Which Tungsten Carbide Burr SHape & Cut Type Do I Need?
Step 1: Choose the shape of Carbide Burr that will do the job.
Step 2: Select the correct cutting edge for excellent carbide burr performance. To keep it simple we only supply the premium performance carbide burr forms.
- Fluted Cut Carbide Burrs - for non-ferrous metals and plastics. These are identified as Code 3 ( /3) at the end of our part number (SKU)
- Diamond Cut Carbide Burrs - for hard metals such as stainless steel and titanium. Diamond cut tungsten carbide burrs are identified as Code 6 ( /6) at the end of our part (sku) number.
Tungsten Carbide Burrs FAQs
Which type of Tungsten Carbide Burr should I buy?
This is the most common question we get asked.
If it is a hard surface - Choose a Diamond Cut burr. The fine tooth structure will ensure a rapid cut and a fine finish.
For a softer surface - Choose the Fluted Cut burrs. The open fluted structure allows the swarf to be removed quickly without clogging up the surface and generating more heat.
The Shape of burr is entirely down to your application.
- Cleaning out the inside of a bowl? Use a ball shaped burr
- Chamfering edges? Then a straight sided are angled burr may be the right choice
Still not sure?
- Why not buy one of our carbide burr kits which should cover most of your application needs
How do I clean aluminium grinding swarf from carbide burr tips?
As always prevention is better than a cure.
Aluminium grinding swarf will stick to the head of the carbide burr if too much heat was generated in the grinding process. Keep the heat down and allow air to get to the workpiece will prevent fluted cut carbide burrs from loading. Assuming you have not been able to prevent swarf build up and you haven't got a pot of hydrochloric acid handy (which will dissolve aluminium) then the next best option to clean the carbide burr head is to use brass wire brushes to clean away the aluminium swarf.
Brass is significantly softer than the carbide burr so a good quality brass wire brush will be able to remove the swarf leaving the cutting tip undamaged and ready to carry on working.
What are tungsten carbide burrs?
Dependent on the size of the burr, premium quality carbide burrs are either fully machined from a solid piece of tungsten carbide or the cutting head of the burr is made from a 'blank' of tungsten carbide which is soldered onto a tool hardened steel shaft to create the burr head.
The machine profile of the carbide burr is important for it's application. There are many older styles of cut profile but at AFS we took the decision to focus on the best options for all applications. We therefore have two cut profiles available as standard
Diamond Cut Burrs
This is a finer tooth head which has a knurled appearance on the surface which creates a large number of smaller cutting faces. Ideal for harder metals inclduing steels, stainless steel and aerospace metals. The finer burr cut profile also improves the quality of finish from the burr.
Fluted Cut Burrs
Softer metals and soft plastics tend to heat up quickly when grinding into the material surface. For this reason we supply the fluted cut profile on all our carbide burrs designed for aluminium. Fluted cut carbide burrs have long curved cutting profile which allows for efficient removal of the grinding swarf and also allows for more air to get near the cutting surface in order to keep the workpiece cool
How can I tell if a carbide burr is good quality?
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Looking at a carbide burr in a box it is very difficult to tell one burr from another. Here are three tips which might help you to separate the sheep from the goats (so to speak)...
- Although there are exceptions to the rule look for a premium cutting profile such as the diamond cut or fluted cut profile of the burr head. In normal use single cut burrs add no real benefit to the end user but they are cheaper to make and will not last as long as a diamond cut burr on steel.
- Have you considered inspecting a burr under a microscope? That might seem a little odd but it is at the microscopic level that quality really begins to show. Look for a good clean profile on the burr head with no micro-particles or chips being visible in the cut profile. Lots of swarf or chips in the surface of a new burr might indicate that the head was machined out using poor quality or worn cutting tools.
- Does the head fall off? Really? Sadly we hear all to often that some burrs supplied in the market place have a habit of losing their heads!! It can happen, but it shouldn't. We are so confident in the stability of our burrs that we offer a no quibble money back guarantee against all our burrs.
What is the ideal speed for carbide burrs?
The optimum speed for carbide burrs will depend on three main factors.
- The diameter of the carbide burr head
- The material you are cutting with your burr
- The power output of the die grinder, flexible shaft or drill
In principle we recommend the highest effective speed for carbide burrs. This will assist in removing swarf and reduce the chattering against the workpiece which will, in turn, improve the finish from the burr cut.
The exception to this is when working in a pillar drill type of application or counter-sinking when worknig at 3,000 rpm or even lower will be effective.
note: Pressure is not your friend
Let the burr do the work. High pressure at the contact point will only increase heat and therefore the risk of a burr head failure. Enough pressure is needed to ensure a consistent contact with the workpeice but no more than that. Lower pressure will also allow for easier swarf removal which will in turn lead to a cleaner and smoother cut with your burr.
Why do you have so many shapes and sizes of Carbide Burr?
As a grinding tool, carbide burrs are unforgiving. The shape of the burr will directly reflect the shape of the cut achieved, so when you are selecting the burr it is important to check that you have the correct shape for the finished profile you aim to achieve.
What difference does shape make to the cutting head?
Non-ferrous metals and soft plastics can clog up the cutting head of a burr so for this reason the fluted cutting shape makes sense.
Harder metals won’t clog up the metal, but the metal breaks off in small chunks, so lots of small cutting edges which you get on a diamond cut head speed up the grinding process.
Fluted Cut Carbide Burrs - for non-ferrous metals and plastics are identified as Code 3 ( /3) at the end of our part (sku) number. The open fluted cut face aids fast swarf removal on soft materials such as aluminium and soft plastics.
Diamond Cut Carbide Burrs - for hard metals such as stainless steel and titanium. Diamond cut tungsten carbide burrs are identified as Code 6 ( /6) at the end of our part (sku) number. The multi-faced diamond cut burr ensures rapid low vibration cutting on steels and other hard metals.
Fluted CutNon-ferrous metals
Diamond CutHard metals
We stock an extensive range of tungsten carbide burrs in 11 different shapes, 2 different cut forms and a whole range of diameters which will easily fit on to your die grinder.