measuring Tape

A measuring tape is an essential tool. It is often needed to get the job done. Sometimes, it is the only tool you need.

A measuring tape is an excellent way for machinists to measure length. They use it for material selection, fabrication, machine maintenance, and many other tasks. It is important to have a good measuring tape to do your job well.

9. Angle Gauge

Many machinists also need to check angles regularly to get important information. Using an angle gauge is the best way to do this.

An angle gauge can measure angles very precisely. It is helpful for machinists because they need to measure angles often in their work. Angle gauges are relatively cheap, so they are a good investment for anyone who does machining as a profession.

10. Protractor

Protractors can be a backup for angle gauges. If the digital angle gauge malfunctions, the protractor can help measure angles. They are also affordable, so it is a good idea for machinists to have one just in case.

11. Pressure Gauge

Pressure gauges are handy for machinists who work with fluids and hydraulics. They use pressure gauges to measure the pressure in a given space. For example, a machinist might use a pressure gauge to figure out the pressure inside a machine with a lot of air or fluid moving around.

Machinists must accurately track pressure levels because high and low-pressure levels can be dangerous. With a pressure gauge, they can work confidently and safely.

Toolkit Extras

We’ve discussed some of the key tools that every machinist requires. Other devices, though, can be helpful.

First a set of combination squares. These are ideal for creating and verifying angles. They also help machinists find the center on the ends of shafts.

Before drilling a hole or doing any other work, it is important to mark where it needs to be done. It can be quickly done using a center punch, specifically for keeping positions.

Thread wires are a tool that machinists should always have. These wires help measure the pitch diameter when creating threads. Some machinists may rely on their instincts to do this, but using thread wires can help ensure a higher degree of accuracy.

Finally, the essential thing for machinists is to be safe. It means having earmuffs, safety glasses, and steel-toed boots. It will help keep you safe while you work.

Learn more: 3 Ways to Use and Read an Outside Micrometer

Frequently Asked Questions About Machinist Tools

What Are the Different Types of Machining Tools?

The most common tools for machining are turning tools, milling tools, grinding tools, cutting tools, drilling tools, and boring tools. There are other machining tools, but these are the most common ones.

What Is Needed in a Machine Shop?

You may need different machines for the type of work you want. For example, do basic work, like lathes and cutting machines. You will not need a computer numerical control machine. However, if you do more advanced work, you must purchase a CNC machine.

What Is CNC Machine Tool?

Computer numerical control (CNC) is a way to automate the control of machines using the software. It is widely utilized in the fabrication of metal and plastic parts.

What Are Machine and Machine Tools?

The machine includes a lot of machines. But Machine Tools are unique because they have some specific features. They need to be power-driven, meaning they are not moved by hand. And they also need to be non-portable, meaning they can’t be easily moved around.

What Is Machining Equipment?

Machining is the process of cutting materials into desired shapes and sizes. It is done by using various tools to remove the material. The most common tools are lathes, mills, bandsaws, sanders, CNC machines, and turning centers.