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Do you use Chinese HSS?

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Blue Heeler29/06/2019 08:52:15
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189 forum posts

Do you use Chinese HSS or a quality brand HSS for your lathe bits?

I have both, but I'm very bias towards the quality HSS bits and I turn 80% - 90% brass and ali.

The Chinese HSS in a whole host of a range of sizes make great mill parallels for me.

not done it yet29/06/2019 09:15:22
3163 forum posts
11 photos

Good quality chinese HSS should be as good as any other quality brand.

Cheap chinese carp would be at the choice of the buyer and they should expect no more than what it costs. Likely a lottery as far as quality control is concerned. Quality variation can be from good to poor or even non-existent. Some might win, but on average.....? Bang good are likely one of the worst for trash (as in sub-standard) quality products?

Thor29/06/2019 09:20:52
1102 forum posts
31 photos

I have European made HSS toolbits as well as some from ArcEurotrade, can't say I have found much difference. I tend to use carbide tipped tool for roughing and HSS for the finishing cuts.

Thor

SillyOldDuffer29/06/2019 09:41:26
4535 forum posts
971 photos
Posted by Blue Heeler on 29/06/2019 08:52:15:

Do you use Chinese HSS or a quality brand HSS for your lathe bits?

...

I wonder where your 'quality brand HSS' was actually made? There's a good chance it's from China too! Most old certainties about cost/quality/brand and country of manufacture have been destroyed by Globalisation.

That said, I've not bought cheap HSS off the web or at shows. Most of mine came unbranded from ArcEuroTrade who have a good reputation for not selling rubbish. Perhaps that's the secret!

Dave

Samsaranda29/06/2019 09:50:11
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766 forum posts
5 photos

Have accumulated a selection of various sizes and lengths of HSS toolsteel, agree with Blue Heeler they make excellent parallels for the mill, irrespective of their country of origin. On a more serious note I find the ARC HSS toolsteel is excellent quality for the price.

Dave W

colin hawes29/06/2019 10:30:00
496 forum posts
18 photos

Be wary of the description HSS. It's been used as a suppliers name in the past. Colin

Vic29/06/2019 10:39:54
2173 forum posts
10 photos

Apart from some small pieces of cobalt HSS that I bought from Cromwell all my stuff is old British stock likely made many decades ago. I acquired most of it at least 20 years ago and it was probably old then. Is British HSS made in the 1940’s - 1960’s any good? Some of it has strange trade names on it, others are unmarked.

JasonB29/06/2019 10:44:27
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Moderator
15773 forum posts
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AS NDIY says all depends on what you pay for it. I'm assuming you are comparing bargain bucket poundland HSS that may cost 1/10th or less of a known brand name.

Do you really expect a bit of 6mm square 200mm long from a cheap supplier costing £2.80 delivered to perform as well as the same size and amount from say Eclipse for £38.50 plus delivery?

Luckily the cost/ performance curve is not straight so you can get reasonably priced chinese/indian/ Korian material that performs well from reputable suppliers as have been mentioned in a couple of posts already

Edited By JasonB on 29/06/2019 10:45:39

Baz29/06/2019 12:39:11
225 forum posts

Having been in industry all my working life I have a very good stock of quality of HSS, all top quality brands and had no need to try the foreign stuff until five years ago, just before I retired. I wanted to make some injector cone reamers and had no stock of 3/16 round HSS so I bought some from Chronos. I cannot remember what I paid for it but it was cheap, I got about a dozen pieces two inches or thereabouts long. To save grinding time I rough turned them on a little Hardinge second op lathe, short bed, no tailstock and basic cross slide, the HSS turned very easily with a carbide tip, high revs and light cuts, I roughed them all out in less than half an hour, afterwards I tried a piece of 1/4 dia Old stock Eclipse HSS and found it considerably tougher to machine, so there you are, it’s horses for courses, for brass etc cheap stuff should be more than ok but for tougher steels and cast iron I would delve into the box of old stock

Circlip29/06/2019 14:31:22
961 forum posts

Measure carefully if using them for parallels, Even "Good" pieces from the same batch may not be the same thickness and I'm not talking Chinese components. Only way to make sure is have some surface ground with each other to make a pair.

Regards Ian.

ChrisB29/06/2019 15:22:59
371 forum posts
152 photos
Posted by Circlip on 29/06/2019 14:31:22:

Measure carefully if using them for parallels, Even "Good" pieces from the same batch may not be the same thickness and I'm not talking Chinese components. Only way to make sure is have some surface ground with each other to make a pair.

Regards Ian.

I prefer to use ground flat stock for parallels. Get a 500mm length and cut it in 4. Cheaper than HSS and good enough for my level of precision.

Hollowpoint29/06/2019 15:36:56
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198 forum posts
27 photos

Cutting tools are the one thing I won't buy from China/India with the exception of Chinese carbide tips.

Mick B129/06/2019 17:59:15
1126 forum posts
62 photos

I have no idea where my HSS blanks come from. When buying I *usually* buy from a distributor I recognise, at a price that looks keen but not suspiciously cheap when compared to other offerings.

It's only in the last couple of years I've even thought of HSS as a differentiated product - I used to think it was all pretty much the same, like, say, supermarket porridge oats or 80 gsm printer paper.

I've got maybe 15 or so 1/4" tool bits in use at the moment, and I've not bought any for about a year. Of these, I'm aware of only one that I think is inferior - not soft but sort of micro-crumbly at the cutting edge. If I could remember where I bought it I'd complain...

wink

Edited By Mick B1 on 29/06/2019 18:00:51

Barrie Lever29/06/2019 18:16:36
323 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Blue Heeler on 29/06/2019 08:52:15:

Do you use Chinese HSS or a quality brand HSS for your lathe bits?

The Chinese HSS in a whole host of a range of sizes make great mill parallels for me.

Not if I can help it ! Prefer carbide every time.

I like using parallels as parallels.

Everyone to their own of course. 

Edited By Barrie Lever on 29/06/2019 18:18:43

Edited By Barrie Lever on 29/06/2019 18:19:26

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