Sandvik vs. Walter vs. Iscar - New lathe, new tooling
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    Default Sandvik vs. Walter vs. Iscar - New lathe, new tooling

    As the title suggests, I am looking to purchase a new cnc lathe. BMT65, 1" sticks. I come from a manual world, so this level of tooling is completely new.

    I need to establish a relationship with one of the well known companies and start asking questions. I'm here to get advice of you all as to who you would recommend as "top dogs" (I understand this can be location specific).

    I need someone willing to take the time to explain what tooling options are available as well as applications. And someone to have a relationship with that I can call when I need help with tooling/strategies.

    Appreciate any insight you all can provide.

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    Find out who your local vendors are and then find out which one will give you the holders for free with the purchase of a few boxes of inserts. Sandvik has been known to give tools away if you buy 2-3 boxes of inserts. Heck if i'm gonna pay $75+ for a holder then another $100 for a box of inserts when the tool reps will give the holder for free if I buy $200 worth of inserts!

    Unless you're trying to literally squeeze a few seconds off of a part or a few more minutes of life out of an insert then most of the name brand guys are close. Just see whos gonna work with you. Ingersoll and Seco have always been good about free holders with me. Kennametal was a hit and miss. Walter,,, I don't think I have ever paid for a drill body.

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    Hard to go wrong with any of those brands. We mostly use Sandvik for general turning and Iscar for threading and parting.

    Buy as you go. Turning tools are quick turnaround anyway. Often same day/next day.

    Got a picture of the types of parts you're going to make in the beginning? Size/materials?

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    I would look at Kennametal for holders but Walter or YG1 (or both) for inserts. Walter inserts are very good for the price. YG1 inserts don’t offer necessarily the same performance but they are far cheaper, enough that for general work or low-quantity jobs it’s a better bang for your buck.

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    I would invite each rep in and see who knows his stuff and who's spouting BS. IMHO, a truly good rep is often worth at least as much as his actual tools.


    Oh, and all of those brands make good tools so I wouldn't be scared to drink any/all of their Koolaid.

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    When we ordered our first (and only) CNC lathe I sent an email to Sandvik and also tried calling them with some questions since I was confused by the zillion options.
    No interest whatsoever in helping me out, but locally we have a very good Kenna reseller. I've since the beginning of the year spent 60k dollars on Kenna tools, and I use all of them. No pushy sellers, just very helpful at all hours.

    Point of this story? Pick a quality brand that's well represented in your neighborhood, they all make quality tools as far as I understand. We've got some other brands too of course, but the majority is Kenna.

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    We use Sandvik for 80% of our turn tooling. We would use more ISCAR but our local tool rep is a cocksucker so we use only what we need from them. Our Sandvik rep is really good about calling back and giving recommendations same day (even same hour).

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    All the makers you've specified are top drawer. Sandvik is tough to beat, especially for turning. I'm very partial to Kennametal and have been for years, but that's just me..

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    My vote is for Sandvik. Their product line is tough to beat, and if you have a good rep you can get a pretty good discount from the list price.

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    Another option- we have been fan of is Mitsubishi Materials. Local Rep is awesome and same deal is many others get enough inserts get a free body.

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    I've been out of the lathe game for a few years, so take with a grain of salt.

    Sandvik is good, but probably toward the high end price wise. But Dew says a good rep will get you a good discount... probably location specific so I would at least reach out to them.

    We bought ALOT of Sandvik a few years back at another job. Their sales guy probably spent 10 hours a week at our plant looking up part numbers and such. BUT that was a world wide business with lots of money to spend, and pretty sure Sandvik knew that so....?

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    1st live-tool lathe? New to the CNC/live-tool/hi-performance tooling game?

    Pick the best GUY or GAL who's going to be supportive. Answers the phone, responds to emails, has some technical knowledge. Knows their product line, etc...

    All of those companies have a really wide-ranging & near complete product line. No bad options mentioned there.




    You need to find the right PERSON to supply you with tools. Regardless of which tooling company/distributor shirt they have on.





    One minor point about logistics & shipping times.

    Sandvik & Walter share a warehouse in Hebron, Kentucky. (Along with their sister companies Seco/Niagara, Dormer-Prament, and Precision-Twist). Iscar's warehouse is in Arlington, TX I believe. In today's sales & distribution market, pretty much everything you buy is going to be drop-shipped from those warehouses. So, with ground shipping from those warehouses means you'll get the Sandvik/Walter items [to Pennsylvania] a couple days sooner.

    Non-USA stocked items will add a week in both cases.

    I'd be inclined to say that Iscar might have more selection of Inch-standard milling cutters in-stock in the USA that either Sandvik or Walter. That's 1/2 hunch, 1/2 experience.



