Laps and Lapping Tools Information

Lapping toolsLaps and lapping tools are used for precision surface finishing, often in conjunction with loose abrasive compounds. Lap is a soft material that is charged with an abrasive and is used for cutting harder material. A lapping machine uses a charged lead piece as lap for cutting a hardened steel piece. The lead piece is charged with emery. A cast iron plate, called a lapping plate, is smoothed using a lapping tool placed in the lapping machine. Emery powder is sprinkled on the cast iron plate and the workpiece is then rubbed against the cast iron plate to provide finishing to the surface.


There are many types of laps and lapping tools. Examples include:

  • a flat lapping tool
  • a valve lapping tool
  • a barrel lapping tool
  • a lapping ring tool


A flat lapping tool is used to generate extremely flat and smooth surfaces on workpieces of carbon, ferrous, and non-ferrous metals. A valve lapping tool is a very accurate lapping tool that is used for restoring valve sealing. A barrel lapping tool is used to finish the surface of a workpiece, which is pushed inside the gun barrel. The workpiece pushed inside the gun barrel removes any machinery imperfections that are left in the barrel during its manufacture. A lapping ring tool is a tool used to set the ring properly in the piston grooves. Other laps and lapping tools are commonly available.


There are several ways in which laps and lapping tools function. A lapping compound is applied on the workpiece to be finished. A lapping compound is applied for maintaining consistent finishing properties on a workpiece. The workpiece is then fixed in the lapping machine for developed surface finishing. Laps and lapping tools should have a variable speed in the range of 10 to 600 rpm. Laps and lapping tools should be of solid cast aluminum and have a stylish tabletop design. Laps and lapping tools are designed and manufactured to meet most industry standards.


Laps and lapping tools are used in many applications. Examples include usage in:

  • silicon wafers
  • fiber optic components
  • piston rings

In addition, laps and lapping tools are widely used in the sharpening of lawn mover blades, mechanical seals, and backlapping.


Laps and lapping tools should adhere to the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards.

Related Information

CR4 Community—The Correct Way to Lap Engine Valves In

CR4 Community—Thread Laps and Cracks

CR4 Community—Cheap Lapping Compound

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Lapmaster-Wolters, International

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