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Types of Cutting Tools for Milling

There are many different types of tools for milling. This handy guide will go over the major types of tool categories, as well as a few subcategories. Milling machines are used in a variety of industries from aerospace to automotive and more.

Milling Cutters

Milling cutters are used for doing things like squaring and smoothing the faces of parts. These types of tools for milling can also be used to cut angles, shapes, grooves, and slots. Milling cutters allow you to make various shapes in your material, which means there is plenty of room for detail. A keyseat cutter can be used for cutting precise slots in a shaft, while a dovetail cutter makes a slot for machine parts that need to slide into place. You can also cut bevels into the outer edges of the material with a bevel cutter and v-shaped slots and serrations with a v-slot cutter. The type of cutter you attach to your milling machines depend on the type of material you are using, and what type of part you need to make. You will almost certainly use more than one type of cutter for each part that you manufacture.

Slitting Cutter

Slitting cutters do not have any side teeth, so they do not remove that much material. They are good for making very narrow slots in the material. The harder your material, the more teeth you will need to cut it.

Gear Cutter

These special types of tools for milling are used to create gears. The number of teeth on the gutter is determined by the number of teeth you need to create on the finished gear. 

End Mills

End mills are used for things like profile milling, face milling, and plunging. These can be made in a variety of materials based on the amount of speed needed, like Carbide, high speed steel, and cobalt steel. Although they look a lot like drill bits, they are very different in their performance. A drill bit can only cut axially, but an end mill can cut in all directions with a few exceptions for certain shapes and styles. End mills contain anywhere between one and eight ‘flutes’ which are used based on the strength of the material you need to cut and the speed you need to cut it at.

These various tools for milling make machine parts that are extremely precise. When making parts for the aerospace, medical, and automotive industries, this accuracy is extremely important.

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