Navy MM Machinist Mate ASVAB Study Guide

Branch Navy
Title Machinist Mate

Enforces the regulations and orders relative to the protection and security of vessels, harbors, ports, and waterfront facilities; supervises and controls the safe handling, transportation, stowage, and storage of explosives and other dangerous cargoes; in restricted areas, prevents unauthorized persons from entering upon the vessel or waterfront facility, carefully examines all authorized persons.

Performs general police patrol duty; arrests persons and collects evidence; controls access to restricted areas; conducts surveillance of vessels and identifies offenses; inspects vessels, cargo, and waterfront facilities; inspects documentation; conducts vessel searches.

Able to perform the duties required for E3 through E6; plans and conducts training programs; supervises cargo transfers and inspection procedures; cooperates with private cleanup contractors; plans, implements, and monitors security of vessels, harbors, and ports; coordinates security for facilities, responds to security threats, conducts threat assessment, supervises officers during operations, assesses computerized databases to verify information, provides mentoring for junior officers; serves as safety officer; supervises and directs law enforcement procedures, explosives-loading detail, and the loading, stowing, security, and offloading of dangerous cargo; supervises officers in the field of operations, plans for training needs, scheduling, debrief, evaluates and generates reports from operations, assures accuracy of intelligence information; serves as senior enlisted technical or specialty administrator; manages and supervises operations and procedures involving security and law enforcement, dangerous cargo, and safety and fire prevention; develops training and safety programs; establishes objectives and sets priorities; performs operational administrative functions; prepares correspondence concerning fiscal, supply, and administrative matters; assists in the formulation of plans, policies, and budget requirements; may supplement the officer corps in the overall supervision and administration of personnel and equipment; may also supervise personnel in other specialty areas.

Able to perform the duties required for E3 and E4; conducts investigations and interviews; conducts vessel searches using electronic survey equipment; supervises training and development of subordinate personnel; writes investigative reports; instructs subordinate personnel in procedures for manning a security zone, use of service pistol and safety requirements for explosives; serves as liaison with other law enforcement agencies; completes permit applications for explosives and other dangerous cargo; supervises use of loading equipment to determine safe operation; conducts facilities inspections.

Subtests Automotive Information, Math Knowledge, Shop Information

Automotive Information

  • 103 Questions
  • 103 Flash Cards

Engine Fundamentals

Components 22 17
Internal Combustion

Combustion is the burning of an air-fuel mixture to provide energy. It requires the presence of air, fuel, and a heat source to ignite the air-fuel mixture. In the internal combustion engine that powers automobiles and trucks the combustion happens inside the engine utilzing a fuel like gasoline, diesel fuel, or natural gas.

Engine Block
Engine Block

The engine (or cylinder) block is the large casing that contains the cylinders and many of the internal components of the engine.


Cylinders act as a guide for the pistons that translate the heat energy of combustion into the mechanical energy necessary to move a vehicle. Piston rings seal the piston to the cylinder to contain combustion gases and also regulate the oil distribution between the piston and cylinder wall. A cylinder head closes in the top of the cylinder forming the combustion chamber which is sealed by a head gasket (head). The head provides space for air and fuel intake valves, exhaust valves, and mounts for spark plugs and fuel injectors.

Combustion Chamber

The combustion chamber is located in the cylinder head and contains the combustion of the air-fuel mixture. This mixture is delivered by an intake valve and the waste gases from combustion are removed from the combustion chamber by the exhaust valve.

Connecting Rod
Connecting Rod

A connecting rod employs a wrist pin to link each piston to the engine's crankshaft.


The crankshaft converts the reciprocating motion of the piston into the rotational motion that's used to power the vehicle and its components.


The camshaft is linked to the crankshaft through a timing belt and regulates the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves in each cylinder in time with the motion of the piston. An engine designated OverHead Camshaft (OHC) locates the camshaft in the cylinder head. An engine with Double OverHead Camshaft (DOHC) has two camshafts, one to regulate the intake valves and one to regulate the exhaust valves.

