Q: Why aren’t “carbide-tipped” drill bits and saw blades made completely of carbide?
A: Carbide (specifically tungsten carbide and titanium carbide) is a common material used for cutting tools such as saw blades, router bits, lathe bits and masonry drill bits. Carbide is used for the cutting edge because it stays sharper longer than most other materials and can hold an edge ten to twenty times longer than steel. The carbide tips are brazed onto the steel body of the blade or bit. The blades and bits aren’t made entirely of carbide because they would be very expensive, but also because the body would be very brittle, and steel is less likely to crack or shatter.