If your work involves shaping, grinding, or cutting, especially with air tools, then you know the importance of carbide burrs. They are used to work on a number of materials, from steel, iron, and titanium to wood, ceramics, and fiberglass. Carbide burrs, which are also sometimes called die grinder bits or rotary files, come in a variety of shapes, allowing you to match the carbide burr to the specific job. Here is what you need to know about using them in your project.
Single and Double Cuts
The two most common cuts of carbide burrs are single and double. Single cut—or one-flute burrs—have a spiral flute, sometimes called an upcut. Single-cut carbide burrs are typically used for milling, deburring, and cleaning of ferrous metals, stainless steel, cast iron, and hardened steel. Double-cut carbide burrs have two flutes. They are sometimes referred to as diamond-cut or crosscut. Typically, double-cut carbide burrs create a smoother finish and can be used on ferrous and non-ferrous metals. They are also used for any non-metal materials, like wood, plastic, and ceramics. Matching the appropriate cut to the job will ensure you get the finish you want without damaging the material.
Sizes and Shapes
Both single and double-cut carbide burrs come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Ideally, it’s best to get a set of burrs that includes different shapes and sizes, so that you can have the right tools for a variety of jobs. The size of the carbide burr will impact the speed at which it works. You can test different speeds for individual jobs, but it is recommended to start at a slow speed and increase slightly as you go. Using a speed that is too slow will cause a jagged finish and could allow the flutes to get clogged.
Pressure and Motion
With any kind of carbide burr, use light pressure to avoid damaging the material or the burr itself. Use a steady motion, rather than starting and stopping, to achieve the best finish. Always end a job with an upstroke, to ensure the finish is as smooth as possible.