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Quality of Tooling/Tooling Systems

metalmadness

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Hello,

Just curious on a topic. Tooling is expensive, yes? Well, I wonder why some brands sell very expensive tooling, and some companies sell much cheaper tooling. For the sake of argument lets take away the outliers like Shars and eBay on the low end, and companies like Big Kaiser or Haimer on the high end. Focus in on the middle. Brands I am thinking of - Kennametal, Ingersoll, Iscar, Walter, Maritool, Tungaloy, etc etc etc.

I am bringing this up because I want to know what the justification is for lets say, buying end mills from Ingersoll versus a company like Helical Solutions, where the price difference is up to 100%. Nothing about the Ingersoll end mills looks like it is that different except the coating. Is the coating really going to jack the price up that much? I know there are many specialty coatings, but isn't the rule of thumb about 10% extra for a coating on the tool cost? A Kennametal milling chuck is like $350, and equivalent Maxin holder from Ingersoll or Iscar is like $600...strange eh?

Another example, Destiny Tool vs. Helical Solutions. What makes Destiny Diamonback so much better to justify the additional cost (again, a large change of up to 100%)....is the Diamondback 2x as good at roughing aluminum? Everyone is using cemented carbide obviously. I know there are different grades and all, but isn't all carbide 'micrograin carbide' these days? Surely the carbide blanks aren't that much better than another company? Or maybe they are and I am wrong.

Don't take this the wrong way, I love many of those brands and have run them all. Ingersoll indexable milling is awesome. But is the cutter body that much better at $600 for a 2" diameter vs. a Kennametal 2" cutter body at $350? I don't know. I don't think so. I just don't get the reason for some of these wild price swings.

I am partly bringing this up because we get a great discount on Haas tooling as an .edu facilty. I don't even own a Haas machine but their toolholders and stuff look pretty good. It's made in Korea (among other places, but not China). Haven't bought any but I am tempted. We own a diverse range of tooling systems and aren't loyal to one brand. We are loyal to value and performance though, which exists on a spectrum. We have X number of dollars to spend annually, so good value is important.

I know it is all extremely application dependent. Just curious what your thoughts on this are.
 

Houndogforever

Hot Rolled
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
Location
Boring
It depends....

I tried some sandvik milling cutters and inserts and was really impressed with them. They might not be the fastest but they will do exactly what they say and they will do it all day long. I've run shars brand insert cutters running sandvik inserts and it ran good. Even pockets and smooth running.

Doesn't make sense that virtually the same cutter can be $27.50 or $333.00, but there are small difference.
The really small differences are the ones that show their value, ie insert rocking in the pocket.
 

Orange Vise

Stainless
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Location
California
I am partly bringing this up because we get a great discount on Haas tooling as an .edu facilty. I don't even own a Haas machine but their toolholders and stuff look pretty good. It's made in Korea (among other places, but not China).

Some of the stuff is made in China. They're upfront about it, so it is what it is.

I know it is all extremely application dependent. Just curious what your thoughts on this are.

It's just that, very application dependent, and it varies from product to product. Even the biggest, most reputable names in tooling have duds in their lineup.
 

alexashawn121

Banned
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Tooling, also known as machine tooling, is the process of acquiring the manufacturing components and machines needed for production. The common categories of machine tooling include fixtures, jigs, gauges, molds, dies, cutting equipment, and patterns.
 

gkoenig

Titanium
Joined
Mar 31, 2013
Location
Portland, OR
A lot of the major price differences between brands has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the actual tooling, and more to do with the sales/distribution model each company employs.

On one end, you have outfits like Sandvik, who really make most of their money selling to huge shops that have 6 figure a month budgets for carbide. Their pricing reflects (generally) extremely high tool quality + a margin for distributors + an army of yellow coated application engineers across the globe. Think about how fucking crazy it is that a local Sandvik employee will drive to your shop, chew the cud with you for a couple of hours, do some demos, lend you test tools... and when it comes to the actual sale, they hand you the number of a 3rd party distributor who literally adds nothing but negative value in the transaction, yet takes a giant % cut. When you see the price of Sandvik tooling, you're paying for all of that.

