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Thread: The current state of Chinesium Carbide tooling

  1. #1

    Default The current state of Chinesium Carbide tooling

    I seem to recall not too long ago that generally speaking, a lot of the carbide cutters and burrs that come straight outta Guangdong province are actually not bad at all. This was some sort of apparent prevailing opinion among hobby machinists who can't necessarily justify/afford the price of 'murican or British made high quality tools just for small jobs. Is that still the case? I'm in need of a 1/2" rotary burr set to chew through some rock hard weld buildup in awkward places (automotive repair) and I'm wondering if I'll be suffering buyer's remorse fairly quickly if I buy a 16 set instead of a 60 set. In the grand scheme of things that 60 set should last me a lifetime and is just several beers sacrificed to make up the difference, but I'm poor and every penny counts.

  2. #2
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    I've not bought any carbide tools out of China anytime recently so I can't offer anything there, but as a general principle I can't say that I've ever regretted spending a few extra bucks to get what I felt was a top shelf (in my world, anyhow) tool. Believe me, I do understand not having extra cash, I've been there, but assuming that you can come up with the few sacrificed beers difference, I doubt you'll feel bad about buying the 60 pound set. You will also probably feel glad you did every time you take them out and use them, and they don't disappoint you.

    If spending the difference means not paying your rent or being able to buy food, then the equation is very different and you go with the cheap set and hopefully it gets the job dome for you. It's just one of those unfortunate risks you have to take when you are that broke. I've done the same, and won some and lost some.

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    Chinese tooling has gotten better over the years. I wouldn't spec Chinese carbide to tool up a commercial shop where time and money are kings. But I find the stuff I've bought over the last 2 years to be an acceptable balance between cost and use in a my home shop.

    If your task is a one off type thing that you aren't going to be doing regularly, I would try the Chinese burrs if they are acceptably cheap for you. It might take one or two more tools than the best stuff, but the cost will still be in your favor I think.
    If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

  4. #4
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    I've had a few sets recently that might be of interest. Had some lathe inserts that were labelled as Korloy. WNMG, MGGN and CCGT and all have been good. I suspect there's something like them being slightly out of tolerance as the MGGN inserts were quite difficult to get into the holder and the WNMG needed the middle clamp loosening before they would go in/out - this latter could be normal, I've got nothing to compare to. As for cutting performance they've been really good so far.

    I have got a small set of rotary burrs from China for a Dremel sized tool. Nice mix of single and double-cut, different shapes etc. I've not used them on really hard stuff or in anger (so to speak) but they appear well-made and sharp. Seem to have quite happily handled the mild steel I've thrown at them in small doses and don't seem to have dulled after just one use.

    Personally, I'd go for it....but then maybe I've just had a run of good luck.

  5. #5
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    I have noticed very real improvements in Chinese made carbide inserts during the past few years. In particular, inserts intended for use with aluminium are very good, sharp and even useful on stainless and steel for taking smaller cuts. They are so cheap that they make the bother of resharpening HSS not worth the bother.
    I have even had good results from using TNMG's from Drillpro designed for steel.

  6. #6
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    Are they as good as the expensive western ones, no way.

    Are they good enough for the price, yes. At least in a home shop, just don't expect them to last as long.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excellent View Post
    ... I'm in need of a 1/2" rotary burr set to chew through some rock hard weld buildup in awkward places (automotive repair) and I'm wondering if I'll be suffering buyer's remorse fairly quickly if I buy a 16 set instead of a 60 set....
    ...In the grand scheme of things that 60 set should last me a lifetime ....
    Buy the good ones first so you don't need to swear the chinesium quality when even the good ones fail.

    Rotary burrs are not lifetime investment if you use them on "rock hard weld buildup" in "awkward" places. More like "Oh sh1t... now its chipped all around"
    I would be happy if one lasts until the job is finished.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiJ View Post
    Buy the good ones first so you don't need to swear the chinesium quality when even the good ones fail.

    Rotary burrs are not lifetime investment if you use them on "rock hard weld buildup" in "awkward" places. More like "Oh sh1t... now its chipped all around"
    I would be happy if one lasts until the job is finished.
    That sounds like a better argument to buy the cheap ones first

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiJ View Post
    Rotary burrs are not lifetime investment if you use them on "rock hard weld buildup" in "awkward" places. More like "Oh sh1t... now its chipped all around"
    I would be happy if one lasts until the job is finished.
    I am with you on this. I have never had any luck with carbide burrs in a hand held situation. It will bounce no matter the gorilla grip you have, and it will chip. HSS burrs are my go to. JR
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by JRouche View Post
    I am with you on this. I have never had any luck with carbide burrs in a hand held situation. It will bounce no matter the gorilla grip you have, and it will chip. HSS burrs are my go to. JR
    Glad I'm not the only one. I was cleaning up a caster hole, all was going well with my HSS bit, it caught and jumped occasionally but it was already so dull it didn't really matter. My die grinder was getting hot so I switched to a carbide bit, it cut fantastic for the few seconds before I grabbed and I destroyed it. The only place carbide burrs are needed is inside a hole, and that's basically the only place they don't work.

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