How To Sell Scrap Carbide, Tungsten Carbide, Cemented Carbide

Carbide is commonly regarded as the most valuable type of scrap a person can happen upon. I, for one, always get the biggest kick out of getting even a little WC! The hardest part is discovering where to find scrap carbide!

What is Tungsten Carbide?

Carbide will often be coated in a titanium compound,
like those pictured above.

Tungsten carbide is one of the strongest material used by man. It is almost as hard as diamonds. I don’t think it is worth going into specifics, so lets just say… IT IS STRONG!

Scrap tungsten carbide, aka scrap carbide, is commonly found in mill tools, as carbide tools can last decades with just a few sharpenings.

Tungsten Carbide, is also very heavy! VERY HEAVY! It is twice as heavy as steel, almost as heavy as gold. It doesn’t take very much to yield a few pounds, so serious money can pile up quickly!

What is the difference between Carbide and Tungsten Carbide?

Let me clarify some of the confusion! There are actually 3 technical terms often thrown around by scrappers. In a scrap yard, they all basically mean the same thing: tungsten carbide impregnated metal.

  • Tungsten Carbide: This is, in fact, *technically* NOT a metal. (…What!?) It is a ceramic compound of Tungsten (W) and Carbon (C), hence the chemical formula WC. Tungsten Carbide is actually very rarely used in plane ceramic form, if ever. Tungsten Carbide is also used in compounds of two parts tungsten, aka W2C. This however is actually tungsten semicarbide.
  • Cemented Carbide: THIS is what most of us think of when we hear “carbide.” It is actually between 5% and 25% Cobalt by weight. To explain why, think of cemented carbide like Jell-O with a lot of fruit. The cobalt acts like the Jell-O, and the tungsten carbide is super-dense, ass-kicking fruit that makes the jello much denser, and much stronger. Obviously, the Jell-O with more fruit is stronger, and the cemented carbide with lots of WC is very strong.
  • Carbide: This is a material scientist’s word for “a compound of carbon with something more electro-negative.” So, technically, its not specific enough, and could be referring to any carbide compound. That’s ok, because if your scrapping, we’ll all know that you actually mean cemented carbide.
This small spark
signals value.

How to Identify Carbide, aka The Spark Test:

A very simple way to identify carbide, is to spark test it. Carbide has a spark test which yields a VERY dark, red, short spark. This is different from HSS (high speed steel) which will often have a longer, whiter spark, plus a few forks.

Please remember, it is very dense. So if you have a similarly sized piece of steel, carbide should weigh about twice as much as the steel.

That’s fine and dandy, but where do I sell it?

Of course, everybody’s scrap yard will buy scrap carbide. It’s just a wonderful thing to get! It doesn’t take up much space at all, and can be sold in small quantities easily. My scrap yard will only pay me between about $5 per pound of carbide, but the truth is that YOU CAN SELL IT ON EBAY or to other larger, carbide-specific, scrap yards for $10 per pound!!!!

Remember, the value of things on eBay ultimately have some fees taken out, but if you are not getting paid at least $9 dollars a pound at your local yard, SELL IT ON EBAY! You will usually make out like a bandit.

Good Luck Scrapping!

Brian Paone April 2, 2011 at 8:38 am

Awesome! So where can I harvest tungsten carbide? I see some drill bits up there, but can't ID those other bits you've got pictured.

The Irrationalist April 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm

In general, you find it in the form of tools: reamers, drills, inserts, tips saw teeth, ect. What you see in the picture is a an assortment of all of the above, especially lathe tools.

Anonymous May 4, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Going to be hard to find machine shops know what everything is worth.

Rob December 24, 2011 at 8:54 am

Love your site big time. Learning everyday. As far as the carbide is concerned…is the metal holding the copper wire in tv’s, rotisserie ovens, breadmakers, etc. actually carbide? They are very heavy. But, I’m just not sure what kind they are.
Thanks for the help.

ScrapMetalJunkie December 24, 2011 at 10:55 pm

No. That is actually made of ferrite.

RECOMAQ March 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm


Mark Nick October 8, 2016 at 10:34 pm

Hi I have a bunch of brand new inserts and some used I can give you a good price.

R C LAW April 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm

i ve got tungsten discs for sale annode out of x ray tubes non radioactive

R C LAW April 23, 2012 at 6:34 pm

i have cathode ray anodes for sale tungsten what price per pound

mohd Anas January 2, 2016 at 3:35 pm

Hello sir I am interested carbide endmill drill insert carbide rod carbide plate carbide strip plz contact my mail I’d

brandon April 29, 2012 at 3:37 am

Is tungsten carbide magnetic?

ScrapMetalJunkie April 29, 2012 at 6:06 am

carbide tools are all magnetic, but not as much as steel.

The compound tungston carbide (WC) on the other hand, is not magnetic. What makes carbide tools magnetic, as I tried to describe above, is the cobalt that is used in cemented carbide, aka “carbide”.

