If you consider that tools have been employed by humans for longer than recorded history, you’d think that there would have been a great leap in edge preparation technology much earlier in time. But unfortunately, many who designed swords and arrowheads we quite content to shape and hone edges with a sharpening stone. Over the centuries that followed, they taught their stone-sharpening techniques to their apprentices, who in turn taught those same techniques to the ones that followed in their footsteps. In other words: edge preparation has been a laborious act performed manually for what may very well be more centuries than we can imagine. And although most of will agree that stone sharpening gets the job done, it is fortunate that these processes have changed in recent decades.
Cutting tool edge preparation, especially for bits and cutters fitted into mechanical cutting tools, has become somewhat high tech. We say “somewhat” because many of the honing principles that served our early ancestors well with their implements and cutting tools still apply today. We just eliminated the sharpening stone for something that was easy to control at high speeds and would leave the edge on a cutting tool with a very predictable and reliable finish.
Edge preparation today, especially those techniques developed by Mutschler Edge Technologies (MET), begins with the employment of a rotating abrasive brush. Some of these brushes are made from nylon. Others are silicon carbide, ceramic, and diamond brushes. Brush edge preparation techniques can be applied to several different cutting tools – including drill bits and endmills (most styles and types), reamers, taps, hob cutters, and shaper cutters. MET Edge Prep Systems can apply edge preparation to all the previously mentioned cutting tools (and more) if they fit within the following constraints: a 6.0″ maximum tool diameter and a 10.0″ maximum overall length.
At MET, our philosophy is to produce a cost-effective machine that enables the user to apply either a standard or custom edge prep to a wide range of cutting tools, and to let the end user choose what type of edge prep is best for their tools. In short, we – like so many others – believe that the edge of a cutting tool can benefit from edge preparation in several different ways. Edge prep technology from MET can hone cutting tools and bits for improved life, as well as an improved surface finish for the work piece.
MET offers a piecework edge preparation service for your tools, as well as automated machines for in-house processing. MET also offers replacement brushes for edge prep systems – but please make sure to contact MET about the specifics of your replacement brush needs, as there are several factors that figure into selecting the proper brush for your edge prep system.