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Carbide Burr Selection & Comparison Guide

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.

Carbide Burr Shape


SA Burr Shape
Example of an SA Cylinder Cut

SA cylinder burrs are good for contour finishing and right-angled corners.

Shop SA Burrs


SB Burr Shape
Example of an SB Cylinder Cut

SB end cut cylinder burrs are good for contour finishing.

Shop SB Burrs


SA Burr Shape
Example of an SC Ball-Nosed Cut

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.

Shop SC Burrs


SD Burr Shape
Example of an SD Spherical Cut

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.

Shop SD Burrs


SE Burr Shape
Example of an SE Egg Cut

SE oval or egg shape burrs.

Shop SE Burrs


SF Burr Shape
Example of an SF Round Tree Cut

SF carbide ball-nosed or rounded tree burrs are used for making concave cuts and rounding off edges.

Shop SF Burrs


SG Burr Shape
Example of an SG Cylinder Cut

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.

Shop SG Burrs


SA Burr Shape
Example of an SH Bullet Cut

SH flame, or curved ball-nosed cone burrs.

Shop SH Burrs


SJ Burr Shape
Example of an SJ Cut

SJ 60 degree countersink burrs.

Shop SJ Burrs


SK Burr Shape
Example of an SK Cut

SK 90 degree countersink burrs.

Shop SK Burrs


SL Burr Shape
Example of an SL Round-Nosed Cone Cut

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.

Shop SL Burrs


SM Burr Shape
Example of an SM Cone Cut

SM cone burrs are good for rounding edges and surface-finishing in tight, narrow angles or other hard-to-reach places.

Shop SM Burrs


SN Burr Shape
Example of an SN Inverted Cone Cut

SN inverted cone burrs are useful for making v-cuts and rear-side chamfering.

Shop SN Burrs

Carbide Burr Flute Style

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

Single Cut Burr Flute Style

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.

Shop Single Cut Burrs

Double Cut

DoubleCut Burr Flute Style

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.

Shop Double Cut Burrs


Nonferrous Burr Flute Style

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.

Shop Nonferrous Burrs

Fine Cut

Fine Cut Burr Flute Style

Fine cut flute style burrs are for general use, and create a fine finish on hard materials.

Shop Fine Cut Burrs

Coarse Cut

Coarse Cut Burr Flute Style

Coarse cut flute style burrs remove stock quickly, and provide large flute area in softer ferrous and non-ferrous materials.

Shop SK Burrs

Chip Breaker

Chip Breaker Burr Flute Style

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.

Shop Chip Breaker Burrs

Diamond Cut

Diamond Cut Burr Flute Style

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.

Shop Diamond Cut Burrs

Omega Cut

Deep Double Cut Burr Flute Style

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.

Shop Omega Cut Burrs

Choosing the Right Flute Type for your Material

  Material Single Cut Double Cut Chip Breaker Diamond Cut Fine Cut Coarse Cut Nonferrous
Brass, Bronze, Copper
Carbon Fiber
Cast Iron
Hard Rubber
Steel, 40-55 Rc
Steel, 55-60 Rc
Steel, Carbon
Steel, Nickel Chrome
Steel, Stainless
Steel, Weldments