Cory´s Cutter Corner - October 2016


The Anatomy of an Engraving Cutter

Cutter is an all-inclusive term used to describe the rotating cutting tools used in the engraving opertation. Cutters can be manufactured from high speed steel or carbide  and are available in a variety of configurations for specific applications.

Most standard cutters are available with either a stainless steel shaft or a micrograin carbide shaft (see below). The stainless steel shank is less expensive than the solid carbide shaft. The solid carbide shaft provides more rigidity and is better for engraving in harder materials such as stainless steel. Boh of these types of cutters have micrograin carbide tips. Therefore, the cutting edge is of the same quality. All of these cutters are available with a threaded brass knob for top-loading engraving machines. The knob has a set screw to allow adjustment of the vertical position of the cutter ando to hold it in place.

Typically, engraving cutters are single-flutte tools

This means the have only one cutting edge. The cutting edge is edge created between the split on the flat of the tool and the cutting angle (highlighted in the picture at right). Note the direction of rotation of the cutter. Router tools may have one or multiple cutting edges. The cutting edges are the edges created by the flute and the clearance grind. All of Antares tools are bottom cutting, so the bottom edge of the tool cuts as well.

Cutter can be classified as half-rounds. This refers to how the blank  carbide shafts are split during the manufacturing process.

Half-round cutters are made from blanks that have been "split" or "halved" approximately on center through a grinding process. This tool has a cross-section that is half of a cylinder and is the choice for most engraving cutter applications.

Quarter-round tools are half-round tools that have a secondary split at 90 degrees to the original flat producing a tool that has cross-section that is one quarter of a cylinder.