4 Reasons to Use Carbide-Tipped Tools

by | Jul 18, 2018 | Cutting and Machining

When it comes to machining with hard materials, most professionals prefer to use carbide tips on their cutting tools. Carbide is a popular compound because of its unparalleled sharpness, which makes it better than steel for cutting tough materials. But carbide tool inserts have other advantages as well. Read on to learn three reasons why you should use carbide-tipped tools.

Stays sharp longer

Not only is carbide sharper initially than steel, but it will also stay sharper for longer than other materials. Carbide tips hold their edges ten to twenty times longer than steel tips, according to How Stuff Works. When they do eventually dull, carbide tips can be sharpened using the same techniques you would use with regular steel, but with a specific abrasive.

Low cost

Many machinist professionals opt for carbide tool inserts rather than tools made entirely from carbide because carbide is an expensive material. Therefore, tools with carbide inserts but bodies made of steel are cheaper, while still giving you the benefit of cutting with carbide.


Carbide is a brittle alloy, so tools that use carbide in the tip but have steel-constructed bodies have the advantage of steel’s durability with carbide’s sharpness. These tools will pay for themselves many times over during their long working life.

Tips can be replaced

When you’re using tools with interchangeable carbide inserts, a broken insert can easily and cheaply be replaced, whereas a tool without this feature must be sent in for servicing. This costs you in maintenance fees and also time.

Carbide-tipped tools are a smart investment to ensure smoothly finished surfaces in all your jobs for years to come. If you’re on the fence about whether or not you need carbide tips for your next machining job, consider the benefits you will reap in durability, convenience, and cost-effectiveness.

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