jointer carbide vs. HSS? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 05-15-2019, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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jointer carbide vs. HSS?

I am relatively new to wood working. im looking at the cutech 8" jointer. is the carbide blade worth the difference over the HSS blade
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post #2 of 22 Old 05-15-2019, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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jointer carbide vs. HSS?

I am looking at purchasing a cutech 8" jointer. is the carbide blade worth the difference in cost over the HSS blade?
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post #3 of 22 Old 05-15-2019, 03:31 PM
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I am looking at purchasing a cutech 8" jointer. is the carbide blade worth the difference in cost over the HSS blade?
Depends on if were you buy wood they put staples all over it. A carbide set of knives would last the home woodworker a lifetime but if they get chipped from staples would cost a fortune having it sharpened.
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post #4 of 22 Old 05-15-2019, 07:05 PM
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if you are going to process an abrasive wood such as teak,
in high volumes, then carbide would be my choice.

keep in mind that you can sharpen HSS blades MANY times
for the price of a set of carbide blades. (do the math).
I used the heck out of an old Craftsman 6" jointer during the
course of 20 years and never sharpened the blades once.
(cutting mainly 2x redwood, HDU and aluminum on occasion).
depends on you - and what you make - and what wood you use.

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --
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post #5 of 22 Old 05-15-2019, 08:56 PM
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Carbide will stay sharp longer, but is more expensive up-front and over time. HSS will dull faster but also takes a marginally sharper edge (but if youll notice the extra sharpness is a different conversation), and is cheaper both up-front and over time. A carbide cutterhead adds about $2-300 to the price of a machine, last i checked the prices, and replacement inserts run anywhere from $5-$15, again when last i checked prices. Machines with HSS knives are cheaper, and the blades themselves can be resharpened several times as well.

One bit thing to note, carbide is a lot less forgiving than HSS is, as far as cutters go. Carbide is hard but very brittle, so doing something like clipping a staple will usually shatter at least the edge on that insert. Now, you dont want to hit metal with HSS knives either, but at least then you might get away with a nick that can be sharpened out, instead of shrapnel
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post #6 of 22 Old 05-15-2019, 10:17 PM
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Carbide will stay sharp longer, but is more expensive up-front and over time. HSS will dull faster but also takes a marginally sharper edge (but if youll notice the extra sharpness is a different conversation), and is cheaper both up-front and over time. A carbide cutterhead adds about $2-300 to the price of a machine, last i checked the prices, and replacement inserts run anywhere from $5-$15, again when last i checked prices. Machines with HSS knives are cheaper, and the blades themselves can be resharpened several times as well.

One bit thing to note, carbide is a lot less forgiving than HSS is, as far as cutters go. Carbide is hard but very brittle, so doing something like clipping a staple will usually shatter at least the edge on that insert. Now, you dont want to hit metal with HSS knives either, but at least then you might get away with a nick that can be sharpened out, instead of shrapnel
They still haven't solved the sharpening problem with carbide yet? I used to work for a guy 45 years ago that had carbide knives in his planer. He couldn't find anyone in this country that could get them sharp so he shipped them off to Germany to have them sharpened. Whoever was doing it was getting them razor sharp.
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post #7 of 22 Old 05-15-2019, 11:06 PM
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I sprung ($500?) for the carbide insert blades in my Grizzly. I think that I would have been better off with the HSS knives. For that kind of money I could buy enough HSS knives to last the rest of my life. And also a lot of good whisky too.

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post #8 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 12:40 AM
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"Please Note: Our tips have 2 cutting edges and cannot be resharpened. 4-sided tips cannot be used in our machines."

https://www.cutechtool.com/category-s/182.htm

Kerouac, J.
"to the joyful chaos of uncontrolled appetites ..." Claire Armistad, writing on the late Judith Kerr's The Tiger Who Came to Tea
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post #9 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 04:46 AM
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Is'nt it Freud who make steel blades for routers infused with carbide? A samurai sword made from soft and hard steel. This gives it flexibility with a long lasting edge.
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post #10 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 08:49 AM
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I don't think so .....

Carbide cutters is usually brazed on to the steel OR the bit is made entirely from carbide as for routers. Saw blades have brazed on cutting tips.
The swords are laminated, folded over and over and "forge welded" together with different types of steel.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #11 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 09:34 AM
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not sure what the upcharge is for the carbide, it may be worth it if you are a heavy user. I use my 6" jointer much and often wish I had carbide in there. I have learned to sharpen and hone them myself. straight blades vs (spiral) cutterheads, different discussion with different pros and cons.
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post #12 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 11:23 AM
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Carbide jointer blades will outlast HSS blades. Now that being said, the average homeowner/woodworking hobbyist will have a very hard time wearing out HSS blades on a jointer. My HSS blades havenít been sharpened in 30 years, but I do not use any recycled lumber. When working with recycled lumber (pallet wood), itís very easy to nick a jointer blade.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #13 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 01:09 PM
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the Cutech (and perhaps others) spiral/helix cutter heads use a precision machined slot to mount&locate the inserts - and a flathead screw to hold them.

