Modern manufacturing relies on carbide cutting tools in order to produce the millions of items we all use and enjoy everyday. The end mills, carbide inserts, router bits, drills, face mills, slotting cutters, center drills, knives, punches, die components and much more all play a critical role in cutting operations.
Carbide is one of the hardest materials to be found and has amazing wear resistance capabilities that make it ideal for the many tasks it performs. Not only is it very hard, but it is able to withstand a great deal of abrasion, which enables the carbide cutting tools to outperform other materials.
Tool and die, mold making, precision machining
The tool and die, mold making and precision machining industries rely on these tools to make the industrial grade tooling required. The newer practices of hard machining and high speed machining demand a high level of performance from the workpiece tool steel, the 5 axis machine or CNC machining center, and the cutters themselves.
Miniature end mills
Another place carbide cutters excel is in miniature end mill applications. These cutters are truly amazing in that they are actually as small as .010 inch in diameter. Some companies routinely use these for precision engraving, contouring, and the extremely high detail demanded by their applications. Some of these miniature cutters even have a flushing hole down the center to aid in clearing away chips and debris from the cutting area.
The use of an indexable end mill makes it possible to remove large amounts of material per pass, while maintaining accuracy and a good surface finish. Once the cutters wear out, it is a simple operation to index the carbide cutter in the toolholder and begin again, with the same results. These tools are very common and dependable in a metal cutting facility. One advantage is that you no longer need the service of an end mill sharpener.
Metal cut-off saws
Some shops use a metal cut off saw that has carbide tips brazed to the cutting edges. These saws are efficient carbide cutting tools for cutting off bar stock or cutting steel blocks to be used for tools and dies. This has the advantage of precision and squareness, compared to a band saw.
The wood working industry also uses these high performance cutters to manufacture the huge amounts of furniture used in society today. The speeds and feeds are truly amazing when compared to the old days of high speed steel cutters. Wood is not nearly as hard as steel, but these carbide router bits are specifically designed for cutting wood and perform very well.
Wood working carbide cutting tools
The routers used in production woodworking are able to maintain a high degree of accuracy and good surface finish in all types of wood. These carbide cutting tools will last much longer than their high speed predecessors and can operate at very high speed and feed rates.
Global manufacturers of carbide cutters
There are many very good carbide tooling manufacturers to be found in the USA, Europe and Asia. Some of the major companies are: Morse, OSG, Kennametal, Sandvik, Hanita, SGS, Iscar, Widia, and Accupro. These companies ccan help you choose the tooling, including your HSK toolholder.
There are many other manufacturers of carbide cutting tools as well, some specializing in miniature cutters, others in drills, while others focus on routers, tapered end mills, roughing, diamond coated, corner rounding and saw blades.