International Association of Penturners - View Single Post - Mini or Midi Carbide Cutter for Pens??
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Old 03-09-2015, 01:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
LeeR's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Posts: 630
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I mostly use HSS tools now. I do have a Woodchuck PenPro, and I like it for pens. But most of my work is bigger spindles -- tool handles, pepper mills, even a bunch of napkin rings for Christmas gifts. None of those would I want to make with a carbide tool. I have spent a lot of time trying to master the skew, and getting reasonably comfortable, and pretty good with it (I am not sure I will ever truly "master" it!). The finish of a carbide cut cannot compare to a final cut with a well-sharpened skew, in my opinion.

Both tools have there place, and I agree that for a beginner, the carbide tool is a good choice. But if you want to expand your turning, I really think you will be happier in the long run if you learn to use traditional turning tools. And there is no reason you cannot use both carbide and traditional HSS on the same project, finding a good balance between both.

Just my 3 cents (adjusted for inflation...)
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