CNC machining hub requires installing Carbide cutting tools and High-Speed Steel (HSS) to process high-quality products efficiently. Both differ from one another in speed and production rate. The variances may produce an impact on the finished product depending on the necessities.

We are here to benefit the engineers who own their shops by providing the benefits and drawbacks of both the equipment for heightening the performance of the tools’ efficiency according to the shop owner’s requisite. 

What Are Carbide Cutting Tools? 

Initially, Carbide Cutting tools were manufactured as a substitute for diamond cutting tools. The tools are generated by incorporating tungsten carbide particles with a certain percentage of cobalt. The total procedure employs heat or pressure to construct a strong and heavy metal mass. This manufactured product undergoes shaping up and thus results in a specific type of tool — cobalt functions as a holding agent that keeps the tungsten carbide particles fixed to one another. 

To enhance the functionality of the equipment, manufacturers have decided to curtail the particle size of the material and intensify the cobalt quantity to develop more reliable and productive shapes. These minute carbides are much powerful and vigorous than traditional carbide devices. They have an additional notable effect and wear defiance than the originally designed carbide tools of the 20th century.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of carbide cutting tools.

Are There Any Advantages of Using Them? 

The following points are directed towards the benefits of using Carbide Cutting tools:

  • Faster speedy cutting enables rapid production in minimum time. 
  • Retains the strong feature even under compression. 
  • The surface finishing is vastly sufficient than HSS tools. 
  • Best for stringent and synchronous CNC machines. 
  • This is an exceptional device for operating with extremely corrosive materials encompassing polymers, glass-filled plastics, and cast iron. 
  • High heat forbearance authorizes for high RPM cutting speed. 
  • Longevity in performance because of its wear defiance property. 

Which Points Focus on the Cons of the Product?

These facts noted below will make you clear about the flaws: 

  • It is highly tough to hone carbide appliances or to lay an edge on an efficient carbide cutting device. 
  • The cost per robust carbide device is much excessive than high-speed tools, which makes it less economical.  
  • The carbide tools tend to build up internal tension, limiting their shapes and several cutting edges while utilizing hugely sharp cutting edges. 
  • The tensile strength is considerably lower if contradicted with high-speed tools. 
  • Carbide tools are often delicate and fragile than the high-speed tools that lead them to more recurrent breakage. 

Let us Understand What is HSS in CNC Machining 

The HSS device is made up of high carbon and high alloy steel. The product can be further split into tungsten and a molybdenum steel series as per their chemical configuration. Following the cutting capability, it can be separated into ordinary high-speed steel and great performance HSS.

The high-speed steel needs to be enhanced by going under heat treatment. High-quality hydraulic press machines are best suited for this purpose. In the smothered condition, the iron, chromium, carbon, and part of tungsten in the HSS produce incredibly strong carbides. This enhances the wear resistance of the steel. The hardness can even extend to HRC64-68. Another aspect of tungsten gets dissolved in the matrix and boosts the red hardness of the steel. The HSS can attain up to 650 degrees because of the red hardness. Presenting below the various advantages and disadvantages of high-speed steel. 

What Are Some Benefits of Using HSS?

The underneath bullets will throw the light upon the boons of HSS: 

  • The utilization of this tool is specifically preferred to generate tiny, complicated-shaped devices. 
  • They are more reasonable if compared with carbide equipment. 
  • HSS tools are required to reduce those materials which carbide tools are unable to. 
  • These tools can easily be sharpened than carbide. 
  • HSS devices are more reluctantly given shape than carbide, which assigns them for greater shapes and distinctive cutting edges. 
  • The sharp edge holding capacity lies much more within these tools than in carbide tools. 
  • After sharpening, the edge remains quite sharp, and the quality is excellent. 
  • High steel speed is valued more because of its endurance and durability. 

What Are Some Disadvantages That Prevent Them From Being the Best? 

Enclosing here, the different impediments of using HSS tools. 

  • High-speed tools may not cost much but have a poor wear resistance than carbide tools. 
  • The cutting edge of HSS might be sharper, but they need replacement in fewer cycles as they can just be sharpened fewer times before it acts on the strength of the device. 
  • The tool will not come to use on some particular tough alloys. 
  • There lies a need to alter and replace tools quite often because of their low durability, which may harm the outcome. 
  • HSS tools are not at all beneficial for producing high-quality ends. 


High-speed steel machinery assists a shop in generating more meticulous parts with detailed surface finishing. The machinery and other working equipment initiated should be rigorous and rigid for HSS. For this, the outcomes become more definite workpieces. 

Our determination of choice for opting one over the other depends on which one we desire to cut and how rapidly we need it to be cut. If the production period is limited, carbide cutting tools are generally considered more efficient than the HSS tool without extra production costs. On the other hand, if we have concentrated our shop on producing short productions with minimal units, then HSS cutting tools are possibly the better option. We have to make sure our choice benefits us the most and keep on adding extra to our profit margin. 

About the Author:

Vincent Hua

The Top Advantages and Disadvantages of Carbide Cutting Tools and HSS in CNC Machining 2

Vincent Hua is the Marketing Manager at TSINFA. He is passionate about helping people understand high-end and complex manufacturing processes. Besides writing and contributing his insights, Vincent is very keen on technological innovation that helps build highly precise and stable CNC Machinery.

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