Tools Glossary



Adjustable Holesaw:
An adjustable holesaw consists of a number of thin metal saw blade-like strips, and a flat disc with a large number of grooves in one side and a shank on the other. By snapping the blades into different grooves on the disc, a hole saw of a wide variety of sizes can be constructed.


Any of various rotating shafts that serve as axes for larger rotating parts. (see Mandrel)


Ball Bearing Slide Drawer:
Smooth operation and slight opening resistance


Converst from PSI. Unit of pressure


Bi-Metal Blades:
Bi-metal blades are produced through a patented process of combining two types of metal, each with its own attributes and benefits. The first is Spring Steel, which provides flexibility to the blade, resulting in a blade that will not break under normal work conditions. The second metal, High-Speed Steel, delivers a hardened cutting edge that stays sharp longer than traditional carbon blades.


Blued Steel:

Alloy of carbon steel that assume a bluish hue when heat treated (annealed) or dipped into a caustic soda solution at about 300 degrees to induce "bluing".



The raised edge on a metal part. It may be present in the form of a fine wire on the edge of a freshly sharpened tool or as a raised portion on a surface, after being struck a blow from an equally hard, or heavy object. More specifically, burrs are generally unwanted material remaining after a machining operation such as grinding, drilling, milling, or turning. Burr formation in machining accounts for a significant portion of machining costs for manufacturers throughout the world. Drilling burrs, for example, are common when drilling almost any material. The Boeing 747 airplane has approximately 1.3 million holes drilled in it, most of which have to be deburred to some extent. As one could imagine, the cost and time needed to perform these drilling and deburring operations is significant. In addition to drilling, milling is also a source of burr formation in machining. One good example of unwanted burrs is in the automotive industry where cylinder blocks, pistons and other engine components are cast then milled to a specific dimension. With higher and higher demands placed on accuracy and precision, burr formation is of critical importance because it can affect engine performance, reliability, and durability.


Carbide Tooth:
Carbide is an alloy composed of Cobalt and Tungsten. This alloy gives longer lasting tips, sharper cutting edges, and greater impact resistance.


Carbon Steel
Is a metal alloy, a combination of two elements, iron and carbon, where other elements are present in quantities too small to affect the properties.


Circle Cutter
A type of adjustable hole saw, also called a circle cutter, is formed by having one, two, or three adjustable teeth on a platform with a pilot bit. To cut out a hole of any size, the teeth need only be adjusted to the proper position. This type is available in sizes up to a foot and larger, and can be used to accurately cut large circles.


To pinch together or fold the edge of (one part) tightly over another


Finish something with chemical process: to finish a material by applying chemicals; preserve something by drying: to preserve a substance; make rubber stronger: to strengthen rubber with additives in the presence of heat and pressure


Is a specialized tool used in manufacturing industries to cut, shape and form a wide variety of products and components.


Drill Bits:
Cutting tools used to create cylindrical holes. Bits are held in a tool called a drill, which rotates them and provides axial force to create the hole. Specialized bits are also available for non-cylindrical-shaped holes.
This article describes the types of drill bits in terms of the design of the cutter. The other end of the drill bit, the shank, is described in the drill bit shank article. Drill bits come in standard sizes, described in the drill bit sizes article. A comprehensive drill and tap size chart lists metric and imperial sized drills alongside the required screw tap sizes.
The term drill can refer to a drilling machine, or can refer to a drill bit for use in a drilling machine. In this article, for clarity, drill bit or bit is used throughout to refer to a bit for use in a drilling machine, and drill refers always to a drilling machine.


Drill Chuck:
A specialized three-jaw chuck, usually with capacity of =0.5" (=13 mm) and rarely >1" (>25 mm), used to hold drill bits or other rotary tools.


A thermosetting resin; used chiefly in strong adhesives and coatings and laminates.


The act or an instance of bending or flexing; flexion.


