Carbide Insert Identification Characteristics

Many industrial and manufacturing processes require the precise cutting of raw materials. Cutting tools rely on inserts to produce the cuts required.

Carbide inserts are popular options for high-volume production plants. Carbide can last for a significant amount of time, reducing operating costs and ensuring the reliability of each cut. You must be able to understand how carbide inserts are identified in order to select the insert best suited for your industrial application.


The primary characteristic used to identify a carbide cutting insert is the shape of the insert itself. Each shape produces a different kind of cut, so you must carefully match the shape of the insert with your desired outcome.

The most common shapes for carbide inserts include diamond, parallelogram, octagon, square, triangle, and round. Be sure that you are familiar with the performance of each shape so that you can select the carbide insert best suited to meet your manufacturing needs in the future.


Another important characteristic that must be taken into consideration when identifying carbide cutting inserts is the clearance of the insert. Clearance refers to the relief angle on the cutting edge of the insert.

The actual value of the clearance is measured by calculating the degree of difference from 90 degrees. The clearance can significantly affect the outcome of each cut, so you must select the carbide insert with the relief angle that will produce the type of cut you are looking for.

Edge Preparation

You must factor in the type of surface finish you want to achieve before selecting a carbide cutting insert. Different inserts feature different edge profiles that can affect the finish of the cuts once they are complete. Carbide inserts are identified based on their edge preparation.

Some inserts are honed to various measurements, some have a rounded or a sharp cutting edge, and some have a chamfered or double chamfered edge preparation. Understanding the differences between the various edge preparations will allow you to utilize the carbide insert whose cutting edge will produce the type of surface finish you need to complete your manufacturing processes in the future.

Cutting inserts play a critical role in the production of many retail products. Carbide inserts are classified using a complex system of characteristics that define the performance of the inserts. Take the time to become familiar with the identification system for carbide inserts if you plan to utilize these cutting tools in your manufacturing processes. Once you're ready to order the inserts, contact a company like Olson Carbide.