Know Your Cutting Tools: Lathe Tooling Designations

Whether you’re new to the world of turning or you’ve been using a lathe for years, it’s important to know your tools and the best way to use them. Lathe tooling designations are there to help, but they can be just as confusing as the tools themselves.

toolholder nomenclature

Every lathe tool has an inscribed or printed designation. This system just looks like a bunch of random digits and letters, unless you know what you’re looking at.

Each letter and number in the tooling designation is a reference to various features of your tools or inserts – things like insert shape, hand of the tool, and the insert inscribe circle.

toolholder nomenclature

Read: 3 Things to Remember Before You Start Turning

All of these numbers and letters can be a bit confusing, so Tormach has a document that charts out all the different designations within the uniform system. Check out the official document.

Use this info to make sure you pick out the best tools for your lathe jobs and make your turning even better!

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Chris Fox

Chris comes from a publishing background with years of experience in science, technology, and engineering publications. Previously an editor with Product Design and Development and Gizmag, he has a keen eye on the maker community and the changing landscape of the world of prototyping, product development, and small-scale manufacturing. Chris has been working with clients to create Tormach's customer success stories since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheChris_Fox

Chris Fox