Timothy Ramsey June 21, 2012 at 2:19 am

Have 200 pounds of carbide right now for sell also 2000 pounds of gr2 titanium scrap and more comming looking for someone honist to take all

alen jessy June 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm

really great information to help me a lot keep posting like this.

brain July 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Hi, I would like to know how much a pound of carbide inserts would cost if I sold it to you? thanks

Marcus@scrap carbide prices July 10, 2012 at 6:53 am

In popular, you discover it by means of tools: reamers, routines, places, guidelines saw tooth, ect. What you see in the image is a an variety of all of the above, especially lathe assets.

Terry September 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I have roughly 100# of carbide inserts, how much per lb can I get for them?

John Mcdonald October 28, 2012 at 5:24 am

Call me junkman. (910)9846539

Flathead October 7, 2012 at 3:57 am

Great site, thanks for all of your time and effort. I have read much, as well as learned some to boot. Maybe you have covered this, but how does one recover carbide tips from saws blades. Thank you in advance.


Jorden November 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Ok so I work at the movie theatre, and it takes some pretty big bulbs to run the projectors. Now ive busted one of the bulbs before and theres like a dime size cone of metal. Its very dense for its size. I would like to identify the metal and see how much theyre worth. Cuz if we just throw these bulbs away, screw it ill just harvest the tungsten if thats what it is inside…

ScrapMetalJunkie December 3, 2012 at 7:34 am

I would save the metal cone piece! It makes sense that it would be tungsten! But tungsten and tungsten carbide are very different materials. I would suggest using starting off identifying the material by using The Magnet Test!

Anna April 4, 2013 at 5:46 pm

The cone shaped pieces (anodes) and the rod it is connected to are Tungsten. The braided cord is copper. The round piece that the rod is connected to is a mix. The large anode is about 1/2 lb so it adds up fast. If you smack the rod with a hammer (be careful of the glass insulation) it will break away from the round piece. I’m sure you know but make sure to properly explode the bulb before you go smacking on it. Tungsten is used because it is the only metal that can hold up to the heat that a xenon gas(highly explosive) filled bulb generates.

Luki January 28, 2013 at 5:17 pm

where can I get in Europe good prices for inserts carbide?

Fredrick chabala April 4, 2013 at 4:19 am

Were in south africa can get the best price of tungstan do u have agents

Seamus McGowan April 18, 2013 at 11:42 pm

I have a few pieces of material that is used for vibration dampening. I believe it is Tungsten. It is not magnetic and has very little spark(red) when grinding. It is at least twice as heavy as steel. I checked online for prices, but only see prices for tungsten carbide. What should I expect for this non-magnetic tungsten?(presuming that’s what it is)

Jay May 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Hi, I have a load of used Tungsten Carbide Burrs, would it be worthwhile cutting the steel stems off or not? Also, i live in UK so would it be worth shipping to USA if i sell on the International Ebay? Or would selling on UK’s Ebay be better?
Thanks in advance.

K. Sounderrajan September 10, 2013 at 5:05 am

do you still have the WC burrs? if so please send your best offer on CIf Haldia with actual photos.

Jason July 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm

I just sold some inserts and end mills. The end mills I did the grinding test and the spark was dense. When the buyer received the scrap he contacted me and said the end mills were not carbide. What do you Suggest I do about this situation.

geoff October 31, 2014 at 7:12 am

there are 2 common types of endmills. one is described above as carbide. the other is hss or high speed steel both will spark. however there is a rather noticeable weight difference between the 2. most high speed end mills and other tools made of it have hss on the side. i would also suggest using the numbers on the side to find specs on a manufacturers website as the numbers if they are visible will tell you what it is made of.

Marty September 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm

We have 1 metric ton of 99.97 tungsten any offers?

Mehul October 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I need scrap diamond bits , chisel and dresser .we need its always so Do you have this type of item so give me mail …thank you

bole February 22, 2014 at 9:00 am

I am selling tungsten carbide for a many years in one company in Germany.
Now they reduce me the price becose some part of materials is not clean.
They say that is some Morgan rolls?? I never hear abouth that since a work with this material.
Can you tell me is this true or they just want to buy from me for a less price?

Please e mail me! Thank you

sarah March 24, 2014 at 10:27 am

I have a men’s wedding band made out of tungsten. I was wondering if jewelry scrappers take it, an if so what it would be worth?

ALEX August 9, 2014 at 2:26 pm

can anyone please explain
1) difference between WOLFRAM and tungsten
2) what is the scrap value of COBALT content in tungsten/ wolfram

ALEX August 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm

can anyone please explain
1) difference between WOLFRAM and tungsten
2) what is the scrap value of COBALT content in tungsten/ wolfram

kenneth August 18, 2014 at 11:44 pm

I have some metal Ido not know what is.. Hrad to melt bot comes out really shinny .harden fast and cools fast.Thin peaces can not bend or break.If melt in cast iron while liqid can take trash of top.I THINK some kind of tungsten. I have about 6 pounds.Wound like to send some off to see what is.

Lori October 1, 2014 at 3:41 am

Brass in colour pretty heavy welding tips what kind of metal is it???

Lori October 1, 2014 at 3:43 am

Tungsten what is that ???

