Tip tools, also known as tipped tools, are cutting tools whose cutting edges are comprised of a separate piece of material which is welded, brazed or clamped on to a separate body. Tungsten carbide, cubic boron nitride and polycrystalline diamond are some of the key materials that are used on the tips.
The main types of tools which are normally tipped are as follows:
- Milling cutters – cutting tools normally used in machining centres or milling machines. This includes end mills, which are cutting tools used in industrial milling applications such as face milling, slot milling and profile milling. Also included in this category are fly cutters which have one or two tool bits inserted into them, and as the whole unit rotates, the tool bits carry out small facing cuts.
- Tool bits – non-rotary cutting tools used in shapers, planers and metal lathes. These cutters are also referred to as single-point cutting tools.
- Saw blades – tools that use a hard blade with cutting edges to cut through materials, and the saw may be worked manually by hand or powered by electricity.
What are the main advantages of tipped tools?
- The key advantage of tipped tools is that a very small insert of the cutting material is required to do the cutting, and hard materials can be used for the insert.
- It is easier to manufacture the small insert that does the cutting, as compared to manufacturing the whole solid tool from the same material.
- It is less expensive to manufacture the insert for the cutting edge, and have the rest of the tool (the tool holder) made from cheaper and stronger material.
- The tool has the hardness of the insert and the toughness of strong material on the tool holder – which means the tool will have a long working life.
Some tip tools have removable cutting tips, also called inserts, which are not welded or brazed to the tool body. This means they can be flipped or rotated without disturbing the tool’s overall geometry, namely tool length offset or diameter, etcetera. It is therefore possible to save time in manufacturing since fresh cutting edges can be presented periodically without the need for setup changes, tool grinding, or entering of new values into a CNC program.
Tip tools are an essential part of every workshop or engineering business. Tip tools are very strong, and they are used in rough and finish turning operations.
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