Tool Makers Blog
Indexable tools are extremely versatile and used for many common tooling types
A tipped tool generally refers to any cutting tool where the cutting edge consists of a separate piece of material, either brazed, welded or clamped on to a separate body.
Common materials for tips include tungsten carbide, polycrystalline diamond (PCD), and cubic boron nitride (CBN). Tools that are commonly tipped include: milling cutters (endmills, fly cutters), tool bits, and saw blades.
Inserts are removable cutting tips, which means they are not brazed or welded to the tool body. They are usually indexable, meaning that they can be rotated or flipped without disturbing the overall geometry of the tool (effective diameter, tool length offset, etc.). This saves time in manufacturing by allowing fresh cutting edges to be presented periodically without the need for tool grinding, setup changes, or entering of new values into a CNC program.
The advantage of tipped tools is only a small insert of the cutting material is needed to provide the cutting ability. The small size makes manufacturing of the insert easier than making a solid tool of the same material. This also reduces cost because the tool holder can be made of a less-expensive and tougher material. In some situations a tipped tool is better than its solid counterpart because it combines the toughness of the tool holder with the hardness of the insert.