carbide cutting tools

Cutting Tools 101: Carbide vs Steel Plotter

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According to some, man has been making tools for millions of years. Whatever you believe, one thing is for sure. The earliest tools all had some way of cutting in common.

Without a doubt, one of the most useful functions of tools is to cut. Practically every manufacturing industry has some form of cutting at the heart of its production. If you are in printing, then you too will need your share of cutting tools.

Since the earliest cutting tools made from flint and stone, cutting technology has radically moved on. Now you can use carbide cutting tools, as well as steel.

However, which one is best?

Find the answer here.

What is Carbide?

Steel has a long history that goes back thousands of years. Carbide is different. Its history is much more modern, dating back only about 100 years. Ironically, its production was more by chance than by design.

Either way, its utility is well recognized in the industry.

Carbide is basically Tungsten Carbide. It is a chemical compound made of carbon atoms and tungsten in equal measures. It is much denser than steel. In its basic form, carbide is a powder that can be used to make any shape.

Carbide Cutting Tools Versus Steel

These types of tools are used in many industries. However, if you have a screen printing business or are thinking about starting one up, then you will quickly see that carbide cutting tools are an important piece of equipment.

Carbide has a reputation for its durability, hardness, and resistance to wear. These properties make it ideal for cutting functions. That said, steel has long been used and is still widely used for a similar purpose.

So, the question remains as to which one is better? The answer depends on your point of view. Steel cutting options are cheaper. They will get the job done but they will wear faster.

In contrast, carbide is more expensive but will last longer. Overall, carbide offers a better cutting performance and finish due to its hardness. It also allows you to cut at speed and change direction as it is resilient to cracking due to its high torsional strength.

Types of Carbide Cutting Tools

There are two basic grades. They are cast-iron and steel-grade.

The cast iron carbide is specifically designed to cut cast iron. Cast iron has a high abrasiveness but the carbide grade designed for this is highly resistant to wear and protects the cutting edge.

The steel-grade carbide is obviously for cutting steel applications. It is designed to resist heat distortions and cratering caused by chips of steel that can occur at higher cutting speeds.

Carbide Versus Steel – You Choose

No one can choose for you. In this article, you have read about some of the advantages of carbide cutting tools offer over steel alternatives. The key is in the superior wear and toughness inherent to the chemical compound when compared with steel.

Carbide Blades

SC-3700 Carbide Plotter Blade Series

SC-4000 Carbide Plotter Blade Series

SC-4400 Carbide Plotter Blade Series

SC-4500 Carbide Plotter Blade Series

If you want more information or have questions then you can get in touch here.

Simple Solutions International offers a full selection of plotter and vinyl cutting blades and plotter pens as well as a variety of useful tools for use in plotting and sign making such as plotter adapters, masking film, spray mask, and other sign making tools and accessories.