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Carbide Tools, What are They?

When you hear the term “carbide cutting tools” it refers to any metal forming tool that has a carbide tip. This does not have to be heavy equipment such as you would expect to see in a modern machine shop; even hand held tools that you can buy for home use, such as screwdrivers can have carbide tips. Many drill bits have carbide tips as do many saw blades. The carbide that is used for these applications is an olio of carbon and usually silicon or tungsten.

A standard off-the-shelf carbide tool is not made from pure carbide, the tool is made from carbon steel of a given strength and a carbide tip is fastened to the cutting surface by brazing. As an example, typical carbide tipped saw blades are made from low carbon steel blanks which are formed into cutting tools, the teeth of the blade which constitute the cutting surface are joined to the carbon steel blade, the final assembly is that which is sold as a product.

Rarely will a manufacturer make a tool from carbide; there are a number of reasons for this. Number one, carbide, although it makes a wonderful cutting edge is far too brittle to be used as the base material. When carbide cutting tools are made from a more ductile material with added carbide cutting surfaces the tool tip, which is what is important, is strong and durable. As well as this technical reason, carbide is expensive and using the material only for the work surface allows the tools to be used by a wider base of customers.

Carbide wears slowly compared to other softer materials. It certainly wears less than steel and it can withstand much higher cutting temperatures with no apparent damage. The tools ability to withstand high temperatures means that it can be used over longer periods of time. As a result of its ability to keep its cutting edge, it provides clean cuts which result in a better finished product that take fewer secondary operations. A carbide tipped tool last considerably longer than steel tools which equates to longer runs and less cost for high volume industrial applications.

Carbide will eventually lose its cutting edge but it can be sharpened with a diamond grinding wheel. The tools can be sharpened many times before they are considered to be scrap. Check out the website at Carbideconnection.com for more information.

Carbide Connection is a leading Carbide Cutting Tool Supplier and carries a variety of industrial Cutting Tools Including Drills, End Mills, Boring Bars, Carbide Rod & more. Visit their site buy Online!

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