12 Manual Machinist Skills: Definition and Examples

By ResumeCat Editorial Team
Updated June 7, 2023

A machinist is a skilled professional who uses machine tools to create or modify parts. The 12 manual machinist skills are: 1. Lathe Operation 2. Milling Machine Operation 3. Grinding Machine Operation 4. CNC Machine Operation 5. Manual Machining 6. CAD/CAM 7. Quality Control 8. Materials Selection 9. Tooling Selection 10. Setup and Operation of Machinery 11. Maintenance of Machinery 12. Safety

Manual Machinist Resume Example

Manual Machinist Skills

Manual machining

Manual machining is a process of fabricating parts using manual labor and simple tools. This process is often used for small-scale production, prototyping, or one-off jobs. Manual machining requires a high level of skill and experience, as well as a good understanding of the material being machined.

CNC machining

A CNC machinist is someone who is able to operate a CNC machine. This skill is necessary in order to produce parts and products using a CNC machine.

Lathe operation

A lathe is a machine that rotates a workpiece about an axis of rotation to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, or deformation. Lathes are used in woodworking, metalworking, and manufacturing.

Milling machine operation

Milling machine operation is the process of operating a milling machine in order to perform various machining tasks. This can include anything from cutting and shaping metal to drilling and boring holes. Milling machine operation requires a great deal of skill and experience in order to be performed correctly, as even the slightest mistake can result in ruined workpieces or even serious injury.

Grinding machine operation

A grinding machine is a machine tool that uses an abrasive wheel to cut or remove material from a workpiece. The operator needs this skill to be able to safely and effectively operate the machine.

Drilling machine operation

The ability to operate a drilling machine is essential for any manual machinist. Drilling machines are used to create holes in a variety of materials, and the operator must be able to control the machine to create accurate holes. This skill is necessary for any machinist who wants to be able to produce high-quality work.

Sawing machine operation

A sawing machine is a machine used to cut materials such as wood or metal. You need this skill to be able to operate a sawing machine safely and effectively.


Filing is a machinist skill that involves using a file to smooth and shape metal. This skill is important because it allows machinists to create parts with precise dimensions and a smooth finish.

Measurement and layout

The ability to measure and lay out work accurately is critical for any machinist. This skill allows the machinist to ensure that the workpiece is the correct size and shape, and that all features are in the correct location. This is essential for creating parts that fit together correctly and function as intended.

Machine setup

A machine setup is the process of configuring a machine for a specific job. This may involve installing and calibrating tools, setting up workpieces, and programming the machine. A machine setup is necessary to ensure that a machine is able to perform a job correctly and safely.

Tooling selection and preparation

The ability to select and prepare the right tooling for a manual machining job is critical to success. The wrong tooling can lead to poor surface finish, dimensional inaccuracies, and even tool breakage. Having the right tooling on hand can help to avoid these problems and improve the overall quality of the finished part.

Quality control

Quality control is a process that is used to ensure that a product or service meets the standards set by the company or customer. This process can involve various methods, such as inspections, testing, and audits. Quality control is important because it helps to ensure that products and services meet the requirements of the customers or clients.

How to improve manual machinist skills

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to improve manual machinist skills will vary depending on the individual's current skill level and experience. However, there are a few general tips that can help any manual machinist become better at their trade.

First and foremost, it is important to always be willing to learn new things. The world of machining is constantly evolving, and there are always new techniques and technologies being developed that can make the job easier and more efficient. By keeping up with the latest advancements, a manual machinist can ensure that they are always using the best possible methods.

In addition to keeping up with new developments, it is also important to regularly practice and hone one's skills. Even the most experienced manual machinists will need to occasionally refresh their memory on certain techniques or procedures. The best way to do this is to set aside some time each week to practice on a personal project or in a simulator. This will not only keep skills sharp, but it will also help identify any areas where improvement is needed.

Finally, it is important to always be safety conscious when working with machinery. Accidents can happen at any time, so it is crucial to always follow proper safety procedures and use caution when operating any type of machinery. By taking these simple precautions, a manual machinist can minimize the risk of injury and ensure that they are able to work safely and effectively.

How to highlight manual machinist skills

As a manual machinist, you will need to be able to operate various machines in order to create parts and products. You should be able to read and understand blueprints and sketches in order to know what needs to be done. You will also need to be able to use various measuring tools in order to ensure that the parts you are creating are the correct size and shape.

On a resume

As a Manual Machinist, you will want to highlight your skills in operating various manual machines, as well as your experience in performing various machining operations. You should also list any relevant coursework or training that you have completed.

In a cover letter

In your cover letter, be sure to highlight your skills as a manual machinist. Include your experience working with various machines and tools, as well as your ability to read and interpret blueprints. Also mention your safety record and any awards or recognition you have received for your work.

During an interview

To highlight your skills as a manual machinist during an interview, start by discussing your experience working with various machines. Then, describe how you are able to read and interpret blueprints and schematics. Finally, emphasize your safety record and discuss any training you have in safety procedures.