Petr Cibulka October 24, 2014 at 6:54 am


My company trades in Czech Republic with waste carbide. I’m looking for a new subscriber to this material. Monthly we trade 8,000 kg of this material and then another HSS, Mo, ​​W, Co and td.
Can you write your purchase price and what you are able to redeem?

Thank you

Petr Cibulka
B & C Trade Ltd.
+420 605200507

Todd December 3, 2014 at 3:10 am

As a machinist who deals with carbide tooling every day, I will tell you all “Good Luck” with this hunt. we keep our scrap carbide under tighter lock and key than our material scrap (as do most shops). Look at it as kind of like poor people keeping aluminum cans… anything to help cut operation costs. Chances are you’re not going to be able to to talk shops out of their carbide or scrap metal as a lot states here in the U.S. offer incentives for recycling and buy back programs for manufacturers. If you have a buddy who has a small (or big) home machine shop and they just throw their inserts away or maybe a local tire changing shop (most newer break rotor turning machines use carbide inserts since they’re basically lathes), those are probably your best bets to score some scrap carbide. But, if you’re gonna go to some machine shops and talk to them about maybe scoring some of their carbide, you should sound like you know what you’re talking about or they might just laugh you out the door. Remember they’re not drill bits… they’re drills. that nifty device with a battery you use to drive your drill through things or drive screws into things is a cordless driver. A bit goes in a horse’s mouth.

Richard McGahee April 14, 2015 at 10:27 am

Have 553 lbs of carbide and 263 lbs. HSS
Please price.

ryan lao May 25, 2015 at 5:03 am

how much per kilo and how many minimum

Salman June 6, 2016 at 3:53 pm


I want to buy used carbide tools

Bob December 10, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Still looking? Any tools specificly?

Petr Cibulka December 12, 2016 at 10:00 am

send me pictures of species that demand and prices for what they offer.
We are able to deliver very large amounts.
Thank you

Petr Cibulka December 12, 2016 at 10:01 am

send me pictures of species that demand and prices for what they offer.
We are able to deliver very large amounts.
Thank you

Mark December 30, 2016 at 3:00 am

I have several hundred pounds of Clean Carbide Tooling. Mostly End Mills..used. I can get new as well. Just tell me what you are looking for…Name the tool..serial number and sizes. I also can get inserts of just about anything. Need the description. I have no off brand names.
Tell me what and how many and price you are willing to pay. I’m in Southern Ca.
Of course I will not take check

Mark January 28, 2017 at 3:10 am

I have a lot of name brand carbide end mills…used.
Are you here in the U.S.?
Most are in the 1/2 Diameter and some 3/4 as
well as varying other sizes.
They are clean.

jeff February 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm


How much for 2 and 4 flute carbide end mills. Standard length or stub.

Djeremiah June 15, 2016 at 8:53 pm

I have about 250 lbs of cq2 grade carbide inserts. Looking to sell

Scott Bowen July 12, 2016 at 9:32 pm

I have a bunch of tungsten tips. We use them in the oil industry during flow back. They are on an choke assembly which regulates pressure coming back from the well. These are all used, what we call washed parts. They would just throw them in the general scrap bin. I started cutting the tips off and saving them. Not magnetic at all. It’s amazing though what the frack sand can do under alot of pressure.

Hozefa July 18, 2016 at 1:28 pm

Hi, I am interested in buying all carbide inserts preferably without hole but will buy mix lot of inserts at a good price and regularly .

Scott Bowen August 5, 2016 at 7:28 pm

I have a lot of tungsten I would like to sell. I collected all I could when I was working in the oilfield. How can I send a picture of what I have?

Jason m October 6, 2016 at 5:22 pm

I have tons of inserts, a few bits, brand new, and alot of used inserts. What’s the going rate per pound?? And location?

Ali December 24, 2016 at 4:58 pm

I am interested in buying the said inserts, can you please send the pictures to

Mark January 7, 2017 at 1:27 am

I got endmills up the ying-yang..90% or more Hanita scrap and can
get new at great prices

Petr Cibulka December 9, 2016 at 2:18 pm

Hello, send me pictures and prices of which kinds of purchases. Thank you

Adrian November 12, 2016 at 3:51 pm

I have 100 lbs of clean tungsten carbide 40-60 powder I’m trying to get rid of

M December 30, 2016 at 3:06 am

Have several hundred pounds of Clean Carbide Tooling looking to unload every several months.
Very little inserts but can get new ones. Give FULL description and price willing to pay. Don’t
carry off brand. In Southern Ca.

Seth look January 1, 2017 at 8:11 pm

I have a bunch of mill bits, lathe bits, and carbide inserts.
Contact me at 530 334 3434.
This stuff is in good shape.

Mark January 7, 2017 at 1:31 am

I got hundreds of pounds of Carbide scrap as I mentioned in another reply..All Hanita
From 1/4 to 3/4 size…and new

Osman ali January 7, 2017 at 2:10 am


Can you please specify the price per kg of carbide inserts and also can you send me the pictures to I just need inserts that too of CNMG , TNMG and DNMG models. Quote the price reasonably as it to be shipped to India on regular basis if all works out well.

Thanks and Regards,
Osman ali

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