View Full Version : Adjustable Reamers

09-20-2006, 06:14 PM
How the heck do you adjust an adjustable reamer? I've tried to bring the cutters down with the (funnel?) nuts but no mater what I try, I can't get them all even. When I check across the cutters, I'll get the size I need but when I check the the others, some are under size, some are over size when measured across. These are brand new and the best Harbor Freight tool money can buy! :rolleyes:

I need .675" (+.001/-.000) and it's tough to do when the cutters vary by +/-.005". :eek:

09-20-2006, 06:25 PM
never had much luck with the adjustable ones. I was once told by a old hand that they are not to great for real close work unless they are new. But they are good for cleaning out and dressing over size holes or under sized holes. it seems that the pressure would squeeze the blade sections unequelly. when turning the reamer by hand. at least thats the way mine seem to move around. Don't know what kind of ones harbor fright sells.:D

kap pullen
09-20-2006, 06:28 PM

May I suggest you purchase a quality adjustable reamer from Manhattan or other supplier. Harbor Freight is fine for many items but maybe not reamers.


09-20-2006, 06:28 PM
Maybe you have answered your own question.
I have used adjustable reamers manufactures by: Union, Cleveland, and Morris and have never experienced what you are describing. Maybe others can help.

09-20-2006, 06:48 PM
Why not make a D-bit and be done with it. You could probably make several for the cost of the adjustable reamers, good quality ones anyway.

09-20-2006, 11:37 PM
I hate straight blade adjustable reamers.The sole purpose in design of those things is to induce fits of profanity in the user.We have a pile of them at work up to 2-1/2",they are coated with dust.

09-21-2006, 12:18 AM
Hey wierd, can I have them for the cost of the freight?

09-21-2006, 12:37 AM
Hey wierd, can I have them for the cost of the freight?

They would have hit the scrap long ago,but the boss won't let me pitch them.I have amassed a collection of spiral adjustable reamers,much better.

09-21-2006, 06:16 AM
Ken K. Adjustable reamers were more common in the days of leaf springs and un-hardened bushings for heavy equipment hydraulics. Straight fluted and spiral fluted adjustable are better but the adjustable blade gets the job done and there still used on millions of things!!! I think you got a lemon!!
Each blade is the same diameter looking at the reamer, remove a blade, turn it, you see it's angled, thin at top to fat at bottom, with small entry angles for the nuts! Make sure all blades are equal, and that the groove is clean!!!
Start them all at the bottom and snug the nuts, not to tight or you'll bow the blades! turn the reamer thru with a small cut, loosen the top nut 1 flat tighten the bottom one same amount, try again! These are only to clean peened over stuff or other hit marks, if you really try to cut with these the blades will most likely flake the back edge off!! IMHO, these are cut and measure, and not for work requiring alot of accuracy!!
Hope this helps, good luck!


J Tiers
09-21-2006, 08:24 AM
I have a bunch of "Blue Point" adjustables. They work fine for anything I want them to do. Not for the last thou though, not what they are for.

BTW, if they are dull, they won't do anything right, and will "cut" lumpy holes.

09-21-2006, 09:07 AM
CCWKen, I have used adj. reamers for many years, mostly for king pin bushings, spring bushings and other one time applications. My method is to make very light cuts, slowly getting close to the final size. Then make another pass without changing adjustment. Then expand reamer very very little, like back off upper nut only 10 degrees instead of quarter turn and proceed slowly with lots of good cutting oil. Also make sure to remove reamer afer each pass and clean reamer and hole very thorouly. Very slow procedure but will do for one off job. The reamers I have used are not able to be set with a micrometer ahead of time, and will not always cut a second hole to size with last setting. Just my experience. JIM

09-21-2006, 09:21 AM
.....from Manhattan or other supplier.

I guess I'm not the only one who remembers when they were known by that name.

Looks like the rest has been covered.

09-21-2006, 01:47 PM
I like adj. reamers for a lot of things. That's why I was trying to bum Wierd's reamers. The fixed straight flute and spiral flutes are best. I also have some fixed blade reamers that have an expansion screw in them. The advantage of removeable blade adj reamers is you can make a fixture to sharpen them with your surface grinder and they cut nice again:D . Plus, now they are concentric with the axis but be sure you take them apart and clean them real good before grinding and that the reamer body is not bent. Most the time the reason they cut poorly is dirt has gotten under one or more blades.

09-21-2006, 10:10 PM
If this is typical Chinese stuff, maybe all it needs is a good deburring.

09-22-2006, 01:05 PM
Mark, you hit the nail on the head. After fiddling with it more yesterday morning, I took it apart and cleaned it up--Lots of burrs and even swarf in the channels. I put the reamer inside of a bushing and moved the adjusting nuts until I got snug/slip fit. A little more adjusting and I got the holes reamed dead on.

I was about to regrind the cutters until I pulled it apart. :eek: