How do I handle and install my PCD Tool?

Diamond tooling handling procedures

Diamond tooling represents a significant investment with regard to cost to repair the tool should damage occur.  Your company has decided to make this investment because the benefits of the tool , i.e.:  Tool life between re-sharpenings, improved finish on the material, etc., has been cost justified.  This means that in the your application, the operating cost of these tools will be less then that of the other tools currently being used.

In order to maximize the performance of the diamond tooling, proper handling and care practices must be followed.  For comparison purposes, the cost to replace a damaged insert or carbide tip can range from $20-$80,  whereas similar damage to a diamond tool may cost $100's of dollars to repair.  For this reason, we will share some tips on handling and storing the tools successfully.


Diamond or PCD (Polycrystalline Diamond) is very hard and very brittle and cracks or chips easily if bumped with a hard object.  Extreme care is required when removing the tool from its protective covering for any reason.

  1. Do Not bump the tool against the spindle, guard or any part of the machine. This can cause a severe chip on the tool, causing the tool to perform poorly.
  2. Do Not allow the tip to come into contact with jewelry, rings or any hard surface.
  3. Do Not lay the tool on any hard surface, and allow the cutting edge to contact that surface. This can cause chipping, and or cracking if the impact is severe enough.
  4. Always store the tool in its protective covering when it is not on use on the machine.
  5. Always transport the tool from the machine to the storage area in the re-usable package provided when the tool was new.
  6. Always ship the tool back to H3D Tool Corp. for service in the re-usable package provided when the tool was new.
  7. Never use acids or caustics to clean resin from pcd tools. Acids such as Oven cleaner attack the Cobalt binder in the PCD and cause decreased tool life. Blade Clean or a mild window cleaner are suitable cleaning liquids.
  8. Never use a wire brush to remove buildup from PCD tools. This can cause tip damage.
  9. Always use a tooth brush or similar type brush for cleaning tools.


Exercise caution when handling PCD tooling!!

Store tool in protective packaging when not in use!!

Setup and verification of specifications:

The PCD tools that you have purchased are designed with the appropriate cutting angles and geometry engineered to your specific applications.

  1. Do Not use metal calipers to measure the diameter of the tool. Contacting the cutting edge with metal calipers will cause chipping of the cutting edge.
  2. Always use a plastic caliper if necessary to make measurements on the tools.
  3. Do Not touch the tool off on the table, part or any other hard surface to calibrate your Z axis. If this is a necessary practice use a pre measured firm rubber pad to place on top of the fixture or part and touch off on it, then subtract the thickness of the pad to find your true Z offset.
  4. Always remove all tools used in setup from the machine table before making your first pass with your PCD tools.



Running the tool on the Machine:

H3D Tool Corp., can help you determine the recommended feeds and speeds that are to be used on your PCD tools to achieve optimum cut quality and performance.

Initial tool setup and run will be performed under careful supervision.

  1. Always remove offal (cut scrap pieces) from the roughing operation prior to running the finish operation with your diamond tools. Loose material impacting the tool is the second leading cause of damage to PCD tooling.
  2. Always watch for foreign objects in the material which may also contribute to tool damage.
  3. Always verify that the table is free of tools used during setup prior to making your first pass.




Our experience indicates that in most applications the cost of operating PCD tools is approximately 1/3 that of carbide tooling (including insert type tooling).  Although accidents occasionally occur regardless of the safeguards in place, the savings from the reduced operating costs of PCD tools far outweigh the costs associated with occasional damage.

However: in order to optimize the performance and value difference, and to protect your investment in this type of tooling, every operator, setup person, maintenance person, and any other personnel that will come in to contact with pcd tools, must exercise awareness and utilize extreme caution when handling these tools to prevent damage and reduce un-necessary additional costs.

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