Carbide tools have a small piece of tough carbide brazed to the tip of a softer steel shank. These tools are recommended for cutting hard or abrasive materials. Carbide tools can retain their hardness at temperatures up to approximately 1700°. This permits a higher cutting speed and faster feed rates.
They are typically harder to sharpen than their HSS counterparts. A silicon carbide or diamond grinding wheel must be used. The shape of carbide tools is also more critical than the shape of high-speed steel cutters, but their cutting ability on tough or abrasive materials makes them very popular. If you are cutting a material that quickly dulls your HSS cutters, you will find carbide tools might be just what you need.