Cylinder Arrangement

Cylinder number and arrangement depends on the purpose of the engine. Smaller (four and six cylinder) engines in front-wheel drive vehicles often use an inline design which orients cylinders vertically over the crankshaft and aligns them in a row. Other common orientations are a horizontal/opposed design which places cylinders flat facing each other with the crankshaft between them and a V-type design common in six and eight cylinder engines that features one cylinder head per block of cylinders oriented at a 60 to 90 degree angle to each other with the crankshaft at the bottom of the V.

Stroke Cycle 7 5
Intake Stroke

The four-stroke piston cycle of internal combustion engines starts with the piston at top of the cylinder head (top dead center or TDC) during the intake stroke. The piston moves downward in the cylinder creating a vacuum that pulls an air-fuel mix into the combustion chamber through the now open intake valve.

Compression Stroke

During the compression stroke, both intake and exhaust valves are closed as the piston begins moving back up from the bottom of the cylinder (bottom dead center or BDC). This compresses the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber which also makes it hotter.

Power Stroke

During the power stroke, just before the piston reaches top dead center, the spark plug fires and ignites the compressed air-fuel mixture. The resulting expansion due to combustion pushes the piston back down the cylinder toward bottom dead center.

Exhaust Stroke

During the exhaust stroke, just before the piston reaches bottom dead center the exhaust valve opens. The resulting gases from combustion are then pushed out through the exhaust valve as the piston travels up the cylinder to top dead center, completing stroke four of the four-stroke piston cycle.

Operation 16 8
Firing Order

The stroke cycle of an engine is governed by the crankshaft which serves to regulate the firing order of the cylinders. All cylinders are not on the same stroke at the same time and correct firing order is important to balance engine operation and minimize vibrations. A common firing order for four-cylinder engines is 1-3-4-2 which indicates that cylinders 1 and 3 fire (power stroke)together and cylinders 4 and 2 fire together.

Air-Fuel Mixture

The stoichiometric ratio defines the proper ratio of air to fuel necessary so that an engine burns all fuel with no excess air. For gasoline fuel, the stoichiometric ratio is about 14.7:1 or for every one gram of fuel, 14.7 grams of air are required. Too much air results in a lean air-fuel mixture that burns more slowly and hotter while too much fuel results in a rich mixture that burns quicker and cooler.

Ignition Timing

Ignition timing defines the point in time at the end of the compression stroke that the spark plug fires. Measured in number of degrees before top dead center (BTDC), the exact point that the spark plugs initiate combustion varies depending on the speed of the engine. The timing is advanced (the spark plugs fire a few more degrees BTDC) when the engine is running faster and retarded when it's running slower.


Normal combustion in an engine is initiated by a spark plug and results in the complete burning of the air-fuel mixture. If combustion is initiated by a source other than the spark plug, by a hot spot in the cylinder or combustion chamber for example, pre-ignition results. Detonation results if the air-fuel mixture explodes instead of burning. Detonation can cause extremes in pressure in the combustion chamber leading to engine damage.

Engine Systems

Cooling System 9 7

Modern car engines are cooled by liquid which circulates through the engine block and cylinder heads absorbing excess heat. This liquid is made up of half water and half antifreeze (commonly, ethylene glycol) which both keeps the water from freezing at low temperatures and raises its boiling point making heat transfer more efficient.

Water Pump

The water pump is driven by a belt connected to the crankshaft and ensures that coolant moves through the engine and radiator.

Water Jacket

A water jacket is a coolant-filled casing that allows heat transfer from the engine block and cylinder heads to the liquid coolant.


The thermostat controls coolant (and, through it, engine) temperature by regulating the flow of coolant through the radiator. A bypass tube allows coolant to bypass the radiator and flow back into the water pump when its temperature is low enough that the thermostat is closed.


The radiator is responsible for tranferring heat from the coolant to the outside air. Radiator hoses transfer coolant to and from the engine to the radiator and a radiator cap maintains pressure in the cooling system to increase the boiling point of the coolant mixture and thus allow it to absorb more heat.

