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Thread: Carbide tool set recommendations

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Hoodsport
    Posts
    86

    Carbide tool set recommendations

    Can anyone recommend a good carbide tool set that doesn't cost a fortune?
    Where did I put those band aids?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    1,300
    They all cost a fortune for what you get. For as little as I use the couple I have, I should have either done without or made my own.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kapolei Hawaii
    Posts
    2,954
    I picked up the Rockler Mini set of 3 on sale for I think 99 bucks. That's pretty cheap. BUT they mini-tools, and are just that. Mini. BUT, that is the reason I got them as they are not my "main" tools. So they serve the purpose I got them for well. Small stuff. Woodpeckers and EZ tools carbide cutters are better IMO. I have them too.
    You can also make them The easiest is to make a square cutter holder. I used a 1/2" bolt, (use a hardened bolt, some bolts from overseas are really soft) cut the hex off, tapped and threaded the screw part into the handle. Easy. Hack saw the rough square cutter recess, drill/tap the screw that holds the cutter and file to shape. If you're skilled in fabrication, should be no problem. For me personally, a failure, better to buy since my metal fabrication leaves a lot to be desired.
    Good luck in your quest!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Springville, AL
    Posts
    93

    Srarch Amazon

    On Amazon search for "yufutol wood lathe turning tools". I bought 10 replacement cutters for less than $50. Same quality as Easy Wood tools? Hard to say but I have been happy with what I bought.

    From time to time I see full sets of turning tools sold there or by others.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    8,456
    Quote Originally Posted by Dueane Hicks View Post
    Can anyone recommend a good carbide tool set that doesn't cost a fortune?
    Good set? Good for what?

    As discussed several times here the Hunter Carbide tools are made and work differently than the inexpensive flat-topped carbide inset tools. They can be used as incredibly sharp gouges and result in clean surfaces that don't need sanding, or very little sanding with fine paper. Many inexpensive carbide tools can leave rough surfaces with lots of tearout that needs a lot of sanding. The type of wood and the type of objects turned make a big difference. If possible, try both before you buy and see if you are happy with the results. I did, and gave away all my Ez Wood tools. Any woodturning club will likely have people with both types that will be glad to let you try.

    JKJ

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Cary, NC
    Posts
    511
    I have found that my Ez wood tools work really great for turning alabaster.
    Joe

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Hoodsport
    Posts
    86
    Wow, there are many choices out there. I was looking at the Rikon set and wondering if they would be good. I really need something to reach inside a bowl without tearing the grain up on burl.
    Where did I put those band aids?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    501
    I bought a couple off of Amazon (not sure which brand but they all looked like they came from the same Chinese factory). I added a tool from Hunter to reach inside bowls with a lip. This is just my impression but the Hunter carbine inserts feel sharper. Enough so that I bought replacements inserts from Hunter for the Amazon tools. I mainly only use the style that's a round circle with a lip that does a sheer cut. I firmly believe that you usually get what you pay for.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Bloomington, MN
    Posts
    133
    I bought a set of Simple brand off Amazon. It came with one handle and three tools - Rougher, Finisher, and Detailer. I don't love the foam handle, and the shafts seem a little thinner than the EZ tools, but so far they've worked very well for what I needed them for. I found late in my research that the company was MN based, so that affected my decision as well. They have a sale going through their website right now and the set is $25 cheaper than what I paid.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    507
    When I started turning I bought Easy Wood full size tools - all three basic shapes but I only use the rougher and finisher; never the diamond shaped because I have only done bowl turning. They are great if you don't have sharpening capabilities or don't want to learn how to sharpen gouges and scrapers (describes me 2 years ago completely). Once I got experience, I found I can get a great final finish with patience and when the cutter is sharp. However, the only way I found to keep them sharp for longer periods of time was to invest in a Tormek diamond wheel for my 15 year old Tormek and their gouge jigs. Now I can sharpen the carbide inserts, especially the finisher, and get an edge that is at least as sharp as brand new. Also, I feel these tools would be great for pen turning.

    I also have one Hunter carbide insert tool. It is definitely superior to the Easy Wood in the final finish produced, but they are generally more expensive and the carbide inserts cannot be sharpened like my Easy Woods because they are a different type. I use this tool depending on what I'm trying to accomplish. Michael Hunter is very helpful so I'd call him for recommendations about his tools for your use.

    I also have one Woodpeckers Ultra Shear; the Detailer which I bought for a specific use because it has a very pointed tip. This carbide cutter is extremely sharp, but I don't use it too much so can't tell how long it will last.

    Oner the past 3 years I have also accumulated a couple of steel gouges and some steel scrapers. I have learned to sharpen them on my Tormek with the 600 grit wheel and will say that they cut better and with better results, but do require regular sharpening (although the powdered steel blades on my gouges do stay sharper a long time).

    None of the carbide insert tools are inexpensive. Plus, the cutters are expensive. Since I can sharpen the Easy Wood cutters the cost is cut significantly but some cutters (like Hunter's) can't be sharpened. To get a better finish with Easy Wood tools, try the NR cutters. Installing them at the end for some finish cuts improves the finish you get.

    I'm certainly not an expert, but I think carbide insert tools are a great starting point for beginners but, over time, you are likely to invest in steel tools and sharpening equipment because the results are, overall better. I still use my carbides for roughing though and find, with bowls, I can hollow out the bowl very easily with the round finisher with almost zero chance of a catch.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    507
    When I started turning I bought Easy Wood full size tools - all three basic shapes but I only use the rougher and finisher; never the diamond shaped because I have only done bowl turning. They are great if you don't have sharpening capabilities or don't want to learn how to sharpen gouges and scrapers (describes me 2 years ago completely). Once I got experience, I found I can get a great final finish with patience and when the cutter is sharp. However, the only way I found to keep them sharp for longer periods of time was to invest in a Tormek diamond wheel for my 15 year old Tormek and their gouge jigs. Now I can sharpen the carbide inserts, especially the finisher, and get an edge that is at least as sharp as brand new. Also, I feel these tools would be great for pen turning.

    I also have one Hunter carbide insert tool. It is definitely superior to the Easy Wood in the final finish produced, but they are generally more expensive and the carbide inserts cannot be sharpened like my Easy Woods because they are a different type. I use this tool depending on what I'm trying to accomplish. Michael Hunter is very helpful so I'd call him for recommendations about his tools for your use.

    I also have one Woodpeckers Ultra Shear; the Detailer which I bought for a specific use because it has a very pointed tip. This carbide cutter is extremely sharp, but I don't use it much so can't tell how long it will last.

    Oner the past 3 years I have also accumulated a couple of steel gouges and some steel scrapers. I have learned to sharpen them on my Tormek with the 600 grit wheel and will say that they cut better and with better results, but do require regular sharpening (although the powdered steel blades on my gouges do stay sharper a long time).

    None of the carbide insert tools are inexpensive. Plus, the cutters are expensive. Since I can sharpen the Easy Wood cutters the cost is cut significantly but some cutters (like Hunter's) can't be sharpened. To get a better finish with Easy Wood tools, try their NR cutters. Installing them at the end for some finish cuts improves the finish you get.

    I'm certainly not an expert, but I think carbide insert tools are a great starting point for beginners but, over time, you are likely to invest in steel tools and sharpening equipment because the results are, overall better. I still use my carbides for roughing though and find, with bowls, I can hollow out the bowl very easily with the round finisher with almost zero chance of a catch.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Pueblo West, CO
    Posts
    495
    I believe that Captain Eddie sells kits to make your own. Check Ebay where there a lot imports from about $20 up,

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