High-End Machinists and Fabricators Still Need the Basics

While you may have heard plenty about the latest high-end cutting tools and CNC features of the newest equipment, it can be easy to forget about the basics. Machinists and fabricators need a solid toolkit to handle any project, so review these basic tools today to see if you’re missing a must-have item. Shop for the measuring tools, abrasive wheels and hand tools you will need from your local CNC cutting tools distributor to stay ahead in your industry.

Measuring Tools

Take some time to review your measuring tools. There are plenty of high-quality micrometers out there, so be sure you have one that fits your most common tasks. Here are some other measuring tools that fabricators and machinists should have on hand:

  • Combination and double squares
  • Dial test indicator
  • Precision Calipers
  • Edge finders

Look for at least six-inch calipers. For many projects, twelve-inch ones are even better. Multiple edge finders help you align your machine head. Without the right size of edge finder, you may not benefit from the accuracy you need.


While everyone’s talking about the best lathe and mill tooling, it’s important to remember to build on a reliable foundation. A quality lathe and milling machine is going to help you deliver the results that make your work stand out. Whether you’re operating your own shop or in charge of buying for your company, consider the specifications you need in the milling machines and lathes in your operation.

Hand and Power Tools

A tool box full of the right hand and power tools helps you finish off your machining or fabrication projects. These right tools are also great if you experience any maintenance issues with your milling machine or CNC lathe. Your hand tool list will change depending on the type of machining you’re doing, but here are some basics you’ll want to keep on hand:

  • Ball-peen, soft and brass hammers
  • Phillips and flathead screwdrivers
  • Metric and SAE hex key sets
  • Grinding wheel
  • Belt sander
  • Deburring wheel
  • Automatic center punch

Look for metalworking tools in PA, an abrasive products distributor or custom die sets supplier in PA tht is willing to consult with you about the best brands and models for any of these essential tools. Every machinist should have these on hand.

Gauges and Extras

Magnets, tap and die sets, files and gauges are all must-haves for precision performance. There are dozens of gauge styles and sizes, so invest in the right ones based on your typical projects initially. Eventually you can add to your tooling kit as your needs develop over time.

Get Back to the Basics

Machists will need in their arsenal end mill for hardened steel that can cut through tough material. Fabricators will all need to add and remove V dies and Gooseneck dies if they are running a press brake. Any Manufacturing supply company in PA that consults with clients can guide you once you share the equipment make and model number with him. Don’t get caught without these essentials, whether you’re just getting started as a fabricator or you’re an experienced machinist.

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