PCD Tooling: Everything You Need to Know

PCD Tooling: Everything You Need to Know

PCD (Polycrystalline Diamond) tooling has become an increasingly popular solution to machining difficult materials. The diamond layer in PCD inserts contributes to longer tool life and increased speed in machining applications. This blog post will explore the benefits and drawbacks of PCD tooling, as well as provide a better understanding of the technology behind this incredible tool.

What is PCD Tooling?

What is PCD Tooling

Polycrystalline diamond (PCD) is a synthetic diamond made of multiple diamond crystals. It is highly used when machining non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, magnesium, and fibreglass, as well as fragile materials such as ceramics. PCD tooling inserts are made up of a base material, typically tungsten carbide, and a layer of PCD affixed to the top. The combination of the base material and PCD layer allows for increased speed and longer tool life.

Benefits of PCD Tooling

The benefits of PCD tooling are numerous. Firstly, its long tool life means less time spent on tool changes and reduced overall time in the machining process. Additionally, PCD tooling can withstand high temperatures, making it perfect for high-heat applications. PCD tooling has increased speed in machining operations and a lengthy life, leading to a lower cost per cut. Lastly, because PCD tooling can cut against abrasive materials, it is becoming a popular tool for use in the aerospace industry.

Drawbacks of PCD Tooling

The only significant drawback of PCD tooling is its high cost. This cost is due to the expense of the diamond materials used in PCD inserts. The initial cost of a PCD insert or tool may be high, but the lower cost per cut and increased tool life make up for this in the long run. It is essential to weigh the potential long-term benefits against the initial cost to determine if PCD tooling is the right choice for your machining needs.

How long does a PCD tool last?

The life of a PCD tool is highly dependent on the application, but PCD tooling typically lasts longer than traditional tooling. It could last anywhere from 5 to 25 times longer than traditional tooling, depending on the application.

Is PCD tooling only suitable for non-ferrous materials?

While PCD tooling is often used in machining non-ferrous materials, it can be used in some ferrous materials as well, including cast iron and carbide. It is important to consult with your tooling manufacturer before using PCD inserts with ferrous materials. Check out here to discover additional info about sundicuttingtools.

How do I properly maintain and care for my PCD tooling?

To get the most out of your PCD tooling, it is essential to maintain and care for it correctly. Always keep the tool clean and use a diamond dresser between passes to make sure the cutting edge stays sharp. Proper care and maintenance can significantly extend the life of your PCD tooling.


PCD tooling is a game-changer in the machining industry, thanks to its increased speed and a longer lifespan compared to traditional tooling. While the initial cost may be higher, the lower cost per cut and increased efficiency make PCD tooling a worthwhile investment. By taking the time to understand PCD tooling and its advantages and drawbacks, you can make an informed decision on whether PCD tooling is the right fit for your machining needs.