Lubrication System 5 7

The lubrication system lubricates engine components by putting an oil film between them to reduce friction and smooth engine operation, cools by absorbing heat from engine parts, seals the pistons and cylinders to contain combustion, cleans contaminants, and quiets engine noise.

Oil Viscosity

The primary component of the lubrication system is engine oil. Engines require oil blends with different thickness (viscosity) and additives depending on their operating conditions. Viscosity is rated using the format XW-XX with the number preceding the W (winter) rating the oil’s viscosity at 0 ℉ (-17.8 ℃) and the XX indicating viscosity at 100 ℃.

Oil Pump

The oil pump is driven by the camshaft and is responsible for pumping oil through the oil galleries (passages) that run throughout the engine. It also contains the oil filter and a pressure relief valve which prevents excessive pressure from building up in the lubrication system.

Oil Pan

The oil pan contains the engine oil reservoir of from four to six quarts of oil and feeds the oil pump through the oil pickup tube. An oil strainer floats at the top of the oil in the oil pan and screens debris from the oil before feeding it to the oil pump.

Fuel System 5 6
Fuel Injector

The fuel injector sprays fuel into the air stream that's being fed into the cylinder head via the intake valve. The timing and amount of fuel are regulated by the powertrain control module (PCM) which is the main computer that controls engine and transmission functions.

Electric Fuel Pump

The electric fuel pump feeds pressurized fuel through a fuel filter to the fuel injectors via the fuel rail manifold. The fuel rail contains the fuel pressure regulator which ensures that the fuel injectors receive fuel at a consistent and known rate. Excess fuel bled off by the pressure regulator returns to the fuel tank through the fuel return line.

Intake Manifold

The intake manifold distributes outside air to the intake ports on the cylinder heads. The intake air filter removes any airborne contaminants before the air enters the engine.

Ignition System 7 7

The battery supplies the power necessary to start the engine when the ignition switch is is turned on.

Ignition Coil

The ignition coil is a high-voltage transformer made up of two coils of wire. The primary coil winding is the low-voltage winding and has relatively few turns of heavy wire. The secondary coil winding is the high-voltage winding that surrounds the primary and is made up of thousands of turns of fine wire. Current flows from the battery through the primary coil winding which creates a changing magnetic field inside the secondary coil. This induces a very high-voltage current in the secondary coil which it feeds to the distributor.


The distributor is driven by the engine's camshaft and is responsible for timing the spark and distributing it to the correct cylinder. The distributor cap contains a rotor that connects the ignition coil (and its high voltage) to the proper cylinder at the proper point in the stroke cycle.

Spark Plugs

Spark plugs receive current from the distributor and use it to spark combustion in the combustion chamber of a cylinder.

Exhaust System 3 5
Exhaust Manifolds

The cast iron exhaust manifolds collect engine exhaust gas from multiple cylinder exhaust valves and deliver it to the exhaust pipe. Exhaust manifolds can be generic or specially tuned (header pipes) to the engine. Header pipes deliver higher performance but are more expensive and less durable.

Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter converts pollutants in exhaust gas into less pollutant substances like carbon dioxide and water.


The muffler follows the catalytic converter and absorbs sound to help quiet load exhaust. It is followed by the exhaust pipe which is the final exit point for exhaust gas from the vehicle.

Electrical and Computer Systems

Electrical System Components 5 6

The lead-acid battery is the core of the electrical system, providing current to the ignition system to start the engine as well as delivering supplemental current when the alternator can't handle high electrical system loads and acting as an electrical reservoir for excessive current.


The cylindrical solenoid is a relay that safely connects the high amperage battery to the starter motor when the ignition key is turned. This current then allows the engine to turn at a high enough speed to start.


Once the engine is running, the alternator provides electrical current to recharge the battery and power the electrical system. The alternator is driven by the engine's crankshaft and produces alternating current (AC) which is then fed through a rectifier bridge to convert it to the direct current (DC) required by the electrical system. A voltage regulator controls the output of the alternator to maintain a consistent voltage (approx. 14.5 volts) in the electrical system regardless of load.


