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Thread: How Hard is Hard

  1. #1
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    Smile How Hard is Hard

    I was just ordering some bits from CMT and noticed on the flyleaf of their big product catalog that the Carbide they use has a Rockwell hardness of 92. No wonder carbide tools don't sharpen easily.

    Gary Curtis

  2. #2
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    Also why carbide breaks (or shatters) too.

    To give people a point of reference a hardened steel edge cutting tools is typically in the 65 C range.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
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  3. #3
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    the guy in the tools department(home depot) told me that all the carbide bits for the routers are made by union carbide, and that all the manufacturers are similar qualtiy. I found that hard to believe, even though the guy is about 80, says hes been around power tools forever,
    They specialize in Ryobi bits, and porter cable I believe.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    the guy in the tools department(home depot) told me that all the carbide bits for the routers are made by union carbide, and that all the manufacturers are similar qualtiy. I found that hard to believe, even though the guy is about 80, says hes been around power tools forever,
    They specialize in Ryobi bits, and porter cable I believe.
    Seventy years ago, when he started, that might have been true. But with all the stuff coming from Japan, China, India and places we can't pronounce, I also find that highly unlikely.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    the guy in the tools department(home depot) told me that all the carbide bits for the routers are made by union carbide, and that all the manufacturers are similar qualtiy. I found that hard to believe, even though the guy is about 80, says hes been around power tools forever,
    They specialize in Ryobi bits, and porter cable I believe.
    I find that hard to believe, also, for a couple of reasons. I doubt if Union Carbide is the only maker of carbide in the world. I'm sure that China and other countries have carbide manufacturers also, and like eveything, the quality depends on the material that goes in, and the process that's used to make it.

    Second, the technology of carbide has continued to improve. Carbide tools are actually made of grains of carbide bonded together with cobalt. The size of the grains has gotten significally smaller over time (micro-carbide).

    All carbide is not the same, and therefore all carbide router bits are not the same quality. Even anecdotally, many people report different performance with different brands of the same profile router bit. While not science, they can't all be wrong.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by gary curtis View Post
    I was just ordering some bits from CMT and noticed on the flyleaf of their big product catalog that the Carbide they use has a Rockwell hardness of 92. No wonder carbide tools don't sharpen easily.

    Gary Curtis
    Router bits are hard. Where I work its hard to get tooling unless it can be billed directly to a project, so specialty bits like Round Overs and Cove Bits are very hard to get. So I have been using router bits I have from home. As Jeff says, they are hard;and as long as they don't experience vibration or chatter, they hold up well.

    Now keep in mind they are in a Bridgeport and gnawing away on stainless steel. That is a pretty impressive feat for the lowly ol router bit.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  7. #7
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    On the inside cover of their catalogue, CMT names the Swiss steel company that manufactures their micrograin carbide. Freud also names theirs. An English company I buy from (HSS not carbide) names the steel company in Sweden where they buy. So the guy at Home Depot simply hasn't been exposed to the variety that a wood snob --- yes, I admit it -- like me has seen.

    Ron Hock on a trip to his little factory told me his most reliable source for quality steel is France. Though I am new, I can tell the difference in sharpening HSS and Carbide. The latter is simply no fun. But an Hc of 92 is a sobering number.

    Gary Curtis

  8. #8
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    I wouldnt argue with a guy thats his age and a subject I know nothing about.
    I wouldnt attempt to discuss with him that simply because something comes from the same facility, it doesnt necessarily mean its the same quality.
    Ex: I know someone who is in the garment industry in the quality control area.
    When I once questioned them exactly what they do, they explained that when they travel overseas to visit a plant that has been contracted to make a garment, or part of one, its their job to see that they are getting exactly what they are paying for. The factory that turns out blue shirts for a nationwide discount chain, at a retail price of 12 dollars, also manufactures blue shirts for a high end label. The difference is in the level of material, the way its processed, thread count, and alot of things I dont really understand.
    Id guess a carbide manufacturer also makes products of different standards directly related to the contractors request and price paid.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Seventy years ago, when he started, that might have been true. But with all the stuff coming from Japan, China, India and places we can't pronounce, I also find that highly unlikely.
    Actually, Israel produces much of today's carbide. It's used by manufacturers all over the world.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  10. #10
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    Hi All,

    My oldest son, Greg (not Glenn) is always telling me, "Nothing is ever simple dad." I guess carbide is just part of the picture.

    Enjoy,

    Jim
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

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