    Like them, love them or hate them, MSC does a fair business with all of those companies, and DOES keep a decent inventory of each of those MFG's products in-stock in their warehouses. So MSC can always bail you out with next-day-air, if you need it. (Oddly enough, there's cases where MSC might have some items in-stock in their warehouse, where the MFG is out of stock in their own warehouse for that particular item...)




    ALL that being said though - I stand by my original point. Pick the best PERSON that's going to support you with your tooling & KNOWLEDGE needs.

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    Well, I'll be the odd man out to say that there is precious little Sandvik can offer that is not out done by one or another manufacturer for much less cost.

    Their drills suck compared to Titex or Guhring, their insert drills suck compared to Iscar, their turning inserts suck even when compared to Mitsubishi ...
    Fair amount of their threading inserts are proprietary and they ain't got anything in grooving that cannot be had from either Iscar or Mits.

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    I appreciate everyone's insight. As to what parts we will be making, that's a hard one to answer as it changes daily. We do all of our business prototyping. I will more then likely start with some standard tools but be willing to purchase into more things as needed. For the most part, I don't see a ton of complexity in our turning/boring operations. I will be doing a lot of live tool work for sure and is another category I need to start researching - bmt65 live holders.

    Have Iscar rep coming in Thursday and will be continuing to try to meet with others to see who seems like the best fit for trying initially. I assumed they were all on level ground in terms of tooling options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourDumore View Post
    Well, I'll be the odd man out to say that there is precious little Sandvik can offer that is not out done by one or another manufacturer for much less cost.

    Their drills suck compared to Titex or Guhring, their insert drills suck compared to Iscar, their turning inserts suck even when compared to Mitsubishi ...
    Fair amount of their threading inserts are proprietary and they ain't got anything in grooving that cannot be had from either Iscar or Mits.
    I know you hate Sandvik, you've most likely told me why in the past but I forget.

    I buy tools from a number of sources, but Sandvik are still my favourite. You will never convince me that Iscar make better insert drills than Sandvik - the 880 is probably the oldest still available drill series and remains the best period. I have seen it beaten on speed, and I would never recommend it for easy drilling jobs, but I have never seen it beaten on process reliability on difficult materials and I don't expect to any time soon.

    Sandvik's threading inserts are all proprietary, and expensive, and objectively better than anyone elses when working in difficult materials. They have proven to me to be worth the additional cost numerous times, and now I don't bother using any other.

    Sandvik are constantly innovating and come out with new tools at a much higher rate than any of their competitors. Not all are successes but I like that they keep pushing the envelope.

    I buy mostly from Tungaloy and I like them a lot. I like Horn for tricksy stuff that might be missing from others' catalogues. We have really good local reps for Tungaloy and Horn, and our local Sandvik guy is an idiot. I don't even know if he still works for them TBH, I told him years ago to go away and not come back. But I know how to navigate their website and tech data, so he is not required.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourDumore View Post
    Well, I'll be the odd man out to say that there is precious little Sandvik can offer that is not out done by one or another manufacturer for much less cost.

    Their drills suck compared to Titex or Guhring, their insert drills suck compared to Iscar, their turning inserts suck even when compared to Mitsubishi ...
    Fair amount of their threading inserts are proprietary and they ain't got anything in grooving that cannot be had from either Iscar or Mits.
    Show me on the doll where Sandvik touched you.
    lol
    I will give it to Iscar for grooving though, I've always preferred their grooving line.
    But saying they suck in comparison is completely false.I have a bunch of Guhrin and Sandvik drills, I can't tell the difference. Insert drills... Sandvik hands down is the clear winner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    Show me on the doll where Sandvik touched you.
    lol
    I will give it to Iscar for grooving though, I've always preferred their grooving line.
    But saying they suck in comparison is completely false.I have a bunch of Guhrin and Sandvik drills, I can't tell the difference. Insert drills... Sandvik hands down is the clear winner.
    I would agree with you Dew.

    Iscar wins on grooving and parting. Sandvik insert drills are way better than Iscar's DR-Twist; I've tried them side by side. BUT, Kyocera, Ingersoll, and OSG will give Sandvik a run for their money.

    As far as milling, I would say it's a wash between them.

    The bottom line: a good rep is worth way more than the tools if you're new to the industry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    I know you hate Sandvik, you've most likely told me why in the past but I forget.

    .
    Gregor

    Drilling: As mentioned, for solid carbide or brazed tip ( nowadays rare ) Guhring or Titex is better with far more options for approx 20% saving.

    Replaceable tip drills, so far I've not found an application where Iscar DCN did not outshine everyone else. Unfortunately Iscar knows it now as well, and the price
    for the tips nearly doubled in 10 someodd years.

