Having sharp cutting tools is one of the best ways to make quicker wood carvings and cuttings—saving you more time and energy in working a personal or commissioned project. One of the best reliable tools of a woodcarver is a carbide cutter. Carbide cutters are great for wood shaving, plunge cutting, and woodturning because of its hard and durable quality! As you can see, this tool has multiple benefits, and you will learn all of these in this article. Not only that, but you will also know its kinds and the ways of how to sharpen a carbide cutter.
Kinds of Carbide Cutting Tools
Before you learn how to sharpen a carbide cutter, you need to know its two common types. These are the following:
Cast-Iron Carbide Cutters
These carbide cutters are for cutting cast-iron materials. They are more wear- and tear-resistant due to the abrasiveness of cast-iron.
Steel-Grade Carbide Cutters
These carbide cutters can resist cratering and deformation due to heat from high cutting speeds.
Both kinds of carbide cutting tools use tungsten carbide, which is popular for its hardness and wear and tear-resistant qualities.
Benefits of Using Carbide Cutters
The one thing most wood carvers and artisans know is that carbide cutters rarely need sharpening. That is a fact. However, if you learn and know how to sharpen a carbide cutter, you will most likely encounter these multiple benefits:
One of the many benefits of carbide cutters is that they are cheaper than other cutting tools in the market. As mentioned, having tungsten carbide as its main material gives it an endurance against high-temperature deformation. They are durable, making them less likely to get replaced, and reducing your spending or expenses.
Cleaner and Straighter Cuts
Carbide cutters are well-known to make the straightest and cleanest cuts, allowing a better fit for woodworking joints, especially when you need tighter glue bonds.
Carbide cutters last longer, and even when they wear out, you can easily weld new affordable tips on them, making them more durable.
As mentioned, carbide cutters are easily replaceable with new tips, renewing each carbide layer.
Carbide cutters, especially the steel-grade ones, are highly resistant from thermal deformation. You can even retain your carbide cutter’s cutting edge even at high temperatures.
Carbide cutters are very efficient and need less frequency of sharpening. Even so, carbide cutters can cut faster with no binding compared to other wooden cutting tools.
Sharpening Carbide Cutters
Now, it is time to answer this one question: “How to sharpen a carbide cutter?” You need to remember only two steps for effective and successful sharpening of your carbide cutting tools—check if they need sharpening and the sharpening itself.
Check your Cutters
The first step you need to do is check if your carbide cutter needs some sharpening. An easy way to tell if there is a need to sharpen your cutters is when there is a lot of vibration happening when you cut. Also, check for chips on your cutter. If your carbide cutter has too much damage, there is no need to sharpen it. What you need to do is replace it already. And since carbide cutters are so hard, you need a diamond stone for sharpening.
Sharpen your Cutters
The second step is the finally sharpen your carbide cutters! An important thing to remember is you only sharpen the top surface—never include the bevel! Do this for all cutters—whether round, diamond, square, radiused, and other shapes of cutters. These are the steps on how you sharpen your carbide cutter or chisels:
- Get your diamond stone and lay it flat.
- Apply a few drops of lapping liquid—this will prevent clogging and rusting.
- Place the top surface of your cutter on the stone.
- In a circular motion, move the cutter around. Make sure the pressure is just light.
- Evenly apply wear to your cutter by using as much of the surface of your diamond stone.
- Do the sharpening for thirty seconds. There should be a buildup of black slurry on your stone.
- Wipe your cutter with a clean cloth or rug.
You can do this to your carbide cutters as many times as you want. But, again, if you think it needs a replacement already because of too much wear and tear, you better do so. Find out more about wood carving tools.
Now you know the answer to this question: “How to sharpen a carbide cutter?” It is quite simple if you have all the materials you need. Remember to apply all the steps you have learned from this article to have a successful carbide cutter sharpening. Remember that carbide cutters have two kinds and that both have the same benefits. Familiarize yourself with the steps to prevent damage to your carbide cutter and keep it durable and efficient. Save yourself more time and energy by properly sharpening this cutting tool.