Parting tools are used in woodturning to separate or “part” finished work from base stock being held in a lathe chuck. Or, it might be used in other ways, such as to part a lid from a box.
Woodpeckers’ Ultra Shear parting tool uses a custom replaceable carbide insert to make narrow grooves that waste less material when “parting.”
The nano-grain carbide insert comes pre-ground with sharp edges and is replaceable by using a simple tool, so you can concentrate on turning rather than sharpening.
The insert is 0.0825″ wide and the tool itself is 1/16″ wide, slightly narrower than the insert, which means only the insert ever touches the wood.
The tool and insert use a special geometry to keep the insert seated in the tool. What this means is that the insert won’t come out unless you use the tool to remove it.
There are two different types of carbide inserts available: a fluted insert that cuts on the edges first for really clean entry cuts, or a square insert for creating flat bottoms.
The thin blade of the tool is taller to make it stiffer, preventing it from bending or twisting when you are making the cut.
The Ultra Shear parting tool comes with the fluted insert and the insert tool for $80. You can purchase a replacement fluted insert or a square insert for $20.
Price: $80 (tool) $20 (replacement insert)
In their promo video, Woodpeckers claims that:
There’s a dimple in the holder that grips the insert firmly. It won’t pop out in use like others on the market.
I wonder what “others” they are talking about
This Easy Wood Tool mid-size parting tool has been around for a while and it uses a grooves and pressure from the tool blade to keep the insert in place, but there is no “dimple” so the insert could theoretically side out the front.
It’s $108-120 for the tool and the inserts are $15-20 each depending on the retailer.
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I haven’t used this tool, but I’m honestly wondering how the insert could come out in use unless you accidentally twisted the tool. The more pressure you apply, the better the insert is held in place.
Still, Woodpeckers’ new parting tool looks like it might work as advertised, and it’s less expensive than other carbide insert parting tools already on the market (which isn’t usually how it goes with Woodpeckers).