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Carbide Cutterheads for Jointers Rochester NH

On average, the initial additional expense of a segmented carbide cutterhead is about the same as the cost for 20 HSS knife sharpenings, so you’ll eventually recoup your investment on the carbide model. With a segmented cutterhead, you basically pay up front for sharpenings but you get to enjoy all the benefits of carbide right away.

Woodcraft - Portsmouth, NH
(603) 433-6116
25 Fox Run Road
Newington, NH

Data Provided by:
Lowe's
(603) 833-4000
160 Washington Street, Suite 800
Rochester, NH
Hours
M-SA 6 am - 10 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm

Heritage True Value Hardware
(603) 942-7741
1382 1st New Hampshire Tpke
Northwood, NH
 
Springvale Hardware
(207) 324-2474
489 Main St
Springvale, ME
 
Lowe's
(603) 693-3000
36 Fresh River Road
Epping, NH
Hours
M-SA 6 am - 10 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm

Maine Coast Lumber, Inc.
(800) 899-1664
17 White Birch Lane
York,, ME

Data Provided by:
Warren's Hardware
(603) 664-9300
585 Calef Hwy, Unit 3
Barrington, NH
 
Lowe's
(207) 459-3166
1900 Main Street
Sanford, ME
Hours
M-SA 6 am - 10 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm

Alton True Value&country Sply
(603) 875-3241
Monument Sq - Main St
Alton, NH
 
Fox Run Mall
(603) 431-9600
50 Fox Run Rd Ste 74
Newington, NH
Store Hours
Sears Stores
Store Type
Sears Stores
Hours
Mon:9-21
Tue:9-21
Wed:9-21
Thu:9-21
Fri:9-21
Sat:9-21
Sun:10-18
Store Features
Mon:9-21
Tue:9-21
Wed:9-21
Thu:9-21
Fri:9-21
Sat:9-21
Sun:10-18

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Carbide Cutterheads for Jointers

Carbide Cutterheads for Jointers

Cut manufactured materials and make fewer knife changes.

by Dave Munkittrick

The latest thing in jointers is the segmented carbide insert cutterhead. Instead of high-speed steel (HSS) knives, the cutterhead is peppered with an array of solid-carbide inserts (photo at right). During our 8-in. jointer tool test (see “Tool Test: 8-in. Jointers,” page 52), we had a chance to compare these new cutterheads head-to-head with their straight-knife cousins. We like what we saw and now use some of them in our shop. They’ve received unanimous thumbs-up from all users. Carbide took over in a hurry when it was introduced on saw blades, router bits and shaper knives. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the same trend occur with jointer and planer knives. Cost

At $300 to $400, segmented carbide cutterheads aren’t inexpensive. But consider the cost of sharpening HSS knives (about $15 a set) and the need for an extra set of knives to replace the ones being sharpened (about $30). On average, the initial additional expense of a segmented carbide cutterhead is about the same as the cost for 20 HSS knife sharpenings, so you’ll eventually recoup your investment on the carbide model. With a segmented cutterhead, you basically pay up front for sharpenings but you get to enjoy all the benefits of carbide right away.

Replacing the inserts after all four edges are dull will cost $120 to $200, depending on the number of inserts in the head and the cost of each insert. 

Changing Inserts

Rotating or changing the inserts is a somewhat tedious but straightforward task. You must be meticulously clean when changing or rotating inserts. Even a little sawdust under one insert can leave an uneven cut. 

Segmented Cutterheads Take More Power

I’ve noticed that the segmented cutterheads take more feed pressure and demand more horsepower from the jointer. According to Curt Wilke of Wilke Machinery, which distributes several brands of jointers, this is because the segmented cutterhead always has several inserts cutting at any given time. A standard straight knife has an impulse cutting action. Each knife takes its cut with a rest period between. 

5 Big Advantages

1. Longevity 

A single set of carbide inserts will outlast a conventional knife set by approximately 40 times. That’s because each insert is made of solid carbide and has four cutting edges. Each edge will last up to 10 times longer than a typical HSS knife-edge. Multiply that number by the four edges on each insert and you get 40 conventional knife sharpenings built in to each set of carbide inserts. Remember that when you’re weighing the extra cost of a segmented carbide cutterhead. 

2. Jointing Manufactured Materials 

Carbide inserts allow you to joint manufactured materials, such as melamine and MDF, which would instantly dull HSS knives (photo at left).

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