Carbide burrs (sometimes spelled burs) are tools used for deburring most hard materials like ceramics, stone, steel, aluminum, plastics and hardwood. They provide precision, and can also be used in cutting, shaping, grinding and chamfering hard materials. Tungsten carbide, historically called Wolfram, after its discoverer Peter Woulfe, is usually referred to simply as carbide; it is also known by the names cemented carbide, solid carbide, hardmetal and occasionally as tungsten. Tools, such as burrs, made from carbide withstand higher temperatures and maintain a sharper cutting edge than high strength steel.
There are a wide array of burrs dependent on the task, derived from 13 common burr shapes, and seven common burr flute styles. The shank is the mount of the burr that fits into the rotary tool, grinder, etc.
SA cylinder burrs are good for contour finishing and right-angled corners.
SB end cut cylinder burrs are good for contour finishing.
SC round head or ball-nosed cylinder burrs are good for contour finishing, mixing in some of the advantages of a ball burr in shaping.
SD ball or spherical shapred carbide burrs create concave cuts, or can be used to hollow out and shape an area, and can be used for intricate carving, particularly in wood, stone or metal engraving.
SE oval or egg shape burrs.
SF carbide ball-nosed or rounded tree burrs are used for making concave cuts and rounding off edges.
SG carbide pointed tree burrs are also used for making concave cuts and rounding off edges, and cutting into hard to reach areas and acute angle contours.
SH flame, or curved ball-nosed cone burrs.
SJ 60 degree countersink burrs.
SK 90 degree countersink burrs.
SL ball-nosed cone burrs are good for rounding edges and surface-finishing in tight, narrow angles or other hard-to-reach places. The round nose is often referred to as a taper shape.
SM cone burrs are good for rounding edges and surface-finishing in tight, narrow angles or other hard-to-reach places.
SN inverted cone burrs are useful for making v-cuts and rear-side chamfering.
Carbide burrs typically come in three standard flute styles: single, double and nonferrous. However, there are several other varieties of flute styles, including fine, coarse, diamond, chip breakers, foundry cuts, Omega Cut and more.
Single cut flute style burrs are primarily for general purpose fluting, milling, and cleaning. Single cut burrs produce long chips, and are ideal for heavy removal of material.
Double cut flute style burrs create small chips and a good finish, and are efficient at stock removal in harder materials. The additional flute reduces pull, increasing operator control. Best for medium to light removal of material. It can be used at slower than normal speeds.
Nonferrous flute style burrs, sometimes called fast mill cut, are designed for rapid stock removal with minimum chip loading, and are primarily useful with plastics, zinc and aluminum.
Fine cut flute style burrs are for general use, and create a fine finish on hard materials.
Coarse cut flute style burrs remove stock quickly, and provide large flute area in softer ferrous and non-ferrous materials.
Chip breaker flute style burrs are designed for fast stock removal, and provide better control, and reduces sliver size, at the cost of slightly reduced surface finish.
Diamond cut flute style burrs are used primarily for providing superior control with heat-treated and tough alloy steels, and produce powder-like chips. Fiberglass routers are a sub-type of diamond cut burrs, specifically providing medium stock removal in fiberglass, composite and carbon. Some manufacturers use double cut and diamond cut interchangeably.
Omega cut flute style burrs, also sometimes called a deep double cut, have a negative rake angle, and are used for aggressive stock removal, and feature stronger teeth, providing a longer life and less breakage in HD work.