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PCD (Polycrystalline Diamond) Tools

PCD Jointing Cutter for high speed machining

PCD Tools

To achieve an optimal economic result when using PCD polycrystalline diamond tipped tools, it’s most important to consider all of the application details, machining parameters and expectations to insure the tool is suitable for the project intended. Even with a simple compression bit purchase, the performance and anticipated results over the life of the tool can vary widely. Many of the popular PCD compression bits have a staggered tooth design (as shown below) and are described in terms such as “Z1+1”, “Z2+2” or “Z3+3”. What this means in laymen’s terms is that, with a Z1+1 for instance, you only have one flute cutting. In this example, 1+1 does not equal 2. It means one section of the tips is shearing downward, and one is shearing upward. With a single flute diamond tool, machine feed speed will be limited to no more than 200″/minute, so for most shops, a Z2+2 will be more suitable.

Diamond Router Bits
Selection of PCD Router Bits

In order to make diamond tools affordable for even the smallest cabinet shop, some router bits are designed as “disposable”, i.e. the tip height is about 3mm, which will allow no more than 1 sharpening before the tool must be retired. Other tools might have a 4 or 5mm tip height, which will provide sufficient tip size to sharpen the tool several times. The disposable design tools are usually designed with a carbide-tipped plunge point, as it will generally not wear out before the tool is retired. These are all considerations to be aware of when shopping for diamond tools. It can be difficult for the layman to truly compare product and expected performance.

Certain Criteria are to be considered when purchasing a Polycrystalline Diamond Tool.

  1. Precision balanced tool body, high corrosion protection
  2. Shank, arbor hole, cone and installation surface must be high precision machined and honed, and stringent adherence to runout tolerance
  3. Rigid packaging for transport
  4. Dimension sheet should have exact CNC data
  5. Balancing quality grade
PCD Roundover Cutter Head
Diamond (PCD) Roundover Cutterhead

An all-purpose PCD tool does not exist. The seller should provide expertise and give a very specific, exactly defined for your application, offer. Only doing it this way guarantees a most economic result when using PCD tipped tools.