Router Bit Breakage

Router Bit Breakage

Router bits improperly used

Router Bit Breakage Showing Wave Lines

These are the router bits I discussed in the previous post. They are router bits designed for plastic.  They are really designed for CNC routers cutting ordinary plastic. The customer used them that way. The customer also use them in a handheld router to cut fiberglass which is where the problem arose.

The customer was good enough to send the router bits back so we could examine them. Here are three pictures of the router bits.  You can see that the breakage on the router bits is practically identical from bit to bit to bit.

In my experience, when cutting tools suffer practically identical breakage it generally means a misapplication of the tool or that the wrong tool was used for the job.  (Same thing – just different ways of looking at it.)

router bit breakage 2

router bits improperly used 2

It could be a poor tool design where a weak spot was engineered or machined in.

I generally think of carbide defects as occurring randomly and look for different kinds of breakage in different parts of the tool.

Another thing to notice is the ‘beach’ (wave, tide, etc.) marks especially prominent on the right hand part. These marks are a series of lines one right after the other. You can see them marching up through the light gray area, right next to the dark black area.  This shows that the router bits did not break in a single incident. Instead there is a series of dozens of tiny breaks or rips succeeding one another. Each beach line indicates a separate rip.  There’s a huge difference between a carbide router bit that snaps and a carbide router bit that has to be beaten apart with dozens of blows.

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router bit breakage 3

router bits improperly used 3

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