The lighting system consists of interior lights, instrument panel lighting, headlights, and taillights. Like household electrical circuits, the vehicle's lighting system is protected from current spikes by fuses and circuit breakers.

Computer System Components 3 3

Sensors provide the data necessary for the vehicle's computer to make decisions and monitor everything from simple vehicle information like tire pressure to complexities like the chemical content of an engine's exhaust.

Powertrain Control Module

The main computer or powertrain control module (PCM) uses pre-programmed software to analyze the input received from sensors and produce output signals to adjust vehicle performance and operation. (Engine control unit (ECU) is another name for the PCM.)


Actuators receive signals from the powertrain control module and carry out adjustments needed based on the data the PCM received from the sensors.

Operational Systems

Drive Train 7 11

The transmission provides the appropriate power to vehicle wheels to maintain a given speed. The engine and the transmission have to be disconnected to shift gears and a manual transmission requires the driver to manually manage this disconnection (using a clutch) and to manually shift gears. An automatic transmission is essentially an automatic gear shifter and handles this process without driver input.


A differential is designed to drive a pair of wheels while allowing them to rotate at different speeds. A transaxle is a transmission that incorporates the differential in one package. Most front-wheel drive cars use a transaxle while rear-wheel drive cars use a transmission and separate differential connected via a drive shaft. The differential is incorporated into the drive axle which splits engine power delivered by the drive shaft between the two drive wheels. All-wheel drive cars typically use a transaxle that includes an output shaft to the rear differential.

Half Shaft

A half shaft is a drive axle that extends from a transaxle or differential to one of the drive wheels. There are two half shafts per drive axle, one for each wheel, each doing "half" the job.

CV Joints

Constant velocity (CV) joints are located at both ends of a half shaft and their purpose is to transfer the torque from the transmission to the drive wheels at a constant speed while accomodating the up and down movement of the suspension. The inner CV joint connects the shaft to the transmission and the outer CV joint connects the shaft to the wheel.

Universal Joints

Like CV joints, universal joints (U-joints) are located at each end of a drive shaft and allow the shaft to operate at a variable angle with the item it is driving. Universal joints perform the same basic function as CV joints but CV joints have a wider range of operation.

Transfer Case

The transfer case splits engine power between the front and rear axles of four-wheel drive vehicles.

Suspension and Steering System 7 13
Independent Suspension

Most modern cars use an independent suspension system on the front wheels. This setup allows each of the wheels on an axle to move independently in response to road level variations. Independent suspension offers much better handling and stability when compared to a rigid axle suspension at the cost of being structurally weaker and more costly to maintain.


Suspension springs are made with wide gap coils of rigid steel cable and both hold the vehicle chassis up off the ground and absorb energy from wheel movement making for a smoother ride.

Shock Absorbers

Because a compressed spring will ex­tend violently, shock absorbers must be used to dampen the spring’s compression and extension cycles. Struts combine the spring and shock into one unit

Control Arms

Control arms (upper and lower) connect a vehicle's suspension to the frame. The connection to the wheels is through ball joints which allow the control arms to turn and move up and down simultaneously. The frame connection uses bushings.

Steering Linkage

The steering linkage is a system of pivots and connecting parts between the steering gear and the control arms. The steering linkage transfers the motion of the steering gear output shaft to the steering arms that turn the wheels.

Wheel Hub

The wheel hub is the mounting point for the wheel and tire assembly. The wheel hub can rotate while being held stable by the steering knuckle which applies the motion of the control arms to the wheels.

Braking System 7 8
Master Cylinder

The master (brake) cylinder converts pressure on the brake pedal to hydraulic pressure in the brake lines.

Fluid Reservoir

The fluid reservoir stores the brake fluid that the master cylinder uses to maintain hydraulic pressure.


Brakes utlize friction to slow vehicle tires. Drum brakes employ a cast iron drum that roates with the vehicle axle. When hydraulic pressure is applied to the brake assemblies at the wheels, internal pistons expand and push brake shoes outward into contact with the brake drum slowing the rotation of the axle. More powerful disc brakes operate by pinching a rotating disc betweeen two brake pads and allow for a larger surface area to contact the disc, provide more force, and are more easily cooled.