    Insert drills: I have a part that I do very frequently in qty's of 300-600/batch. 347SS, 2.4" long, drilled to .625, then finish bored to .650 +/-.003.
    The first op is just a drill 1/2 way, face to clean - flip, drill the other half, face to clean. This op I usually do side by side on two machines, using two different drills.
    The Sandvik 880 uses 2 different inner and outer inserts, only 2 edges/insert. The Iscar DR drill uses identical inner and outer inserts with 4 edges/insert at less than 1/2 the price.
    Sandvik needs index after approx 100-120 parts, Iscar 200-220, and even then, sometimes only out of respect.

    Turning: had a large job of Inco 625, and the inserts I was using lasted only 8-10 pieces for roughing, 20-25 for finishing.
    Called local purveyor of Sandvik for recommendation, Sandvik rep direct called me back and sent one box of 3 different inserts. two for roughing one for finishing.
    Fair enough, inserts were discounted at 50% for the test. With all things being equal, I could not rough more than 2 with either roughers, and the finisher ( needed a VNMG ) never
    made it through one!
    On the same part, Iscar 907 lasts 6 pcs guaranteed, never the 7th. Mits VP10RT makes 8 or 16, but inconsistent.
    Gave the leftover inserts away ( might have been to someone on PM as a matter of fact )
    Same thing for TI ( I turn tons of it ), the best and most reliable I've found is NTK.

    Threading: When all else fails, Kenna 5025 is my go-to. Otherwise Carmex MXC.
    Had a batch of Sandvik threading inserts, but they were not any better than the 5025. Those inserts did not fit another holder, and other inserts did not fit the Sandvik holder.
    Eventually gave all of those away along with the holder.

    Grooving, if a Top Notch can't do it, I am 80% Iscar, 20% Mits.
    Curiously noone is making inserts for Sandvik's equivalent of TN, but there are a shitton of TN options from various sources.

    And finally to boot, I can get just about any brand from multiple sources, Sandvik OTOH is available from one place only at 0% discount, or MSC.

    Uhh... almost forgot cutoff!
    For the most part I use the GTN inserts from Iscar, but when shit hits the fan it's Stellram.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourDumore View Post
    Gregor

    Drilling: As mentioned, for solid carbide or brazed tip ( nowadays rare ) Guhring or Titex is better with far more options for approx 20% saving.

    Replaceable tip drills, so far I've not found an application where Iscar DCN did not outshine everyone else. Unfortunately Iscar knows it now as well, and the price
    for the tips nearly doubled in 10 someodd years.

    Insert drills: I have a part that I do very frequently in qty's of 300-600/batch. 347SS, 2.4" long, drilled to .625, then finish bored to .650 +/-.003.
    The first op is just a drill 1/2 way, face to clean - flip, drill the other half, face to clean. This op I usually do side by side on two machines, using two different drills.
    The Sandvik 880 uses 2 different inner and outer inserts, only 2 edges/insert. The Iscar DR drill uses identical inner and outer inserts with 4 edges/insert at less than 1/2 the price.
    Sandvik needs index after approx 100-120 parts, Iscar 200-220, and even then, sometimes only out of respect.

    Turning: had a large job of Inco 625, and the inserts I was using lasted only 8-10 pieces for roughing, 20-25 for finishing.
    Called local purveyor of Sandvik for recommendation, Sandvik rep direct called me back and sent one box of 3 different inserts. two for roughing one for finishing.
    Fair enough, inserts were discounted at 50% for the test. With all things being equal, I could not rough more than 2 with either roughers, and the finisher ( needed a VNMG ) never
    made it through one!
    On the same part, Iscar 907 lasts 6 pcs guaranteed, never the 7th. Mits VP10RT makes 8 or 16, but inconsistent.
    Gave the leftover inserts away ( might have been to someone on PM as a matter of fact )
    Same thing for TI ( I turn tons of it ), the best and most reliable I've found is NTK.

    Threading: When all else fails, Kenna 5025 is my go-to. Otherwise Carmex MXC.
    Had a batch of Sandvik threading inserts, but they were not any better than the 5025. Those inserts did not fit another holder, and other inserts did not fit the Sandvik holder.
    Eventually gave all of those away along with the holder.

    Grooving, if a Top Notch can't do it, I am 80% Iscar, 20% Mits.
    Curiously noone is making inserts for Sandvik's equivalent of TN, but there are a shitton of TN options from various sources.

    And finally to boot, I can get just about any brand from multiple sources, Sandvik OTOH is available from one place only at 0% discount, or MSC.

    Uhh... almost forgot cutoff!
    For the most part I use the GTN inserts from Iscar, but when shit hits the fan it's Stellram.
    All perfectly good reasons, but honestly just sounds like you have poor support and poor local pricing from Sandvik, rather than fault of the tools themselves...


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