We sell 3/16 inch high speed steel (M2) tool bits for the convenience of our customers. These bits can be purchased less expensively from a variety of other sources including MSC, McMaster-Carr, Shars, and many others. M2 high speed steel is relatively easy to sharpen and will handle all routine machining needs. Cobalt-bearing high-speed steels such as M42 and T15 may be appropriate for more difficult-to-machine materials, but they are harder to sharpen. They are also commonly available from sources such as those above.
The toolholder comes with a bit that is ground on both ends. One end is ground to provide a positive lead angle of 45 degrees for both turning and facing (this unconventional geometry has two noses). The other end is ground to provide a -5 degree lead angle, for turning, facing, and creating a shoulder. We do sell ground bits separately, but the diligent amateur machinist should be able to set up a sharpening device such as a bench grinder or disk sander, and create and sharpen his or her own bits without great effort. We will be perfectly content if we never sell a ground bit except with a new toolholder.
One of the essential characteristics of the Wimberley toolholder is that very little material is required to renew the edge. Therefore, if you think you're going to take a long time to develop your sharpening skills, you can rest assured that you still will probably not grind away much of the tool bit. If you buy a single toolholder and want an extra unground bit to practice on, that may make sense. You probably won't need much more than this, however.
Unground Tool Bit ($3)
Ground Tool Bit ($10)
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