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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.

Extra Tool Bits

high speed steel tool bit

Unground Tool Bit ($3)
This bit is an ordinary M2 high speed steel 3/16 inch square cross-section lathe tool bit.

high speed steel tool bit

Ground Tool Bit ($10)
This bit is ground on both ends. One end has a 45 degree positive lead angle whereas the other has a -5 degree lead angle. (See above.)

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