What Practical Machinists Read: Best-Selling Machining Books of 2020

December 6, 2019 11:20 am

If you are a frequent reader of Practical Machinist’s blog or follow us on social media, you know that we have a passion for machining books. That’s because reference guides and textbooks are one of the easiest and most effective ways to broaden your knowledge on a specific topic, second only to real world experience.

There’s certainly no lack of handbooks and guides focused on machining applications. No matter what problem you’re trying to solve or technique you’re trying to learn, you will almost certainly find a book about it.

Throughout this year, we provided several book recommendations covering pretty much every machining area from basic machine tool knowledge to metallurgy fundamentals. In this post, we wanted to provide you with a list of the best-selling machining books of 2020.

All the books in this list are a must-have, so we strongly encourage you to add them to your machine shop library, if you don’t have them already. Books are also a great gift for a fellow machinist.

10 Most Popular Books of 2020:

10. The Machinist’s Bedside Reader

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The Machinist’s Bedside Reader is a trilogy of books published with the goal of providing technical information to machinists in a more relaxed style. The first volume contains hints, tips, and anecdotes about the trade and includes fully dimensioned, working drawings and detailed instructions for several interesting projects.

9. Hardening, Tempering and Heat Treatment (Workshop Practice)

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This guide will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the different heat treatment methods specific to steel and explain what tools are required for each approach. It includes solid fuel, gas and electric furnaces, case hardening, tempering and other practical information along with an accurate color temperature chart.

8. Die Makers Handbook

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A must-have for a die maker’s toolbox, desk, or briefcase. Everything reads as if an old-timer is giving you great nuggets of knowledge learned the hard way over an entire career of die making. The Die Makers Handbook is the only book of its kind expressly intended to help avoid the pitfalls associated with stamping designs, die designs, and stamping die function.


7. Machining Fundamentals

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Machining Fundamentals is a comprehensive text that provides an introduction to the various machining operations, setups, and procedures. This colorful and detailed textbook covers all traditional machining methods, as well as newer and nontraditional methods. This edition includes expanded coverage of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing; additional features on careers, workplace skills, and green machining practices; and updated illustrations.

6. CNC Programming Handbook

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This handbook is the de facto standard for training and reference material at all levels of CNC programming. Used in hundreds of educational institutions around the world as the primary text for CNC courses and used daily by many in-field CNC programmers and machine operators, this book literally defines CNC programming.

5. Machinery’s Handbook

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Machinery’s Handbook is universally acknowledged as an extraordinarily authoritative, comprehensive, and practical tool, providing its users with the most fundamental and essential aspects of sophisticated manufacturing practice. The 31st edition of the “machinist’s bible” contains major revisions of existing content, as well as new material on a variety of topics. It is the essential reference for mechanical, manufacturing, and industrial engineers, designers, draftsmen, toolmakers, machinists, engineering and technology students, and hobbyists.

4. Machine Shop Know-How

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Packed with useful and practical ideas you won’t find anywhere else, Machine Shop Know-How proves that there are no secrets in the machine shop, just information that is rarely documented. Until now. With its focus on manually controlled machine tools, this book moves beyond the basics to offer the problem-solving insights, imaginative short cuts, and clever tips and tricks of the trade that normally take years of hands-on shop experience to learn.

3. Audel Machine Shop Basics

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Fully updated to include new machines and electronic/digital controls, this is the ultimate guide to basic machine shop equipment and how to use it. Whether you’re a professional machinist, an apprentice, a trade student, or a handy homeowner, this fully illustrated volume helps you define tools and use them properly and safely. It’s packed with review questions for students and loaded with answers you need on the job.

2. Zeus Precision Data Charts and Reference Tables for the Drawing Office, Toolroom & Workshop

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An extremely handy, pocket sized reference booklet of data charts and tables for the drawing office, toolroom or workshop. The 28 laminated pages contain data on standard drill sizes and decimal equivalents, tapping drills and clearances for metric and imperial threads, BS4500 tolerances, hardness comparisons, jig boring co-ordinates for equally spaced holes, allowances for sheet metal bending and Morse tapers, and much more.

1. How to Run a Lathe: The Care and Operation of a Screw Cutting Lathe

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In this book you get eleven chapters: history and development of the lathe, setting up and leveling the lathe, operation of the lathe, lathe tools and their application, how to take accurate measurements, plain turning (work between centers), chuck work; taper turning and boring, drilling reaming and tapping, cutting screw threads, and special classes of work. All the basics are here from sharpening drills to producing super-finished turned bearings, grinding valves, and turning multiple screw threads. With this text, you’ll get the information you need to set up a lathe and get it running.


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1 Comment

  • Gene says:

    What a great collection. EVERY machinist, and engineers too, should always have a copy of Machinery’s Handbook within easy reach. When you need information from it, read what you’re looking for AND a couple of pages before and after. What a great way to increase your working knowledge base.

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