A tipped tool generally refers to any cutting tool where the cutting edge consists of a separate piece of material, eitherbrazed, welded or clamped on to a separate body. Common materials for tips include tungsten carbide, polycrystalline diamond, and cubic boron nitride. Tools that are commonly tipped include: milling cutters (endmills, fly cutters), tool bits, and saw blades.
The advantage of tipped tools is only a small insert of the cutting material is needed to provide the cutting ability. The small size makes manufacturing of the insert easier than making a solid tool of the same material. This also reduces cost because the tool holder can be made of a less-expensive and tougher material. In some situations a tipped tool is better than its solid counterpart because it combines the toughness of the tool holder with the hardness of the insert.
In other situations this is less than optimal, because the joint between the tool holder and the insert reduces rigidity. However, these tools may still be used because the overall cost savings is still greater.
Inserts are removable cutting tips, which means they are not brazed or welded to the tool body. They are usually indexable, meaning that they can be rotated or flipped without disturbing the overall geometry of the tool (effective diameter, tool length offset, etc.). This saves time in manufacturing by allowing fresh cutting edges to be presented periodically without the need for tool grinding, setup changes, or entering of new values into a CNC program.
A wiper insert is an insert used in a milling machine or a lathe. It is designed for finish cutting, to give a smooth surface on the surface being cut. It uses special geometry to give a good finish on the workpiece at a higher-than-normal feedrate. Wiper inserts generally have a larger area in contact with the workpiece, so they exert higher force on the workpiece. This makes them unsuitable for fragile workpieces.