The holiday season is here.  If there is a machinist in the family, get a gift that shows you appreciate them, you understand the skill it takes to do their job, and that you love them as much as they loves their tools.  Here’s some gift ideas like CNC tool trays and fly cutters that you might not know about.

Supercharge Their Morning Coffee

If your machinist loves their cup of Joe as much as their HSS then get them a cup that reflects their  mechanical personality.  How about this take on the Genesis of Machining.

coffee cup for machinists

machinists mug zombie hunter



Or if they are preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse, then this mug over at Cafe Press is perfect.  Just remind them to leave this cup at home.  It will cause mug envy at work.




CNC Fly Cutter Set

Sure you could fall back on the reliable multi-stop, but isn’t that like giving socks?  Instead, show you appreciate their sharp eye for perfection.  Gift a CNC fly cutter set from The Tool Company.  You get 1 ½”, 2”, and 2 ½” diameter fly cutters.  They are completely balanced for stability at higher RPMs to give  the performance they demand. Every Tool Company fly cutter is heat treated for long life. They won’t crap out in the middle of a job.

CNC 50 tool trays are numbered for easy sequencingCNC Tool Trays

Get a tray for every spindle size. CNC tool trays for 30, 40, and 50 tapers sequence tools and speed set-up. It’s the gift of productivity.

CNC tool trays keep tools safe too. That’s a two-fer gift.

Easy grips handles give everyone a way to safely transport tools from storage to the work area. Not much in life is really “one size fits all” but these tool tray handles are.

Take the time to learn about their trade and learn the tools that make their lives easier. It’s a great way to say “you are important to me and what you do matters”.

Love, compassion, and respect. It’s all a great gift.

Give your machinist this gift this holiday season. Heck, remember this for their birthday too!


Most articles in this blog are about CNC tool trays, CNC tooling and CNC techniques. But we’ve never covered the topic of CNC machining in general.  Until now.

What Does CNC Mean?

CNC is an acronym. It stands for Computer Numeric Control. CNC refers to a machine that cuts, carves, routes, or mills under the control of a computer running sophisticated software. It is not robotics. Saw blades, router bits, drill bits and face mills are tools that are attached to a CNC controlled machine.

Machining in Three Dimensions

Regular mills and other machines operate on an X axis and a Y axis.  Remember math class? The X axis is horizontal line and the Y axis is vertical, perpendicular to the X. On the bed of a machine, the X axis is horizontal and the Y axis is the vertical. But CNC machining operates in 3 dimensions. A CNC machine uses the Z axis. The Z axis defines the movement of the cutter up and down.

Computer Technology Changed Machining

Digital technology changed machining in a big way. Before computers controlled machines, if you needed to drill multiple holes in a work piece, you had to manually operate the drill press up and down and feed the material at the same time. And you didn’t start that process until you inserted the tool in the spindle.

Digital technology created computers and software capable of moving the drill press and feeding the material. Now, CNC instructions tell the machine how and when to move.

Computer assisted drawing (CAD) represented a quantum leap forward in machining.  With CAD, you  design an object using computer software, then use software to convert the design into digital instructions the machine uses to produce work. With CNC, humans use software to control the machinery, not their hands.

cnc tool traysCNC Tool Trays, Saw Arbors and Multi Stops

The Tool Company knows CNC and manual machining. Whether you need a multi-stop for your manual knee mill or CNC tools and CNC tool trays to keep them safe The Tool Company has what you need.

CNC tool trays hold tools for manual machinists, fly cutters work on CNC and manual machines, and saw arbors get you up close and personal, no matter your machine.

Turn to The Tool Company for all your CNC needs.

You know you must handle moving and transporting your valuable tools carefully. Every move is just a chance for disaster; tool damage. A truth worthy CNC tool tray and tool holder makes the process easier.  A good CNC tool tray makes transport easy; and it makes transport safe.

cnc tool traySigns of a Trustworthy Tool Tray

Look for a CNC tool tray designed by people with knowledge of CNC machining. The signs are obvious.

Sequencing.  Machinists know that a tray is also a tool for tool sequencing and set up. The CNC tool trays sold by The Tool Company are clearly marked for easy sequencing and set up.

  • 30 and 40 Taper CNC tool trays are marked 1 through 10
  • 50 Taper tool trays are marked 1 through 6

Put those numbers to work. Use the numbered marks to sequence your tools before you leave the tool room. The fewer times you handle your expensive tooling the fewer times you can damage it. Then, the tools are properly sequenced and ready to go when you get to the machine work area. You just get to work!

Storage.  Use the CNC tool tray for storage if you only use a small number of tools. Store tools right next to your machine. This is a safe and economical way to store tools for home hobbyists too.

Durable Protection.  Good CNC tool trays are durable, but not indestructible. You don’t find gentle in the machine shop. Standing up to the rigors of life is tough in a shop setting. Quality, very strong impact-resistant plastic goes into every CNC tool tray sold by The Tool Company. Integrated handles won’t break off or break loose. This design also results in a smaller footprint for the tray. Other trays may be more expensive, but they aren’t as good.

cnc tool tray to store and transport toolsQuality CNC Tool Trays

The Tool Company sells quality trays made by Sierra American Multi-Systems. They’ve been making products for CNC and manual machining for more than 20 years. We trust them to inspect every item for quality before it leaves their factory.  And they do. They make their CNC tool tray in the United States.  We like that too. When you buy a tool tray from The Tool Company, you know you are getting a quality product, made in the USA by American machinists, just like you. We guarantee it.


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