Deburred is The Word

Tumble deburring is actually a very useful process used to mass finish products by removing burrs (a.k.a. bits of extra material left behind where it shouldn’t be) from machined products. It basically works exactly as the name would imply: the part or parts being deburred are placed in a chamber with a quantity of media of some sort (often small metal balls), then this chamber vibrates or tumbles repeated on an axis—like a clothes dryer—to shake the media around and knock the burrs off the part(s).

This method, by all accounts, is a fairly quick and effective one, and it works on metal and plastic components of all shapes and sizes. The name, however, is what trips me up.

While it’s entirely true that tumbling plays a big part in the process, it’s not actually the tumbling that does the deburring; it’s the media inside the tumbler. Why no love for that all-important media? Without it, you’re just shaking whatever your product or part is around in a big barrel.

Perhaps the “tumble deburring” is used for the sake of simplicity. It would be perhaps be too complicated to refer to the process as “insert-whatever-type-of-media-you’re-using-here deburring,” because then there would be dozens of different terms for what is, essentially, the same process.

But Eskimos have something like thirty different words for snow, and that seems to work out okay, so what’s the problem here?

Oh, or also you could call it “media deburring” or “tumbled media deburring.” That way, it would pay proper respect to the media and be more accurate. Do I win a prize for this ingenious breakthrough?