In 1936, Oren S. Cole founded Cole Carbide Industries with a vision: apply family values, innovative manufacturing, and advanced quality assurance to produce custom carbide products. Now, 84 years and four generations later, President John Cole carries on his great-grandfather’s legacy serving the aerospace, medical, automotive, oil & gas, and heavy equipment industries. Cole Carbide has built a worldwide reputation as a progressive and reliable provider of high quality, close tolerance, made-to-print carbide cutting tools, tool systems, and engineering services.

While Cole remains a family business at its core, the company has continually expanded and adapted to meet ever-changing market conditions. In 2019, John Cole and his management team further defined and consolidated Cole’s diverse brands to reflect an evolution that began years ago. Cole’s corporate structure has been refined into two main entities: Cole Carbide Industries devoted to custom engineered products and threading systems for oil, gas, and water; Cole Tooling Systems (CTS) encompassing the prominent Millstar, Omnithread, and Indexa-V product lines.

“With operations more integrated, ordering is simplified. Customers can easily coordinate orders from our three CTS tooling lines to meet all their needs, with input from our expert staff,” says Sales Manager Todd Green. “It also maximizes efficiency across all operations so we can offer some of the most competitive pricing and best turnaround times in the industry.”

CTS for aerospace

Beyond high-level, collaborative customer service, CTS offers versatile capabilities ideally suited to aerospace manufacturing, which makes up as much as 30% of Cole’s business. CTS Vice President Ron Field says, “We offer a wide selection of standard tooling that can handle most aerospace operations, but we produce plenty of customs too.”

As key reasons why aerospace manufacturers seek out Cole, Field cites precision manufacturing to handle tight tolerances and its range of specialized tooling capabilities.

Cole’s Millstar line offers high-feed tooling that sets new standards for aerospace machining speed and efficiency. Sophisticated geometries on Millstar HFM4 and HFI4 solid carbide end mills provide a cutting edge free from tangent points that could induce wear. This accommodates heavy chip loads for high feed rates, decreases tool deflection, and quickly achieves net shape.

“You won’t find a comparable tool that can beat the efficiency of these end mills for roughing operations,” Field says. “They really allow machining at unheard-of speeds.”

CTS’ Millstar EIV5 end mill offers a unique combination of radial grind, variable helix, variable pitch, and radius preparation for maximum versatility and accuracy. This innovative design enables large step-overs with no bottom vibration, greater depth of cut with no side vibration, and extended machining without radius failure. Its exceptional, proven performance on high-temperature alloys such as titanium makes EIV5 a perfect choice for many aerospace applications.

Looking to the future

As a supplier to essential industries, CTS has remained steadfast in its commitment to support customers amid the widespread impact of COVID-19.

“Like many other manufacturers, we’re operating with reduced staff and with meticulous safety precautions to protect workers and customers,” Green says.

These unprecedented changes have been difficult at times, but adapting to a changing world is nothing new for Cole. It’s been part of their core philosophy for eight decades and will continue to be a guiding principle as Cole moves into the post-pandemic world of 2021 and beyond.

Cole Tooling Systems is a leading manufacturer of carbide inserts and wear parts, based in Orion Twp., Michigan. For more information, please call 877.645.5782 or visit