Z Is for Zero Rake Angle

Metalworking Glossary for the Letter Z

See the index to the Glossaries here:


  • Z-axis. One of three axes in a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system, the Z-axis is perpendicular to both the X-axis and Y-axis.
  • Z-axis Milling. Also called plunge milling, it involves moving the cutting tool straight down the Z-axis into a workpiece to remove large amounts of material.
  • Z1, Z2 Axes. On a press brake, the left to right dimension is known as the Z-axis and is used when a back gauge needs to move horizontally between multiple setup positions during an operation to match where the operator moves the workpiece. From the point of view of the operator, the position of the left back gauge is termed Z1, while the position of the right one is Z2.
  • Zero Rake Angle. Also called a neutral rake angle, it is when the face of a cutting tool is parallel to an axial line extending directly out from the center of a tool.