Renovation of tools

Tool reconditioning is a process that restores the functionality of blunted cutting tools. Reconditioning consists of sharpening and possible further processing of the cutting edges, often also restoring the protective surface layer (so-called coating).

Benefits of sharpening:

  • Sharpening of tools allows them to be reused, which significantly reduces production costs. Rotary shank tools such as drills and milling cutters can often be re-sharpened repeatedly. 
  • The typical cost of resharpening is around 20-50% of the cost of a new tool, and with the right sharpening technology that can maintain the original geometry of the tool, the lifetime of resharpened tools can reach around 90% of the lifetime of new tools. Occasionally, cheap tools from Asian manufacturers can have a longer life than new tools after a good re-sharpening and application of a suitable coating.
  • The resulting reduction in the costs spent on instruments is therefore already evident from the above figures. In general, the larger and more sophisticated the instrument, the greater the savings.
  • Another factor is the speed of delivery of resharpened tools. Manufacturers that pride themselves on the quality of their sharpening usually deliver sharpened and coated tools on a two-week cycle.    If they were to supply new tools, their delivery times would usually be longer.
  • Last but not least, the environmental friendliness of this process must be mentioned. Both solid carbides (SC) and high speed steels (HSS) are very expensive materials that are produced from raw materials that have limited resources. The idea that these tools should be thrown away after one use is unacceptable to many of us who care about the future of this planet. Thus, by repeatedly sharpening tools in quality sharpening facilities, we are contributing in no small part to the sustainability of our world.
  • Repeated sharpening significantly reduces the need for new tools, which in a competitive environment means that tool manufacturers do not raise prices as much as they would if there was little use of sharpening.

Disadvantages of sharpening:

  • For small, simple and cheap tools, sharpening may not be worthwhile. This is especially true for micro tools with low material input costs, produced in large batches.
  • If you choose a poor quality or inexperienced sharpener, you risk damaging or destroying your tool. It can also lead to workpieces subsequently not having the required tolerances etc. It is advisable to ask for references, the system of the sharpening process, the machinery, and not just the price and the time period.  
  • It is also important to ensure that the tool is shut down for sharpening in the right time. That is, not to use the tool until it is almost destroyed, but to stop using it before it has worn too much or chipped the cutting edges.

The process of sharpening in PILANA Karbid

PILANA Karbid has many years of experience in tool sharpening. On the basis of this experience, the following process of tool servicing (renovation) has been put into practice, the partial procedures of which we will now introduce to you.

1. Picking up and transporting the tools from the customer

If the location of your premises is within easy reach of our sales representatives, they will be happy to personally collect the tools to be sharpened from you. Simply arrange with them a day of the week when they will stop by regularly to pick them up. Otherwise, you can make arrangements with them on where to send these tools for service.

2. Income inspection of the tools before sharpening

At PILANA Karbid, it is not the case that the tools are immediately handed over to the grinders after they are taken over. Before that, they are handed over to the staff whose task is to assess the condition of the tool, the level of wear, the extent of repair required and the type of machine on which the tool is to be renovated. In giving specific sharpening instructions, we respect the agreed individual requirements of hundreds of our customers. As many thousands of tools are reconditioned every month, each tool is given a dispatch note with its own EAN to avoid confusion. If a tool is damaged to the point that it cannot be repaired or would not be worth repairing, we will notify you immediately. We will also be happy to make you an offer for a new instrument.

3. Sharpening and reconditioning of instruments

After the tools have been inspected and registered in the information system, they are then handed over to the grinders. Because we have many types of grinding machines from three manufacturers, we can always grind tools on the machine that is most suitable for the tool. If a tool is significantly damaged, it is first shortened by cutting off the damaged part and then reground according to the original geometry (so-called "shape restoration"). Below is an overview of our CNC grinding machines.

Tool grinding machines

Grinding machines                                                              


Round grinding machines


4. Tool inspection after sharpening

Designated staff will inspect the tools immediately after sharpening. Not only a visual inspection is carried out, but also measurements on optical or touch measuring devices ZOLLER, Z-MIKE, GFM, MITUTOYO, etc. If required by the customer, a measurement report is issued in which the measured values are recorded.

5. Precision finishing, coating and marking of tools

After tool sharpening, subsequent processes take place if required by the customer. These include the precision finishing of the tool cutting edges by drag finishing units, marking of the tools on the laser equipment and, above all, the external coating of the tools. Tool coating is a field that is developing very dynamically and new processes and types of coatings are being developed every year. For this reason, it is not suitable for us to have our own coating equipment that is not up to date with the latest trends. In order to be able to offer our customers the best quality, we cooperate with several well-known coating companies. Our main coating suppliers include OERLIKON Balzers (world leader) and IONBOND (world number two in tool coating).

6. Expedition of sharpened tools

The same way the tools came to us, they are coming back. Often repackaged in new boxes if the old ones were missing or damaged. Ready for a new use, the tools look forward to their next working cycle and we enjoy being able to serve the specific needs of our customers in this way.

Overview of tools that PILANA Karbid can sharpen

Different types of shank cutters made of solid carbide, HSS, HSS-E or PM:

  • Cylindrical end mills
  • Copy milling cutters
  • Roughing end mills
  • Finishing end mills
  • Toroidal end mills (with corner radius)
  • Ball nose end mills
  • Tapered milling cutters
  • Form milling cutters
  • Disc milling cutters
  • T-shaped milling cutters for grooves
  • HSC milling cutters
  • End mills for trochoidal milling
  • End mills with double helix
  • End mills with double or triple helix
  • profile, concave or corner rounding milling cutters
  • End mills for graphite
  • Threading milling cutters
  • Carbide crown milling cutters
  • HSS shell cutters (cylindrical and cylindrical end mills)
  • HSS, PM and carbide gear hobs
  • Concave milling cutters
  • Engraving cutters 
  • MultiMaster interchangeable head milling cutters and similar

Various types of drills made of carbide, HSS, HSS-E or PM:

  • SC spotting drills
  • SC drills without internal cooling
  • SC drills with internal cooling
  • SC micro drills
  • SC long drills (>15D)
  • SC step drills
  • SC drilling and deburring bits
  • HSS, PM spiral drills
  • Gun drills
  • Flat lance drills for metal
  • Magnet drill bits
  • Interchangeable drill heads (drill crowns)

Other CNC and metalworking tools made of carbide, HSS, PM or tool steel:

  • Carbide single and double sided countersinks and deburring mills
  • Engraving mills
  • Straight and spiral screw taps
  • Thread cutting dies
  • Tapered countersinks
  • Core drills, taper shank core drills
  • Reamers and step reamers
  • Drill reamers
  • Punches and similar tools
  • Cutting inserts and their modifications
  • HSS and solid carbide saw blades 
  • TCT saw blades for non-ferrous metals and steel cutting

If you are interested in these services, we would be happy to hear from you. We will be happy to sharpen a few sample tools for you free of charge and agree on the terms of cooperation.

Contact person:

Marek Stratil
export sales manager
Mobil: +420 724 858 921