Cutting Tool Information

Carbide Burs are used for cutting, shaping, grinding and for the removal of sharp edges, burs and excess material (deburring). Carbide Burs are widely used for metalwork, tool making, engineering, model engineering, wood carving, jewelry making, welding, chamfering, casting, deburring, grinding, cylinder head porting and sculpting. And are used in the aerospace, automotive, dental, stone and metal sculpting, and metal smith industries to name but a few. Carbide Burs can be used on most hard materials: metals including steel, aluminum and cast iron, all types of stone, ceramic, porcelain, hard wood, acrylics, fiberglass and reinforced plastics. When used on soft metals such as gold, platinum and silver carbide Burs are ideal as they will last a long time with no chipping or breaking.

What Do You Use Carbide Burs In?

Ideally carbide burs are used in Air Tools i.e. Die Grinders, Pneumatic rotary tools and high speed engravers. Micro Motors, Pendant Drills, Flexible Shafts, and hobby rotary tools such as a Dremel. Always use a handpiece that runs true i.e. with no wobble.

Carbide Burs Commonly Come in Three Cuts; Single Cut, Double Cut & Diamond Cut

Single cut (one flute) carbide burs have a right handed (Up cut) spiral flute. These tend to be used with stainless steel, hardened steel, copper, cast iron and ferrous metals and will remove material quickly with a smooth finish. Use for heavy stock removal, milling, deburring and cleaning.

• Heavy removal of material
• Milling
• Deburring
• Cleaning
• Creates long chips

Double cut or Cross cut carbide burs tend to be used on ferrous and non-ferrous metals, aluminum, soft steel and also for all non-metal materials such as stone, plastics, hard wood and ceramic. Double cut burs (2 flutes cut across each other) will leave a slightly smoother finish than single cut due to producing smaller chips as they cut away the material. Use for medium stock removal, deburring, finishing and cleaning. A double cut carbide bur is the most popular cut and will see you through most applications.

• Medium removal of material
• Deburring
• Finishing
• Cleaning
• Smooth finish
• Creates small chips

Diamond Cut carbide Burs are used for hard metals such as stainless steel and titanium. Ferrous metals and fiberglass, hard rubber and ceramics. They are made up of staggered teeth which provides more cutting edges, a faster removal of metal and a very smooth cut. Use for light stock removal, fine deburring and fine finishing.

• Light removal of material
• Fine deburring
• Fine finish
• Creates powder type chips

Shank sizes of your carbide Burs:

The shank is the mount of your Bur that fits into your rotary tool, die grinder, micro motor etc; so the opposite end to the working part of the tool. These are usually found in the following shank sizes:

• 1.6mm or 1/16"
• 2.35mm or 3/32"
• 3mm or 1/8"
• 6mm or 1/4"
• 10mm or 3/8”

The Various Shapes of Carbide Burs and How To Use Them.

Making a decision on what shape to use will depend on the profile or cut you are looking to achieve.These different shaped burs will get into almost any nook and cranny and produce some interesting profiles.

Cylinder Burs. Round Nose/Ball nose/End Cut

Choose from an end cut cylinder (with a cutting edge on the end) for contour finishing. Cylinder without end cut (flat on the end and no cutting edge) for contour finishing and right angled corners or a round nose or ball nose shape which is a cylinder shaped carbide bur but with a rounded head.

Carbide Ball Burs

Use a ball or spherical shaped carbide bur to create concave cuts in your material or to shape and hollow out an area. Small carbide ball burs from as tiny as .020” in diameter are ideal for intricate carving projects. Many wood carvers, stone carvers and metal engravers use these carbide carving burs in a hobby drill, micro motor or a high speed handpiece. As we mentioned before, make sure to use a handpiece that runs true i.e. with no wobble.

Small Carbide Burs (.020” -.125”), with .125” shank, head diameter, single cut for engraving metals, wood, stone, pebbles and plastics. Suitable for use in your hobby rotary tool such as a Dremel or Foredom, Micro Motor or pendant drill.

Carbide Tree Burs

Use for rounding off edges and making concave cuts. Use the pointed end for cutting in hard to reach areas and acute angled contours.

Carbide Pointed Cone & Carbide Round Nose or Ball Nose Burs

Good for rounded edges and surface finishing in difficult to reach areas or tight and narrow angles and contours. The round nose or ball nose cone are often referred to as a taper shape.

Carbide Inverted Cone

Use inverted cone shaped tungsten carbide Burs for making v-cuts and rear side chamfering.

Countersink Burs

Choose from 60 degree or 90 degree angle countersink burs, sometimes referred to carbide cone Burs. These are ideal for beveling, counterboring, chamfering and for getting into acute angled areas of your work.

What Speed or RPM should you use your Carbide Burs?

The speed at which you use your carbide bur in your rotary tool will depend on the material you're using it on and the contour being produced but it's safe to say you do not need to exceed speeds of 35,000 RPM. The table below shows some approximate speeds.

If the burs are chipping easily this could be due to the speed being too slow. However, it's ideal to start the bur off slow, increasing the speed as you go along. High speeds will prevent clogging in the flutes of your burs.

Diameter of Bur RPM
1.6mm or 1/16"  25,000 - 35,000 
2.35mm or 3/32"  17,000 - 26,000
3mm or 1/8"  17,000 - 26,000
6mm or 1/4"  11,000 - 16,500 
12mm or 1/2" 8,000 - 12,000 
16mm or 5/8"  7,650 - 11,500 

Do Not Apply Too Much Pressure

As with all drill bits and Burs, let the Bur do the work and apply only a little pressure otherwise the cutting edges of the flutes will chip away or become smooth too quickly, reducing the life of your bur.

Contact us today