Don't Throw That Away!

Moldmakers stand to save a considerable amount of money by repairing broken cutting tools instead of replacing them outright.


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In the never-ending quest to reduce business spending and accelerate profits, the smart businessman must take advantage of every possible quality cost-cutting service available. Getting your crashed carbide tool holders fixed is a great place to start. Even though most moldmakers don't like to admit it, at some point just about every machine operator has crashed a cutting tool or has had the carbide inserts fail - leaving the tool holder so damaged that simply putting new inserts back in is out of the question.

At this point, moldmakers have an excellent opportunity to slice off more than half of the major cost of a new tool holder by getting it professionally restored. In a very short amount of time the savings incurred by this option will become apparent.

The real key to savings is getting your tool holder professionally restored. Real savings are not possible if the quality of the restored tool does not match that of a new one. In-house "fix-its" or inexperienced restorations can lead to an improper insert fit or cutting size of the tool holder. The tensile strength of the metal that usually has to be replaced also must maintain the standards of a new tool holder in order to meet the backing and longevity requirements for the insert. Choosing an inexperienced facility that will simply just "fix it" for you will sometimes lead to more trouble than it may be worth.

There are a handful of professional tool repair facilities around the country that specialize in carbide tool restoration only. These facilities should be able to produce excellent results in tool holder restoration. The tool should be returned looking like new upon initial inspection - with all of the inserts fitting properly and featuring correct cutting sizes that are within acceptable tolerances. Also, the quality of the replaced metal should not have a fatigue factor larger than that of a new tool. Some professional tool holder restorers work only through distributors, but some will deal direct. Ask the knowledgeable tool distributor in the area about such a service, or look for advertisements in trade magazines.

Is Speed a Necessity?

Turnaround time can sometimes be a major factor in deciding which company is chosen to perform the restoration. Some of the companies that do an excellent job of restoration can take as long as two months or more to complete the tool holder. There also are some that claim that the restoration can be performed in one to three weeks, and then there are others that fall somewhere in between. Most of these businesses will expedite the restoration procedure for an additional fee if the tool holder needs to be returned as soon as possible.

Tool holder restoration is nothing new to the industry. In fact, some businesses have specialized in this type of restoration for nearly 35 years. However, there are plenty of machine shops around the country that still have no idea that this type of service exists and they continue to throw away damaged tool holders, spending money to replace them with new ones. It is important to know that professional carbide tool holder restoration is a proven, cost-cutting service that will help the smart moldmaker achieve maximum profits for the business.

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