Power Brakes

Power brakes multiply the force a driver applies to the brake pedal using a vacuum booster connected to the engine intake manifold. This provides for much higher hydraulic pressure in the braking system than could be generated by the driver alone. Antilock brakes (ABS) use speed sensors and adjust the brake pressure at each wheel to prevent skidding and allow the driver more steering control in slippery conditions.

Math Knowledge

  • 28 Questions
  • 38 Problems
  • 55 Flash Cards


Expressions 4 9 8

A monomial contains one term, a binomial contains two terms, and a polynomial contains more than two terms. Linear expressions have no exponents. A quadratic expression contains variables that are squared (raised to the exponent of 2).

Operations Involving Monomials

You can only add or subtract monomials that have the same variable and the same exponent. However, you can multiply and divide monomials with unlike terms.

Multiplying Binomials

To multiply binomials, use the FOIL method. FOIL stands for First, Outside, Inside, Last and refers to the position of each term in the parentheses.

Factoring Quadratics

To factor a quadratic expression, apply the FOIL (First, Outside, Inside, Last) method in reverse.

Solving Equations 2 9 2
One Variable

An equation is two expressions separated by an equal sign. The key to solving equations is to repeatedly do the same thing to both sides of the equation until the variable is isolated on one side of the equal sign and the answer on the other.

Two Variables

When solving an equation with two variables, replace the variables with the values given and then solve the now variable-free equation. (Remember order of operations, PEMDAS, Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication/Division, Addition/Subtraction.)

Two Equations

When presented with two equations with two variables, evaluate the first equation in terms of the variable you're not solving for then insert that value into the second equation. For example, if you have x and y as variables and you're solving for x, evaluate one equation in terms of y and insert that value into the second equation then solve it for x.

Quadratic Equations

When solving quadratic equations, if the equation is not set equal to zero, first manipulate the equation so that it is set equal to zero: ax2 + bx + c = 0. Then, factor the quadratic and, because it's set to zero, you know that one of the factors must equal zero for the equation to equal zero. Finding the value that will make each factor, i.e. (x + ?), equal to zero will give you the possible value(s) of x.


Solving equations with an inequality (<, >) uses the same process as solving equations with an equal sign. Isolate the variable that you're solving for on one wide of the equation and put everything else on the other side. The only difference is that your answer will be expressed as an inequality (x > 5) and not as an equality (x = 5).


Lines & Angles 5 2 14
Line Segment
Line Segment

A line segment is a portion of a line with a measurable length. The midpoint of a line segment is the point exactly halfway between the endpoints. The midpoint bisects (cuts in half) the line segment.

Right Angle
Right Angle

A right angle measures 90 degrees and is the intersection of two perpendicular lines. In diagrams, a right angle is indicated by a small box completing a square with the perpendicular lines.

Acute & Obtuse Angles
Acute & Obtuse Angles

An acute angle measures less than 90°. An obtuse angle measures more than 90°.

Angles Around Lines & Points

Angles around a line add up to 180°. Angles around a point add up to 360°. When two lines intersect, adjacent angles are supplementary (they add up to 180°) and angles across from either other are vertical (they're equal).

Parallel Lines
Parallel Lines

Parallel lines are lines that share the same slope (steepness) and therefore never intersect. A transversal occurs when a set of parallel lines are crossed by another line. All of the angles formed by a transversal are called interior angles and angles in the same position on different parallel lines equal each other (a° = w°, b° = x°, c° = z°, d° = y°) and are called corresponding angles. Alternate interior angles are equal (a° = z°, b° = y°, c° = w°, d° = x°) and all acute angles (a° = c° = w° = z°) and all obtuse angles (b° = d° = x° = y°) equal each other. Same-side interior angles are supplementary and add up to 180° (e.g. a° + d° = 180°, d° + c° = 180°).

