In the machining industry, various types of cutting tools exist. Each cutting tool comes with unique properties and is made up of different materials. When shopping for a cutting tool, you should consider the type of material to be machined, the type of machining to use, quantity, and quality of production.
Cutting tools can be single-point or multipoint. Single-point cutting tools are ideal for turning and other methods that remove material using one cutting edge. Different types of cutting tools are classified according to the material used as follows:
- Carbon tool steel
- Ceramics tool
- Cemented carbide
- High-speed steel tool (HSS)
- Cubic boron nitride Tool (CBN)
- Diamond tool
Carbon tool steel
Carbon tool steel is a cheaper metal cutting tool often used in low-speed machining applications. The plain carbon steel cutting tool is composed of 0.6 -1.5% carbon and a very small amount of Mn, Si (0.5%). It also contains other metals such as Cr and V, which are added to improve its grain size and hardness.
High carbon steel is abrasion-resistant and can maintain a sharp cutting edge for longer. It also possesses good machinability. However, this type of cutting tool loses hardness fast at temperatures nearly 250°C. This means it cannot work best at high temperatures. This type of tool is mainly used in twist drills and milling tools.
Ceramic cutting tools
Ceramics is another category of cutting tools made of aluminum oxide and silicon nitride. These types of cutting tools are made by compacting ceramic powder into shape and then sintering it at high temperature. Ceramic cutting tools are chemically inactive and corrosion-resistant. They also possess high compressive strength. These tools are stable up to temperatures of 1800°C and ten times faster than the high-speed steel tools (HSS). They have very low friction between the tool face and chip. They have low heat conductivity and usually require no coolant. These tools are ideal for an excellent surface finish.
Cemented carbide cutting tools are produced through the powder metallurgy technique. These tools consist of tungsten, tantalum, and titanium carbide with cobalt binding. When nickel or molybdenum is used as a binder, it’s called cermet.
Cemented carbide tools are exceptionally hard and can withstand extremely high-speed cutting applications. They don’t lose their hardness up to 1000°C. For a rough cut, a high cobalt tool is preferable while finishing operations require low cobalt tools. Their cutting speed range is 60-200m/minute.
High-speed steel cutting tools (HSS)
High-speed steel cutting tools are made of high carbon steel with a large amount of alloying elements such as chromium, tungsten, or molybdenum to enhance their hardness, toughness, and wear resistance. These tools provide a higher metal removal rate.
They lose their hardness at moderate temperatures of nearly 650°C. They require a coolant to increase tool life. However, these cutting tools can be re-sharpened and re-used several times. They also require surface treatment to improve their property. They are ideal for drills, milling cutters, broaches, and single-point lather tools.
Overall, this list may not be exhaustive, but it does provide a starting point for the types of cutting tools to look for when shopping for the same. At Sun Coast Precision Tools, we have different types of cutting tools from a single point to multiple points. Contact us to learn more.