Tool Industry

Tool Industry


the branch of machine building that manufactures tools: cutting, measuring, fitting, erecting, and clamping tools; files; and industrial equipment (accessories, dies, and molds).

A specialized tool industry did not exist in pre-revolutionary Russia. Tool parts were manufactured in the tool shops of the large machine-building factories (Tula, Putilov, Kolomna) founded in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Large cutting and measuring tools were imported from such countries as Great Britain, France, Sweden, and Germany. During World War I (1914–18) tool imports were curtailed, necessitating the expansion of existing tool shops and the creation of new ones, primarily at the defense plants. The first specialized tool factory for the production of files was created in 1916 in the city of Miass.

Mass production of tools was organized in the USSR after the Great October Socialist Revolution. Cutting and measuring tools were produced at the S. P. Voskov Sestroretsk Plant (founded in 1721). The Moscow Tool Plant (MIZ) was established in 1919. The two largest tool plants were built in Moscow during the first five-year plan (1929–32): Frezer, for the production of cutting tools, and Kalibr, for the production of measuring tools. Also, large tool shops were created at machine-building and metalworking enterprises—for example, at the Gorky and Moscow automobile plants and at the Cheliabinsk, Volgograd, and Kharkov tractor works.

The capacities of existing factories were expanded during the second and third five-year plans. Tool production in 1940 was seven times greater than that of 1932, and operating efficiency had increased four times.

The Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 introduced radical changes into the geographic distribution of tool enterprises. The Orenburg, Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Tashkent, Sverdlovsk, Cheliabinsk, and Kirov tool plants were created when some of the equipment from the Frezer, Kalibr, MIZ, and Sestroretsk plants was moved east. The tool industry increased tool production considerably during the war years (in 1944 almost double that of 1940). The year 1946 saw the reconstruction of existing tool factories, the construction of new tool plants, and the shift of enterprises from other branches of industry to specialization in the production of tools and fixtures.

The increase in the number of plants made it possible to improve their specialization, to significantly reduce duplication of production, to adopt continuous processing methods on a wider scale, and to step up production mechanization and automation. In 1970 there were 111 automatic and semiautomatic transfer lines operating in specialized machine-tool industry in the USSR; the volume of metalworking tool production had increased 209 times over 1932; and the manufacture of hard-alloy cutting tools accounted for 19 percent of the total volume of cutting-tool production. The bulk of planned standard tool products are manufactured by large specialized plants.

The work of the All-Union Scientific Research Tool Institute (1943) and the Scientific Research Bureau of Interchangeability (1935) contributed to the development of the tool industry. They designed new types of cutting tools, automatic control and measurement equipment, gear-measuring instruments, and other devices. The Stankin Machine-Tool Institute, which trains machine-tool engineers, was created in Moscow in 1930.

Prior to the establishment of the people’s democratic system in foreign socialist countries, tools were made only in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Poland; the other countries had to import them. Now, however, all socialist countries have specialized tool factories and tool shops at machine-building plants.

In the capitalist countries, the tool industry is most developed in the USA, Great Britain, West Germany, and Japan.


Semenchenko, I. I. Rezhushchii instrument: Konstruirovanie i proiz vodstvo, vols. 1–4. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936–44.
Gorodetskii, I. E. Osnovy tekhnicheskikh izmerenii v mashinostroenii. Moscow, 1950.
Instrumental’noe proizvodstvo SSSR (collection of articles). Edited by K. F. Romanov. Moscow, 1967.


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