Wood cutting tools are used in woodworking – the process of making, building or carving an item using wood. A wood cutting tool is an instrument that is used to change the shape and size of wood products and wood parts. This is done through cutting the wood and removing the shavings – by machine (lathes) or manually.
The use of wood has a long history – wood was one of the early materials worked by humans. Historically, woodworkers used wood found in their region. Gradually, as transportation and trade advanced, more exotic woods became available to wood workers.
Today, a wide range of wood types are used in woodworking, and wood can be categorized into three main sections, namely hardwoods which come from broadleaf tress, softwoods which come from coniferous trees, and man-made wood panels such as plywood, Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) and Particleboard.
Different processes are used in wood working, namely wood cutting, wood carving, wood boring, wood turning and many others. Today, there are many companies, big and small, that supply woodworking supplies for the passionate woodworker. Hobbyist woodworkers and professionals alike expect the best tools from their suppliers.
Woodcutting tools are categorized according to their cutting elements, namely the shape of the cutting faces and blade and their cutting angles. Additionally, machine tools for woodcutting have bracing parts – these come into contact with the matching parts of woodworking lathes and machines. They also serve to coordinate the positioning of the woodcutting tool, relative to the piece being worked on, and to transmit the cutting forces to the elements and units in the machines. Different cutting tools have different bracing parts –and they all must have the necessary precision of operation and provide safe operation.
The majority of wood cutting machines operate at high cutting speeds and feed rates. It is therefore essential for the design of woodcutting tools and the materials from which they are made to satisfy rigid requirements for strength, hardness, wear resistance and toughness. The ability to take a sharp cutting edge and maintain it over a long period is also important.
Key materials that are used in making woodcutting tools are: carbon and alloy steels and particular grades of hard alloys and abrasives. The application of electrolytic coatings and casehardening are used to increase the wear resistance of the cutting elements of a woodcutting tool.
It is essential for woodcutting tools to produce high-quality working surfaces that meet preset requirements for surface roughness or smoothness, and dimensional accuracy. This is achieved by precision manufacture of the tools as well as precision grinding and sharpening of the cutting edges.
There is a wide range of manual woodcutting tools, namely chisels, saws, axes, gouges, bits, jointers, filers and manual smoothness planes. The way woodcutting machine tools are made is complex, and is largely influenced by the type of mechanical woodworking method, namely planer knives in planers; circular saws in rotary machines; shank cutters and profile cutters in milling machines; and drills, and bits in drilling machines.