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What are Jigs and Fixtures?

Jigs and fixtures are devices that help increase the rate of identical parts and reduce the human effort necessitated to produce them. A jig holds and aligns a workpiece while it guides and controls multiple cutting tools at one time. In contrast, a fixture holds and locates a workpiece during an inspection or for a manufacturing operation. To better familiarize yourself with jigs and fixtures, we will outline them in this blog.

What Is a Jig?

Jigs are responsible for keeping workpieces in place and controlling one or more cutting tools. But it is not this simple. They do this so that the workpiece and the tool are located in true positions relative to each other. In construction sectors, a jig consists of a plate, a structure, or box made of a metal or nonmetal material. Generally, they are robust enough to handle the components in identical positions one after the other, and they are capable of guiding the tool in correct positions with respect to a drawing, specification, or operational layout. There are a wide range of jigs, with the most popular variations including template, plate, channel, diameter, leaf, ring, and box types.

What Is a Fixture?

Fixtures, unlike jigs, do not guide a tool. In construction sectors, fixtures are usually securely clamped on the machine to hold the workpiece in position. Meanwhile, the tools must be set at the operators’ desired positions on the workpiece through the use of gauges or by manual adjustment. Additionally, fixtures are available in a diverse set of types like turning, milling, broaching, grinding, and boring fixtures, among other kinds.

Components of Jigs and Fixtures

Jigs and fixtures are composed of a few basic components, those of which we will cover below.


The body, as previously mentioned, consists of a plate, box, or frame-type structure where the components that will be machined are situated.

Locating Elements

These elements locate the workpiece in the desired position with regard to the cutting tool.

Clamping Elements

These elements firmly secure the workpiece in the proper position.

Grinding and Setting Elements

In jigs, these elements guide the cutting tool, whereas in fixtures, they ensure the tool is working properly,

Positioning Elements

Whether in a jig or in a fixture, these elements include varying types of fastening devices that secure jigs or fixtures to the machine at the right position.

Indexing Elements

As many workpieces may have to be indexed to different positions in order to be machined on different surfaces or locations, indexing elements must be incorporated, being that they are not always provided.

Applications of Jigs and Fixtures

While jigs are ideal for applications that require drilling, reaming, and tapping movements, fixtures are better suited for projects that necessitate milling, grinding, planing, turning, and shaping motions.


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December 9, 2022

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