How Does Tool Reconditioning Work?

If you want to reduce costs and improve efficiency, machine tool reconditioning may be the solution you’ve been looking for. This blog goes into detail on the tool reconditioning process and is designed to help you decide if it’s right for you.  

What is Tool Reconditioning?

Good quality cutting tools aren’t cheap, but over a long period of time they do wear down. The cost of replacing them is often steep, in some cases smaller machine shops on tight budgets won’t be able to replace them. That is where reconditioning comes in! This service can bring your cutting tools back to life and save small shops some serious cash. In layman’s terms, tool reconditioning is a re-sharpening process. This process rejuvenates the existing tools–like carbide drills, reamers, and mill cutters–and returns them to a factory standard.

How Does Reconditioning Work?

The reconditioning process is different for each company, but we can give you a general idea of how it goes.

The process begins with the customer having a meeting with a service representative or manager. During which, an overall review of the reconditioning process takes place to ensure the customer knows what they are getting into. Other topics of discussion could include suggestions for process improvement, packaging instructions, and even alternative point grinds for an increase in savings.

Once everything is finalized, the tools that need reconditioning are packed up and sent to a reconditioning center. From there the tools received are sorted by size and geometry, then are inspected. Tools that are damaged beyond repair are packaged separately, labeled as scrap, and set to the side until the order is completed. Additionally, a standard problem & disposition form is filled out, complete with the reasons for not reconditioning the tools identified.

Tools that are deemed acceptable for reconditioning continue to a computerized etching machine. The machine assigns each tool a unique job number/symbol and laser etches it onto the shank of the tool. This job number is for traceability sake throughout the reconditioning process. It also allows the customer to keep track of how many times the tool has been reground.

After being assigned a job number the tools are ready for the reconditioning process. If you choose a reputable manufacturer for the job, tools are normally reground by expert tool coordinators. Once they have undergone the reconditioning process, tools are then recoated for optimum performance after passing an inspection. From there both the reconditioned tools and tools deemed as scrap are packaged up and shipped back to the client for use.

What Are the Benefits?

It’s simple, the reconditioning process saves machine shops time and money. For many high-performance cutting tools, reconditioning is an option for extending tool life and efficiency. Having the process done often costs a fraction of what it would cost to buy brand new tools. As for efficiency, a sharp cutting tool that lives up to factory standards does the job better than one that doesn’t.  

You Need Custom Tool & Grinding

We can regrind nearly all types and sizes of cutting tools, including alterations in HSS, solid carbide and carbide tips. We’re also equipped to do re-fluting, re-tipping and other processes in reconditioning. Check out our capabilities online to see if reconditioning and regrinding services are right for you.