Gauge (Metal gauges):
View article


Gear Pumps:
Simple and economical pumps that are best for use with low pressure


The main purpose of a gullet is to provide clearance for the material being removed. The design of the gullet must be done keeping in mind such factors as material being cut, type of cut (rip or crosscut and smooth or rough), speed of the cut, type of tooth design and pitch or hook angle of the teeth. For example, a Rip saw blade is designed to cut very quickly along the grain of the wood. It has fewer teeth and a large gullet to aid in the removal of sawdust. By contrast, a Crosscut blade will have a smoother, slower cut against the grain, therefore having more teeth and a smaller gullet design. The major issue to consider in design is to have no sharp or square corners as they will lend themselves as a natural stress or fault line in the saw blade. The gullet is a relief area cut in front of the tooth which provides a temporary place to store the material cut away by the tooth on each revolution of the blade.


Hardened Steel:
Often used for a medium for high carbon steel that has been given the heat treatments of quenching followed by tempering. The quenching results in the formation of meta-stable Martensite, the fraction of which is reduced to the desired amount during tempering. This is the most common state for finished articles such as tools and machine parts. In contrast, the same steel composition in annealed state will be softer as required for forming and machining. Case hardened articles starting as low carbon steel can also be labeled hardened steel.


Heat Sink:
A heat sink (or heatsink) is an environment or object that absorbs and dissipates heat from another object using thermal contact (either direct or radiant). Heat sinks are used in a wide range of applications wherever efficient heat dissipation is required; major examples include refrigeration, heat engines, cooling electronic devices and lasers.


Hex Shank:
The flats of a hex shank can either be machined on a round shank, or can be the natural flats of hex bar stock. A hex shank can be grasped by a 3-jaw drill chuck, or can be held in a custom chuck specifically for hex shanks. 1/4 inch hex shanks are common for machine screwdriver bits, and have spread from that application to be used for drill bits that are compatible with screwdriver machinery.


High Speed Steel (HSS):
A material usually used in the manufacture of machine tool bits and other cutters. It is often used in power saw blades and drill bits. It is superior to the older high carbon steel tools used extensively through the 1940s in that it can withstand higher temperatures without losing its temper (hardness). This property allows HSS to cut faster than high carbon steel, hence the name high speed steel. At room temperature HSS and high carbon steel have an equivalent hardness; only at elevated temperatures does HSS become advantageous.


Hole Saw (also styled as Holesaw):
A saw in the shape of a circle used, in a drill, to cut large holes in reasonably thin material. Hole saws (also holesaws) have the same general mechanical construction as the diamond core drill bit, but, instead of the abrasive effect of diamonds, the holesaw uses the cutting effect of saw teeth. The open end of the saw's cylinder is milled with saw teeth. Instead of masonry, the holesaw is suitable for cutting wood, plastic, soft plaster or soft metal. The placement of the saw teeth makes the cut annulus slightly wider than the cylinder wall thickness, so the cylinder doesn't rub in the cut. Just as in the diamond core drill bit, the cylinder is mounted on a mandrel - an arbor with a center pilot drill - and has sloping slots to clear sawdust.


is a safety device designed for professional rescuers which provides warning of exposed high voltage AC from a safe distance. The AC HotStick will give early audible ("beeping") and visual (flashing LED) warning of the presence of dangerous voltages without the need to contact the surface carrying the current. The closer the user comes to the source of the voltage, the more rapidly the unit beeps and flashes.


Science and engineering topic dealing with the mechanical properties of liquids. A hydraulic pump is a pump that is used in hydraulic drive systems. They can be hydrostatic (positive displacement pumps) or hydrodynamic.


Hydraulic Fluid:
Large groups of fluids used as the motive medium in hydraulic machinery.


Insulated Tools:
A hand tool consisting of a thick high dielectric inner layer bonded to metal and having a flame resistant outer layer.