At the other end, you have Maritool and Orange. They build the thing, they put it on the website, they sell direct. By cutting the distributor out of the picture, you can use the increased margin to pay for better product quality. Maritool holders cost 30% more than the rock bottom Shars/eBay junk, but with the same quality of 2x priced Lindex or similar, and Frank can do that because he isn't giving away 40% of the sales to some bozo distributor who literally does nothing but moisten a chair in an attempt to be a shitty replication of Amazon.

A lot of this industry is relationship driven and very old-school in the sales approach. In those environments, price is just a tool to signal things, or the list price has huge room baked in to make a deal to pay for the trip to the strip club the distributors bring the Big Bozo Co purchasing department guys to.

Haas is interesting because they are basically doing what Apple did 20 years ago - they are marching into China with what need to be absolutely massive purchase orders, and leveraging that buying power to get both rock bottom China pricing, while demanding much higher quality than what those shops schlock onto Alibaba and eBay. Unlike most importers, Haas has the horsepower to send engineers to Mordor to set standards, and people in the US who can do QC to uphold those standards. You're still buying stuff from the slavetrading, warmongering, virus merchant Chinese Communist Party... but it has a Haas logo on it!
 

Generic Default

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 23, 2016
Location
Wilmington / Long Beach
I haven't noticed a correlation between price and quality, even though everyone wants it to be true to justify expensive tooling purchases. The same tool holders vary in cost by a factor of 10. Unless a company goes out of its way to show you their factory in America, like Maritool, you can assume they are imported. Many of the more expensive brands get their stuff made in cheap countries but still sell it at high prices because buyers assume the brand is premium. I saw a Japanese brand at IMTS selling shiny black oxide coated BT30 tool holders for around $120 each. I asked where they were made because I hadn't seen them before, the rep checked and then told me Thailand, where workers get 2-3 dollars an hour.

I bought 35 holders of all types from Maritool, and the quality was flawless. More recently I bought 35 holders from a company in Taiwan, and the quality is also flawless, but the holders were 1/3 to 1/5 the price of their equivalent Maritool holders. It doesn't make me upset with the Maritool holders because Maritool gave me exactly what I ordered with excellent service, it's just that other countries have a massive manufacturing advantage in wages and taxes and every other aspect of business, which poor Frank doesn't have.

Compared to the other bigger tooling brands that use low cost countries to manufacture, but then sell at super high prices, I prefer buying directly from manufacturers like Maritool. The industry has way too many middle men with convoluted sales tactics.


ADS08 and SK10.jpg
milling steel hex.jpg
 

john411

Banned
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Tooling parts incorporate squares, chip evacuation apparatuses, pass on springs and drill bushings, general toolholders, handles and switches, pins, uncloggers, step blocks, Woodruff keys and workholding braces and latches.
 

CAMasochism

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Location
DFW, Texas
Tooling, also known as machine tooling, is the process of acquiring the manufacturing components and machines needed for production. The common categories of machine tooling include fixtures, jigs, gauges, molds, dies, cutting equipment, and patterns.

Tooling parts incorporate squares, chip evacuation apparatuses, pass on springs and drill bushings, general toolholders, handles and switches, pins, uncloggers, step blocks, Woodruff keys and workholding braces and latches.

Look out for future spam from these 2. Likely the same individual setting up tag team spam accounts.
 

metalmadness

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
I haven't noticed a correlation between price and quality, even though everyone wants it to be true to justify expensive tooling purchases. The same tool holders vary in cost by a factor of 10. Unless a company goes out of its way to show you their factory in America, like Maritool, you can assume they are imported. Many of the more expensive brands get their stuff made in cheap countries but still sell it at high prices because buyers assume the brand is premium. I saw a Japanese brand at IMTS selling shiny black oxide coated BT30 tool holders for around $120 each. I asked where they were made because I hadn't seen them before, the rep checked and then told me Thailand, where workers get 2-3 dollars an hour.

