Use this handy table to understand the terms merchants use to describe the carbide grades in the router bits they sell.

You may notice that router bit merchants may use the ISO nomenclature to describe the materials used in the carbide bits they sell. Perhaps you've wondered, "What is K10 carbide?". K10 describes, in short hand fashion, the qualities of the tungsten carbide used in the router bits you buy. Take a look at the table below. You'll see that K10 carbide provides fairly good finishing quality along with better wear resistance. What's not shown, is that K10 costs more than K20. The bottom line of all this is that you can better decide on the type of router bits you wish to purchase, by understanding the ISO nomenclature.

ISO stands for "International Organization for Standardization"

"ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 157 countries, on the basis of one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system." Basically, ISO strives to even the playing field in many areas of manufacturing by creating standards. Manufacturers voluntarily agree to measure their practices against those standards. This affords their customers better ability to compare the quality of the same product produced by different manufacturers.

Chart of Carbide Grade Ranges

P
Steel

01

C8

Precision finishing

c
increasing wear resistance  

 

increasing shock resistance
c

10

C7

Light finishing

20

C6

Semi-finishing

30

40

C5

Roughing & general purpose

50

M
Stainless
Steel

10

-

Precision finishing

c
increasing wear resistance  

 

increasing shock resistance
c

20

-

Semi-finishing

30

-

General purpose

40

-

Roughing

K
Cast
Iron

01

C4

Precision finishing

c
increasing wear resistance  

 

increasing shock resistance
c

10

C3

Semi-finishing

20

C2

General purpose

30

C1

Roughing

 

 

 


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