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Using the Maplin (Dremel clone) for cutting tool steel

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Greensands19/11/2019 21:07:41
65 forum posts
3 photos

It has been suggested that this type of hobby saw can be used for cutting (or at least nicking) tool steel to length prior to breaking off using the hammer & vice technique but my experience has not been a happy one. This I think is because I am not using the right type or size of saw blade. Can anyone recommend a suitable choice of cutting off blade and from where they may be obtained. The Maplin hobby saw itself appears to meet the requirements although I feel it does requires a lot of patience and the use of very light loads to make any serious progress.

Greensands19/11/2019 21:42:26
65 forum posts
3 photos

Forgot to add that the size of tool steel in question is 1/4" x 1/4"

mechman4819/11/2019 22:18:47
2668 forum posts
412 photos

This I think is because I am not using the right type or size of saw blade. Can anyone recommend a suitable choice of cutting off blade.

Are you talking saw blade with teeth or a cut off disc 'cos it's the disc you will need. You will need to cut through at least a 1/8 of the way through from each side then fix in vice, cover with old towel / tee shirt & give it a whack with a 2lb hammer, it should snap off easily. The discs that come with some of the kits are quite useable, iirc they are a dark brown / black in colour. I have used these discs without any probs, but you will need patience, if too much pressure is applied you run the risk of shattering the disc.


Edited By mechman48 on 19/11/2019 22:19:51

pgk pgk19/11/2019 23:04:49
1809 forum posts
288 photos

Agreed discs not saw blades or diamonds. Discs come in two thicknesses as far as I'm aware and the thicker ones are more robust for this sort of duty. As stated the thin ones will shatter unless very very careful.


Paul Lousick20/11/2019 00:13:19
1418 forum posts
542 photos

If you are referring to a 1/4" lathe tool blank in a hardened state, it can be cut with an angle grinder (or Dremel) with a thin cut-off grinding disc. Tool steel is a general term for carbon steel that can be used for making tools, etc (eg. silver steel, + ) and is normally supplied in a soft, annealed state and can be easily machined prior to hardening.



Edited By Paul Lousick on 20/11/2019 00:13:55

Mark Rand20/11/2019 00:28:34
892 forum posts
5 photos

It's also necessary to run the cutting disks at the maximum speed the Dremmeloid is capable of. If it isn't throwing sparks, it's going too slow.

For a 35mm disk, 30,000 rpm is close to the right speed

Edited By Mark Rand on 20/11/2019 00:31:41

JasonB20/11/2019 07:04:25
18156 forum posts
1998 photos
1 articles

The on the left will do but are fragile, reinforced ones on the right are more forgiving. Or the quick change ones do the job but a bit more expensive if you don't need the quick change.

Angle grinder will do too.

Clive Foster20/11/2019 10:08:13
2212 forum posts
73 photos

+1 on the angle grinder with 1 mm disks rather than a Dremel or clone.

I find the extra weight of the angle grinder makes it far easier to do a smooth straight cut. Goes through quicker too which helps. Dremel style machines put the cutting disk rather far out front and its a one handed hold with the wrist in a rather weak plane. Dremel is great when holding an abrasive drum, disk or whatever against the job for fine shaping where you want light touch and sensitive control. Not so good at cutting straight.

As ever horses for courses.

Not greatly enamoured of cutting disks indie grinders either for much the same reason.


Colin Heseltine20/11/2019 10:15:16
410 forum posts
119 photos

I have found the Dremel SpeedClic by far superior to the standard ones and they are very easy to fit. Used them yesterday to cut off the damaged ends on tool clamp bolts in a Colchester QCTH.


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