Mechanical conveyor-belt splicing is widely used in material-handling systems because of its relatively low cost and ease of installation. Countersinking fasteners is a method frequently used to extend splice and scraper life. A strip of rubber top cover is removed from the belt to lower the fastener edges or the entire belt splice below the surface of the belt. This procedure allows metallic fasteners to slip smoothly beneath scrapers, plow diverters, and skirtboards. Countersinking can be done by two means, grooving or skiving. Grooving is usually used on smaller belts, while skiving is used on larger belts.
Belt grooving is done with a small hand tool, that cuts a shallow, typically «-inch groove in the belt cover to a depth of 1/16- to 1/8-inch. By making a series of overlapping grooves at both ends of a belt splice, a large enough recessed area is created that a splice can be countersunk.
A skiving tool typically employs a cutting head drawn across the belt by a manual winch and is guided by a lightweight aluminum track. A stirrup-shaped blade on the tool's cutting head slices a flat-bottomed trough, in which a splice can be countersunk.