Vargus Deburring Solutions- Plumbers and Electricians Take Note

Aimed at: Professionals like plumbers and fitters who need quick and easy deburring.

Pros: Easy to use, comprehensive choice of products that have a long working life.

Vargus Ltd has been making and supplying deburring solutions for industry and trades since 1960, so they know a thing or two about the best way to go about deburring a wide range of things. The subsidiary, Vargus Tooling UK, is based in Shropshire and supplies many industries and trades here.

Vargus serves customers in over a hundred countries worldwide with three major product lines: - VARDEX thread turning and thread milling tools, GROOVEX groove turning and groove milling tools and SHAVIV hand burring tools.

On review this month are three different products from the range of SHAVIV deburring tools. Once again, these demonstrate the huge range and expertise that Vargus has in the area of deburring, and also how, no matter how niche, Vargus can supply a tool that will do the job. Finishing metals and plastics is a specialized task, but even I have had to use deburrers when I have made special brass joint supports for furniture for example. And I have a couple of friends who routinely use them in their specialist model building activities.

The deburring tool that caught my eye this month is very specialized – it is used for deburring and slightly chamfering the inside and outside edges of pipes. It would be an area easy to ignore, but ask a good plumber how important a neat finish is to ensure a first class soldered joint on a copper pipe, and you will get the answer that it is very important. I have come across the same problem with big 150mm diameter plastic pipes used in groundwork. A simple method of beveling the outside of the pipe before leak-free jointing is very important, because once the pipes are joined and buried, any leaks are going to be hard to find.

The Plum-burr (get it? plum – ber) tool looks very simple – a black tube that comes in transparent plastic packaging for easy identification. The Plum-burr comes in a range of sizes from 6mm to 41mm so plumbers, installers and electricians are well catered for in terms of the usual range of tube sizes that they work with. This tool can deburr aluminium, copper and brass tubing, but there is a Plum-burr plastic range of tools specifically aimed at deburring plastic pipes. The range of sizes covered is 4.8mm to 38mm – again covering all the popular diameter sizes used.

But you really get to appreciate the Plum-burr when you start to use it. It has two ends – one for deburring the inner edges of pipes and the other for the outside edges. They are easy to tell apart. The inner edges deburrer has a conical middle that fits into the pipe and a swift twist of the tool will deburr the pipe. On the other side, there is a short lead in to a pair of sloping double sided cutters that will swiftly – and I do mean swiftly – it takes only a couple of sharp twists left and right - put a neat bevel on the pipe end. It is another example of a tool that just does what it does, but so well and so simply that you don’t have to worry about it.

It is also a great tool just to fling into the toolbox so you know exactly where it is for immediate use. Being as it is, a strong metal tube with some ribs on it to help your hand grip, it is unlikely to be damaged and requires no special care. Also, all the sharp edges are on the inside, so the danger of cutting yourself on it are minimal, even if you are a tool box rummager.

With a list price of £30.86 it is the kind of tool that you can buy and forget about because it is bound to have a long service life and will also simplify the deburring jobs that can be more difficult with other tools.

Also on review this month is a neat set of three Scrape Burrs that handily also includes a free Glo-Burr tool with blade.

I am told that these three scrape burrs (another pun – Scrape – ers) are the most popular choices by end users and they come in a handy transparent plastic wallet. The tools look like miniature triangular files without the teeth and the three edges on each tool are VERY sharp. Each tool ends in a point too. The handles are quite key because they enable the user to safely handle them and apply the necessary pressure to an edge that needs deburring.

Each handle is made from rigid red plastic with a ridged rubberized grip and a shaped end for gripping like a pen for detailed work. There is also a pocket clip. But I wouldn’t put one in my pocket unless I had remembered to put the plastic guard over the point. The tools are designed to be used on straight edges, hole edges, inside and out, back edges and flat surfaces. I found that I could use them for deburring pretty well anything from metals to plastics. They are so sharp that it is easy to dig them into an edge, so controlling the angle of attack is key to efficient use.

Incidentally, I also found them quite useful for scraping off small spots of paint, glue etc from hard surfaces.

They will last a long time because they have three edges and they are made of very hard metal.

The free Glo-Burr Yellow handle holds a more familiar hooked deburrer blade that can rotate freely in the handle. I find that these deburrers are very easy to use and literally take seconds to produce a finished edge on hard materials. The good thing about this tool is that the blade can be removed by simply twisting the base of the pen-type handle. This releases the blade, and a replacement can be slipped in.

With a list price of £34.21 this kit will be an irregular purchase because the Scrape-Burrs are designed for a long life. 

