Metal cutting is a dangerous business, whether you are an amateur or a professional. Hence, it is imperative that the metal cutting equipment you are using should be of the highest quality. The problem lies in the fact that there are many metal cutting equipment suppliers out there waiting for you to buy their cheaply made products, while they market them as being of the highest quality. But at the same time, there are also suppliers that are selling metal cutting equipment that is both safe and meets the industry standards. So, how to differentiate between the real and the phony? To do this, you need to understand metal cutting equipment and the qualities it must possess. Only then will you be safe from all those vendors waiting to fool you with their low quality metal cutting equipment.
Types of Metal Cutting Equipment
All vendors supply different types of metal cutting equipment, so the first thing to look for is whether they have the type of metal cutting equipment you need. There are two main types of cutting tools:
1) With Inserts:
The tip of such tools is replaceable! So a single tool can braze, clamp, and even weld if you use an appropriate kind of tip with it. Most commonly used materials for the tips are tungsten carbide and cubic boron nitride, so make sure the ones your vendor has to offer have been made with such materials as well.
2) Tools for Solid Cutting:
For milling, drilling and other similar purposes. Make sure the cutting edge and the shank are one piece and not disjointed.
Qualities to Look for in Metal Cutting Equipment
It is very easy for vendors to label equipments, but a tool made for solid cutting will not be the same at, let’s say, Vendor A as compared to Vendor B, two metal cutting equipment vendors. So, how will you know what you are being sold is a product which complies with the industry standards, is of a high quality, and will not harm you? By knowing about the qualities a metal cutting tool must have, and there are three:
The important thing to notice when inquiring about the hardness of the tool is not how hard it looks, but how well it holds up in high temperatures;
You don’t need your tools chipping up during usage. It not only is unsafe, but also may damage the metal piece you are working on;
3) Usable Life:
The tool must not be made up of a corrosive element so that it works well for you even in the long run.
Choice of Vendor
Look for a vendor that sells you the type of metal cutting equipment you need, and that it complies with the quality criteria we have established above in this article. Now is perhaps the most decisive factor to consider: the vendor’s repute.
If you are ordering online, the best you can do is look for reviews about the particular vendor, how good the products it sells are, and how good is the after-sales customer service it provides. Make sure it offers you warranty with the cutting tools, because even though the products may look good on the face of it, you will only discover its quality once you test it out.
However, it is a very unwise decision to order online. The best thing to do would be to visit the vendor you have chosen in person and to test the product right there and then before the purchase to ensure that it works. This will provide you with a greater customer security.
Don’t compromise on price as far as metal cutting equipment is concerned. Even though metal cutting technology has improved in recent years, their prices are still over the roof. Some vendors will offer low quality equipment at much cheaper prices, but the equipment they provide will die out way before it has served its purpose. So it is much wiser to go for a high quality product bought from a trusted supplier to ensure that the metal cutting equipment you get is top notch and not a waste of your money.
Kenny Osborne is a mechanical engineer who has a broad and practical knowledge of metal cutting technology and its industry scale usage. He is currently employed at Ford Motor Company and has been working there for the past 5 years.