Is the titanium nitride coating on the sorby tools worth it?

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Forum topic by simmothewoodturner posted 01-29-2013 08:04 PM 4331 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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41 posts in 1970 days

01-29-2013 08:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe woodturning

I was wondering if the titanium nitride coating on the sorby tools was actually worth it, or would it be better just to buy a standard tool due to a slightly lower price?


9 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2322 posts in 2158 days

#1 posted 01-29-2013 10:45 PM

Guess if can sharpen HSS, TN, & tungsten cutters that go with Sorby’s Turnmaster tool might prove more economical than carbide cutters. They sell a sharpening jig, guess can make your own.

While nice kit, more into cutting than scraping so probable would not buy a Turnmaster tool and cutters.
Do not own any carbide tools either prefer traditional turning tools.

-- Bill

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2993 days

#2 posted 01-29-2013 10:46 PM

I don’t know because I’m not a turner, but I’m interested in this as I have some TiN coated mortiser chisels from Axminster.

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 2787 days

#3 posted 01-30-2013 01:33 AM

Question – What happens to the all the different coatings as soon as the tool is sharpened? :o[

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

View Wildwood's profile


2322 posts in 2158 days

#4 posted 01-30-2013 11:53 AM

I have TN coated forstner drill bits and sharpen with diamond file and my dremel tool with HF diamond coated bits for spurs. Have no way of knowing how many microns sharpening away but know removed TN coating where am sharpening.

TN coated tool all about thickness of the coating. How thick is the TN coating on these cutters and on your Axminster chisels?

People do use credit card diamond hones to touch up edge on their carbide cutters doubt they know how many microns of carbide removing.

Here are sharpening instructions from Turnmaster instruction sheet.
Hard, harder, hardest, sharp, sharper, sharpest
1. Tungsten Carbide
These three throwaway cutters don’t need sharpening. They make light work of removing waste material from resistant woods and give extended cutting edge life.
Sharpens to 0.7 – 1 microns. Hardness: 90 RC. Material: micro grade tungsten carbide

2. High Speed Steel (HSS)
These cutters give the woodturner a material that can be sharpened to an ultra sharp edge. This steel provides unmatched quality for the discerning woodturner keen on getting the greatest detail from their tools. Sharpens to 0.2 – 0.4 microns. Hardness : 62 RC. Material: M2 HSS

3. Titanium Nitride (TiN)
These cutters provide the same advantages as HSS but give added longevity before sharpening is required. Sharpens to 0.15 – 0.2 microns. Hardness of coating up to 85 RC. Material:Titanium nitride coated M2 HSS

Tungsten Carbide tips can be sharpened using diamond abrasives

-- Bill

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2310 days

#5 posted 01-30-2013 01:34 PM

I just got the sorby Turnmaster. it has interchangeable cutter heads. I have the round and square head made from titanium case hard carbon steel, the best in other words. These heads cost 16$. They aren’t for taking out huge amounts of material, I like a HSS round nose scraper for most of my lathe work, it takes more time but there are less gouges and mistakes that can take the wood off the chuck.
These cutters have only cut two bowls from box elder but I notice no degradation at all where I had to sharpen the round nose scraper several times.
If you have a good sharpening system, the HSS steel is great, but you need to sharpen it about every 10 minutes or so.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2212 days

#6 posted 01-30-2013 07:26 PM

My guess is that it is more about marketing than anything else.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3609 days

#7 posted 01-30-2013 07:31 PM

I agree with MONTECristo it’s anopther way to part the needy from their hard earned poppy.I guess a nice looking useless gimmick as the cutting edge when sharpened will be devoid of the coating as it will be removed as it is sharpened.A|s simple IMHO as that. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View tamboti's profile


207 posts in 3165 days

#8 posted 01-31-2013 05:39 PM

I think to answer your question how successful are the drill bits that are coated. IMHO not successful and as for sorby’s turnmaster the tool looks very bulky at the business end.Regards Tamboti

-- Africa is not for sissies

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3672 days

#9 posted 01-31-2013 05:53 PM

once sharpened the coating is removed.

with regular drill bits the coating still helps minimize heat and friction caused by the side of the drill as it goes into deep holes, but with lathe tools I’m not sure how much of a benefit you’ll get from it given that the first time you’ll resharpen the edges the TiN coating will be lost. I wonder how Sorby is marketing this

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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