CBN wheels - the winner over the long term

CBN wheels or ceramic sharpening?

Industrial effectiveness using CBN wheels compared to ceramic craftsmanship. Join us for a review of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of sharpening method

 In 1957 General Electric put all efforts into trying to create a synthetic version of the hardest material in the world, diamond. They came very close to succeeding as Cubic Boron Nitride (the name it was later given) ended up being the second hardest material in the world. The great product development success was explained by the fact that the material had remarkably high sensibility to heat. CBN, as it is known in short, was shown to have up to 18 times greater thermal conductivity than pure iron, and 16 times greater than aluminium oxide. If you are a chain sharpener, this means an improved sharpening result without the chain material hardening.

Durability is the key difference

Durability is also a key difference between working with CBN wheels and their ceramic equivalents. Ceramic wheels are even better at conducting heat than CBN discs, but they wear down over time and do not retain their shape. As the sharpener, you then have to dismantle the wheel and recreate the right shape with a tool made of harder material than ceramic. So sharpeners are constantly faced with making changes and adjustments to get the right shape on the teeth and depth gauge. 

With CBN sharpening, the wheel retains the exact same shape and diameter during the entire lifetime of the wheel. Only once the wheel has completely worn down does the sharpener need to think about doing anything, namely changing the wheel.

Ceramic wheels

  • Good thermal conduction. Favourable for dry sharpening.

CBN wheels

  • Extremely durable. Retain the same shape throughout their entire life. Always give the right result without the sharpener needing to think about it.
  • Sharpen the teeth and the depth gauge in one go using ANAB’s patented back and forward wheels, called depth gauge wheels and teeth wheels, which are industry-specific terms and are also referred to as hub and wheel. A ceramic wheel only works with one wheel at a time.
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