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Details for Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners


Perform precision smoothing, sharpening, polishing, or grinding of metal objects.


  • Dress grinding wheels, according to specifications.
  • Monitor machine operations to determine whether adjustments are necessary; stop machines when problems occur.
  • Inspect, feel, and measure workpieces to ensure that surfaces and dimensions meet specifications.
  • Set up and operate grinding or polishing machines to grind metal workpieces such as dies, parts, and tools.
  • Remove finished workpieces from machines and place them in boxes or on racks; set aside pieces that are defective.
  • File or finish surfaces of workpieces, using prescribed hand tools.
  • Select and mount grinding wheels on machines, according to specifications, using hand tools and applying knowledge of abrasives and grinding procedures.
  • Perform basic maintenance, such as cleaning and lubricating machine parts.
  • Remove and replace worn or broken machine parts, using hand tools.
  • Compute numbers, widths, and angles of cutting tools, micrometers, scales, and gauges, and adjust tools to produce specified cuts.
  • Study blueprints or layouts of metal workpieces to determine grinding procedures, and to plan machine setups and operational sequences.
  • Turn valves to direct flow of coolant against cutting wheels and workpieces during grinding.
  • Fit parts together in preassembly to ensure that dimensions are accurate.
  • Inspect dies to detect defects, assess wear, and verify specifications, using micrometers, steel gauge pins, and loupes.
  • Duplicate workpiece contours, using tracer attachments.
  • Straighten workpieces and remove dents, using straightening presses and hammers.
  • Attach workpieces to grinding machines, then form specified sections and repair cracks, using welding or brazing equipment.
  • Place workpieces in electroplating solutions or apply pigments to surfaces of workpieces to highlight ridges and grooves.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Related Careers

  • Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic
  • Cooling and Freezing Equipment Operators and Tenders
  • Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders
  • Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic
  • Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing
Wages for this career
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