pieces & parts (mech. eng.)


Senior Member
AmE (New Orleans)

I'm translating various words like part number, parts list, machined piece, cast piece, etc. where in English piece and part, in the context of building machines, are pretty much synonymous. Or at least I don't know the difference. :)

Now, you could say that piece = Stück and part = Teil, but what I want to know is whether there is any difference in German between Stück and Teil in this context.

Also, I've seen lots of words, to name just a few: Bauteil, Baustück, Werkstück, Bauelement, ...

Are there any major differences among these? :confused:

For example, if I want to say machined piece, can I say bearbeitetes Stück? Leo gives bearbeitetes Werkstück, but it's clear from context that I'm talking about a "work-piece."
  • I think piece = Stück and part = Teil is fine. A Baustück is not a Bauteil. It is something completely different. I think it meant originally a Gesellenstück of a mason but I am not sure. Today the term seems to be used only in the context of initiation ceremonies for freemasons.

    N.B.: The modern use of Teil in the sense of thing (like "Ich habe das Teil gestern bei Media Markt gekauft.") is very colloquial and informal.
    So Baustück is no good. But Werkstück is? What would the difference between a Bauteil and a Werkstück be?

    Is it that a Bauteil can be made up of multiple Werkstücke?

    It's confusing stuff. Here, for example, we call a piece part a component that cannot be disassembled into smaller pieces or parts, but multiple piece parts can be assembled into parts. :D
    Werkstück is in contrast to Werkzeug. A Werkzeug is a tool and a Werkstück is something you use a tool on, i.e. the work-piece.

    A Bauteil is a part of an assemby.

    Piece part would, I think, be best translated as Einzelteil.