Polygons 8 10 16
Triangle Geometry
Triangle Geometry

A triangle is a three-sided polygon. It has three interior angles that add up to 180° (a + b + c = 180°). An exterior angle of a triangle is equal to the sum of the two interior angles that are opposite (d = b + c). The perimeter of a triangle is equal to the sum of the lengths of its three sides, the height of a triangle is equal to the length from the base to the opposite vertex (angle) and the area equals one-half triangle base x height: a = ½ base x height.

Triangle Classification
Triangle Classification

An isosceles triangle has two sides of equal length. An equilateral triangle has three sides of equal length. In a right triangle, two sides meet at a right angle.

Pythagorean Theorem
Pythagorean Theorem

The Pythagorean theorem defines the relationship between the side lengths of a right triangle. The length of the hypotenuse squared (c2) is equal to the sum of the two perpendicular sides squared (a2 + b2): c2 = a2 + b2 or, solved for c, \(c = \sqrt{a + b}\)


A quadrilateral is a shape with four sides. The perimeter of a quadrilateral is the sum of the lengths of its four sides (a + b + c + d).

Rectangle & Square
Rectangle & Square

A rectangle is a parallelogram containing four right angles. Opposite sides (a = c, b = d) are equal and the perimeter is the sum of the lengths of all sides (a + b + c + d) or, comonly, 2 x length x width. The area of a rectangle is length x width. A square is a rectangle with four equal length sides. The perimeter of a square is 4 x length of one side (4s) and the area is the length of one side squared (s2).


A parallelogram is a quadrilateral with two sets of parallel sides. Opposite sides (a = c, b = d) and angles (red = red, blue = blue) are equal. The area of a parallelogram is base x height and the perimeter is the sum of the lengths of all sides (a + b + c + d).


A rhombus has four equal-length sides with opposite sides parallel to each other. The perimiter is the sum of the lengths of all sides (a + b + c + d) or, because all sides are the same length, 4 x length of one side (4s).


A trapezoid is a quadrilateral with one set of parallel sides. The area of a trapezoid is one-half the sum of the lengths of the parallel sides multiplied by the height. In this diagram, that becomes ½(b + d)(h).

Circles 5 2 8

A circle is a figure in which each point around its perimeter is an equal distance from the center. The radius of a circle is the distance between the center and any point along its perimeter (AC, CB, CD). A chord is a line segment that connects any two points along its perimeter (AB, AD, BD). The diameter of a circle is the length of a chord that passes through the center of the circle (AB) and equals twice the circle's radius (2r).


The circumference of a circle is the distance around its perimeter and equals π (approx. 3.14159) x diameter: c = π d. The area of a circle is π x (radius)2 : a = π r2.

Solids 2 4 5

A cube is a rectangular solid box with a height (h), length (l), and width (w). The volume is h x l x w and the surface area is 2lw x 2wh + 2lh.


A cylinder is a solid figure with straight parallel sides and a circular or oval cross section with a radius (r) and a height (h). The volume of a cylinder is π r2h and the surface area is 2(π r2) + 2π rh.

Coordinate Geometry 2 2 2
Coordinate Grid
Coordinate Grid

The coordinate grid is composed of a horizontal x-axis and a vertical y-axis. The center of the grid, where the x-axis and y-axis meet, is called the origin.

Slope-Intercept Equation

A line on the coordinate grid can be defined by a slope-intercept equation: y = mx + b. For a given value of x, the value of y can be determined given the slope (m) and y-intercept (b) of the line. The slope of a line is change in y over change in x, \({\Delta y \over \Delta x}\), and the y-intercept is the y-coordinate where the line crosses the vertical y-axis.

Shop Information

  • 62 Questions
  • 68 Flash Cards

Hand Tools

Measuring Tools 12 11

Rulers are used to both measure distance and to draw straight lines. Tape measures are flexible rulers made from cloth or metal and are useful for measuring longer distances and in tighter spaces. Both rulers and tape measures provide similar accuracy, commonly down to \({1 \over 16}\) or \({1 \over 32}\) inch. A steel framing square is made up of a shorter ruler (tongue) and a longer ruler (blade) that meet at a 90° (right) angle. A framing square is often used by carpenters when framing stairs and roofs.


