Edge-prep, or the honing of cutting tool edges, is known to increase the life of cutting tools by 300% or more. Polishing of these cutting tools further serves to extend tool life, while also providing additional benefits to the end user.
Drag finishers, when employed for the use of cutting tool edge-treatment, allow for both edge-prep (honing) and polishing of coated and non-coated tools of various materials. Both honing and polishing can be done with only one machine, using the same fixturing. This multi-purpose machine approach serves to reduce equipment, labor and utility costs, while minimizing the required amount of production floor space. The versatility of drag finishers makes them ideal candidates for production cells.
Polishing non-coated tools is a very straightforward process, and only requires the most basic process media and tooling. In the case of coated tools, the ideal type of media for the process depends on the coating material used. Most types of tool coatings, by nature of the coating process, leave tiny “droplets” of the coating on the surfaces of tools. Results have shown that removing these droplets results in a smoother tool surface for a better cut, as well as a smoother flute area, which results in better chip evacuation, cooler temperatures, and the ability to run at a faster feed rate. Testing has shown that with the removal of the “droplets”, a small cavity is left behind on the surface of the tool. This cavity provides a “reservoir” for tool lubricant, allowing superior lubrication and cooling.