Polycrystalline diamond (PCD) cutters

PCD cutters are being used increasingly for large production runs. Although their initial cost is high, they outlast the corresponding carbide tooling by factors of 30 to 50 times provided they are used on controlled feed machines.

Shear cutting

Cutting impacts on the edges of MDF can be reduced by setting the cutter(s) at an angle of approximately 10° to provide a shear cutting action.

The use of solid profile or disposable tip blocks with pairs of top and bottom shear cutters will assist with efficient chip removal resulting in an improved finish of the MDF edges.

The angles for cutters used on MDF should be selected to achieve a balance between tool life and machined edge quality. A large cutting angle is required to ensure clean cutting with minimum wear of the cutting tip. A large clearance angle prevents the back of the cutter from rubbing against the machined edges. Increases in both these angles are however limited by the need to maintain an adequate thickness of metal at the tip.

Cutters for MDF are normally supplied with angles in the following ranges:

Cutting angle (a) 10 to 20°
Clearance angle (b) 20 to 22°