Aimed at: Professionals and enthusiasts who have a bit of nous.
Pros: Easy to use, quick setting times and multiple materials covered.
I am willing to bet that many people with some experience in the tool trade have never come across deburring tools – simply because they haven’t ever had the need to use them. However, pretty well anyone who has any experience of manufacture or fabrication would routinely use deburring tools since their use encompasses a wide range of metals, plastics and hard rubbers. Deburring tools are used to get a clean, non-burred edge on edges, slots and holes so that the appearance of components is improved, but also so that fit and tolerances are better.
Vargus Ltd was established in 1960 and has been supplying cutting, finishing and deburring tools to more than 100 companies around the world. They mainly focus on three major product lines – VARDEX Thread Turning and milling tools, GROOVEX groove turning and milling tools and SHAVIV hand deburring tools.
The SHAVIV catalogue I was sent covered the whole range of SHAVIV Tooling and the range was bewildering. Vargus supplies such a huge range that the two products reviewed here should be viewed only as a tiny taster of what is available and in which configurations – left handed, right handed, clockwise and anti-clockwise etc, etc!
Although many people have never thought about the role of deburring tools, it actually doesn’t take a lot of imagination to expand one’s ideas of where they might be used. There are many manufacturing processes that involve metals, plastics and rubber and there is a correspondingly vast range of SHAVIV deburring tools covering applications in die making, electrical, plastics, automotive, metal industries, plumbing and aerospace.
By their nature, deburring tools wear out as their edges become blunt through use, so there is a constant demand for replacement tips – which makes them stock items – retailers might take note here.
To be honest, I have been using deburring tools for years, as I sometimes have to fabricate brass and alloy parts for my furniture making exploits. Once you have the knack – pretty easily acquired – they are a valuable time saver for removing burrs. In my case I usually use a fine-toothed hacksaw or metal snips to cut the metals, but these usually result in a slightly rough or raised edges on the cut lines. A simple sweep or two down the edges with a deburring tool results in clean, slightly chamfered edges that won’t endanger fingers and give a clean, finished look.
To give readers a snapshot of the applications and effectiveness of deburring tools Vargus sent me a couple of samples – The Mango Set E for heavy deburring and the SHAVIV Set for finishing.
Packed in a plastic clam pack for easy display and security, the Mango Set E series handle is red and black plastic and my example came with three different deburring blades – the E100, the E200 and the E300. More about these below.
The black highlights on the handle are a grippy rubber overmould to make handling easier, since there is likely to be grease and oil involved in the applications. There is a black cap on the end of the handle that can hold two spare bits, but the cap is quite fiddly to remove. What is much easier is the adjustment of the telescopic bit holder. Simply pull back the black collar on the base of the handle to free up the toothed ratchet. The telescopic shaft extends up to about 110mm so that the user can reach into spaces if needed.
Replacing the deburring tips is just as easy – pull back the metal collar on the shaft end and the tip can be pulled out.
As I mentioned above, Vargus supplies a huge variety of deburring bits and to give readers some idea of the differences, the three supplied in the Mango kit are detailed below. They are all designed for right-handed use.
The HSS E100 blade works in a clockwise direction and is used for heavy duty deburring of straight and curved edges on steels, alloys and plastics.
Also made of HSS, the E200 is used for materials with powdery chips like brass, cast iron and plastics and can be used in both a clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.
With a very curved profile, the E300 blade is used for materials with spiral chips and can deburr both inside and outside edges up to 6mm thick at the same time.
To test all of these I had to ferret around in my workshop for odd bits of steel, plastic and alloys. Provided one follows the instructions, for example, don’t try to go anti-clockwise with a tip if it is designed to work only clockwise, it is the work of a moment to get a finished edge on straight and rounded edges. Even working into corners is not difficult. The key is, of course, the handle – it holds the blade securely and allows it to swivel and change angle with the user’s need to realign his hand as the tool moves down the edge.
The second part of the review is concerned with the Shaviv Finishing Bit Set.
I admit that I got and will get much more use out of this bit set since it is particularly tailored to the needs in my workshop.
The advantage of the finishing bit sets is that they have a standard 6mm hex end to the bit so they will fit into standard hex bit holders. The bits themselves swivel freely in the hex base so can be used in either direction. They are held in place with a strong magnet that keeps them secure while in use. Plumbers, fitters, installers and even, dare I say it, DIYers, would be able to enhance the finish of their work by using the finishing set.
Vargus supplied me with a very nice heavy, robust handle with grippy rubber nibs on it to house the finishing bits. It is so perfectly made for using with the bits I think any potential user should simply buy the handle too – it won’t break the bank.
While testing these deburring and finishing bits I did show them to a few tradespeople who might use them in the course of their work. At least half of them had never seen such tools, but having tried them could see how much time they could save, and how easy they are to use. I guess the point for retailers might be to be aware of these bits and suggest them to potential users. The Vargus Catalogue is a good starting point in appreciating just how many ways your customers’ needs could be met.