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I did not buy this tool. I just read a review in Wood magazine Sept.07 page 102. As some of you know I own a machine shop. I use carbide tools for most all my metal cutting. I have a bunch of the round carbide inserts so I brought some home to try. I put a 1/2" i.c. round insert in a pair of vise grips and cut some black walnut on the wood lathe. I was impressed with the smoothness of the cut. I also liked the fact that it does not self feed if you cut with the side like a gouge will. I am new to wood turning and sharpen my own turning tools by hand. So maybe that is why I was impressed with the carbide.
I'm thinking that you will see more and more carbide in wood working as it will stay sharper longer then the high speed steel. Most have already seen this in the saw blades. I think you will also see new and different wood turning tools in carbide as there are so many shapes of the inserts out there already for metal cutting.
One more thought on the carbide. The saw blades are sharpened on a very expensive diamond wheel. This is due to the clearence between the theeth. The carbide inserts though not designed to be sharpen can be. There is a grinding wheel that you can buy that is called a "green wheel". It fits on your grinder same as the one you use on high speed steel. It was first used on solid carbide tools. Job shops like myself will sharpen all sorts of carbide to make special tooling. The best part is that a good quality green wheel only cost about $18.00.
So back to the tool review..... I would recommend any carbide tool for anyone who struggles with keeping tools sharp. They will last a lot longer and and can be changed quickly.
I would not reccomend carbide for those working on a tight budget. The review says the inserts are $20 ea.
Note: carbide is very hard and brittle. Sudden contact with a hard surface like concrete will shatter it. (i.e. if you drop it) Also that bit about me putting it into a vise grip is not advisable as you will crush it if not carful.

Mike
 

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johnep
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2,140 Posts
carbide tools

Here in the UK, Freud is main supplier of router bits, they have a way of incorporating 'micro grains' of carbide into steel to get the best of both worlds.

I have been trying to get a carbide carving knife for the kitchen. Bought a 'fusion' knife from James Richardson of Sheffield, but not too sure that it has a carbide edge.

The other way of extending edge life is to coat with Titanium nitride.

This gives a gold colour finish. However, I find effect wears off fairly rapidly. IMO carbide is king.
johnep
 
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