that's why they have only two cutting edges, and the "precision" issue is why they say they cannot be sharpened - not that you can't sharpen carbide, it's unlikely the sharpening shop could maintain the tolerances required to get a nice even cut.

video here

fwiw, Cutech also advised that the geometry & dimensions HSS to carbide are different, so mix&match is not recommended.....
the fixed two side inserts do have a seriously advantage . . . I nicked a staple, it was unscrew/rotate/rescrew one insert.
back in business in 5-10 minutes with zero set-up/gauging/spacing/etc.

the four sided/edged cutter inserts appear to be held/located by just a screw. no experience with those - perhaps someone can expand on the ease of set-up and change out for that style.
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post #14 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 01:29 PM
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Get the tool you need for the type of work you do, to some the carbide may be an unnecessary luxury, for others particularly those working with figured stock helical cutters are pretty well a necessity.

For what it is worth you very seldom hear of anyone regretting the upgrade, you just have to decide if it is worth it to you.

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post #15 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 03:35 PM
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They still haven't solved the sharpening problem with carbide yet? I used to work for a guy 45 years ago that had carbide knives in his planer. He couldn't find anyone in this country that could get them sharp so he shipped them off to Germany to have them sharpened. Whoever was doing it was getting them razor sharp.
You technically can resharpen carbide, but most planer/jointer heads that I know of use indexable inserts that are meant to be disposable, and since sharpening would change the geometry it might create some issues. Straight carbide knives, the ones that are a traditional knife style, with carbide brazed to steel or similar, can be resharpened but aren't easy, diamond abrasives are required. Doable, but not as common as HSS

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post #16 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 05:15 PM
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You technically can resharpen carbide, but most planer/jointer heads that I know of use indexable inserts that are meant to be disposable, and since sharpening would change the geometry it might create some issues. Straight carbide knives, the ones that are a traditional knife style, with carbide brazed to steel or similar, can be resharpened but aren't easy, diamond abrasives are required. Doable, but not as common as HSS
The only experience I have with carbide blades is this one company I worked for that made sailboat parts for Chrysler Sailboat and used a lot of teak. If I remember right they were using a Powermatic 18" planer. The boss had me remove the dull blades one time and they looked just like regular knives. Once I got them out he made comment that he was going to ship them off to Germany to have sharpened and I questioned him why and he told me he had tried a lot of different places in this country and couldn't get the blades good and sharp. One of those things that is so odd it sticks with you. Been a long time since 1974. It was my first woodworking job professionally. Only worked there a year because he couldn't afford to pay much.
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post #17 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 05:33 PM
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Dealing with DeWalt 733 planer blades with two cutting surfaces. They can be sharpened in the home shop. A jig can be made with the same angle as the original blade on the table saw. (The tip that I got paid for used double sided tape to hold the blade where I used threaded inserts and machine screws.) I think that it was published in Woodsmith but I don't remember. (I don't think that the person who substituted double sided tape understood the importance of keeping all the blades the same nor bringing machine shop accuracy into the wood shop.)


First cut a groove at the angle of the edge of the knife.
Then Cut at a right angle (Don't change the table saw blade angle.) to the groove.
Finally trim so that the blade is precisely even with the jig. For each sharpening put a piece of index card at the bottom of the groove to push the knife above the surface of the jig.
Use a diamond hone or a hard Arkansas Wa****a stone to sharpen the knife. In each sharpening session do the same number of strokes over the blade to insure that the blade remains the same height.

Obviously the nanny filter doesn't like W*a*s*h*i*t*a* as the name for the sharpening stone.

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Last edited by NoThankyou; 05-16-2019 at 05:36 PM.
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post #18 of 22 Old 05-17-2019, 08:17 PM
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Depends on if were you buy wood they put staples all over it. A carbide set of knives would last the home woodworker a lifetime but if they get chipped from staples would cost a fortune having it sharpened.
You don't sharpen. The little cutters are each held with a single screw and are reversed and then replaced.we are talking about a spiral cutter head here, made up of many individual cutters.

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post #19 of 22 Old 05-17-2019, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
if you are going to process an abrasive wood such as teak,

in high volumes, then carbide would be my choice.



keep in mind that you can sharpen HSS blades MANY times

for the price of a set of carbide blades. (do the math).

I used the heck out of an old Craftsman 6" jointer during the

course of 20 years and never sharpened the blades once.

(cutting mainly 2x redwood, HDU and aluminum on occasion).

depends on you - and what you make - and what wood you use.



.



.
These are not the 2 or 3 blades you are referring to. They are many little reversable cutters in HSS or carbide. You could never grind a whole set to match. They have no adjustment. They are each held by a screw.

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post #20 of 22 Old 05-17-2019, 09:47 PM
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You don't sharpen. The little cutters are each held with a single screw and are reversed and then replaced.we are talking about a spiral cutter head here, made up of many individual cutters.

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There should be enough adjustment in the rear table that the cutters could be sharpened once or twice. HSS a person could easily sharpen themselves.
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