Episode 5: Tips to Select the Right Milling Cutter

July 17, 2020 9:44 am


In this episode of Machine Shop Talk, Ian Sandusky explains the main differences between different types of milling cutters and how to select the right one for your application.

When selecting end mills for your next project, regardless if you are working with manual machines or CNC, there are a few different characteristics that you should consider that will help you optimize your process, reduce cycle time and ultimately make your work profitable. The general rule you should always follow is to use the shortest end mill possible with the largest diameter. The large diameter will help you reduce cycle times (or machining times if you work on manual machines) and while shorter tool length will help you avoid tool deflection. The second thing to consider is the number of flutes. That choice is ultimately dependent on the material you are machining. Harder materials require more flutes while softer material allows for fewer flutes. The third characteristic you should consider is the cutting tool material. Most modern end mills are made of carbide due to its hardness and resistance to wear. The combination of all these considerations will help you identify the right milling cutter for your application. If you have more questions about end mills or would like to see more videos about this topic, make sure to leave a comment.

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  • Gentle Spartan says:

    More light on selecting milling cutters

  • Eric says:

    With such a large range on end mill flute/ insert designs, a video going over the basic / common tool geometries, benefits and even a few programming styles each works good with would be great. I’m sure we’d all love to hear more exploring these points and the impact on tool life, durability and finishes.
    I’ve experimented with many of brands and programming styles to find the best roughing/ finishing applications for each and would love to share what I’ve learned and my experience.

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