VARGUS Ceramic Deburring Tools – Safety First for Users

VARGUS founded in 1960 is a company that is well respected in the wider tool-using world, and additionally in the specialist world of deburring tools.

VARGUS Ltd supplies customers in over 100 countries with the specialist tools needed to cut and finish metals and plastics under three well known brand names: - VARDEX thread turning and milling tools, GROOVEX turning and groove milling tools and SHAVIV hand deburring tools.

A couple of months ago we looked at some deburring tools for use on harder metals, and now it is time to examine a few versions of some ceramic bladed deburring tools mostly used on plastics and softer metals like aluminium and brass.

Vargus ToolA quick word on the ceramic blades. The first thing users might notice is that they don’t have ground cutting edges like a conventional metal blade. The edges are finished square and are about a couple of mm thick so they don’t look as though they could cut anything. The good news is that they can cut an edge of a plastic moulding for example very easily, and the extra good news is that they won’t cut fingers because the ceramic blades are too blunt to cut skin, which can happen to operators who use metal blades to trim plastic components. I know this all seems a bit counter intuitive, but bear with me.

The ceramic blades I used were all white and looked like they were made of plastic. However, hold them to your lips and they feel cold, so they must be made of a very fine-grained ceramic material. This material has a very tiny amount of flexibility, so the blades should be protected from dropping and impact shocks.

I was sent three tools in all to test, and I will start with the Ceramix Set Q10. This is a heavy duty handle similar to a standard craft knife design that can be used with a couple of blade sets, but it came with a ceramic blade and also, a standard metal craft knife blade concealed in the handle.

The Ceramix handle is made of moulded red plastic with a spring-loaded catch that enables the two sides of the handle to be disengaged from each other. A slider switch on the top of the casing allows the blade to be slid forward or back to reveal or conceal it. The steel blade mounting inside the knife is an industry standard that will hold standard craft knife blades as well as the Ceramix blades.

Vargus Ceramic BladeThe ceramic blade included with the handle can be mounted two ways so that it can be used for two different tasks. The straight angled blade end is a surface cleaner and if the blade is flipped to the other end, the two stepped edges can be used for surface cleaning of sheets up to 4mm and 6mm sheets.

Since it has been known for some workers to use a standard steel craft blade for surface cleaning with the inevitable accidents, the extra safety made possible by using a ceramic blade is a very strong selling point. Just to prove this to myself, I tried both ceramic and craft blades on a small job. The fact that the ceramic blade has a completely flat edge means that it is easier to find an angle to make the deburring work easily. However, with a characteristic ground and beveled edge of a steel blade, it is much harder to maintain a consistent angle and also to prevent the edge from digging in or sliding across the surface to be cleaned.

To convert the Q10 to the Curved set Q12 all that is needed is to buy the Q11 blade. This has a nice curve and point that enables deburring of curved edges and small ridges although the flip side of the blade has exactly the same function as the Q10 blade above.

Vargus Ceramic ToolThere is no mystery in using deburring tools – you just have to find the right angle to enable the edge to be cleaned off. Removing just the right amount of material to give a clean edge to finish the component neatly does this. The Ceramix Q10 and Q11 blades work well – and despite what you might think, they are very hard and durable, so you can expect a very long service life.

The two Cera-Burr tools are slightly different from the above in that they are meant for more detailed work. You can tell this from their shape. The ceramic blades are mounted in slightly chubby ballpoint pen-like holders with a nice bit of rubber to aid the grip and handling, and even a pocket clip too.

Like the Ceramix Q10 and Q12 there are two different blades that seem to be much-reduced versions of the bigger ones above. The first of these has a fine point and a smooth curve, easily used on small and detailed components, as I found out.

Vargus Ceramic Blade ImageThe straight-bladed version works equally well and I found that the handle gave me a lot of extra reach and leverage when trying to access some out of the way places. Since the handle is rigid and the blade is fixed it seems a bit easier to find the correct angle to work at.

Because the blades have a very long service life it really doesn’t matter that the pen handle and blade are fixed to each other – it won’t cost a fortune to buy a new one when it finally wears out.

I don’t often have the occasion to use deburring tools, but when I do I always think that another tool wouldn’t do the same job as easily and efficiently as the SHAVIV deburrers I have used. With ease of use built in, a very long service life and obvious safety advantages, the ceramic blades are worth looking into. It won’t cost a fortune, and even occasional users will find that the ability to deburr quickly and easily are features that might save time and money.

Aimed at: Professional metal and plastic finishers

Pros: Safety first no-cut blades, long service life and easy to use

The Shaviv from Vargus-Let’s Deburr

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.

Scroll to Top