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What are the Different Types of Deburring Tools?

Jeremy Laukkonen
Jeremy Laukkonen

Since there are a wide variety of different materials and components that require deburring, there are many different types of deburring tools. One common deburring process for metal objects involves placing components inside a vibratory drum with abrasive media. Another method of deburring on a mass scale is to use an abrasive medium to blast objects. Other deburring tools, such as sanders, files, and picks, are handheld. Highly specialized bits can also be used to deburr the interior surface of pipes.

The process of deburring consists of removing small surface imperfections from a variety of different workpieces. These small protrusions are often referred to as burrs. Burrs can be a result of the casting process, though they may exist for other reasons as well. The removal of burrs is sometimes aesthetic, though it can also be necessary before a workpiece can be further processed, such as is the case with electroplating, which requires a smooth, even surface. Deburring tools can be virtually anything that is used to remove surface imperfections from workpieces.

A power sander, which can be used for deburring in carpentry.
A power sander, which can be used for deburring in carpentry.

One common type of deburring tool is the vibratory tumbler. This is a device that typically consists of a barrel and a motor that can tumble or shake it. In order use this type of deburring tool, workpieces are placed inside along with an abrasive medium. The abrasive medium can then be vibrated against the workpieces as the barrel is rotated or shaken, which can rub away any burrs. Media blasters are a similar class of deburring tools that can work on many workpieces at once by showering them with abrasive media.

Sandpaper is a simple deburring tool.
Sandpaper is a simple deburring tool.

Other types of deburring tools typically work on one piece at a time. These tools are less commonly used in mass or batch production, though they can be necessary in some cases. Wire wheels are one type of deburring tool that can be electrically or pneumatically powered. The item that needs to be deburred is typically held against the spinning wheel to abrade the surface imperfections. Grinding machines can be used in the same way, though some grinders are handheld.

Files, sandpaper, and abrasive cloths are other deburring tools that can be handheld. Tools such as these can be used for delicate finishing work, since the abrasion of material from the workpiece is typically slower and thus easier to control. Special deburring tools that can clean the interior surfaces of pipes and tubes also exist. These are often hand operated wire brushes or files, though specialized bits can be used in conjunction with drills.

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Discussion Comments


It's a good idea to get some hand deburring tools if you are planning to do any creative work. Even if it's only sandpaper, you never know when it's going to come in handy, but I like to have the wire brushes and a small, handheld sander as well.

Oh, and I guess I had a stone polisher when I was a kid which basically did the same thing. I hardly ever used it though, since I could never find stones that looked like they would look better if they were polished.


@irontoenail - Yeah, it's easy to make something with a mold and think to yourself, well, it looks good enough. But it turns out so much better if you take care of those irregularities.

I cast jewelry and other things with resin and I actually find it quite soothing now to get rid of the burrs. I didn't actually know that's what they were called, but it makes sense.


I actually use the presence of burrs as an indication of quality (or the lack of it anyway) when I'm looking at objects that are cast in the process of making them.

Even something like toys have to go through a deburring process and if the company doesn't bother with it, they will have a prominent line or bumps where the plastic went through the mold.

It doesn't necessarily mean the toy is faulty, but it does speak to the company not taking quality seriously, no matter what the product and that's a good way to tell if they take other things seriously as well.

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    • A power sander, which can be used for deburring in carpentry.
      By: Negaro Imaging
      A power sander, which can be used for deburring in carpentry.
    • Sandpaper is a simple deburring tool.
      By: gavran333
      Sandpaper is a simple deburring tool.