I'm going to be frank. I am an amateur machinist, and a beginner. I'm asking here because I just don't know enough yet.
I have a Taig manual mill, and today I picked up my first dovetail cutter. It's M42 cobalt steel, 1/2" dovetail, 3/8" shank.
Problem is, I dropped it. It appears to have chipped- but it's nearly unseeable. The very tip of one of the cutter heads has
lost its absolute point. It is such a small chip it's barely seeable with even a magnifying glass.
My concern is this- I haven't worked with damaged tooling before, but I know that you can. To what degree a tool is damaged
and can be used, I don't know.
This cutter's chip is, maybe, 1/120th of an inch. It's about the size of a pinpoint missing- but it's enough that there's a glint of light,
the size of a pinpoint, missing- when the other tips are perfect. There are 8 cutters heads on this dovetail cutter.
I'm probably crazy- but I know carbide tools are more brittle than HSS. And I need to know if this 23$ cutter that was brand new
will perform now. Is this kind of damage normal from normal use, and so, really won't matter?
I'd take a picture of it, but I tried- the damage is too small to see.
If I'm crazy- let me know. I just don't want to destroy my bit or material using this if it's no good. I know that I'll learn over time
what amount of damage or wear on my cutters is still ignorable and useable, but right now, I'm worried, and pissed at myself for dropping this.
For most things, you'll be OK. You don't say what you're cutting, but stop and think about it, a dovetail cutter is usually a multi tooth cutter. If one tooth is damaged slightly the following tooth will pick up the slack.