China tooling....

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AllenH59
Posts: 462
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:26 pm
Location: Prince George BC Canada

China tooling....

Post by AllenH59 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:54 pm

I bought some small endmills from a Chinese website called Wish, they were sets from 1/16 to 1/2, and they included a 5/32 instead of a 7/16. They were advertised as being SOLID CARBIDE. So I ordered and paid for 3 sets, at about $15 per set shipped. I have bought lots of things from there, and I had no reason to expect it to be HSS instead of carbide, which it was. I went to their web site and they have a place to lodge complaints, so I mentioned that these were not what they advertised. They are of course like Amazon, and just represent a lot of manufacturers and retailers. They wanted a pic of the shipping label, and a pic to show that I had actually received the parcel, and they refunded the money right away, which is all they could do. I got to keep the end mills, which agreeably are not the best, but I do a fair amount of aluminum, and I am sure they will be fine for them.

whateg0
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Location: Wichita, KS

Re: China tooling....

Post by whateg0 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:53 am

You must get different ads from wish than I do. I always thought the stuff seemed kind of sketchy, and from the memes I see, I'm not the only one. I was always leery of AliExpress too but I did order some stuff from there and it was legit. I guess caveat emptor and ymmv!

Good to know they are willing to recognize when you've been taken though.

RSG
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Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: China tooling....

Post by RSG » Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:57 am

Good that they rectified the problem but with that said carbide or HSS Chinese endmills are garbage, even for aluminium IMO. I suppose if you don't require a decent surface finish then they will work though.
Vision is not seeing things as they are, but as they will be.

curtis cutter
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Location: Curtis, WA

Re: China tooling....

Post by curtis cutter » Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:01 am

Recognizing that you can run a very wide range in tooling costs vs quality, with a lot involving operator expectations, what source do you use that consistently provides quality tooling at a reasonable price?
I realize this is likely an impossible question to answer but I would really appreciate opinions from those with long term experiences.
Gregg
Just let go of it, it will eventually unplug itself.

AllenH59
Posts: 462
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:26 pm
Location: Prince George BC Canada

Re: China tooling....

Post by AllenH59 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:51 pm

True these endmills I got free are junk, and only useful for a few specific tasks. The insert tooling I have bought there was not junk with one exception. The inserts may not give the finish that a name brand one would, but they are pretty good. And, of course, I could buy name brand inserts as they are standard sizes. The holders are plenty rigid for my needs.

RSG
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Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: China tooling....

Post by RSG » Fri Nov 26, 2021 8:34 am

I would agree some machining tasks may warrant those cutters but I can't think of many in my shop. Thick burrs and grain lines left behind from dull and uneven grinding on those cheap endmills meant even a .005" climb pass left lots of work and to make matters worse it would change the dimensions messing with part fit after all the hand work. I like the term Harold uses "working for gain"! It changes your mindset when you are no longer in there for fun alone, doing things in an effort to save time becomes important. I make reels that can get very involved on the finishing side which can rack up the hours. After many years of learning and understanding how to properly use a milling machine the next step was to upgrade to better cutters. Nowadays I can machine the parts and drop them in the vib finishers without touching them, that's a huge time saver. Most of my cutters lately are YG-1, Niagara Cutter and Widia in both HSS and carbide depending on the dia and depth of cut. They may cost more but the finish they leave is so good touching them with an abrasive would ruin them.
Vision is not seeing things as they are, but as they will be.

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SteveM
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Re: China tooling....

Post by SteveM » Fri Nov 26, 2021 9:55 am

I can't remember who it was, maybe NYCCNC or Haas, but someone did a comparison of high-quality vs cheap carbide end mills and the cost to use the cheap stuff was amazingly high.

I worked with a guy who was even more of a cheapskate than I am, but he used to say "you buy cheap, you buy twice".

Steve

pete
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Re: China tooling....

