When it comes to woodturning tools, one has to make sure they’re sharp and resistant enough to cut through a variety of solid woods. Whether you’re a newbie or a professional in wooden craftsmanship, choosing precise and quality instruments are the key. No wonder that carbide woodturning tools have recently become a boom.
Carbide is a carbon-based material known for its hardness, strength, and resistance. Compared to steel, it can withstand higher temperatures, therefore, it makes it a great material for abrasive tools, as it can combat overheating resulting in breaking.
Most of the lathe woodturning carbide cutters can boast with a rotating tip. The tool can thus stay sharper longer without the need for high maintenance. There’s plenty of models available on the market. Let’s now find out which style and design is the right one for you.
This three-piece set of square rougher, round finisher, and detailer is far the best option for beginners on the market. The maple hardwood handles, which come in red, orange, and yellow color, make it easy and comfortable to use. But don’t get me wrong, its high-quality manufacturing makes these tools go for an option for professional woodcraft too.
It has multiple sharp sides, so they stay fresh sharp much longer with just a simple twist once a side gets dull. The carbide cutter tips are replaceable, easy to change, and reasonably priced too. Though using the detailer might be awkward at first, one will get used to it with practice.
If you don’t wanna invest too much in your carbide woodturning tools, these are a good option. They’re affordable, yet very good quality tools. They come as a three-piece set with diamond, round, and square tips, which can be, again, replaceable. The cutter head is rotatable, and therefore self-sharpening. The grip handles are covered with comfortable, anti-slippery rubber, and are flattened at the back for better stability while turning.
Moreover, they’re versatile. They work not only on hardwoods and softwoods but also on ply, acrylic, and inlace acryl ester. They therefore can’t be missed in any DIY woodwork kit.
This six-piece versatile set with an interchangeable aluminum handle, as well as relaxed foam grip, is a good choice for experienced and versatile craftsmen who simply want to have it all. One can work on different projects at the same time without the need of buying an abundance of other tools. The cutters are rotatable and self-sharpening too.
The kit includes a simple swan neck hollower, which was specially designed to reach areas inside hollow-form vessels, which would otherwise be inaccessible with regular straight tools. There are two different simple detailers too, for more types of jobs and outcomes. These tools are not necessary for beginners, but make the toolbox stand out yet a little bit more.
A box of 8 functional woodturning tools like this is a great option both for hobbyists and professionals. Two scrapers, two chisels, three gouges, and a parting tool, they all have ergonomic beech handles for a better grip and control, brass ferrules, and high-speed steel blades. They come in a nice wooden case for both travel and storage and are a budget-friendly alternative for turners of all skills and levels.
This is by far the most budget-friendly 3 piece set of carbide turning tools on the market. The square rougher, round finisher, and detailer come in a carrying and storage kit. Once the tip is dull, just simply turn it over, to fresh, clean cutting edges. The molded grips make them easy and safe to use.
Coming from trustworthy brand manufacture, this kit would be a great option for beginners who are looking for a good quality starter pack at a great price.
Which toolset to use, then?
As you could see, the market is full of various woodturning tool sets and kits. When it comes to choosing the right one, one can be left indecisive. That’s where you would have to ask a couple of simple questions.
First of all, you should consider what projects you will be using the tools for. Pens, fruit bowls, or aesthetic vases? Are you a beginner turner with little to no skills? You’ll most likely be just fine in the first months with a simple 3 piece quality set to avoid confusion.
If you are a woodwork hobbyist with already some skills and knowledge, you might want to invest in a more versatile, probably 6 piece pack. You can therefore either work on simple projects or experiment a little bit with layering, texture, and creative details.
Wood craftsmen who often find themselves in need of hollowing out a product or excessive detailing might want to go for a functional kit that includes the above-mentioned swan neck hollower and multiple diamond-shaped detailers.
The frequency of the tools use should be considered as well and should be reflected in the price of the product.
How do you take care of carbide cutters?
Though carbide cutters are generally resistant and can withstand high heat temperatures, they don’t handle well quick changes of temperatures. Take special care and always leave the cutters the opportunity to adjust to new temperatures.
When it comes to grinding, most of the carbide woodturning tools are self-sharpening and don’t require grinding. Once dull, the tips can be easily exchanged for new ones, which would be the best option. Grinding isn’t advisable, but with special attention, they can be ground. For best results, use a silicon carbide abrasive wheel, and always avoid the wet wheel. And again, take special care regarding the temperature.
Otherwise, carbide cutters are low-maintenance and long-life.
We have reviewed 5 carbide cutter woodturning sets, of which each has its unique features. Your project types, frequency of use, skills, and resources should be taken into consideration while choosing the right tools for you. Carbide cutters are a good option for both hobbyists and professionals and are in most cases easy to use and easy to maintain.