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Canadian Woodworking

Kutzall rotary burr kits

Quick cutting, long-lasting high performance burr sets.

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Quick cutting, long-lasting high performance burr sets.

Author: Carl Duguay

If you do any kind of wood carving, sculpting, or texturing, you’ll want to give Kutzall rotary burrs a try. Made of tungsten carbide for incredibly durability, they can be used on a wide variety of non-metallic materials – fiberglass, plastic, rubber, drywall, soft-stone and of course any type of wood. They perform with remarkable wear-life and provide a truly unique combination of superior material removal and surface quality.

These burrs are available in different grits, ranging from fine to very coarse, and are ideal for detailed cutting, shaping, contouring, hollowing, trimming, notching, or making adjustments with ease.

Manufacturer: Oliver Carbide Products
Brand: Kutzall Burr Kits
Shaft sizes: 1/8″, 1/4″
Material: Tungsten-carbide
Price: From $98 US
Made in: USA

 

Key Features:

  • 1/4″ shaft kits available in 3 piece coarse, 3 piece very coarse and 4 piece variety sets
  • 1/8″ shaft kits available in 4 piece coarse, 4 piece very coarse and 5 piece variety sets
  • Hybrid Performance – rapid material removal and surface quality
  • Comfortable, effortless operation – with or against the grain
  • Resistant to loading
  • Easily cleaned
  • Long wear-life

There is an astonishing variety of burr types, shapes and sizes on offer. Fortunately, these new Kutzall rotary burr kits give you the basic burr styles you need to do roughing, carving and detailing work using any rotary power tool that takes either 1/8″ collets (such as the popular Dremel line) or 1/4″ collets (like the Foredom handpiece). There are six new rotary burr kits –  a coarse set, an extra coarse set and a variety set in both 1/8″ and 1/4″ formats.

The 1/4″ variety kit that I tested consists of Taper, Sphere, Flame and Ball Nose burrs. The 1/8″ variety kit includes the same four types of burrs plus a Roto Saw burr.

L to R: roto saw, taper, sphere, flame and ball nose

The 1/4″ burrs are considerably larger than the 1/8″ shanked burrs, which makes them better suited for larger scale work.

kutzall burrs
1/8″ shanked burrs compared to equivalent 1/4″ shanked burrs.

The teeth on these burrs are made of tungsten-carbide. You probably know of tungsten-carbide from planer and jointer blades, router bits, and saw blade teeth. It’s one of the hardest, most durable, wear-resistant composite metals around. And unlike tool steel, it will never rust.

There are two types of teeth on Kutzall burrs. The ‘original’ coating consists of short and thick randomly-positioned teeth. They create a smooth cutting action that is easy to control and work exceptionally well on harder woods, delivering a bit nicer finish.

The ‘extreme’ coating consists of evenly spaced, pointed teeth that are designed for heavy material removal while being highly resistant to loading, making them great for working with soft, wet or gummy materials.

kutzall carbide teeth
Two types of Kutzall structured carbide teeth.

In general these burrs cut more quickly than shear style burrs and cut cooler so there is less risk of burning or scorching the material. They also provide a high degree of control and precision. The very coarse Rotor Saw and Flame burrs with their extreme coating are the quickest cutting in the set and work well when you want to remove a lot of material quickly. The Rotor Saw (also called a Disc burr) is useful for cutting channels and hogging off large chunks of wood. Flame burrs make V cuts and concave cuts. The coarse Taper and Ball Nose burrs, which have the original coating, cut less quickly and leave a slightly smoother finish. The Taper burr is fairly narrow and best used when you need to get into hard-to-reach areas. You can also use the tip for detail work. Ball Nose burrs are good for making concave cuts and hollows.  The Sphere burr (also called a Ball burr) has an even smoother original coating and delivers a relatively clean finish, with minimal tear-out, even on highly figured wood. It’s also used for concave cuts and hollowing.

As well as for carving, you’ll also find these burrs (particularly the 1/4″ style) useful for shaping chair legs and arms, spindles, guitar necks, tool handles and the like.

After a while burrs get loaded with wood fibers and resin. No problem with the Kutzall burrs – you can use a butane or propane torch to loosen the gunk (the heat won’t affect the burr teeth) and then follow up with a few passes using a soft wire brush.

The Kutzall burr sets are great if  you want to get started in power carving. You can use them for relief, pierced, caricature, spoon carving or whatever else you have in mind. They might seem expensive at first, but they should be seen as an investment, as they’ll last for a long time, giving you years of enjoyment. Along with these new kits, Kutzall has a broad range of individual burr styles and sizes.

Published:
Last modified: September 29, 2023

Carl Duguay - [email protected]

Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.


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