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Cutting/Slicing Machine Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Sets up, operates, or tends machines that cut or slice materials, such as glass, stone, cork, rubber, tobacco, food, paper, or insulating material.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Manufacturing Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Examines, measures, and weighs materials or products to verify conformance to specifications, using measuring devices such as rulers, micrometers, or scales.
  • Sets up, operates, or tends machines that cut or slice materials, such as glass, stone, cork, rubber, tobacco, food, paper, or insulating material.
  • Stacks and sorts cut material for packaging, further processing, or shipping, according to types and sizes of material.
  • Reviews work orders, blueprints, specifications, or job samples to determine components, settings, and adjustments for cutting and slicing machines.
  • Types instructions on computer keyboards, pushes buttons to activate computer programs, or manually set cutting guides, clamps, and knives.
  • Removes defective or substandard materials from machines, and readjusts machine components so that products meet standards.
  • Presses buttons, pull levers, or depresses pedals to start and operate cutting and slicing machines.
  • Maintains production records, such as quantities, types, and dimensions of materials produced.
  • Adjusts machine controls to alter position, alignment, speed, or pressure.
  • Monitors operation of cutting or slicing machines to detect malfunctions or to determine whether supplies need replenishment.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Angle Shearer -- Sets up and operates shearing machine equipped with sets of cutting dies or blades to shear structural shapes, such as angles, channels, and Z-bars to specified length or bevel.
  • Balloon Maker -- Cuts out inflatable rubber figures, such as animals and comic characters, for use in parades and carnivals.
  • Bindery Operator -- Sets up and runs machines that create books, pamphlets, catalogs and magazines through binding together pages, creasing them and attaching covers to the finished products.
  • Comb Machine Operator -- Tends one or more machines that cut bookmatch combs (blanks) from cardboard rolls.
  • Crystal Cutter -- Grinds improperly fitting crystals to specified size and to remove rough or chipped edges, using abrasive wheel.
  • Cylinder Die Machine Operator -- Operates cylinder press to score and cut paperboard sheets into box or container blanks.
  • Deskidding Machine Operator -- Tends automatic machine that cuts wavy or zigzag designs in outsoles for rubber footwear to provide nonskid surface.
  • Grooving Machine Operator -- Tends machine that cuts internal threads in pen or mechanical pencil barrels.
  • Insole Beveler -- Tends machine that cuts bevel along channeled stitching lip on top edge of insole.
  • Machine Featheredger and Reducer -- Tends machine that shaves shank, heel seat, forepart, or edges of shoe outsole to reduce thickness and increase flexibility of outsole by any of following methods.
  • Partition Making Machine Operator -- Tends machine that cuts interlocking slots or notches in two strips of cardboard and automatically assembles strips at right angles to form multicell partition (divider) for cardboard container.
  • Stone Lathe Operator -- Sets up and operates stonecutting lathe to turn and shape blocks of stone, such as limestone, marble, granite, and sandstone to form columns, pillars, balusters, and other cylindrical building and monumental work.