What Are the Most Common Machining Operations?

May 15, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Machining is the process of cutting and processing metal using sharp-edged tools on a lathe. In this controlled cutting process, materials are removed as chips from the surface of the workpiece. 

Machining Types 

There are several types of machining operations, including:


Milling is a machining process involving cutting the metal radially using a cylindrical tool with several sharp teeth on the circumference. Rotational movement of the cutting tool contacts the surface of the product by moving in a straight line. When it happens, the process begins. It will cut away the material from the surface.

Workpieces with complex geometrical shapes are easily milled using a milling machine. Nowadays, the integration of computer software with machines allows producers to control the processes with CNC methods. Furthermore, milling machines with 5-axis operational capabilities are becoming more popular.


Reaming is one of the machining operations carried out after drilling holes. A reamer is a cylindrical tool with peripheral cutting edges. These cutting edges are hardened, enabling them to give low surface roughness and high accuracy on the machined section of the surface.


Tapping a machining process involving the application of a thread inside a drilled hole. The cutting tool used for tapping is called tap. When tapping is difficult due to the hardness of the material, the process can be done in more than one step. 


In this process, a cutting tool containing two cutting edges makes circular movements on its axis and straight in one direction. Through this process, round holes are made on the product. During drilling processes, the chips removed from the material move upwards. Another type of this process is the deep-hole drill process applied to metals. By using a deep-hole drill, holes up to 35 times the diameter can be drilled. 


Grinding refers to removing material from the metal surface to obtain a clean and smooth finish. This is an accurate process among other operations. During grinding, a fine-grained grindstone is used. The grains are brittle and have hard specs of abrasives each of which is like a cutting tool. The grains eventually break down into needle-like abrasive grains and carry on the process. 

Turning process

Turning is used in processing round objects. A lathe machine is applied in this process.

Lapping Process

This is a post-machining process. Circular objects are placed between two rotating discs; one is stationary while another rotates with a spherical object inside. The spherical objects are ground by adding alimentary paste to increase pressure. Accuracy and roughness of the shape are the crucial parameters in this process.

Common machinist tasks 

The following are some tasks done by machinists 

  • Set up and operate machine tools
  • Analyze specifications
  • Lay out metal stock
  • Fit and assemble parts to fabricate and repair metalworking tools 
  • Apply knowledge of die and tool design and construction, metal properties, shop mathematics, assembly, and machining procedures



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