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Home > Toolmark Identification > Basic Toolmark Identification > AFTE Range of Conclusions > Unsuitable
Commercial cutting tool

Commercial cutting tool

Courtesy of Bill Conrad

The AFTE Glossary designates this category as unsuitable for comparison. This outcome is appropriate for evidence items that do not bear microscopic marks of value for comparison purposes or are so small or fragmentary as to have no value.

Examples of toolmarks that may be unsuitable for microscopic comparison:

  • Saws and files generally leave toolmarks in which the particulate material falls away from the object that was cut.  Each subsequent action removes the toolmark created by the previous action.
  • Abrasive tools (e.g., grinding wheel or sandpaper) create individual marks on a surface. The tool changes (wears) with each rotation or stroke, eliminating any chance for an identification.

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