What is PCBN Cutting Tool?

Polycrystalline Carbon Boron Nitride (PCBN) or known as CBN cutting tools have high resistance to heat abrasion that is perfect for fine finishing and effective for tolerance control. They are also suitable for iron, cast iron, sintered material and other hardened materials (HRC50 and above).

PCBN cutting tools are typically applied with inserts and round tools which include endmills, reamers and boring tools. CBN tools can help reduce the production costs due to more efficient process of turning and milling.

PCBN Cutting Tools:


PCBN Cutting Tools Grades & Characteristics

PCBN cutting tools generally come in various grades and characteristics according to the capacity of work they can uptake. In every grade of PCBN cutting tools produced, they come with 2 options – carbide backed and solid.


  • Grain size: 0.5𝞵m-1𝞵m (Sub-𝞵m)
  • Has approximately 45% CBN
  • Principally TiCN Binder

The primary application is for moderately interrupted hard turning and finishing hard milling as well as high-speed continuous turning. It is the most resistant to crater water in the market.


  • Grain size: 1.5𝞵m (Average)
  • Has approximately 50% CBN
  • Principally TiCN

Application for moderate to heavy interrupted turning of all common hardened steels. It excellent abrasion resistance makes it the ideal choice for cold work tool steels and certain valve seat alloys.


  • Grain size: 3𝞵m (Average)
  • Approximately 72% CBN
  • TiCN Binder

Its usage is for moderate to heavy interrupted turning of all common hardened steels. it provides an excellent balance of toughness and, crater and flank wear resistance.


  • Grain size: 2𝞵m (Average)
  • Approximately 85% CBN
  • AIWCoB binder for extreme chip resistance

Used for applications such as grey iron fine boring and valve seat machining due to excellent strength and abrasion resistance. This PCBN grade is ideal for heavily interrupted cutting of all hard and abrasion workpiece materials that include metallurgy components.


  • Grain size: 4𝞵m (Average)
  • Approximately 90% CBN
  • Novel binder system to provide the ultimate abrasion and chip resistance.

PCBN CB900 is ideal for applications where longer tool life is required. It excels in interrupted machining of grey and hard cast irons, hardened steel milling and in the machining of the majority of valve seat ring alloys.


  • Grain size: –
  • Approximately 95% CBN
  • Binder phase includes aluminium nitrides and borides

Best for turning and milling of grey and hard cast iron as well as heavy turning of hardened steels; including components such as brake discs, pump bodies and impellers and large rolls.


Uses of PCBN Inserts

Speaking of PCBN inserts, they are widely used in processing

  • Pearlitic cast iron
  • High chromium and nickel alloy cast iron
  • Hardened steel
  • Powder metal
  • Hard alloy
  • Super alloy

Adding on, CBN inserts greatly reduce the comprehensive production cost while improving the production capacity and efficiency during the whole production operation. Also, equipment investment can be reduced simultaneously.

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What are the benefits of using PCBN Inserts?

Excellent cost performance

The best part of using a PCBN insert is that its service life can be more than 10 times that of carbide inserts. It reduces the cost of comprehensive cutting tool by 30-50%. Which also means that the interval time between replacements is long but the frequency of PCBN insert replacements is less.

High machining efficiency

The efficiency to machine using PCBN insert is 5-10 times that of the carbide inserts. It also means that it greatly improves the equipment capacity and reduces equipment investment costs.

Excellent surface quality

PCB insert leaves the surface finish and dimensional precision of machining workpiece at the grinding level.

Strong universality

You can use PCBN insert for both dry cutting and wet cutting. Also, one grade is normally suitable to machine various materials.


Application of PCBN Inserts in Automotive Industry


  • Strip roll
  • H-shaped steel roll
  • Screw thread steel roll

Gear shaft

  • Driven belt pulley shaft
  • Gear shaft
  • Transmission shaft
  • Hub bearing


  • Driven gear
  • Gear
  • Rear-axle gear
  • Gear ring

Air conditioning

  • Air cylinder
  • Lower bearing
  • Upper bearing
  • Flange

Auto parts

  • Brake disc & drum
  • Belt pulley
  • Cylinder liner
  • CV joint
  • Flywheel
  • Turbocharger

Application of PCBN Inserts in Other Industries

  • Wind power industry – Slewing ring, large gear
  • Engineering machinery – Rolling mortar wall, slurry pump
  • Mining machinery – Piston rod
  • Automobile – Combined gear, engine cylinder block
  • Powder metallurgy – Planet carrier

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We'll provide a comprehensive guide to ensure the optimum result for your project.

Using the right PCBN Inserts can go a long way

We suggest you consult ASIME, the ISO Certified Precision Tools manufacturer, who has been in the industry for more than 20 years. We speak high-end precision tools manufacturing. 

So look no further as we take great care in our manufacturing processes, and are always following DOE and ISO standards. We ensure that our tools and services are nothing short of world-class.

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