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Insert technology cuts costs for carbide thread chasers

Insert technology has been applied to carbide thread chasers.

The need for carbide thread chasers grew as screw machine operators turned to new, harder materials to meet their customers' needs. Now, several inventors have developed a line of thread chasers that they say can reduce the cost for carbide thread chasers by nearly 95 percent. They based their new line of carbide thread chasers on insert technology, and a patent is pending.

Al McBride, owner of Threading 101 Inc. (, says he saw screw machine operators moving to specially-made, solid and brazed carbide thread chasers from standard, high-speed steel, and thought there could be an alternative to using the high-priced carbide.

McBride got together with John Ketterer, Ron Champagne and Walter Wojtaszek of Engineered Tool Corp. ( of Caro, Mo., to develop a high-strength steel, pocketed holder that is fitted with interchangeable carbide inserts as a replacement for the solid carbide chasers. The inserts clamp into the tool holders. The tools are designed to fit and clamp into standard die heads, including tangential, radial and circular die heads, McBride says.

Engineered Tool Corp. produces the carbide inserts for the thread chasers from a grade of carbide designed for the application, and makes inserts for a variety of thread pitches and thread forms.

"This can drop the cost of a thread chaser from $1,400 per set for solid carbide chasers to $80 per set," McBride said. However, he noted that the price range for his line of Insert Chaser Concept tools varies, and can be nearer $150.

"A fastener manufacturer can purchase one set of chasers, and change inserts as necessary. Instead of the high cost of purchasing special sets of highspeed steel chasers pocketed to braze a piece of carbide that then is ground to the thread's pitch, one set of holders can be used with separate inserts for each thread pitch," McBride said.

The simple design for the inserts help to reduce their initial cost, and the inserts can be reground to extend their use, McBride said.

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