In engineering, what do you call the cut made to a part to facilitate opening a lid?

See for example the M1 Garand (rifle) buttplate. It has a lid for a compartment for storing tools:

oval shaped place for fingers to grasp to open the lid

  • 1
    The term nail nick is used to refer to similar indentations used to open pocket knives, but I don't think it's used elsewhere.
    – alphabet
    Jan 10 at 2:03
  • How does the cut facilitate opening the lid? Does it provide a space for a tool/fingernail to get in to open the lid, provide room for a lid to open along a curved path that would otherwise run into part of the body, allow for thermal expansion or provide some other tolerance, allow the operation of some kind of latch or other mechanical mechanism, visually indicate where to open, or something else?
    – Stuart F
    Jan 10 at 12:07
  • What cut? I don't see a cut in that picture at all. I see an indentation.
    – Lambie
    Jan 10 at 17:29
  • @Lambie, true, in this case it's an indentation as this part is a made from a sheet metal that is probably pressed to give the final shape. Jan 10 at 21:34
  • The buttplate on an M1 is a casting not a stamp.
    – Mazura
    Jan 11 at 4:15

1 Answer 1


That's an "opening notch"

example on page 12

  • I think it's also used for the 'starter' notch on packets (of peanuts, sachets of sauce etc). But not a strong collocation. Feb 9 at 12:25

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