When it comes to manufacturing cutting tools, not all tools are created equal and no one tool is perfect for all tasks. Production speed, efficiency, and the bottom line have to be considered when selecting the cutting tool that is right for your business. There are several types of cutting tools available for all kinds of machining, including the following:
- High Speed Steel (HSS)
- Solid Carbide
- Carbide Tipped
- Ceramics (Alumina and Silicon Nitride)
- Cubic Boron Nitride (cBN)
While most industrial manufactures are familiar with the highly used high speed steel and solid carbide cutting tools, some are not as familiar with the application-specific benefits of carbide tipped cutting tools. Therefore, manufacturers might want to consider them as an option for specific machining tasks.
Considerations for Carbide Tipped Cutting Tools
For certain machining applications, a benefit of carbide tipped cutting tools is found in their initial cost when compared to solid carbide cutting tools. The higher quality and more costly carbide is only used in the thick cutting edge while the shank is made from less costly tough hardened steel.
While high speed steel cutting tools are initially less expensive, an appropriately selected carbide tipped cutting tool for the right application can allow you to work more precisely and efficiently which can ultimately save you money in the long run.
Efficiency, Durability and Longevity
A carbide cutting tool’s efficiency and durability in select applications is achieved by being able to retain its hardness at high temperatures that are generated by high cutting speeds. The longevity of a carbide-cutting tool is the result of selecting the carbide grade for the material at hand. Tungsten carbide is the choice for machining materials such as carbon steel and stainless steel due to its effective balance of hardness (of ceramics) and toughness (of metals). The steel shaft of a carbide tipped cutting tool also aids in the efficiency, durability and longevity by absorbing shock loads and stopping the carbide cracks.
Compared to high-speed steel tools, carbide tools in select applications can withstand very high temperatures that occur at high cutting speeds. By retaining their hardness, faster machining can occur. Faster machining combined with efficiency leads to greater production for your company.
Another benefit of using carbide tipped cutting tools for the right job is the resulting quality of the surface finish. Carbide tipped tools’ durability of maintaining a sharp cutting edge and holding size lends itself to producing a smoother surface finish. For example, a tungsten carbide tool’s clean cut reduces burning, chipping, and the shattering of grain in woodworking tasks.
Are Carbide Tipped Cutting Tools Right for Your Specific Task?
When you factor in the above benefits for certain application-specific tasks, you may find that using a carbide-tipped cutting tool is the right fit for your machining task. Given our years of experience in the industry and our partnering with top-of-the-line cutting tool manufacturers such as Hannibal Carbide Tool, Harvey Tool, Helical, Mitsubishi, and OSG, we are Arkansas’s premier cutting tool distributor. To help you make the best decision regarding whether to use solid carbide or carbide tipped cutting tools, contact Steel Sales. We’ll get you squared away today.