Post by pete » Sat Nov 27, 2021 6:49 pm

I know Ron's already watched this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QrynzJ_lZ4 Any of the cheap inserts I've tried were far more fragile and crumbled or chipped the tips off much more easily than more brand name inserts. I've had some blow the tips off including braised carbide just upping the feed rate beyond what there composition and sintering would take. None of my equipment has the HP and rigidity to do that with the better tips unless I do something stupid. Plus there usable life has always been much much less along with that poorer surface finish just like Ron pointed out. In no way do I want this to turn political so let's not go there. But too many assume those much cheaper tooling prices are simply due to labor costs in the country of origin. Most company's moved into Asia for hundreds of other more important business reasons than the price of labor. Have a look at there air quality issues as one hint. Watching that Sandvik video clearly shows how automated a modern carbide tip manufacturing facility is because that's what it takes to properly formulate and sinter the tips into the desired shape and consistency. So those labor costs have almost zero effect. Obviously for solid carbide tools like end mills, the same would also be just as true. Along with that and for most of us the added problem of just how well there sharpened and there concentricity. The Micro 100 company used that as a name because there carbide formulation allows sharpening the tools to a far better state than the previous carbide manufacturers could. In one way or another everything I've read points toward the better brand name cutting tool manufacturers are all using roughly the same ideas today that Micro 100 came up with. So the carbides and binding agents grain structure and quality is also very important.

Once a process does become highly automated, then costs verses quality and performance are just about equal where ever the component is being manufactured. It ALWAYS costs X amount to get that equal performance, quality and durability no matter where in the world it's being made. So a vastly lower price virtually guarantees one or more material and processing steps were ignored or cheapened to meet the much lower out the door selling price. The tools are being built down to meet that price point instead of being built to meet an engineered lifespan and performance specification. The exact same holds true for HSS steel tools as well. If you've never once tried a high quality carbide or HSS tool then what reference do you have that there much too expensive for use in a home shop? Then ask yourself why no reputable commercial shops ever use those off shore cutting tools when for a lot of them there profit margins are pretty slim. And yeah I tried for a lot longer than I should have getting by with off shore cutting tools. There at least somewhat better than they were even 10 years ago, but that now comes with a higher price and the very cheapest are still no better than they were back then. So like Curtis already suspects, reasonable priced cutting tools just don't exist unless your buying NOS on places like Ebay. With cutting tools your going to get exactly what your willing to pay for. And after watching that Sandvik video I'm surprised proper industrial grade carbide tips or even solid carbide tools are still as cheap as they are. In the country's where those cheap cutting tools are being produced, there all fully capable of producing just as good as anywhere else. They didn't end up with there own nuclear, aerospace and military capability's using tools from Harbor Freight. Because of there perceived quality issues in the west, they've indirectly closed the market over here because no one is going to pay the same prices that quality costs for a made in China or India tool. For myself I figured out the same as Ron did, I buy North American, European or Japanese made cutting tools.

RSG
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Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: China tooling....

Post by RSG » Sun Nov 28, 2021 9:15 am

pete wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 6:49 pm
For myself I figured out the same as Ron did, I buy North American, European or Japanese made cutting tools.
To add to this statement. I didn't start with that mindset! Many years ago All I bought was the offshore tooling because I didn't know better. But after fighting with issues and bringing them here to the forum it was then I was told the benefits of "better tools"! I think I would have had a hard time believing it had I not gone through it first hand.

The worst experience for me was with stainless on the lathe. I found it difficult to believe one could actually drill and tap stainless with ease and constituency because the tooling I was using came from Busy Bee and was like trying to drill a hole with a Q-tip! But after frustrating myself to the point I wanted to send out those parts and have someone else make them I turned to the board for help and that's were I learned about the difference a quality cutter could make. Not only in the materials used but the geometry of the tooling, something that the stuff at my local discount shop didn't offer.

I'm fortunate I guess in the fact I can make money at my hobby and as such don't have issues spending it for that good tooling (and metrology Pete 8) ). My journey has taken me from a $2500 lathe 15 years ago in the basement to a 75K shop so I can justify spending $100 on a cutter where many can't!

Oh, and yes that is a great video Pete :wink:
Vision is not seeing things as they are, but as they will be.

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