Home > Product FAQ, Info & Help > Do I need (or have) HSS or carbide tips/inserts ?

All of our spiral style machines, except for the 40100H planer, can be purchased with either HSS or carbide inserts/tips already installed.

The "H" following the model number indicates it has HSS tips. The "HC" following a model number indicates carbide tips installed.

If you already own a Cutech spiral style machine and want to know which tips are mounted on the cutterhead, you can easily check by looking at the individual tips. There is a marking in the corner of each to designate what type of tip it is. HSS tips will have a DOT in the corner while carbide tip will have a DASH marking.

NOTE: The "-CT" following all of our machine model numbers stands for CUTECH and does NOT indicate what tips are installed.

The HSS (High Speed Steel) tips should last the average weekend woodworker 3 to 5 months....carbide 3 to 5 times that. All depends on hardness of stock, depth of cut, if the lumber has knots, and amount of use. If you plan on working with hardwoods, reclaimed lumber such as barn wood or pallets, we recommend getting a machine with carbide tips already installed. You can start with a machine that has HSS tips installed, and later, upgrade them to carbide. Just remember that you cannot mix them on a cutterhead.

Please Note: Our tips have 2 cutting edges and cannot be resharpened. 4-sided tips cannot be used in our machines.