Finding the Right Fit: When Dovetail Slides Make the Difference

A Dovetail Slide offers a unique set of characteristics that are helpful in several applications, including in the medical industry, automotive, metrology and inspection areas.

The right equipment can mean all the difference when trying to produce a particular product for your clients. While slides are commonly used in many machining situations, a Dovetail slide could be a better fit for some of your company’s processes.

“A dovetail slide is used more for positioning, usually not high cycling,” said Dale Blank, Engineering Supervisor at Gilman Precision. “A dovetail slide is easier to lock up because of the angles on the dovetail. If you want to position something and lock it tight, a dovetail would be a good fit for that application.”

Dovetail slides are used in various industries, Blank said, including but not limited to medical applications, automotive, metrology and inspection areas.

When it comes to making Dovetail slides, it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation, either. Blank said there are variations of the Dovetail slide, such as low-section, high-section, ND-section and DC-section slides.

“A standard DC section slide comes in inch increments, anywhere from 2-inches to 20-inch widths, lengths up to 100 inches,” Blank said. “So they’re pretty much more special application — you buy them to whatever specifications you need.”

Low-section and high-section follow more standard specifications and are often a stocked item available for a cheaper cost, he said.

To determine what type of Dovetail slide might best fit your needs, contact Gilman and explain your situation. We can be reached at 800-445-6267 or

Gilman Precision has been dedicated to the advancement of high precision solutions that improve efficiency and achieve longevity since 1952. The company develops customized slides and spindles for value-added engineers with exacting needs and standards, providing expert service for virtually any manufacturer’s equipment.

If you’ve got a question on ordering a spindle or slide, contact us at 800-445-6267 or

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