Tool Grinder/Filer/Sharpener Worker

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High school preferred +

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What They Do

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

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Production pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Monitors machine operations to determine whether adjustments are necessary, stopping machines when problems occur.
  • Inspects, feels, and measures workpieces to ensure that surfaces and dimensions meet specifications.
  • Studies blueprints or layouts of metal workpieces to determine grinding procedures, and to plan machine setups and operational sequences.
  • Selects and mounts grinding wheels on machines, according to specifications, using hand tools and applying knowledge of abrasives and grinding procedures.
  • Computes numbers, widths, and angles of cutting tools, micrometers, scales, and gauges, and adjusts tools to produce specified cuts.
  • Turns valves to direct flow of coolant against cutting wheels and workpieces during grinding.
  • Sets up and operates grinding or polishing machines to grind metal workpieces, such as dies, parts, and tools.
  • Dresses grinding wheels, according to specifications.
  • Files or finishes surfaces of workpieces, using prescribed hand tools.
  • Performs basic maintenance, such as cleaning and lubricating machine parts.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • CNC Operator (Computer Numerically Controlled Operator) — Operates computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic work pieces.
  • Cutter Grinder
  • Finisher
  • Grinder
  • Grinder Operator
  • Machine Operator
  • OD Grinder Operator (Outer Diameter Grinder Operator)
  • Saw Filer
  • Tool and Cutter Grinder
  • Tool Grinder