Micrometers provide accuracy to the thousandths of an inch and come in outside and inside varieties. An outside micrometer is used to measure outside thickness, such as the diameter of a bolt, while an inside micrometer is used to measure the inside dimension of an object, such as the diameter of the hole of a nut or the width of a channel.


Calipers are similar to micrometers in shape but instead of measuring distances, calipers are used to transfer distances between objects. An outside caliper is used to transfer outside dimensions while an inside caliper is used to transfer inside distances. A vernier caliper is an extremely precise caliper (down to \({1 \over 1000}\) inch) that allows measuring / transferring either inside or outside dimensions.


Levels utlize a fluid-filled tube containing a bubble that is centered when the surface is horizontal (level) or vertical (plumb) along the direction of the tube. While a standard level can measure along a single dimension, a bullseye level is circular and can indicate the levelness of a two dimensional plane.

Striking Tools & Fasteners 4 4

The most common striking tool is the hammer and the most common variety of hammer is the claw hammer. The claw hammer has two ends, one to drive nails and one to remove nails. Ball-peen hammers replace the claw with a rounded end that's used to round off the edges of metal pins and make gaskets. A sledge hammer is a two-handed long-handled hammer with a large steel head used for heavy duty jobs.


A mallet is a hammer with a relatively large head, often made of rubber or wood. Both the size and material of the mallet head help prevent damage when striking more delicate surfaces.


A nail is a short pin-shaped shaft of steel that's typically used to fasten pieces of wood together. It has a flat head on one end and a point on the other. A rivet consists of a cylindrical shaft with a head on one end and a tail on the other. When the rivet is installed, the tail is expanded and reshaped to form another head, creating a dumbell shape that will hold two surfaces together semi-permanently.

Chisels & Punches 4 5

A chisel has a long sharp edge and is used, often in conjunction with a hammer, for cutting. In woodworking, chisels are used to remove large sections of wood to create the initial shape of a design. In metalworking, chisels are used to remove waste metal when a smooth finish is not required.


A punch is narrow and is used to drive objects like nails (pin punch) or for making guide marks for drilling (center punch) or patterns in wood or metal.

Turning Tools & Fasteners 12 11

Screwdrivers come in many different handle, shaft, and tip configurations for use in a wide variety of applications. Screwdrivers are classified by their tip which is shaped to fit a corresponding screw head. Common tips are slotted (flat) and Phillips (x-shaped).


Wrenches are used to provide grip and mechanical advantage by applying torque to turn objects (or to keep them from turning). The longer the wrench, the more torque that can be applied. Wrench ends are available in two primary types, open-end and box-end. A box-end wrench encloses the bolt head and is useful when more torque is needed or to maintain contact in difficult to reach locations. An open-end wrench is designed for speedily loosening easier to reach fasteners. Wrenches that feature one open and one box end are called combination wrenches and adjustable wrenches feature an open end with an adjustable width.


A ratchet (or socket wrench) is a wrench that applies torque in only one direction with a handle that can be moved back and forth without losing contact with the fastener. A ratchet uses variable attachments called sockets which come in a variety of drive sizes based on the size of the opening that attaches to the ratchet. Sockets with the same drive size will vary in the shape (six-point, twelve-point) and size of the nut opening that attaches to the fastener being tightened or loosened. Smaller point sized sockets are stronger and can apply greater torque while larger point sizes allow easier alignment.


Wrenches are used with threaded fasteners like bolts and nuts. A bolt has external threads while a nut has internal threads and this thread pattern combination allows them to lock together and act as fasteners. Nuts come in a variety of configurations including wing nuts which provide appendages that allow tightening and loosening by hand, slotted nuts that use a cotter pin to lock the nut in place and prevent it from loosening, and lock nuts that also prevent loosening via nylon in their threads. Threads are identified by pitch which is the number of threads per inch.

