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What Are the Different High-Speed Steel Tools?

Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann

There are several types of high-speed steel tools found in lathe tools, drilling tools and grinding tools. Other types of high-speed steel tools are milling machine tools, countersinks and cutting tools. Taps, dies and even saw blades make up groups of these tools. Used mainly for the cutting and machining of steel and metal, there are also high-speed steel wood working tools available for a variety of uses.

The use of high-speed steel tools allows the tool manufacturers to create tools that will work without becoming damaged on very hard steel, wood projects and workpieces. Drill bits for wood, steel and masonry are three types of high-speed steel tools. The special steel allows a sharp cutting edge to withstand high heat and continue cutting through many uses. On the very hard concrete or stone-type drill bits, a special coating of carbide is commonly applied to the cutting edge to add extra cutting power to the drill bit. Tungsten is also used on many high-speed steel tools to increase the durability and longevity of the tool when used on extremely tough materials.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

Many lathe tool bits are manufactured from high-speed steel. The lathe tool bits are used to create many components on the turning lathe without requiring the bits to be resharpened. Special hardening methods are used on the bits to create an extremely durable cutting edge that is able to cut through the toughest of steels. Wood lathes also require a very durable lathe tool to withstand the enormous amounts of heat created when turning a hard wood on the lathe. The various gouges, parting tools and other lathe tools used to create wood turnings are tools made of high-speed steel.

Milling machines use high-speed steel tools in the form of rotary cutting bits to cut and remove material from large blocks of billet steel and aluminum. Operating at slow- to mid-speeds, these tools must be very sharp and without defect in order to create a quality product. Even the slightest bur on the face of a milling machine cutting tool can result in imperfections in many areas of a single machining. Unlike a computer numeric control lathe that uses a ceramic cutting tool, the milling machine uses a rotating steel cutting tool to perform the cuts. Saw blades designed for both the cutting of wood and steel are high-speed steel tools that can remain sharp through many cutting cycles.

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      Man with a drill