Are you looking to create your own cutting tools but have no idea where to start? Whether you’re grinding end mills, drills, or rotary burrs, finding the right carbide rods for the job is not an easy task.
Carbide rod lengths, diameters, and grades can vary significantly from application to application. That’s why we’ve put together this complete carbide rod buying guide to help you navigate your first purchase with ease.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT CARBIDE GRADE
When it comes to buying carbide rods, by far the most common question we get asked is, “Do you have grade information?”
This should come as no surprise, considering there are hundreds of different manufacturers in dozens of different trades selling tungsten carbide in over 5,000 different grades. It’s frustratingly overwhelming, to say the least.
To make matters worse, there is no “true” standard. If you switch from one supplier to another—even if the grades seem similar enough—you really can’t expect the same results. In fact, trying to compare carbide rods from different manufacturers is a lot like comparing cheeseburgers from McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s. Sure, they’re all technically cheeseburgers, but to say they all taste the same is pure lunacy.
That’s why we’ve gone out of our way to simplify things. You don’t need thousands of options for carbide grades. You really only need the two. These two.
CCSM-10 is by far the most commonly used grade of carbide in North America. At 10% cobalt, it’s an industry-standard in terms of strength and quality. This makes it great for crafting drills and general-purpose endmills or machining a wide range of materials, from aluminum and cast iron to 303- and 304-grade stainless steel.
- ANSI Classification: C2
- ISO Classification: K20-K40
- Strength: 525,000 PSI
- Cobalt: 10%
- Grain Class: Submicron
CCUF-12 is a very popular high-strength grade of carbide, having a superior combination of hardness, strength, and wear resistance. With 12% cobalt, it’s great for making high-performance endmills and for machining everything from 316-grade stainless steel to titanium- and nickel-based alloys.
- ANSI Classification: C2/C3
- ISO Classification: K20-K40
- Strength: 620,000 PSI
- Cobalt: 12%
- Grain Class: Ultrafine
DO YOU WANT YOUR ROD BLANKS WITH OR WITHOUT A CHAMFER?
A chamfer is a sloping edge between the sides and tip of a carbide rod. Also called a bevel, a chamfer is typically cut away at a 45-degree angle to provide a smooth transition between the two right angles of the piece.
Chamfer rods are great for minimizing scarring on your tool holders when loading your tools, and also for reducing the risk of injury by eliminating any sharp corners from the equation.
SELECT YOUR CARBIDE ROD LENGTH
When it comes to buying rod blanks, this is often the easiest selection to make. Essentially, you’ll want to choose the length you need for your specific application. Find out the reach you’ll need and select a size or two up to make sure you have a little extra length just in case. At Complete Carbide, our rods are cut very close to the called out length, typically only varying by .005″ or less.
We offer rod blanks in the following lengths:
- Standard: 1 ¼” – 8″
- Metric: 22mm – 150mm
PICK THE CARBIDE ROD DIAMETER YOU NEED
Generally speaking, a larger diameter means a stronger tool, a wider cut, and a higher price. Of course, you should never base this decision on price or strength alone. Even the smallest diameter carbide rod is still incredibly strong and will hold up against almost any material that isn’t diamond.
What you really need to consider is the main purpose and design of the tool. These are typically the factors that influence your choice in diameter.
We offer carbide rod blanks in the following diameters:
- Standard: 0.0625” – 1.25”
- Metric: 2mm – 25mm
DO YOU NEED ANY GRINDING OR LASER MARKING?
The last thing you should consider before purchasing your rod blanks is if you want any additional services, such as custom grinding or laser marking.
Let us help shorten your lead time with high-precision pre-grinding of your blanks to meet your exact specifications. Simply check “Yes” next to Grinding before you add the rods to your cart and then include your order number and specifications at checkout.
Make your carbide tools stand out from the rest with your brand’s logo or a custom line of identification text laser-marked onto the blank. Simply select the option you would like (logo, identification, or logo and identification) and then enter the text (True Type fonts only) and/or upload your logo image file (vector files and DXF drawings work best).
SHOP THE WIDEST SELECTION OF CARBIDE RODS AT COMPLETE CARBIDE
Can’t find the exact product you’re looking for? Send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to let you know if it’s something we can source on your behalf.