About Us

We specialise in manufacturing in high speed steel, tungsten carbide, poly crystalline diamond (PCD) and the latest Powder metallurgy steels - to customer’s specific requirements.

Special short run batches are regularly undertaken as well as large number batches.

Over the years Pen Cutting Tools has established both in the United Kingdom and abroad, an enviable reputation for its product quality and service, particularly in the Bearing, Mould and Die and General Engineering Industries. Pen Cutting Tools has also installed ISO 9001:2015 Quality Assurance and management system, which is checked and updated by Lloyds of London. We have equipped all areas of our production with both the machinery and skill levels to produce high tolerance work to customer specifications in a wide range of materials. A glance at our production facility shows the expertise on offer.

We have developed alongside the bearing industry a capability to form shapes on carbide / cermet and ceramic inserts to close limits for turning applications and, as with all our products, a range of coatings are available. Pen is a full service company that can give advice on tool design to help increase tool life and can also aid designers when it comes to what is possible to manufacture.

Our Services

Wire Erosion

A photo demonstrating our grinding process

Over the past decade Pen has developed a reputation for the quality of its products and this now includes wire erosion and EDM Erosion.

We can offer full CNC machining on both operations and a size range of 800mm square by 350mm high.

We cover a range of materials but specialise in carbide, PCD and high precision press parts commonly working to 0.005mm.

ISO and non-standard insert production.

Our standard tolerance on wire erosion is ±0.005mm. We offer large submerged wire erosion with 6 axis machining installed in 2001 with a brand new machine in 2017. Specialising in tool steels, carbide and PCD the effective surface area is degraded very little, giving an excellent surface finish and high accuracy. CAD/CAM programming enables us to program more complex tools.

Poly crystalline diamond can be cut to size and shaped for work rests and cutting tools.

A photo demonstrating the Wire Erosion techniques


A photo demonstrating our grinding process

We have the capacity to grind internal and external to 0.002mm on a range of steel and carbide. With a cylindrical capacity of 600mm diameter and a flat capacity of 1000mm. The introduction of rotary grinding up to 700mm has added to our range.

Form tools both flat and cylindrical are available produced to 0.005mm as a regular tolerance. Also form grinding of crush rolls and drawing rolls by either Diaform or full CNC profile grinding on steel or Tungsten Carbide is available.

A photo demonstrating our grinding process

Optical Grinding

A photo demonstrating our optical grinding process

We have 2 full CNC optical grinders with up to 50x magnification and a tolerance range of +/-0.002mm. These are the only 2 of their kind in the UK and bespoke work can be carried out on them, cylindrical and square.

Complex forms to high tolerances are regularly machined and variety of different tooling can be produced on them in steel and tungsten carbide with a surface finish of 0.2Ra.

A photo demonstrating our optical grinding process


A photo demonstrating our turning process

We have at our disposal a wide range of manual and CNC controlled milling and turning machine tools, including Spinner, Deckel, DMG Mori and Hitachi Seiki.

The range of sizes we can achieve in turning are anything up to 1 metre in diameter x 1.5m in length. Our latest lathes include live tooling, Y-axis and sub spindle to allow faster and more efficient machining. With research from ourselves and the cutting tool suppliers, we are able to remove material in both milling and turning up to 65 Rockwell still holding close tolerances of ± 0.010 m/m.

A photo demonstrating our turning process


A photo demonstrating our turning process

We offer milling up to 1500mm x 610mm x 500mm. Our newest machine has 3 + 2 machining and a 12000rpm spindle speed. This allows machining of materials up to 65Rc to a tolerance of +/-0.010mm on hardened tools and +/-0.005 on soft components.

We also have the latest Autodesk CAD/CAM system installed to allow us to work to customers models as well as drawings.

A photo demonstrating our milling process


A photo demonstrating our brazing service

We have full brazing and welding facilities to allow us to put materials with high wear properties onto steel bodies and reduce the cost of the finished tool.

We can fix natural industrial diamond to a variety of complex probe shapes for in process measurement of components as well as PCD that can be formed.

A photo demonstrating our brazing service

Final Inspection & Finishing

A photo demonstrating our brazing service

All the components that we undertake for manufacturing are inspected and checked at every stage of manufacture - which gives a 100% inspection during machining, the component(s) then go into the temperature controlled inspection department for a final inspection prior to packing or dispatch, either to the customer or for one of a variety of special coatings we can applu; e.g. TiN, TiCN and Futurer.

Polishing of components to 0.1Ra is also available.

Using our talysurf form measurer we can provide reports on form tools showing the sizes and tolerances of the final product.

We as a company try to take every possible step needed to keep our quality standards at the highest level.

A photo demonstrating our inspection workflow

Our history

Pen Cutting Tools Ltd founded 1968 by William Shaw, and has continued to be family owned and run, as an engineering tool and cutter manufacturer and offers a regrind and retip service to general engineering but in particular the bearing industry. Given first initial loan to start from a major customer, we have since moved away from manufacture of cutters to machine tool parts, machine wear parts and work rests which can be manufactured to high tolerances down to +/-0.002mm if required.

Working in a variety of materials including varying grades of steels (EN8, high speed steels, and special steels-powder metal formed steel). Tungsten carbide is used in a multitude of ways, including solid parts and brazed to a steel body.

Pen manufactures tools to customer specific designs including – machine guides and rails, work rest parts, cold and hot forging tools, press tools and inserts.

Pen often works in collaboration on projects with customers, to aid in the continuous improvement of tool life and improvement of quality of customers finished components. As a company we have decades experience in this area and endeavour to create partnerships with customers for mutual benefit. This benefit has been proven time again by the repeat business that is so highly valued.

Contact Us

If you require any of the services we offer or would like to find out more about us and how we could help your business please get in touch with us:

Call +44 (0)114 243 0055
Pen Cutting Tools Ltd, Bold Street, Attercliffe, Sheffield, S9 2LR