There are many theories in the industry on the best way to prolong fingerjoint cutting knives to have them produce a better chip load. There are just as many ways in practice that don’t follow the recommended guidelines, too, like fewer teeth that can add life but may also reduce output quality. Another approach is to compare the three types of fingerjoint cutting knives available for your wood production need: HSS, Carbide, and PCD (polycrystalline diamond). Beyond the investment for a 25x or up to 500x run rate, are there other advantages to consider that could be a reason to switch?
HSS cutting knives are the most commonly used in the fingerjoint industry. Their popularity has provided decades of production with the consistency of requiring sharpening every 1-2 days. This creates the unavoidable requirement for constant sharpening labor, downtime in production, stocking inventory, wasted material, and lowered quality of output when the fingerjoint knives run dull. However, they are the most affordable tool and widely available option for the fingerjoint market. Adding a hard coating prolongs life and increases cost, but not as much as using a carbide fingerjoint knife.
Carbide fingerjoint cutting knives are gaining in usage but still lag HSS as the primary choice. These are preferred because they have a 25x higher run rate which reduces the frustration of downtime in production from the standard sharpening. While these have less maintenance between sharpening, they also cost more than the HSS option.
Diamond fingerjoint cutting knives are the least used in the industry but provide the highest run rate, up to 500x (hardwood flooring application, when compared to HSS fingerjoint cutting knives). They can be used on softwoods, hardwoods, structural and non-structural materials without requiring sharpening. A significant decrease in maintenance, inventory, wasted material, and productivity downtime provide actual cost savings to the bottom line. This is the most expensive option available in the fingerjoint industry and provides the most noticeable savings in the long run.
Whichever option you choose is determined by many business factors. Reviewing daily improvements may lead to a new choice, better results, and have you staying a cut above your competition!