A carbide bur is a rotating tool that is used for removing material. More specifically, a carbide bur can be used for deburring, cleaning, finishing, smoothing, shaping, and carving many types of materials. Basically, the carbide bur rotates at a very high speed, enabling it to manipulate the material it is working on.
Carbide burs are very versatile tools, and they are used by a wide variety of people. They are commonly used in dentistry, diamond cutting, jewelry making, and auto head porting, as well as equine dentistry, sculpting, welding, and windshield repairing. Of course, carbide tools come in as many variations as the jobs they are able to do. So it makes sense that the type of carbide bur you choose will depend upon the job you expect it to do.
The most common types of burs are single cut burs, which remove the most amount of material. The drawback to using single cut carbide burs is that they leave a rather rough finish. Single cut carbide burs are commonly used when working with cast iron, steel, copper, brass, and other ferrous materials.
Double cut carbide burs can be used at slower speeds, and produce smaller chips. They remove harder material more rapidly than single cut burs, and offer more operator control. Depending upon the shape and size of the bur you choose, some will leave a very smooth surface on your material, while others will leave a less smooth surface but might remove more material.
As a general rule, finer work that calls for smoother surfaces, like cutting diamonds, or dentistry, calls for smaller burs. If you are working with larger pieces of material, and it's more important to remove the most material in the quickest time possible, a larger bur is called for.
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