What are the different Trend router bit materials?

 

The different materials that are used to produce Trend branded router bits and cutters   

 
     
         
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Trend produce tools of the highest standard and use the best material properly. Wonkee Donkee Trend exclusively supplies Trend products and here is a rundown of the materials their cutters are made of. 

 
         
 

High speed steel (HSS)

 
  High speed steel routerbits  

High speed steel is a type of hardened and treated high carbon steel. HSS cutters are machined from a single piece of high-speed steel, to the required flute profile and ground to a fine edge.

 
     

If you purchase a HSS cutter, ensure it has been machined from a single piece of high speed steel, as some inferior types have a body produced from cast steel instead.

 
         
  Advantages and disadvantages of high speed steel  

ADVANTAGES

 

DISADVANTAGES

 
       
  • Generally less expensive than other cutter materials

  • Can be sharpened to a much finer degree than other material

     
  • Becomes blunt quicker than other materials

 
         
  Image showing that HSS router cutters are best suited to timber, PVC and acrylic  

Best suited to:

HSS router bits are best suited to nonabrasive natural timbers, PVC, and acrylics (non-tinted varieties).

 
         
  Examples of the detailed work that HSS router cutters can complete  

Because these router bits can be sharpened to a much finer degree, they are, when sharp, more suited to fine and detailed work that requires a very clean and precise finish straight from the router cutter. 

 

Dovetailing in softwoods and panel raising being good examples of uses for these router bits.

 
         
  A high speed steel bit and a tungsten carbide tipped bit  

HSS router bits are often used in conjunction with more durable TCT cutters of similar size and profile - the latter to remove the bulk of the waste and the former to make a light finishing cut to achieve a non-feathered edge.

 
         
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Tungsten carbide tipped (TCT)

 
  TCT cutters and bits for woodworking  

These routers bits or cutters have a body and shank machined from high-grade steel, and either tungsten carbide tips brazed onto each flute, or solid carbide inserts set into the shank (common with smaller cutters).

 

Tungsten carbide is an extremely hard compound of tungsten and carbon. 

 
         
  The Dnamic carbide logo  

D-Namic Carbide

Most of Trend's router bits either have tungsten carbide tips or are made of solid tungsten carbide and they use D-Namic carbide. D-Namic carbide is ground to a superior finish by automated router bits and has around twice the durability of any of its closest competitors. 

 
         
  Saving money on replacing cutters by using Dnamic carbide  

This extended lifespan makes it the most cost-effective product available, as you won't have to sharpen or replace your router cutters as often as you would if you were using a different brand of carbide. This is why Trend routing products are so highly regarded.

 
         
  Advantages and disadvantages of tungsten carbide tips  

ADVANTAGES

 

DISADVANTAGES

 
       
  • Under normal conditions, their cutting edges will outlast HSS ones many times over

  • Are able to keep their cutting edge more efficiently and so preclude the need for constant re-sharpening

   
  • Cannot be honed to quite as sharp an edge as HSS cutters

  • Prone to chipping if knocked or dropped against hard surfaces or other cutters

  • More expensive than HSS cutters

 
         
  Image showing that tungsten carbide tipped router cutters are used with a range of abrasive materials  

Best suited to:

TCT cutters are designed for cutting the most abrasive materials, including natural timbers, plywood, chipboard, fibreboard including MDF and hardboard, glass fibre reinforced plastics (GRP), acrylics (tinted variety), and other abrasive plastics such as Tufnol®, and solid surface materials such as Corian®.

 
         
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Solid tungsten carbide (STC)

 
  STC woodworking tools by Trend supplied by Wonkee Donkee  

Solid tungsten carbide cutters are ground from a solid piece of tungsten carbide, usually of a harder grade than is used on TCT cutters, and still using  D-Namic carbide .

 
         
  Advantages and disadvantages of solid tungsten carbide  

ADVANTAGES

 

DISADVANTAGES

 
       
  • Provide the greatest durability when used under stress load conditions, and where heat build-up can potentially damage the cutter or the material

  • Can be ground to produce better plunge cutting characteristics than TCT

  • Can be re-sharpened many times more than TCT cutters

  • Will outperform TCT cutters as a harder grade of carbide can be used

     
  • More expensive than TCT cutters 

  • Requires careful handling and storage as tungsten carbide can be brittle

 
         
  Image to show that solid tungsten carbide router bits are best used with abrasive materials  

Best suited to:

Solid tungsten carbide cutters are designed for use on the same materials as tungsten carbide tipped ones.

 
         
  Buy STC router cutters  
         
 

Super high speed steel (HSSE)

 
  HSSE bits for routing  

Super high speed steel router bits are produced from a specially develop high-grade steel that contains cobalt for extra strength, and they are precision ground to the highest tolerances.

 
         
  Advantages and disadvantages of super high speed steel  

ADVANTAGES

 

DISADVANTAGES

 
       
  • One of the strongest types of router bit, these are designed to withstand very high temperatures

     
  • Requires the use of a continuous coolant such as a water soluble oil or mist spray to maintain low cutting edge temperatures and to reduce the likelihood of ´weld back´ 

  • Usually more expensive than the materials mentioned above

 
         
  Image to show that super high speed steel bits are best used on uPVC and non-ferrous metals (such as aluminium)  

Best suited to:

HSSE cutters are designed for use on uPVC and non-ferrous metals (e.g. aluminium). 

 

They are generally used by tradespeople, typically window and door fabricators, for machining aluminium and uPVC extrusions.

 
         
 

Polycrystalline diamond tipped (PCD)

 
  Poly-crystalline diamond tipped bits for extra long lasting bits, ideal for industrial use  

These specially formulated router bits have Polycrystalline diamonds are bonded to tungsten carbide tips under extreme pressure and intense heat.

 

For more information on PCD cutters see: PCD tooling

 
         
  Advantages and disadvantages of polycrystalline diamond tips  

ADVANTAGES

 

DISADVANTAGES

 
       
  • Highest cutting performance available with current manufacturing technology

  • Cutting edge will outlast normal TCT many times over

     
  • Most expensive of all cutter materials

  • Cooling agent is needed to prevent cutting edges overheating

 
         
  Image showing that polycrystalline diamond tipped router bits are best suited to working with hard materials  

Best suited to:

PCD cutters can tackle the most abrasive materials including MDF, hardboard, hard natural timber, solid laminate and gemstone work surfaces. However, their expense warrants use only in very specialised or high-cost production applications on CNC or other large industrial fixed head routers with automatic feed. 

 
         
 

Coatings

 
  A bit that is specially coated with polytetrafluoroethylene to help prevent the build up of wood resin  

Polytetrafluoroethylene PTFE

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic resin used to coat items such as frying pans, to help prevent food and residue becoming stuck to the surface. It is commonly referred to as its trade name – Teflon. Trend's Trade range of router bits  all have PTFE coatings.

 
         
  Advantages and disadvantages of PTFE coating  

ADVANTAGES

 

DISADVANTAGES

 
       
  • Helps to prevent dirt and resins from sticking to the surface of the cutter, which makes cleaning them easier

  • Only the body of the bit is coated, not the cutting edges, so coating is not removed when sharpening

       
         
  Image showing that PTFE coated router bits are ideal for use with soft, resinous woods such as pine  

Best suited to:

The materials a PTFE-coated cuttercan be used on will depend on the material the individual router bit is made of, however, they are usually used when routing very resinous wood such as pine. 

 
         
  buy anti resin spray for routers  
         
         
  Information on materials that bits are made of and what they can be used to cut and shape  
         
  Materials that Trend bits are made of  
  Buy STC cutters  
         
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