Tipped tool

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Carbide tipped turning tool and wrench
Carbide tipped face mill

A tipped tool generally refers to any cutting tool where the cutting edge consists of a separate piece of material, either brazed, welded or clamped on to a separate body. Common materials for tips include cemented carbide, polycrystalline diamond, and cubic boron nitride.[1] Tools that are commonly tipped include: milling cutters (endmills, fly cutters), tool bits, and saw blades.

Advantages and disadvantages[edit]

The advantage of tipped tools is only a small insert of the cutting material is needed to provide the cutting ability. The small size makes manufacturing of the insert easier than making a solid tool of the same material. This also reduces cost because the tool holder can be made of a less-expensive and tougher material. In some situations a tipped tool is better than its solid counterpart because it combines the toughness of the tool holder with the hardness of the insert.[1]

In other situations this is less than optimal, because the joint between the tool holder and the insert reduces rigidity.[1] However, these tools may still be used because the overall cost savings is still greater.

Indexable inserts[edit]

Inserts are removable cutting tips, which means they are not brazed or welded to the tool body. They are usually indexable, meaning that they can be rotated or flipped without disturbing the overall geometry of the tool (effective diameter, tool length offset, etc.). This saves time in manufacturing by allowing fresh cutting edges to be presented periodically without the need for tool grinding, setup changes, or entering of new values into a CNC program.

Wiper insert[edit]

A wiper insert is an insert used in a milling machine or a lathe. It is designed for finish cutting, to give a smooth surface on the surface being cut. It uses special geometry to give a good finish on the workpiece at a higher-than-normal feedrate. Wiper inserts generally have a larger area in contact with the workpiece, so they exert higher force on the workpiece. This makes them unsuitable for fragile workpieces.

ISO insert coding[edit]

ISO1832 insert designation system.

Inserts used for turning and milling are often numbered according to ISO standard 1832. This standard aims to make the naming, specifying and ordering of inserts a simple, consistent and traceable process. This standard takes into account both metric and imperial systems of units, although certain elements differ for each unit system. The code consists of up to 13 symbols with the first 12 of them being compulsory for inserts composed of cubic boron or poly-crystalline diamond and the first 7 being compulsory for all other types of composition.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Stephenson, David A.; Agapiou, John S. (1997), Metal cutting theory and practice, Marcel Dekker, p. 164, ISBN 978-0-8247-9579-5. 
  2. ^ ISO1832:2004, 4th Edition