Any tradesman will highlight the importance of using the right tools to get a project done as efficiently as possible. Stainless steel is a hard, heat-conductive metal, which can be quite severe on a tools’ consumables. Stainless steel necessitates an extremely slow cutting and drilling rate to prevent heating up of the metal, as well as to extend a tools’ life expectancy. This means when working with stainless steel, it is very important to be able to set up a machine’s torque and speed settings.
Milwaukee tools have been specifically designed with tradesmen in mind and this is true for the stainless steel industry. The M18 circular band saw with variable-speed settings makes it an ideal tool suited to working with stainless steel. The innovative ONE-KEY application – the first digital platform for tool and equipment customisation, tracking and management – allows ONE-KEY-enabled tools such as the M18ONEPD to be customised and set up for optimal performance with stainless steel, thereby extending the number of drill holes per drill bit.
“This app will be particularly beneficial for the stainless steel industry, where tool control is very important,” Milwaukee product specialist Werner Koch comments. The app enables users to customise the speed and torque settings of tools and provides the option of setting up a tool for particular materials, including stainless steel. He adds that the app automatically sets up the tools’ settings to perform optimally with stainless steel.
Further, stainless steel is more difficult to grind than mild steel, so it is critical to use the right tools and follow guidelines. Choosing the right tool not only increases operator efficiency but also reduces rework, improves finishing and eliminates the risk of contamination.
Koch states that another factor to consider when working with stainless steel is the risk of contamination and it is important to realise that a tool’s consumables cannot be used interchangeably across various types of metals, as this will contaminate the stainless steel, resulting in rusting.
Further, heat discolouration is another potential issue that can arise when cutting, grinding or finishing stainless steel. For example, if an operator builds up too much heat with the tool, it can result in heat discolouration of the metal. Heat discolouration should then be finished out of the stainless steel, requiring an extra step that costs time and money.