Gripping & Pincing Tools 5 10

Pliers are designed to provide a mechanical advantage, allowing the force of the hand's grip to be amplified and focused with precision. Pliers also allow finer control over objects that are too small to be manipulated by the fingers alone. The standard configuration is combination pliers which provide a fixed maximum jaw width. Other styles include adjustable joint pliers that allow selecting jaw width, needle nose pliers for holding small objects in tight spaces and locking pliers that will lock in place to hold or clamp objects together.


Pincers provide a mechanical advantage that's used to cut, pinch or pull an object. The force applied to pincers is concentrated to a point or to an edge of the tool which allows pincers to be brought very close to a surface. Pincers are typically used for removing objects from a material to which they've previously been applied, for example, to pull nails from wood.


A clamp applies pressure to prevent two objects from moving relative to each other, for example, to keep to pieces of wood together while the glue between the dries. A clamp is commonly made of metal and shaped like the letter C with a perpendicular flat-edged plate providing variable pressure between it and the top of the C as a screw to which it is attached is tightened and released.


A vise is a clamp that is anchored to a work station and designed to hold material in place while it is being operated upon.

Soldering & Welding 7 7

Soldering is a low-temperature process by which two or more items (typically metal) are joined together by melting a filler metal (solder) into the joint. An electrically powered soldering iron or soldering gun is used to melt the solder which is an alloy of lead and tin that has a melting point below the melting point of the items being joined. A chemical cleaning agent called flux is also used to clean the surfaces before soldering.


Welding is a high-temperature process that involves melting the base metals in the objects to be joined to fuse them together. A filler metal is used to provide additional material to make up a joint that, depending on the weld type, can be stronger than the base materials alone. Oxyacetylene welding is a welding process that uses a torch fueled with oxygen and acetylene gases. Electric-arc welding utlizes electric current in a safer welding process (it doesn't involve burning explosive gases) that enables a wide variety of specialized applications like stick, MIG (metal inert gas), and TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding.

Saws 11 10
Wood Saws
Wood Saws

Wood saws are categorized by their teeth shape and the number of teeth per inch (TPI). The higher the TPI of a saw the finer the cut it will make. Crosscut saws utilize knife-shaped teeth that cut across the grain of the wood while rip saws cut with the grain using chisel-shaped teeth that rip the wood cells apart as the cut is made. The kerf (slot) made by by a crosscut saw is much smoother than that made by a rip saw but a rip saw cuts much faster. Coping saws are a type of bow saw used to make detailed often curving cuts using replaceable blades with fine small teeth.


A hacksaw has replaceable blades and is used to cut metal. The blade type is chosen based on the material that is to be cut. Blades with larger numbers of teeth per inch are more appropriate for cutting thinner materials.

Miter Box
Miter Box

A miter box utlizes a back saw (a fine toothed saw with a rigid strip of steel opposite its blade edge) to make cuts in wood at a specified angle.

Drills 3 4

Drilling is the process of making small holes in wood or metal while boring is the process of making larger holes.

Drill Bits
Drill Bits

Drill bits remove material to create holes. They come in a variety of sizes, maxing out at ¼" for woodworking and ½" for metalworking. The majority of drill bits are right-handed which means they cut while rotating in a clockwise direction.


Electric drills utilize a chuck to hold the drill bit. A chuck's size indicates the largest diameter drill bit that will fit. A chuck is tightened and loosened using a chuck key.

Finishing Tools 4 6

In wooodworking, a plane is used to shave off a small amount of material to smooth a surface or make it fit properly. A jack plane is a general purpose plane that contains an adjustable depth blade set at an angle with a handle and knob to allow gripping when sliding the plane across wood.


Wood chisels are used to shape or smooth wood surfaces. They come in a variety of widths and can be used with hand power or tapped with a mallet when deeper cuts need to be made.


Files consist of diagonal rows of fine teeth and are used for fine finishing work to smooth, polish, or shape objects. Rasps are files with larger teeth that are used for coarse finishing work. Both files and rasps are designed to be inserted into detachable handles.


A router is a tool that a worker uses to rout (hollow out), shape, or contour an area in relatively hard material like wood or plastic.