Tooling & Workholding

Turning Tools
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Turning involves a fixed and non-rotating cutter, because in turning, the workpiece spins instead of the tool. Turning tools typically consist of a replaceable insert in a turning tool body. The insert can be distinctive in a number of ways, including shape, material, coating and geometry. The shape can be round to maximize edge strength, diamond-shaped to allow a sharp point to cut fine features, square, or even octagonal to increase the number of separate edges that can be applied as one edge after another wears out. The material is typically carbide, though ceramic, cermet or diamond inserts can be applied to more demanding applications. A variety of protective coatings also help these insert materials cut faster and last longer. The geometry of the insert generally relates to its cutting angles, though the tool may also include a complex chipbreaker pattern that prevents long unbroken chips from becoming entangled in the cut. The turning tool body generally does not feature quite so much engineering, but even here there are a range of choices for fine-tuning the process. Quick-change tools involve modular bodies that allow replacement tool bodies to be swapped in and out and locked in place quickly to minimize setup time. The turning tool body can also channel high-pressure coolant more effectively to the cutting edge of the tool.

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hard machining

Success Factors for Hard Turning


A rigid machine and hard cutting edge are the beginning. Other considerations relate to system rigidity and keeping the cutting force steady.

form tool

Video: Form Tools On CNC Lathes


Form tools are traditionally associated with non-CNC machines, but in certain applications they make sense on modern machines as well.

Custom step drill

See The Tool's Value Instead Of Its Cost


This company is embracing high-performance tooling on its turning centers. The "sticker shock" is no reason not to do this. In one case, though, the shop found a way to limit the cost of the tool and increase productivity at the same time.



An Extreme Part-Off Demo Returns to IMTS 2014

By: Derek Korn
The strength of part-off tools is shown in demonstrations whereby they part off a railroad rail and sledge hammer head. Talk about significant interrupted cuts…

Extreme Part-Off Demos at IMTS 2014

By: Derek Korn
The strength of part-off tools is shown in demos whereby they part off a railroad rail and sledge hammer head. Talk about significant interrupted cuts…

Productive Trade-Offs in Rough Turning

By: Chad Miller
Maximizing productivity in rough turning operations requires a balance of trade-offs between the properties of the cutting tool substrate and the characteristics of its chipbreaker geometry.

Parting and Grooving with Five Edges

By: Chris Felix
While five-edged grooving and parting inserts are not new, here’s an economical solution for parting diameters as large as 40 mm. This alternative to the standard circlip-type grooving system offers five cutting edges with fast indexing from either side.

When to Consider Customized Cutting Tools

By: Chris Koepfer (editor)
What is the real cost of choosing standard or customized tooling if time is money and efficiency translates into profits? It’s a question many shops face regularly.


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