A Guide To End Milling Tools18 Aug 20
Milling machines are common among many industries. They use rotary cutters to remove material from a workpiece. They can work on a variety of materials including plastic and a variety of metals. Milling machines are versatile due, in large part, to the broad range of cutting tools, they use including their end milling tools.
Milling tools are the cutting tools on milling machines which are used for creating holes and making shapes in a workpiece. One of the most common types of milling tool is the end milling tool. End milling tools have cutting teeth on their face and edges of the body. There are many variations of end milling tools. Each type is unique and their utility can vary. In this guide we breakdown some of the most common milling tools and their respective applications.
Square End Mills
Square end mills have sharp edges and produce a 90-degree angle. They are used for general milling functions such as plunge cutting, slotting and profiling. Square end milling cutters are also known as flat end mills.
Corner Radius End Mills
Corner radius end mills come in two types, both with rounded cutting edges. Where you require a specific radius a corner radius end mill is used. Where a specific radius is not required you can use a corner chamfer end mill which uses an angled edge.
Ball End Mills
Ball end mills have a round cutting edge and are used for slotting and pocketing as well as milling contoured surfaces. They are also known as ball nose end mills and are used in machining moulds and dies.
Roughing End Mill
Sometimes called hog mills, roughing end mills, are used in heavier operations to remove large amounts of material. They leave a rougher finish due to their tooth design but this reduces the vibration when milling.
Roughing And Finishing End Mills
Roughing and finishing end mills are designed for removing heavy materials whilst creating a smooth finish. These end mills remove material quickly and save time compared to the two-step hogging and finishing process.
Drill mills are versatile end mills used for a variety of applications such as chamfering, drilling, and countersinking.
Corner Rounding End Mills
Corner rounding end mills are rotary cutting tools used for rounding off sharp corners. They use ground cutting tips to reduce edge chipping.
Tapered End Mills
Used in various die and mould applications, tapered end mills have a cutting edge which tapers at the end. They are used in side-milling, contouring and machining angled slots.
Keyway End Mills
Keyway end mills as the name may suggest are used to create keyways. They use undersized cutting diameters to create a tight fit between a keystock and keyway.
Choosing The Right End Milling Tools
In addition to choosing the correct type of end milling tool for the task, there are some extra considerations to make sure you get the best result. Firstly it is important to make sure your milling tool is made of the correct material. For workpieces made from harder materials use milling tools made from materials such as carbide. These stronger end milling tools should also be used for high production applications.
Another noteworthy point is that shorter end milling tools with larger diameters offer the best rigidity and are optimal for faster cuts. Furthermore, variable helix end mills are a good option if you are looking for reduced chatter and vibration.
Final Thoughts On End Milling Tools
Milling is used across many industries and has many great uses. As shown above, the versatile range of tools opens up near countless milling possibilities. By understanding the wide selection of end milling tools available you quickly start to get a picture of milling possibilities.