4 flute end mills for steel and stainless
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    Default 4 flute end mills for steel and stainless

    I'm trying to reevaluate what end mills we are using from a cost & performance basis. We use mostly .25", .375" and .5" end mills, and I am wondering what end mills others like for milling steels. Does anyone use Kennametal?

    I also have a couple jobs coming up that are heat treated 17-4 & 13-8 (HRC 35-43 range) and I'd be interested in any thoughts of end mills for this type of material if anyone uses something different for hard stainless.

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    I'm not sure about stainless, but I have used MA Ford endmills for hardened tool steels with great tool life.

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    We settled on SGS ZCarb at my previous job. My new job also favors SGS but uses the regular line.

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    We have used Niagra Stabilizers for quite a few years. The variable flute design changed our speeds, feeds and D.O.C. dramatically. Price isnt bad either.
    For steel 35-45 Rc range.....the Stabilizers will work....but Since I have them available I would use a 6 flute YG, Mitsubishi or similar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robert123 View Post
    I'm trying to reevaluate what end mills we are using from a cost & performance basis. We use mostly .25", .375" and .5" end mills, and I am wondering what end mills others like for milling steels. Does anyone use Kennametal?

    I also have a couple jobs coming up that are heat treated 17-4 & 13-8 (HRC 35-43 range) and I'd be interested in any thoughts of end mills for this type of material if anyone uses something different for hard stainless.
    DuraMill WhisperKut's are my preferred tool for what you describe. Either five or seven flute DS3 coated.

    YG-1 or OSG WESX are what I run on hard steels. Hard SS is 50 RC, not 43 but I use these on steels as hard as 58RC to good effect.
    The OSG WESX coated tooling is superior but expensive enough to make your eyes water. YG-1 has tools for hard steels that work well and are very affordable. They also have a direct shipping program out of Chicago. Red label for up to five pounds for $15.00 to the Continental US and they will break up an order if it makes sense.

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    Get some Gorilla Mills in. They will beat Niagara, YG (by a lot), & SGS Z Carb in terms of life & speed.

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    I have had good results with SGS Zcarbs, but like Guhring 6 flute endmills better for 17-4 H900. We are using HSM toolpaths, not conventional, and the 6fl Guhrings really perform. I recently ordered some Helical end mills for a big upcoming job in 17-4 H1025, as a tool rep highly recommended them based on one of his other customers results. We shall see!

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    For HSM toolpaths in 17-4 - like pmack recommends - the Guhring RF100S/F variable 6 flute is a great option. Guhring, Inc. - Tool List

    If you are looking for a four flute, the Guhring Diver works great in stainless as well as carbon steels.
    Guhring, Inc.

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    I like the Niagara productivity kits, they run us about $200 CAD for the stabilizer kits and get you a 1/8 3/16 1/4, 5/16, 3/8 and 1/2 endmill with corner rads and besides the cost they're great endmills. We have had some difficult cuts where the Walter hard milling endmills have kicked everything else ass by a at least 500% though you're talking almost $100 for a 1/4 endmill.

    The generic kits drop everything under 1/4 but give you a 5/8 for ~$150 and come with sharp corners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robert123 View Post
    Does anyone use Kennametal?
    The only people that use Kennametal or Sandvik solid carbide end mills are people with deep pockets because they are expensive!
    And IMO they aren't as good.
    For milling stainless ideally you will want a variable helix end mill. And there are a lot of people that make em.
    Niagara, Widia-Hanita, Gorilla, etc... are the ones to look at first.
    There is also Guhring, Emuge, Imco and Garr.

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    I got really good tool life in hardened 4130 with these:

    Solid Carbide End Mills | High Performance Drills | CGC Tools

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    The only people that use Kennametal or Sandvik solid carbide end mills are people with deep pockets because they are expensive!
    And IMO they aren't as good.
    I'll have to compare pricing, but Kennametal seemed inexpensive when I looked at them. I don't know if the performance is there though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzert View Post
    I like the Niagara productivity kits, they run us about $200 CAD for the stabilizer kits and get you a 1/8 3/16 1/4, 5/16, 3/8 and 1/2 endmill with corner rads and besides the cost they're great endmills. We have had some difficult cuts where the Walter hard milling endmills have kicked everything else ass by a at least 500% though you're talking almost $100 for a 1/4 endmill.

    The generic kits drop everything under 1/4 but give you a 5/8 for ~$150 and come with sharp corners.
    What Walter series were you using for Hard milling that were so awesome?

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    Quote Originally Posted by robert123 View Post
    I'll have to compare pricing, but Kennametal seemed inexpensive when I looked at them. I don't know if the performance is there though.
    Kennametal has a lot of different LEVELS of end mills so if they were cheap I'll bet they are lower quality. I know the top of the line from them are good but pretty expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyMoon View Post
    For HSM toolpaths in 17-4 - like pmack recommends - the Guhring RF100S/F variable 6 flute is a great option. Guhring, Inc. - Tool List

    If you are looking for a four flute, the Guhring Diver works great in stainless as well as carbon steels.
    Guhring, Inc.
    Andy, it's great to have your recommendations, but it's not a bad idea to remind people of this: "I am the Milling Product Manager at Guhring, headquarters in Brookfield, WI". It gives a little context...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shop Supply Guru View Post
    What Walter series were you using for Hard milling that were so awesome?
    We were using it in a demanding 304 stainless operation with 40 small pockets per part and finished the entire run of 800 pockets with a single tool, checking the lineup it's not for hard milling (second hand info there) but is the top of Walter's offerings. No other tool could finish more than a single part. I didn't have any stabilizers at the time but would have really liked to have put it up against the Walters

    It was the MC326 in Ø6mm with .8mm corner radii.

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    Milland, fair point to a degree, although I am certainly not trying to hide anything. Transparency is why I use my real name instead of a catchy handle. It is also why, on numerous occasions, I have mentioned my current position. This being said, with the variety of opinions, biases, and general misinformation out there, there are probably many more on here that would do good to be more up front - whether the XYZ tooling guy is your brother in law, or just takes you to lunch. In my considerable time in this industry, I have learned that you are nothing without your reputation. Giving out bad advice with the intent of bettering ones-self hurts that reputation more than anything. As such, anything I recommend is proven. In addition, I do not believe in talking down a competitor or brand that was "not my favorite" as so many others seem so willing to do.

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    Had the best luck with Guhring in stainless 304 to be specific

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzert View Post
    We were using it in a demanding 304 stainless operation with 40 small pockets per part and finished the entire run of 800 pockets with a single tool, checking the lineup it's not for hard milling (second hand info there) but is the top of Walter's offerings. No other tool could finish more than a single part. I didn't have any stabilizers at the time but would have really liked to have put it up against the Walters

    It was the MC326 in Ø6mm with .8mm corner radii.
    Good to know. They have a Protomax Inox for s/s & hi Temps that is coolant through. It's surprisingly what's the word because it definitely isn't cheap.. . It's not too much more than there non coolant through options. Have you ran any of those?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shop Supply Guru View Post
    Get some Gorilla Mills in. They will beat Niagara, YG (by a lot), & SGS Z Carb in terms of life & speed.
    I'll take that bet.


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