Common Manufacturing Tools and Their Uses

If you were ever a fan of the Science or Discovery channel, then you’ve probably seen an episode or two on the show How It’s Made. This docuseries, which began in 2001, goes behind the scenes in the production facilities of many popular products to show you–as the name suggests–how things are made.

Manufacturing environments and processes

If you’ve watched this program, or just like to learn more about how things are built and how they work, then you might be curious to learn more about the tools used in the manufacturing process. Here are some of the most common manufacturing tools and their purpose.

Impregnation Machines

Impregnation machines are primarily used in series production and automotive manufacturing. These machines are used for sealing electronic components, preventing them from being exposed to gases and liquids and corroding. The process is quite similar to  that of industrial coating equipment, but the result is different.  Using a conventional coating or covering method, the materials effectively hide either the entire substrate or a portion of it, while impregnation entails saturating the actual pores to enhance its strength or to prepare it for subsequent coating applications.

There are many different methods for how these machines can seal these components, like wet vacuum impregnation, dry vacuum impregnation, vacuum pressure impregnation, or vacuum-only impregnation. The important thing to know is that the purpose of these machines and their processes is to drive resin and other coating materials into the parts of the machines that they’re working on to seal their pores. With more than 40 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, some of the best machines on the line are impregnation machines from bdtronic.

Drilling Machines

Drilling machines, or drill presses, in manufacturing, are similar in a lot of ways to handheld power drills that you might use in repairs around your own home. The big differences are that drill machines in manufacturing remain stationary to aid in stability and ensure precision. These types of machines are also designed to be used on much larger and stronger materials, regularly drilling through thick metals to create pieces for other machinery.

Milling Machines

Milling machines share a somewhat similar function with drill machines. These manufacturing machines also stand stationary to make stable, precise cuts. They have many uses, including roughing, cutting, boring, and drilling strong metal materials to create smooth surfaces for machinery. These machines can work either vertically or horizontally to carve metals.

Milling machines are one of the most popular and most common types of machines used in manufacturing processes, especially when it comes to metalworking.


Lathes are a manufacturing tool that is used in tandem with other tools. The lathe rotates the object that needs to be worked on, while other machines work to cut, drill, and otherwise shape the metal. The rotating process helps to ensure that a smooth, consistent shape is achieved all around the piece that is being worked on.

You might recognize lathe machines from the phone game Wood Shop. This is a wood-working puzzle game where you have to use a lathe and a handheld tool to carve designs into a piece of wood. If you’re curious to see how lathe machines work, this is an easy and relaxing way to experience it for yourself.

Shearing Machines

You might have guessed from the name, but shearing machines are used to cut pieces of sheet metal into a desired size and shape. The great thing about shearing machines is that because of their angular, almost scissor-like method of cutting, they don’t form any metal chips or other debris, keeping these dangerous materials out of the air and off of the floors of factories.


Saws are very commonly used in manufacturing. You might even recognize a few different types from your high school shop class, including:

Hack Saws

Hack saws are handheld saws with small, sharp teeth. They are primarily used for cutting pipes, rods, and other thin, metal materials. However, you might recognize them from some of their alternative uses. If you grew up celebrating Christmas, then you probably saw your dad–or some poor teenager working at a tree farm–crawl under a fir tree at least once with one of these saws.

Circular Saws

Circular saws are another type of handheld saw that can be transported from spot to spot during production. The thing that makes circular saws ideal to use when compared to hack saws is the fact that they are high-powered, so you don’t have to manually create the sawing motion to cut through thick metal materials.

Band Saws

Now, this saw is probably the most recognizable, automatically transporting you back to shop class when you made napkin holders or little wooden cars. The band saw is a large, stationary saw that moves the blade in a fast up-and-down motion to cut through materials like wood and metal.


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