Tool-And-Die-Making Made Simple

Tool and die making is a term that most people have heard, yet actually know almost nothing about. Yet we all benefit from the expertise of these highly skilled craftsmen each and every day.; read on…
What is tool and die making?

Precision Measurement Tools

Precision Measurement Tools


One thing it is not: these guys don’t make wrenches and stuff. That is the typical response from laymen, which is truthfully rather annoying. Here you have individuals who have worked 4 years as an apprentice, and had two years of technical school, yet they are so underappreciated!


A tool and die maker makes the things that make other things. Just imagine a cookie cutter at home. You roll out the dough and push the cookie cutter into the dough to create a cookie. The cookie cutter is the tool, or die. The person who made the cookie cutter is the tool and die maker, or toolmaker. You are the machine operator, and I, the consumer, get to eat the cookie!

Now, ramp this example up to the level of all those metal parts around you right now. Your chair, the lamp, your belt or handbag buckle, the window frame, the metal bookshelf, the sink,the toilet paper holder, and on and on and on.

A toolmaker used highly sophisticated machines to make the machine that makes the cookie cutter, or sink or whatever. A CNC machine shop is full of 5 axis milling machines, vertical machining centers, CNC lathes, EDMs’, WEDM’s and all kinds of inspection equipment.

The tool that he makes can produce maybe a million parts before it wears out. This is why things don’t cost more than they do-mass production.

The tool and die maker is capable of using these machines, plus he has the ability to finish the tools by hand. No matter how capable these machines are, there is always the remaining percentage that must be done manually.

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What is tool and die making?
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About Randy Hough

Randy is a veteran toolmaker with experience in metal stamping, chain manufacturing, product design and plastic injection molding/mold making. He is happily enjoying a semi-retired life; keeping busy contributing technical articles and occasionally consulting. Visit http://global-plastic-injection-molding.com and WhatIsLeanManufactruring.com He has a wide range of interests, including acoustic guitar, travel and nature.

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