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Indexible tooling question

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  • Indexible tooling question

    In reguard to tool holders. What makes one set more expensive then the other. I bought a set of 3 for my lathe that were 30$. They have cobalt tips. No extras.

    I found 1 tool with 1 tip for 70-100$. So the math doesnt make sense to me. I understand why tips alone are pretty expensive. Just not sure about holders.

    Can i use my cheap holders and put expensive tips on them right? Thanks as always

  • #2
    Cobalt tips? I think you meant carbide, and I assume they are indexable inserts, probably triangular.

    What makes one more expensive than another is the quality and source, not mutually exclusive. And that applies to both the holders and the inserts in them. When you are the kind of buyer that's happy with cheap Harbor Freight tools and machinery, go ahead and keep buying tools over and over again. Myself, buying top quality tools and machines only hurts once. I have NO trouble finding high quality name brand holders and inserts on eBay or through suppliers offering limited time bargains.

    In carbide insert tooling, the better quality holders are a more stable and secure pocket & seat for the insert. Carbide performs poorly when it's a substandard grade in a good holder, or a good grade in a crappy holder. You get what you pay for.

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    • #3
      The $30 holders you purchased sound like the mass produced ones, probably in China. A lot of sellers have them. The fact that they are made in larger numbers is a big part of the low price. They are of moderate quality. If you want a better quality holder, you will find that they are not made in such high quantities. But they are made to better standards, so you get a better holder. But the price is going to be higher. Perhaps a lot higher.

      Economics 101!
      Paul A.

      Make it fit.
      You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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      • #4
        higher tolerances, better screws, harder/ tougher materials all explain the difference in holder prices. If you change an insert or tip fairly relatively and aren't take huge DOC, then I can't see anything wrong with the cheap holders if that's what you can afford. Obviously the metric changes in a production environment, but then they're earning the money to pay for it.

        A selection of better inserts for different materials would be a wise buy as would be some better screws, otherwise I can't see an issue here.

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