Most machine shops can perform many different jobs, but drilling and boring is still an essential process. In fact, it’s possible to go through a lot of drilling bits in a year’s time and this can get expensive. Many shops today are realizing a wide range of benefits with the carbide drill bit and here are some reasons why.
Carbide is Harder
High speed steel is very hard and strong but not as hard as carbide. Tungsten carbide is an alloy of carbon and tungsten and this creates a gray powder which is often pressed into materials to create tools or to coat tool cutting edges. Coating is done because it is a cost effective way to enhance cutting and drilling.
Because carbide is very hard it can be used in applications which would easily wear away or distort steel. Plus, softer or more complex materials require harder cutting tools and this is why the carbide drill bit is often used on composites, plastics and some aluminum alloys.
Have you ever tried to drill a hole with a blunt or dull bit? It can be very difficult and you may end up getting a lot of distortion. Sharp bits are essential for most operations for a number of reasons:
- Increased accuracy – for precision operations, this is a necessity.
- Faster drilling for greater production
- Binding eliminated
- Less friction buildup – dull bits can burn wood.
- Fewer chipping problems – for better quality
Not only is the carbide drill bit sharper, but it stays sharp much longer due to its increased hardness. This means you have to grind or replace bits less often and you can save a great deal on operating costs over time. Even though these bits are more expensive, the many benefits they provide can actually help you cut overall shop costs.