Still Learning About Cutting Tools? Here’s Our Crash Course

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Engineering is an industry, quite literally, built on small and large parts. The cutting tool is one of the most important aspects of crafting and delivering products on a mass scale, creating entire tool management systems to help companies maintain their brand. Not all tools are created the same, though, and knowing the difference between materials and types will go a long way in delivering a quality product. If you’re still learning about cutting tool manufacturers and engineer tools, continue reading below.

What Are Cutting Tools?

A cutting tool is a necessary component of machining operations. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find any industry without it! Similar to machine tools, but with some notable differences, these cutting tools have been used for many decades in a variety of industries. With a market size exceeding $90 billion on average, the machine tool industry is one of the most important fields within the manufacturing sector. There are a wide variety of cutting tool types and materials to choose from.

What Kind Of Cutting Tools Are There?

Carbon tool steels have long since been considered one of the best cutting tools for their good machinability. The material loses its hardiness quite rapidly at a temperature of 250 degrees, making it impossible to use in a high-temperature application. Cemented carbide tools are extremely hard, able to withstand high-speed cutting operations. Even at 1,000 degrees a carbide tool will not lose its hardness. Last, but not least, ceramic cutting tools are stable at a whopping 1,8000 degrees and ten times faster than HSS.

What Other Materials Are Used?

There are over 30 different kinds of high-speed steel grades, with three main categories separating them — molybdenum, tungsten and molybdenum-cobalt based grades. Two-thirds of all carbide tools are coated with some form of material, which should be considered for most applications because of their longer shelf life and machining capability. Tungsten is known for being extremely dense, around 70% heavier than lead, and is considered prime for medical applications such as CT scanners and the like. Cutting tool inserts are known for their different geometries. A diamond insert, for example, is a four-sided insert with two acute angles in order to measure material removal. Triangle inserts, on the other hand, have a triangular shape with three equal sides and three tips with included angles.

How Has Technology Changed?

Technology is constantly advancing, making it easy to fall behind if you’re not paying close attention. Cutting tool technology was developed in the early 1900’s, with high-speed steels cutting four times faster than the carbon steels they replaced. When introduced more than 30 years prior, whisker-reinforced ceramic tools originally took the market by storm by providing as much as 10 times the productivity of carbide. These discoveries have since changed the market as we know it. Interested in tooling manufacturing? Your business will be better off.

How Is The Market Faring?

Cutting tool solutions have never been better. Researchers at North Carolina State University reported the discovery of solid carbon has undermined the hardness of even diamonds, being 10 times stronger and potentially playing an important role in machining. Over 60% of small businesses in America are finding themselves up against digital competitors and Mexican factory exports have jumped 15% since 2012. The tools for engineering have always been the foundation that creates reliable products and even more reliable career fields, offering both businessowners and workers the flexibility they need to succeed. With cutting tools, anything is possible.


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