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Lathe Tools Carbide Tip - which ones ?

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Clive Joseph 121/11/2020 17:41:31
5 forum posts


I am in the process of purchasing lathe tools to use on my Warco 250 - 12mm tooling

I will be turning Bar stock - Brass, Mild Steel, Stainless & Aluminium, I appreciate I may need a different tip for certain materials

I would like to standardize tips across a range of tools - there are so many !!

Any advice would be appreciated

Thanks in anticipation Clive

David Colwill21/11/2020 18:43:25
703 forum posts
38 photos


DCMT070204 are pretty common and available in various grades from a number of suppliers.

CCMT060204 are also very common.

Both are available in 12mm tooling and boring bars are around for both types.

The last two numbers (04) specifies the nose radius and 02 (.02mm) and 08 (.8mm) can be had.



David Colwill21/11/2020 18:45:56
703 forum posts
38 photos

I should point out that these are the inserts.

The tools have there own codes but most suppliers will be able topoint you in the right direction.

old mart21/11/2020 19:15:15
2465 forum posts
169 photos

There are also two common types of insert available, those suitable for steel and those intended for non ferrous such as aluminium. The sharp aluminium type can also be used for finishing cuts on steel. As there are dozens of grades available, I am limiting the choice to two, which is plenty for a newcomer to use at first.

SDJCR 1212 H07  (right handed tool 12mm square for DCMT 07 inserts)

SDJCL 1212 H07  (left handed tool 12mm square for DCMT 07 inserts)

SCLCR 1212 H06 (right handed tool 12mm square for CCMT 06 inserts)

SCLCL 1212 H06 (left handed tool 12mm square for CCMT 06 inserts)

DCMT and CCMT type inserts are for steel.

DCGT and CCGT type inserts for non ferrous such as aluminium.

Edited By old mart on 21/11/2020 19:29:07

ChrisB21/11/2020 19:30:20
575 forum posts
192 photos

TNMG inserts worked very well for me. Having 6 usable tips is the main advantage, also their geometry makes them less prone to chipping. There are also polished inserts of the same shape for aluminium, I have not used these yet as I get good results with what I have.

old mart21/11/2020 19:41:09
2465 forum posts
169 photos

I use TNMG 16, but on 20mm tooling, too big for 12mm holders. There is a smaller size, but the inserts are not common.

ChrisB21/11/2020 19:53:46
575 forum posts
192 photos
Posted by old mart on 21/11/2020 19:41:09:

I use TNMG 16, but on 20mm tooling, too big for 12mm holders. There is a smaller size, but the inserts are not common.

I use TNMG1604 on 16mm tooling which I then milled down to 12mm to accommodate for centre height, works fine on the WM280.

John_R21/11/2020 20:11:06
4 forum posts

I bought a set of such tooling from Warco at one of the Model Engineering exhibitions well over 10 years ago. A quick look at the website suggests they still sell the same sets. I could do with more inserts, especially the threading tips, but Warco pricing looks a bit high. None of the inserts I see online look correct to my untrained eyes. I admit I didn’t realise that different inserts suit different materials.

For example, one tool has PWGNR 1215H09 marked on the shank. May I ask opinions on which inserts suit?

old mart21/11/2020 21:15:19
2465 forum posts
169 photos

Milling down the tooling is certainly a solution, I buy 20mm holders and mill them down to 17.53mm to fit without bothering with shims. All three of the toolposts used for standard tooling on the lathe are the same height. The two new ones just copy the height of the original one on the lathe.

John R, this link may help you:

Edited By old mart on 21/11/2020 21:20:42

Clive Joseph 122/11/2020 07:35:12
5 forum posts

Thanks all for your help/advice really appreciated

What are the experiences of the Chinese tooling - seems very cheap ! not always a good sign but are they OK for the hobby engineer who may not demand heavy cuts or the speed of production that industry requires ?

Still require a good finish though smiley

Thanks again Clive

David Colwill22/11/2020 09:19:14
703 forum posts
38 photos

Hi Clive,

Mostly the Chinese tool holders are okay. I have had a holder for external threading inserts that was duff but many of my go to toolholders are imports. True the branded ones are very nice but the cost difference is too much for my taste. Plus I can keep tools with inserts for different grades in separate quick change holders and I don't weep uncontrollably if I damage one (this can easily happen if an insert fails under a heavy cut).

The inserts on the other hand are a different story. There are some good offerings from China but it is a bit of a lottery.

I use APT for inserts and have found these DCMT070204MPNPC35 pretty good but they are £3.81 each plus vat and carriage and you have to buy a box of 10. The same grade is available in CCMT.

Ebay can be a good source of branded inserts.



Ron Laden22/11/2020 09:38:50
2068 forum posts
411 photos

Most of the time my go to inserts are CCMT for steel and CCGT for non ferrous, I also use them on my boring bars trying to standardise where possible.

I think you will find there is Chinese tooling and there is Chinese tooling relevant to price. I buy all my cutting tools from one UK supplier, yes its Chinese but it is excellent quality, and reasonably priced. My experience of cheap as chips Chinese tooling (inserts) has not been good though some claim they buy the real cheap ones and they are fine but I haven't found that to be the case.


SillyOldDuffer22/11/2020 10:44:03
6655 forum posts
1499 photos
Posted by Clive Joseph 1 on 22/11/2020 07:35:12:


What are the experiences of the Chinese tooling - seems very cheap ! not always a good sign but are they OK for the hobby engineer who may not demand heavy cuts or the speed of production that industry requires ?

Still require a good finish though smiley


Thanks again Clive


The answer is a definite yes, no and maybe!

