History of cutting tools

As history of mankind has progressed so to has that of cutting tools. As seen in the figure to the right, in 1898, “high-speed steel (HSS)” was invented. Due to the introduction of high-speed steel came a dramatic improvement in the machining of iron.


In the 1920s, a German scientist, Dr. Schroter, invented “cemented carbide” a new cutting tool material that was much harder than high-speed steel.



In 1926, a German company called Friedlich Krupp successfully merchandised cemented carbide and started selling these products under the name of “Wie diamant” (as hard as diamond). In 1928, General Electric (GE) of the United Stated marketed cemented carbide products under the name of “Carboloy.” Around the same time in Japan, Toshiba, Sumitomo, Mitsubishi Materials, and other companies began their own research & development with cemented carbide/high-speed steel products.


In the last 80 years since the invention of cemented carbide various technologies have been developed, coating*, ceramics*, cermet* and polycrystalline compacts* (sintered super-hardened compact). Recently, a technology of forming diamond crystal on the surface of cemented carbide has also been invented. As new technologies are developed we have seen an increase in the quality of cutting tools, this in turn also leads to a drastic increase in the cutting speeds that can be used.