I started my business in the mid 1980’s, and since then some things have changed as far as what is available for cutting tools used in CNC Swiss machines. Navigating the many choices is not always easy, but necessary to control costs. With every job you must decide which CNC swiss tools are the best fit.
There are many insert tools manufactured, but not all of them are a good fit for CNC Swiss. The size of the radius, the width of the tool, and the grind of the lead angle and rake are not the same for all manufacturers. If you have found a good one for you keep using it. If not try NTK, or Utilis. The real question is always when to use inserts and when to used braze carbide.
Many shops have gone to just usint inserts. They sight easy tooling changes and many choices of coatings, which are both good reasons. Although the cost of inserts is not minimal, and most materials are not significantly difficult to warrant just inserts. Certainly when machining kovar, invar, 465, A286, or most high nickel alloys, inserts are a must. But for brass, aluminum, and mild stainless steels, 303, 304, 316, 416, brazed carbide are just fine.
If your shop is using inserts only, your tooling costs may be too high, taking away from your profit margin. If you’re using just brazed carbide, your cycle times on your tougher jobs may be longer than with inserts.
In today’s cost conscious market, the right mix of tooling is important.