So I was wondering what the benefit of HSS over Solid Carbide is?

Is it just a price thing in case it breakes or is there actually a material that would benefit from using HSS over a Solid Carbide Bit?

Most materials I see myself working with are MDF ( ruined my first HSS on that ), Wood and Plastics like PS and POM.

Solid carbide is the only thing that I buy.

I also buy almost exclusively carbide bits. I think one of the main advantages of HSS over carbide are overall strength and cost (debatable).

HSS can also be sharper, at least when new. For projects which you want an especially nice / crisp finish, it may be worth using a new sharp HSS endmill for the finishing pass, after roughing with a carbide.

Onsrud publishes a decent guide to different types of bits and what they can be used for.


HSS is great for Aluminum.
Carbide is good for wood and various other materials.
As stated from: http://www.brighthubengineering.com/manufacturing-technology/49448-high-speed-steel-versus-carbide-in-metal-cutting-why-hss-is-still-in-use/

“The advantage of HSS over carbide is its strength to withstand cutting forces and the low cost of the tools. From the tool life point of view, HSS performs very well at intermittent cutting applications. But the greatest limitation of HSS is that its usable cutting speed range is far lower when compared to Carbide.”

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