Mandrel (also spelled mandril) (in American English also called an arbor):
Either an object used to shape machined work; a tool component that grips or clamps materials to be machined; or a tool component that can be used to grip other moving tool components. see arbor


Monotungsten Carbide, WC or Ditungsten Carbicde, W2C:
A chemical compound containing tungsten and carbon, similar to titanium carbide. Tungsten is a very hard and dense metal, mined from Wolframite ore and symbolized by a (W) on the periodic table of elements. It melts at an extraordinary 6,192 degrees Fahrenheit-the highest melting point of all metals. On its own, tungsten is vulnerable to scratches and damage just like any other metal, such as titanium and steel. Tungsten does not gain its extreme hardness until it is combined with a carbon alloy, transferring it into tungsten carbide (WC) with a hardness between 8.5 and 9.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. Tungsten carbide is four times harder than titanium, twice as hard as steel, is virtually unscratchable, and has been widely used for decades in industrial applications such as cutting tools, mining machinery, and rocket engine nozzles. Its extreme hardness makes it useful in the manufacture of cutting tools, abrasives and bearings, as a cheaper and more heat-resistant alternative to diamond. Tungsten carbide is also used as a scratch-resistant material for jewelry including watch bands and wedding rings.


Not porous; especially not having vessels that appear as pores; "nonporous wood".


A pivoting spring loaded finger that engages the teeth of a ratchet.

A a clear, tough, shatterproof polymer that is known for it’s impact resistance, often used for making spectacle lenses and is a major component in bullet-proof glass.

Powder Coating:
A type of dry coating, which is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. The main difference between a conventional liquid paint and a powder coating is that the powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form. The coating is typically applied electro-statically and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a "skin." The powder may be a thermoplastic or a thermoset polymer. It is usually used to create a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint. Powder coating is mainly used for coating of metals, such as "white goods", aluminum extrusions, and automobile and motorcycle parts. Newer technologies allow other materials, such as MDF (medium-density fiberboard), to be powder coated using different methods.


PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) :
Pounds per square inch is a unit of measurement for pressure


PSIA (Pounds Force per Square Inch Absolute):
Gauge pressure plus local atmospheric pressure


PSID (PSI Difference):
Difference between two pressures


PSIVG (PSI Vented Gauge):
Difference between the measuring point and the local pressure


PSISG (PSI Sealed Gauge):
Difference between a chamber of air sealed at atmospheric pressure and the pressure at the measuring point


Potting Compound:
Pourable insulating resins, including epoxies, silicones, and urethanes that are cast into cavities containing electronic components to protect and insulate.


A device that allows linear or rotary motion in only one direction, while preventing motion in the opposite direction.


Screwdriver (also called a square drive screwdriver) with a square-shaped tip with a slight taper (in the same way that flatheads, Phillips, hex, and Torx have flat, ×-shaped, hexagonal, and hexagrammal tips, respectively). Robertson screws are used mainly in Canada, but can be found elsewhere


Screwdriver tip commonly known as "flathead"


Teeth Per Inch:
Another common measurement of the amount of teeth residing in any one inch length of a cutting blade. Usually abbreviated as TPI, eg a blade consisting of 18TPI (Teeth Per Inch).


Tensile strength:
- σ UTS , or S U measures the stress required to pull something such as rope, wire, or a structural beam to the point where it breaks. It is an intensive property of the material. The tensile strength of a material is the maximum amount of tensile stress that it can be subjected to before failure. The definition of failure can vary according to material type and design methodology.


Tetrafluoroethylene (TFE):
Is a chemical compound containing only carbon and fluorine with the molecular formula C2F4. This gaseous species is used primarily in the industrial preparation of polymers. In organic chemistry, tetrafluoroethylene is a potent dienophile.


Threading Gauges (also referred to as pitch gauges):
Used to measure the pitch or lead of screw threads. The uppermost gauge in the image is an ISO metric pitch gauge, the larger gauge in the center is for measuring the Acme Thread Form, and the lower gauge is for imperial screws. Thread pitch gauges are used as a reference tool in determining the pitch of a thread that is on a screw or in a tapped hole. This tool is not used as a precision measuring instrument. This device allows the user to determine the profile of the given thread and quickly categorize the thread by shape and pitch. This device also saves time, in that it removes the need for the user to measure and calculate the thread pitch of the threaded item.


A force that tends to rotate or turn things. "Rotational force".


Torsion Bars:
A very simple type of spring consisting of a bar that deforms slightly when loaded. Often used in car suspension systems.


A lightweight coating that gives lenses a high level of scratch resistance and completely absorbs harmful UV radiation


Variable Pitch:
A tooth form that has variable tooth spacing, standard tooth forms, varying gullet depth, and a zero-degree rake angle.