Machine Tools are devices that are mechanical in construction and are powered by an external source. They are most commonly used to produce (fabricate) Machine Components by Machining… Machining is the removal of metal (selectively) from a material. The actual term machine tool describes machinery that is powered by an electrical source (or an external powers source) and not the manual use by humans. Although If the set up is done so appropriately there are certain machines that can be powered by people and are still referred to as Machine Tools.
Historians that focus on past technologies and their developments over time refer to Machine Tools as being truly born when human involvement was removed entirely from the stamping process or shaping process used to manufacture tools. It was back in 1483 when the first machine was manufactured that was directly controlled without the need for people, it was a Cutting Tool Lathe that was for cutting screws. This Lathe did not make the screws from metal though, it used wood and produced Screw Threads, it was a technological breakthrough that forever changed the was machinery worked.
It was much later around the 1800s when the first Machine Tool was actually produced for sale and was manufactured in England by Matthew Murray.
They have evolved so much over the centuries that they are now Computer Numerical Controlled and are referred to as CNC Machine Tools. Computers are used to plot out a process that the machine must take; it follows the steps and creates the desired product. They do not require any human assistance and are extremely precise and accurate.