For many, tool crafting is a mystery. We usually only know how to use our tools, or what is the best way to machine a part. But the details that go into creating high-end tools are not something that occupies our minds very often.
However, this part of the manufacturing process is incredibly important, and exciting for many. So, let’s reveal the factors that drill bit manufacturers take into account when creating their famed tools.
The first thing to understand is why carbide is the preferred tool for hole making and other machining tasks.
Your drill bits are essentially cutting tools you can plunge into a material to create circular holes. They are attached to a power drill that generates enough torque to drive your drill bit into the material without a problem. However, there are at least three general characteristics drill bit manufacturers must take into account when creating their tools.
Drill Bit Geometry
Depending on the geometry, a cutting tool will be better suited for certain tasks. The twist rate or spiral in the drill is what controls the chip removal rate. Compact flutes are great when you want higher feed rates but are limited at slow spindle speeds, yielding bigger or “uncut” chips. Low twist rate bits are better suited for high cutting speed applications where the chips can be bitten by the tool, yielding shorter chips.
Point angle refers to the angle you see on the cutting head or tip. The sharper the angle, the quicker it will lose its sharpness. If you´re working on hard materials, you should go for a 135° point angle. However, shallow angles will make your tool more prone to walking, so make sure you first create a center punch before plunging your tool.
Then there is the length of your drill bit or how deep they can be driven. Long drills are great for making deep holes. However, accuracy tends to worsen the longer your drill bit. Shooter and chunkier drills are desirable in high-precision operations. However, if you need slimmer bit proportions, you will want to work with carbide tools as they provide extra stiffness and accuracy.
Drill Bit Materials
This is a critical feature as your bit material directly affects the performance of your cutting tools. If you´re working on softwoods, then consumer-grade carbon steel is usually enough. However, these drill bits lose their sharpness very quickly and tend to yield subpar finishes. The problem with steel-based tools is that they lose their temper when they start running hot, which affects their shape and sharpness but also causes them to fail relatively quickly. The same goes with high-speed steel tools which are more resistant but will slow down any operation that requires making holes in hardened materials.
The best material for making drill bits is tungsten carbide and drill bit manufacturers craft them for high-performance shops and demanding industries focused on productivity and reliability. The material toughness of carbide tools makes these tools more durable, allowing them to retain their sharpness for longer periods.
However, tungsten carbide can be expensive and hard to get. Fortunately, tungsten products today are being constantly recycled and re-machined into brand new cutting tools by drill bit manufacturers who care about sustainability and also operational costs for their customers. Online Carbide is the drill bit manufacturer most machinists prefer due to their strong commitment to the industry and their fair prices on high-quality carbide cutting tools. Visit their website today and learn more about their performance tools and manufacturer direct prices.