Julie owns a shop specializing in sewing equipment and accessories. No wonder she knows everything when it comes to technical specifications of practically anything we revie read more
Last updated: November 11, 2022
Crafty Hangouts is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
All the beautiful wood craftsmanship you’ve seen before get their master shape from the best carbide woodturning tools. Carbide woodturning tools are your best bet for achieving high precision and uncompromising quality in your woodworking projects. For you to easily get intricate design-patterns on wooden pieces, you need top-notch quality tools. There are a couple of carbide woodturning tools on the market, but some have questionable quality.
We came up with this guide to help you make the right choices easily. We came up with a refined list of the 5 best-rated carbide woodturning tools on the market. Our choices were based on some crucial aspects and features, including handle material and length, weight, sharpness, and kind of tools. These factors determine the tools’ ease of use and efficiency. For instance, the handle material and length are major determinants of the tool’s comfort and usability. If they aren’t comfortable, you wouldn’t be able to work for extended periods.
Overall length: 6-9/16″ (round and square cutter), 6-5/8″ (diamond-shaped cutter)
This seems like quite the curtain-raiser. It tops our list because it performs like a high-end product yet you don’t have to decimate your bank balance for it. Unlike most tools, you don’t have to compromise the quality to save some pocket change.
The tools come in a set of 3 including; a round cutter, a square cutter and a diamond-shaped cutter. They are all well-designed to give you clean and precise cuts. You won’t any challenges gouging on your projects with the bits.
Their handles are made of ashwood and rubber for a non-slip grip and premium comfort. The ashwood delivers on the tools’ durability promise. Their ergonomics give you a great working experience, especially if you spend long hours on your projects.
All the tools in the set can work on different types of materials including hardwoods, acrylic, ply, softwood and inlace acrylester.
What we like: the toolset is a top-end performer yet affordable even for a beginner. Its versatility and ease of use are unmatched, not to mention the durability and usability of each of the bits.
What were we disappointed with? Some users have complained that the bits get weak and prone to breakage after a few uses.
Other features: interchangeable handle, CNC machined high carbon steel toolbar, no need for sharpening
As a professional wood artist, you need more and better tools to achieve professional results as well as show off your wood art mastery skills. This carbide set from YUFUTOL is your best bet for achieving intricate designs effortlessly.
The set features a finisher, rougher, hollower and detailer. They are all designed to be kept leveled to the floor and flat on the tool rest. Also included in the toolset is an interchangeable aluminum alloy handle.
Each of the tools is made to stand the test of time and can hog away huge amounts of various materials without being sharpened.
The best thing about this toolset is that it is remarkably easy to use. This makes it a fantastic choice for all woodworking skill levels. Its learning curve is incredibly simplified as there aren’t any complicated angles you need to learn and remember when using the tools.
What we like: The YUFUTOL carbide set is a superb upgrade pick, but it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg like most of its premium peers. The fact that each of the tools doesn’t need sharpening before use is a big win.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? Some users complained that the handle unscrews itself when you turn in reverse. Plus, not everyone likes the idea of changing the handle every now and then, it can be tedious if you need to use more than a single tool from the set at the same time.
Other features: 17″ handle, color-coded, a Torx star wrench included
This is a solid bet for the experienced and versatile craftsman looking for a full-size carbide set. The set stands out with its 3 different tool bits; the hollower, detailer and a rougher. They will allow you to work on different projects with creative freedom.
The tools are color-coded for quick identification. This comes in handy when you are in a hurry to finish up your projects. Each of them comes with a solid aluminum and foam handle that offers a comfortable and secure grip.
The rougher makes roughing easy and less physical as it absorbs all the shock caused by interrupted cuts in its tool rest and not in your hands or arms.
The detailer will help you achieve small intricate details on your work like turning beads and covering finials.
Also included in the set is a Torx star wrench that you can use to rotate the head of the tools when working. It can also help you replace the heads of the tools.
