ARE CARBIDE INSERT TOOLS RIGHT FOR YOU?

Are carbide insert tools  right for you? That’s the first question every woodworker asks themselves when they are shopping. Unfortunately, there is no cut and dry way to answer it. You see, I have a secret to tell you that could change the way you answer this important question. Carbide insert tools have enabled metalworkers to get better finishes when working with a router. It wasn’t until recently that carbide inserts became available in router bits, rather than just tooling. 

To get a better understanding of insert tools, you first must know what they are and what kind of benefits they have to offer. Insert tools are used for generating high-quality machined components. They are specially made tool bits that have the capacity to be more versatile than the conventional machine tools. The inserts that can be found in insert tools come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, which include hobbing end mill, ball nose end mill, slotter cutter, shaper cutter, indexable inserts, etc. You can also find these inserts in different materials such as high speed steel (HSS), carbide ceramics and diamond.

Carbide insert tools are the top of their class when it comes to metal cutting. Carbide Inserts are made from carbide, which is one of the hardest materials used in any industry. These are high-grade tools used for cutting, prying, chiseling and scraping. Made from advanced metals to ensure longevity, carbide inserts have a versatile range of uses in woodworking and other manufacturing environments. Carbide inserts tools  are used in various industries such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, mass transit and many more. There are also many different types of carbide inserts which can be used for specific applications and materials. Let's take a closer look at some of the most common carbide insert sizes and their applications:

The most common types of carbide inserts tools are:

1. Solid carbide inserts

Solid carbide insert tools are used in carbide tools. There, the inserts play a vital role in the functionality of the tool to provide a reliable and hard working machine. The main features of inserts are that they improve machining ability, and can be installed or removed during the process of machining. Solid carbide inserts are the best choice for precision machining, and are extremely useful for producing parts that have a long service life in environments of high stress or abrasive materials.

2. Tipped carbide inserts

Tipped carbide insert tools (TIs) are a unique cutting tool. You can think of them as an extension of your lathe tool. They’re used in all sorts of applications, from bowl turning to woodworking and all manner of other wood-related tasks. When you have a job to do, TI inserts will enable you to get the job done faster and more accurately — no matter what you need it for.

Tipped carbide inserts are the most common type of inserts. Tipped inserts have a coating of hard material along with the carbide materials, which makes it machinable by tools having sharpened edges. They not only reduce the stress, friction, and binding; they also allow surface contact between material and tool face. Proper usage leads to effective process, higher tool life, machinery protection, and better product surface quality.

3. Thin kerf carbide inserts 

Carbide insert tools are made from tungsten carbide ceramic. As the name implies, a ceramic is a non-metal and TKCI possesses unique properties that make them appear to be metallic. Ceramics are hard but brittle so they are relatively inflexible, unlike metals that are flexible and strong. Thin kerf carbide inserts (TKCI) are ground with an extremely thin flat surface, thinner than the blade for which they were ground for. This thin surface gives TKCI the properties of being both hard and flexible which makes it ideal for slotting thinner parts compared to regular inserts.

4. Extra thin kerf carbide inserts (ETKCI)

Extra thin kerf carbide insert tools (ETKCI) are a special type of insert for milling machines. They have the same benefits as regular thin kerf inserts, but have reduced kerf size. This means a smaller and lighter cutting tool – which can be invaluable in many machining applications. However, there are some factors which you should consider before choosing to use ETKCI.

Extra thin kerf carbide inserts (ETKCI) offer significant advantages over other popular blade manufacturing technologies. ETKCI blades require less power to feed and fewer changes in tooling to make. With no insert or cutter to be removed, ETKCI produces smooth-cutting surfaces with a better finish than standard carbide technology.

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