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The Difference Between Boring and Reaming

To understand boring or reaming, you need to understand that they each have a different approach to hole-making. While both are cutting processes, boring uses a single point cutting tool or boring head to enlarge an existing hole in a workpiece. On the other hand, reaming uses a rotary cutting tool to smooth interior walls in an existing hole in a workpiece. When you compare the two, boring does present significant advantages.

Better Positional Accuracy

In today’s manufacturing, holes must be made with precise tolerances to meet requirements. Boring heads do not follow the position of the drilled hole, like reamers. A boring tool positions from the centerline of the machine spindle to provide exact positional accuracy. Because reaming tools only follow the existing hole, poor fit quality resulting in scrap can be an issue.

Throughput Efficiency

Reaming tools can cause damage to inserts, resulting in the need for reconditioning and lost production due to this lengthy process. However, boring heads are fast and straightforward to replace if tool damage occurs.

Adjustment Range

Reaming tools machine a fixed diameter and can be a reliable hole-making process. In comparison to reaming, boring offers far more flexibility for machining different hole sizes with the same tool.


Boring is best for low production jobs and when more stock is in the hole. Reaming works with pre-machined holes that have small amounts of stock. Both have their use, and it is critical to select the correct process to achieve the desired results.

Universal DeVlieg provides innovative and cost-cutting tool holding and high precision boring solutions to the machine tool industry, servicing a diversified customer base. The combination of over 32,000 active part numbers, over 10,000 standard items, and our technical support staff deliver design engineering expertise that is unmatched in the industry. To learn more about Universal DeVlieg, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 877.308.3077 or visit at