What we like: The most impressive thing about this simple set is that you would be woodturning as soon as the box is delivered to you. You don’t need to buy any expensive sharpening equipment, and you can focus on improving your skills by working on your projects rather than perfecting your sharpening skills. They are also well-balanced and very comfortable to hold.
What are the flaws? the tools are not beginner-friendly because they are large, heavy-duty and solid.
Other features: good ergonomics, hex wrench included
There will come a time when you will loathe the idea of sharpening your chisels before woodturning because it is not the fun you signed up for. When the time comes, be sure to try this wonderful 3-piece carbide set by Tender. It comes with an extra set of cutters that you can easily replace when the first set lose their edge.
The tools can handle a couple of projects, both large and small. They are designed to offer you a safe and enjoyable woodturning experience. Their handles are made with soft rubber and wood for added durability and maximum comfort. The rubber ensures you have a secure grip and reduced vibration.
Moreover, the handles are long and thick enough to give you better control.
The tools can dig into different types of materials to make fine cuts and detailed finishes.
The set also comes with a hex wrench that you can use to change the tips. When the tips become dull, you can rotate to fins a sharp area or replace them with new ones.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned craftsman, you will make the most out of this set because it is simple to use and can help you outdo yourself in creating intricate pieces.
What we like: the tools are sharp and hungry and super easy to use. There’s a slight learning curve but nothing a novice can’t handle. The extra set of cutters is a huge plus for anyone who hates stopping to sharpen their tools. They are also comfortable thanks to their great ergonomics; you won’t suffer hand fatigue.
What are the flaws? Some users complained of loose handles and screws after a few uses.
Other features: flat bar bottom design, heavy-duty steel ferrule, cushioned firm grip
This got our best value spot for all the right reasons. The set offers unmatched convenience as it eliminates the need for sharpening before use. Plus, with the flat bottom bars on each tool, there isn’t a project you wouldn’t be able to turn.
The cutters on this carbide set have been proven to stay sharper longer than others on the market. In case they become dull, you can replace them with a fresh, clean cutting edge from the extra set provided.
Even more, you will achieve cleaner cuts with these tools on account of the shear action produced by the carbide-tipped cutters. The shear action is produced when the cutters are kept straight in the object being turned.
The tools’ handles are made of hardwood for longevity and sturdiness. They are long enough to offer you great control, and they all have heavy-duty steel ferrule riveted in them for added stability.
Further, the handles are cushioned to offer you superior comfort so that you can work for extended periods without experiencing hand fatigue.
Also included in the set is a hex wrench that you can use to replace the tips and a heavy-duty carrying case with a removable tray liner. The tools perfectly fit in the tray liner, which prevents them from sliding over during movement. You can remove the tray liner in case you want to repurpose the carrying case for other tools.
What we like: Very few carbide tool sets come with a carrying case. The set has a myriad of practical features found in high-end models at a reasonable price point. It prioritizes comfort and ease of use in its design. The extra set of tips is the icing on the cake. Simply put, it is the ultimate beginner carbide woodturning toolset.
What is not ideal about it? Some users complained that the carbide sizes and screw dimensions are not labelled making set up a bit of a challenge.
Why did it make our list?
Offers excellent value for money
Great beginner choice
Comes with a carrying case
Features a hex wrench
Comfortable and durable handles
Extra set of cutters
Things to Consider
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned craftsman, you need a proper set of tools to achieve the best woodturning results. With all the options available on the market, choosing one can be pretty daunting. This section has a few pro tips that will help you make the best choice without much hassle. You will get to know the critical aspects that you must consider before paying for a carbide woodturning tool.
Features to consider when choosing the best carbide woodturning tools
These are the essential features that a good carbide woodturning tool must possess:
There are different types of woodturning tools made with carbide. The basic one you need to get started includes cutting tools, abrasive tools, a hollower, a rougher, a finisher and a detailer.
