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Basic Toolmark Identification

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Bolt cutter and lock

Bolt cutter and lock

Courtesy of Bill Conrad

Toolmark identification is a forensic science discipline that has as its primary concern the determination of whether or not a toolmark was produced by a particular tool. This determination is based on the class and individual marks in a given toolmark, which are products of the manufacturing process.

The main difference between firearms and toolmark identification is that the relative orientations of the harder object and the softer object in firearms examinations are easily predictable, while in the typical toolmark matter this is often not the case.

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