I bought 35 holders of all types from Maritool, and the quality was flawless. More recently I bought 35 holders from a company in Taiwan, and the quality is also flawless, but the holders were 1/3 to 1/5 the price of their equivalent Maritool holders. It doesn't make me upset with the Maritool holders because Maritool gave me exactly what I ordered with excellent service, it's just that other countries have a massive manufacturing advantage in wages and taxes and every other aspect of business, which poor Frank doesn't have.

Compared to the other bigger tooling brands that use low cost countries to manufacture, but then sell at super high prices, I prefer buying directly from manufacturers like Maritool. The industry has way too many middle men with convoluted sales tactics.


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I tend to agree with most of what you say...I have in fact bought some shrink fit stuff from Shars that performs admirably. I also have some high end holders as well, are they better, maybe? I would say that across the range they probably have a higher level of quality control.

As far as cutting tools, unless there is a specific application calling for it, I am fine using the mid range guys for now. I know if you're a big shop you're probably not paying for cutter bodies at all because you're going thru so many inserts and making the dealer a boatload of money. I don't have that 6 figure budget for monthly carbide expenses but I have worked in shops like them. The tooling reps would basically bend over backwards to get the shop guys to take an order on any of their cutters...it was especially funny when this Walter guy was in trying to upsell whatever Hi-Feed mill they had at the time. Our current Ingersoll solution was demonstrably better during the testing and he was still like "guys guys guys you're just not understanding..." No, I am understanding that your cutter sucks balls.

Direct to consumer - yes that is the best method. One reason Haas sells so many machines is because they have upfront pricing structure. Mazak didn't even respond to me when I said "hey guys I want to spend $1/4 million on a 5 axis". I guess they don't like my money! MTB dealer networks are like car dealerships....they suck. Like I said I don't own a Haas but I can sure understand the appeal. I wanted Hurco to price me out on the Centerline Probing Option. Call HQ...talk to applications...applications gets back to me 4 days later with a quote. OK thanks I can't afford it right now. If I had just known the price ahead of time! I understand why they do it this way, it makes them more money!

I am glad I have a solid distributor who has actual pricing of all the brands they carry. Good luck getting any price data from Ingersoll otherwise. And no, I don't want a damn Ingersoll rep to come in and demo some shit, I want to know how much this cutter body costs.
 

Mike1974

Diamond
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Location
Tampa area
I tend to agree with most of what you say...I have in fact bought some shrink fit stuff from Shars that performs admirably. I also have some high end holders as well, are they better, maybe? I would say that across the range they probably have a higher level of quality control.
<<SNIP>>

mill they had at the time. Our current Ingersoll solution was demonstrably better during the testing and he was still like "guys guys guys you're just not understanding..." No, I am understanding that your cutter sucks balls.

Direct to consumer - yes that is the best method. One reason Haas sells so many machines is because they have upfront pricing structure. Mazak didn't even respond to me when I said "hey guys I want to spend $1/4 million on a know how much this cutter body costs.

HSF-325 SHRINK FIT MACHINE BENCH TOP


I think quality has gone down personally, but it's hard to beat going to their (Haas) website and picking what you need/want and having a price right there for every option the offer. Just saw that ^ today. Can't say to quality, but a pre-setter and shrink fit machine, and 10 shrink fit holders and retention knobs for $19k? Yep, pretty sure the Haimer is that price or more for just the machine.
 

Mtndew

Diamond
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Location
Michigan
Big Kaiser is good quality, is it worth the price they charge? Nope.

They had the patent on the Dual Contact and charged out the ass for their holders (still do). They want people to think that they are a super premium product because of the price tag. IMO they are too hoity toity.

Now Rego-Fix on the other hand charges out the ass and their products ARE worth it, if you want to pay the price.

That being said, all we have bought for the last few years is Mari-Tool unless we need something they don't offer which is rare in our case. Excellent prices and excellent quality for our job shop.
 








 
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