For versatility, you can choose to buy a full size set like the YUFUTOL Wood Turning Tool Set. You will be able to do roughing, hollow out material, as well as do intricate layering and texturizing on your projects.
If you are a beginner, you can opt for a more beginner-friendly set like the Savannah 3-Piece Carbide Mini Turning Tool Set. It is reasonably priced and features all the basic cutting tools you would need like a diamond cutter, and around and square cutter. Such a set also has a simple learning curve that any novice can easily wrap their head around.
Bar diameter and material
The material used to make the tools determine their longevity. Aluminum and stainless steel are the most common materials. Stainless steel is heavy and more durable as it is resistant to rust and corrosion. Aluminum is lightweight and easier to handle, but it is prone to bending or breaking when used regularly.
The bar diameter is a major concern when you need to replace the carbide inserts. Be sure to choose the standard sizes, so you don’t have trouble finding compatible inserts on the market.
Handle material and ergonomics
The most important part of a woodturning tool is the tip, but it would be stupid to ignore the handle because it affects your entire working experience. If you intend to work for extended periods, ensure you choose a handle with good ergonomics for optimum comfort. The durability of the handle is also a major factor when choosing a woodturning tool.
Hardwood and rubber are the best materials that guarantee durability and superior comfort. Hardwood makes the handle robust. Some manufacturers like the Savannah 3-Piece Carbide Mini Turning Tool Set go to the extent of riveting heavy-duty steel ferrule in the tools handles for extra sturdiness.
Rubber offers a secure grip and reduces vibration that causes hand fatigue. Additionally, be sure to go for a long handle as it gives you better control of the entire tool.
Carbide woodturning tools come in different sizes. The size you choose depends on the projects you intend to work on. For large projects, like chair or table legs spindle work go for long tools. The length gives you better control.
Similarly, for small woodturning projects like pen turning and finials, choose the smaller type of carbide turners with a shorter design.
The more accessories a carbide woodturning tool set comes with, the better as you end up saving some pocket change. Accessories include a key wrench for replacing the tips, an extra set of tips or cutters, a tray liner and a carrying case. The Savannah 3-Piece Carbide Mini Turning Tool Set is a prime example of a toolset that comes with a whole load of accessories.
The sharpness of the tips
At the end of the day, the final look of your project highly depends on the sharpness of the tools. The sharper the tools, the more convenient they are. Be sure to go for a model that allows you to work the moment it is delivered to you. Also, consider choosing a set that comes with extra cutters for easy replacement in case the first set becomes dull.
Carbide turning tools should last you something between 4 and 6 months but it all depends on how often you will be using them. 4 to 6 months is when you do he bare minimum as a hobbyist of DIYer, a professional would have to get new inserts sooner than that.
Carbide is much better than HSS in terms of longevity. HSS requires constant sharpening and attention which tends to reduce its length prematurely. Carbide inserts can simply be replaced and it takes a while before they become dull.
Carbide has very little attraction to a magnet. If your tool sticks on a magnet and you are unable to pull it off, then it is made of steel.
Besides the overwhelming options available, choosing a carbide woodturning tool isn’t a walk in the park. There’s a lot to consider, and without the right information, you can lose it, especially if you are a novice. Well, that shouldn’t be the case with our information-rich guide. You can also avoid the hassle of going through the endless options by choosing any of our 5 best-rated tools.
Our top recommendation is the Savannah Carbide 3-Piece Turning Tool Set. It is a perfect choice for all skill levels as it contains all the basic tools and you don’t have to break the wallet for it. Our upgrade pick is the distinguished YUFUTOL Wood Turning Tool Set. Its versatility is unmatched. It has all the tools you would need to achieve professional results and explore your creative capability as a craftsman.
Third, on our list is the Simple Woodturning Tools Full Size Carbide Lathe Set. It is hands down the best full-size carbide toolset on the market. It is a fantastic professional option with an exception set of features. The color-coded tools make the set one of the best carbide woodturning toolsets on the market.