Cutting tools have seven types of coatings

- Sep 11, 2018-

Something about cutting tool coatings, like it's got to be a marketing ploy to get you to spend more, not exactly, if you're new to buying cutting tools, the first challenge is to figure out which style to buy, the second is to select what material and coding combination, you'll need coding nuclear hardness, to make chips fly faster in tools, to dull slower, and each type of cutting material cuts differently, which is why there are so many coding options available.

We'll get to those in just a minute, but first we need to talk about the two basic categories of coating, physical coatings and chemical coating. physical coatings also known as physical vapor deposition or PVD coatings, are great for cutting tools, that can't get really hot, such as high speed steel ,these coatings are typically thinner and include titanium nitride, titanium carbon Nitride, aluminum titanium nitride and chromium nitride coatings .Chemical coatings also called chemical vapor deposition or CVD, coatings are ideal for cutting tools, I get hot laser cooling is a good example, these coatings are applied with plasma or photo induced processes, and extremely hot temperatures about 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit. the result is a precisely uniform coating, it strongly adheres to the cutting tool surface, titanium nitride and titanium carbon nitride coatings can also be applied to tools, using this process now.


 Let's get back to all those coating options, total MOX cutting tools have seven types of coatings, so let's get out that periodic table of elements.

1. TiN, titanium nitride

2.TiCN, titanium carbon nitride

3.CrN,chromium nitride

4.ALTin ,aluminum titanium nitride

5.TiALCN,titanium aluminum carbon nitride


7.Bright or Gloss, also called uncoated


1. Titanium nitride coatings are golden color and have the abbreviation T, they are the most commonly used coating because the ceramic base is heat, resistant and hard you'll want to use these for general purpose drilling.

2. Titanium carbon nitride coatings head abbreviation TiCN an hour harder than titanium nitride and create less friction with most materials so you'll want to use these when you cut aluminum.

3. Chromium nitride coatings are silvery and metallic and have the abbreviation CrN , these coatings offer similar benefits to TiCN, such as creating less friction ,but the coating can get hotter than TiCN and still maintain its innate qualities and better lubrication qualities, the best application for this coating is cutting aluminum.

4. Aluminum titanium nitride coatings are normally darker in color and are abbreviated is AlTiN or TiAlN, they're normally used from the job is too hot for titanium nitride coated

tools because it's hard and can maintain this hardness at higher temperatures,than titanium nitride, coated tools this is perfect for cutting steel, aluminum titanium nitride and thermal shocking.

5. Titanium aluminum carbon  nitride ,you might have but all carbide Emeril's are susceptible to that you're essentially putting cold coolant on a hot tool, and they can shatter some coatings, like titanium aluminum nitride are more susceptible to ,that you'll be able to identify titanium aluminum carbon nitride or TiAlCN, pink coating ,this coating is a Nano coating which means it's extremely hard and can be used at high temperatures and still yield low friction that's why it's great for stainless steel cast iron aluminum and even super alloys.

6.Feo oxide coatings are applied to tools, that need help retaining lubrication, and the surface to keep the tool cool such as a test when you're using keeping fluid, you'll want to use those coating that has a smoky black color for general purpose tapping applications.

7. Uncoated , tools are also available, and they are available as uncoated or bright tools,

uncoated tools are just that nothing done to them, bright means the tools were polished to create a mirror-like finish , but why would you ever choose an uncoated tool,when there are so many great coating options available. good question,who will sharpen it you can sharpen an uncoated tool to make it sharper,  but if you try to sharpen a coated tool, you'll end up stripping away the coating, to get special, this is a great feature.


If you're on a budget now, there's a whole world of possibilities when we talk about lathe cutting tools, carbide inserts are the most common lathe inserts available, and CVD & PVD coatings are applied to make them , even more wear resistant much like Y coatings are applied to mill cutting tools and drills coated ,carbide inserts most often feature titanium carbon nitride, oxide and other coatings used for mill cutting tools and that's just one coating right.


You're going to see a lot of the same coating like titanium carbon nitride and see TiCN , but a newer industry development has been offering single and dual coated inserts, for instance a carbide insert, could be coated with chromium nitride, to increase wearing resistance ,and then also coated with titanium carbon, I tried to reduce friction, whether or not this is cost effective has yet to be determined, this is only the start to a metallurgy based conversation, and if you have any questions our website has a slew of information to help you with all of these decision.