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The Tools You Need When First Starting As a Machinist

3/5/20 9:45 AM / by camInstructor Mike

Here are the tools you need to buy when first starting out as a CNC or Manual Machinist.

Buying tools when you are first starting out as a Machinist can be a bit confusing. I'll cover the most important tools you'll need on day one of your new job. Keep in mind, every shop is different and may require you buy different tools, so asking your new employer is a great idea but here is my list of what you should be a minimum.

  • 6" Calipers - Electronic or Dial
  • 0-1 Micrometer - consider a Micrometer set that includes 0-1, 1-2, and 2-3
  • Test Indicator - consider accessories for holding such as a mag base
  • Tape Measure 
  • 6" Scale/Ruler - a nice inexpensive pocket tool you'll use everyday
  • Edge Finder 
  • Files/Stone
  • Ball Peen Hammer
  • Dead Blow Hammer - or equivalent soft tool
  • Wrench Set - both inch and metric up to 1"/25mm
  • Allen Keys - both inch and metric up to 3/8"/10mm
  • Screw Driver Set - consider a multi tool
  • Tap Handles - at least to be able to handle 1/4"/6mm taps and smaller
  • Calculator - scientific recommended
  • Pens/Pencils/Markers
  • Notepads
  • Flashlight
  • Safety glasses
  • A box to put all this in!

Few extra thoughts on tools...

Your tool collection will grow over the years, don't worry about buying every possible tool at once. The tools you want/need will evolve as your career progresses. And please keep this in mind...



To follow up with this video, I will be putting out a guide on buying the big ticket items, the micrometers/calipers/indicators. These can account for 75% of what you spend on your tools when first starting so making the right decision is very important.



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Topics: Tools

camInstructor Mike

Written by camInstructor Mike

camInstructor Mike is Mike Wearne, an avid machinist, cnc programmer and overall connoisseur of all things machining. Mike is one of camInstructor's resident cad/cam/cnc experts and works part time at his local college teaching aspiring machinists how to program CNC Machines of all types.

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