In the good old days there was a sharp divide between 'good' tools and cheap rubbish. Buying expensive brand-names was a safe way of getting a decent tool. And because tools were expensive compared with income, it was worth investing in the very best in hope it would last a lifetime. Hence a busy market for stolen tools, and people taking considerable care of their hideously expensive gear.

Engineering and commerce have both moved on. Now there's a market for very cheap, mid-range, and high-end tools. Mid-range tools have become popular even with professionals; rather than buying tools for life, it's often more economic to replace worn out tools, and they're much less likely to be nicked.

So far so good except it's difficult to tell which is which. The likes of ebay make it harder : is it cheap because it's rubbish or fake, or cheap because its top-quality surplus or bankrupt stock?

Brand-names are unreliable indicators too. They don't reveal who owns the company, or country of origin, or guarantee quality. These days most famous brands are owned by multi-nationals, who manufacture wherever it's cheapest.

You can't draw general conclusions about tool quality from country of origin either. Manufacturing in 2020 doesn't rely on trade-secrets, long experience, apprenticeships and craftsmen. Today, production can be set up almost anywhere in the world. 'Quality', (I hate the word), is set to maximise profit, and is largely driven by the customer. Model Engineers crave quality but are almost never prepared to pay for it.

All manufacturing nations follow much the same trajectory. They start with cheap tat and then move up-market. Birmingham England once led the world in cheap rubbish, and were pushed out by even cheaper rubbish made in the US and Germany, who in turn were forced up market by Japan. None of these nations make cheap stuff today because there's not much profit in it and it's brutally competitive.

For most of my life China's industrial capabilities was a joke. Chairman Mao's foray into backyard steel was a total failure, producing the worst steel at the highest cost in the world. Bonkers. Twenty years later China adopted Western technology and methods and grew into the largest manufacturing nation in the world. Same trajectory: start cheap and nasty, then go upmarket. Although they still make plenty of tat, Chinese quality today ranges all the way up to junior aero-space.

It makes purchasing difficult! To reduce the risk I favour buying Far Eastern tools from UK vendors. The importer takes responsibility in the event the item is a dud. I don't expect perfect tools to arrive every time, I expect the supplier to money back or replace if I get a dud. In contrast, buying direct from China is cheaper but a bigger gamble if it goes wrong. This approach is unsuitable, I think, for most professional workshops. A batch of duff inserts inconveniences me, but would cost a professional real money. They prefer to pay for reliability!

It boils down to how you feel about tools. My attitude is utilitarian; I'm focussed on what I need to do and don't care about tools provided they get the job done. Others find warty tools frustrating and offensive! Not good because hobbies are meant to be enjoyed. In that case, either buy new from industrial vendors, or carefully select second-hand tools as they come up.

The problem with second-hand is they are second-hand. A 'quality' tool in poor-condition isn't worth having unless it's just for show. Costing a fortune when new with a rock solid reputation for quality does not protect second-hand tools from wear and tear:



PS.  Specifically about inserts;  I agree with Old Mart.  Have a look at the range of holders and inserts sold by ArcEuroTrade:  they're hobby suitable.    You don't have to spend days understanding industrial catalogues.

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 22/11/2020 10:52:26

Nicholas Wheeler 122/11/2020 11:28:46
444 forum posts
25 photos

I use 8mm tooling on my WM250, and can't imagine why you would want to buy 12?

Clive Joseph 122/11/2020 11:33:36
5 forum posts

My thoughts are that 12mm provides increased rigidity, that's the only reason. Are there benefits in buying 8mm ?

Nicholas Wheeler 122/11/2020 11:39:22
444 forum posts
25 photos

Smaller, cheaper, fits the machine and likely work better, and is still capable of taking 4mm deep cuts in steel.

I do a lot of turning with a homemade tangential tool that uses 3mm square HSS....

David Colwill22/11/2020 11:41:29
703 forum posts
38 photos
Posted by Nicholas Wheeler 1 on 22/11/2020 11:28:46:

I use 8mm tooling on my WM250, and can't imagine why you would want to buy 12?

Nothing wrong with that but if the OP wants to do heavier turning 12mm will be more rigid and would produce better results under heavier load. Given that the cost difference between 8mm and 12mm tooling is negligible, why not?



Andrew Johnston22/11/2020 11:45:32
5824 forum posts
662 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 22/11/2020 10:44:03:

In that case, either buy new from industrial vendors, or carefully select second-hand tools as they come up.

That's what I do. I tend to buy secondhand cutters when I need a specific size that I'm unlikely to need again. As an example I recently used a 7/8" machine reamer to clean out the bronze bushes on my traction engine front wheels after loctiting them in place. Not something I'm likely to need again and no way I could afford a new reamer. So I bought secondhand at auction. Quality brand (Dormer) and it's a matter of judgement as to the veracity of the vendor. I've formulated a set of informal 'rules' to select vendors. But I've bought hundreds of tools on auction sites and have rarely been disappointed. In a couple of cases I've got my money back for cutters not as described.


Dave Halford22/11/2020 12:15:39
1128 forum posts
11 photos

You will probably find DCMT style holders more useful being a bit more pointy.

Buy the size that suits your tool height best, bearing in mind that these tools are square shank so taller also equals wider which can give you access issues to the required cut.

Try DCGT alloy inserts 02 is finishing & probably too delicate, 08 is roughing, 04 will do either. These give me a good finish even on EN3 at hobby feeds and speeds.

Henry Brown22/11/2020 12:18:36
396 forum posts
91 photos

I've bought a couple of indexable holders with tips from Chesterfield Machine Tools on the unmentionable auction site, good value and the quality seems fine for my use. They often do an option to buy extra tips, if they don't have them ask and they will do a Buy It Now option.

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