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Tungsten Carbide vs HSS

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tophat

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I'd like a second set of P/T blades and was wondering whether to fork out for some Tungsten Carbide ones. They are 3 times more expensive, but at £66 they wont break the bank. I suppose what it comes down to is: How much longer they hold their edge; Whether I can re-hone them with lapping plate, jig and wet n' dry; And how easily they can be re-sharpened. I mainly plane oak and should add that HSS has always done a good job for me. What are your views and experiences?

Cheers Chris
 

Steve Maskery

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Hmm. I should say that I've never used WC blades on a PT, so this is all speculation.

Yes you could hone them, I'm sure, with a diamond plate and a jig like this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIBKp9_hWLo

But. If you hit anything hard, WC is going to be a lot less forgiving than HSS. With the best will in the world it's pretty difficult to guarantee that nothing hard comes into contact with them, and if they get nicked, you are looking a regrind, not just a bit of a hone.

If you are happy with HSS, then stick with it. If you want to try something more technologically advanced, try a Byrd Spiral head. They will get nicked in just the same way, but are easier to put right, just turn the affected inserts. I've not seen one in the flesh, but drool over them in the US and Aussie mags.

Not sure that this is much help!
S
 

woodbloke

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TC blades are only really useful if you're going to do a lot of planing of abrasive timbers...teak is the best example. If you're hand planing it, irons need to be honed every 5 minutes, which is a real chore, so you can imagine what the stuff will do to HSS planer knives. However, if you have miles of the stuff to stick through a p/t, then TC knives would be a good investment - Rob
 

tophat

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Thanks for the replys folks. I only make saw dust as a hobby at the moment so will probably stick to HSS
 

Digit

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HSS tends to produce a better finish I find and I have used both TC and HSS, plus HSS is easier to sharpen.

Roy.
 
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