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Stationary, power-driven machine used to cut, shape, or form materials such as metal and wood. Machine tools date from the invention of the steam engine in the 18th century; most common machine tools were designed by the middle of the 19th century. Today dozens of different machine tools are used in the workshops of home and industry. They are frequently classified into seven types: turning machines such as lathes; shapers and planers; power drills or drill presses; milling machines; grinding machines; power saws; and presses (e.g., punch presses).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on machine tool, visit Britannica.com.