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Tool Actions

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Striated or impressed marks may be produced by tools based on the types of actions performed. Tools may leave a variety of combinations of striated and impressed toolmarks as described in the following table.

Tool Actions
Action Description Example
Scraping A flat-bladed tool held at 90° to a surface and drawn across that surface Door or window frame with surface scrapes from a screwdriver or pry bar
Pinching An opposed blade cutting tool, such as a pair of bolt cutters or diagonal wire cutters Remains of explosive devices
Shearing Shear cutters, the blades of which are offset to pass by each other in the cutting process, such as tin snips or scissors Cut alarm or telephone wires
Slicing A single-bladed tool, such as a knife or axe Tires, wires, and (rarely) bone and cartilage
Prying A prying tool using leverage to force open a locked door or cover at one of its edges. May be a flat-bladed prying tool, (e.g.,  crowbar, screwdriver, tire iron, etc.) Bank or store safe, or the strike plate of doors
Gripping A gripping tool with opposing jaws, such as a pipe wrench, pliers, or a vise. Serrated jawed gripping tools add another dimension to the types of marks present. Doorknobs
Crimping An opposing jawed tool designed to press material together without cutting it Lead seals (e.g., bank money bags, or containers for classified material)

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