What Is Milling Cutters? | Types of the Milling Cutters | Overview of Milling Cutters | Milling Cutter Material

All About Milling Cutters

What Is Milling Cutter?

What Is Milling Cutter?

Milling cutters are an essential component of a milling machine. As the name suggests, it is the cutting tool responsible for scraping the material outside the workpiece. All milling machines have a cutter.

During a typical milling operation, the Cutter moves perpendicular to its axis, allowing it to remove material from the workpiece at the perimeter of the Cutter.

To learn more about milling cutters and how they work, keep reading. A milling machine is a versatile machine on which we can perform most machining operations.

It is used to machine various shapes & sizes. Milling cutters are used to perform these tasks.

There are different types of cutters that are responsible for proper machining on a milling machine. A short description of them all is given below.

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Types of the Milling Cutters:

Types of the Milling Cutters

A variety of milling cutters available help make millings a versatile machining process. Cutters are made in a larges range of sizes.

Milling cutters are made from high-speed steel (HSS), other carbides are tipped, and many are replaced or indexed inserts.

1. End Milling Cutter

End Milling Cutter

It has teeth on either side, so it can be used very successfully in drilling operations. The term “end mill” is commonly used for flat bottom cutters.

The basic difference between a drill bit and an end mill cutter is that the drill bit can only cut in the axial directions, but this Cutter can cut in all directions.

This Cutter consists of one or more flutes and is ultimately used in milling operations. It is made of high-speed steel or hardened material.

This Cutter is mainly available in two variants. The first one is known as centers cutting, which has cutting edges on both sides of the Cutter, and the second one is a non-center cutting edge with the cutting edge on only one side.

2. Roughing End Milling Cutter

Roughing End Milling Cutter

Roughing mills are also known as “Pippa” cutters. These cutters give a great performance under the toughest operating conditions.

As the names themselves suggest, it is used to extract large amounts of material. A wavy tooth is used from such cutters.

These cutters make very small chips that result in a rough surface finish.

3. Periphery Milling Cutter

Periphery Milling Cutter

When the cuttings’ teeth are present on the circumference of the circular disc, it is known as a circumference mill cutter.

Perimeter mill cutters can only be used for horizontal mill machines.

4. Side Milling Cutter

Side Milling Cutter

A side mill cutter is a type of Cutter in which the cutting teeth are present on the periphery and also on the face or end.

This Cutter is mostly used in strand milling operations and face milling operations. It is also used to cut slots and mix deep and narrow slots.

5. Face Milling Cutter

Face Milling Cutter

Face mill cutters have a large diameter cutter body with several mechanically fastened insertion tools.

A large amount of material is removed by making radially deep and axially narrow cuts.

The diameter of the cutter body depends on the length of the workpiece and the available clearance on either side of the workpiece.

Face mill cutters are used in down milling. The face mill cutter is very rigid, and the surface finish depends on the feed rate and the number of teeth.

6. Gang Milling Cutter

Gang Milling Cutter

It is the type of Cutter in which peripheral milling cutters of different sizes are cut together to remove material from the workpiece simultaneously.

7. Staggered Mill Cutter

Staggered Mill Cutter

Staggered mill cutters are staggered at the periphery with optional right and left-hand helix angles and are made to a relatively narrow width.

8. Concave Milling Cutter

Concave Milling Cutter

A concave cutter is a type of formed Cutter. The form cutter is designed to have a specific shape on the workpiece.

A concave milling cutter is a type of Cutter shaped to match a convex surface of a circular contour equal to half a circle or less.

9. Cylindrical Milling Cutter

Cylindrical Milling Cutter

A cylindrical mill cutter is a type of Cutter that has a cylindrical shape and has teeth only on the perimeter surface.

10. Hollow Milling Cutter

Hollow Milling Cutter

It resembles a pipe that has thick walls. The bites of hollow surfaces are on the inside surfaces. This Cutter is used in screw machines.

11. Woodruff Cutter

Woodruff Cutter

This tool is used to cut keyways for a wooden key. It is slightly hollow at the edges for relief, and the teeth are not side cuttings. Teeth come in both straight & staggered varieties.

12. Thread Mill Cutter

Thread Mill Cutter

The thread is produced by a helical projectile. The cutting process enables the productions of threads with a multi-profile from M2 to a nominal diameter of 1 mm (single profile).

13. Hobbing Cutter

Hobbing Cutter

It is also a cutting tool that is used to cut teeth. It is cylindrical in shape with helical bite teeth.

14. Dovetail Cutter

Dovetail Cutter

The dovetail cutter is a final mill whose form protrudes behind a dovetail slot.

15. Ball Cutter

Ball Cutter

It is also called a ball-nosed cutter. Ball cutters as their end are hemispherical in shape. It is used to reduce the concentration of stress. It is also used to cut three-dimensional shapes.

16. Fly Cutter

Fly Cutter

It is a cutting tool that transits and rotates with the argon of a lathe and acts on the work fed into its circular path.

A fly cutter is made of a body into which one or two tool bits are inserted.

As the entire unit rotates, the tool bits take wider, shallow cuts. Face mills are ideal in various cases, but it is expensive, while fly cutters are very inexpensive.

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Overview of Milling Cutters:

Overview of Milling Cutters

The purpose of milling cutters is to remove material from a workpiece. According to that saying, milling cutters do not have a single blade.

Operations commissioned using a lathe typically feature a single-blade cutting tool, with milling cutters having multiple blades.

Since the milling cutter rotates against a stationary workpiece, it ejects the material.

The milling cutter is often made of hard, strong material that can withstand significant stress without breaking or otherwise suicide to damage. For example, it is not uncommon to combine cutters to facilitate the coating of polycrystalline diamonds (PCD).

According, PCD-coated milling cutters last 100 times longer than their untouched counterparts.

The download for using PCD-coated milling cutters is that they cannot be used in applications where temperatures are higher than 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Milling Cutter Material:

Milling Cutter Material

#1. Steel (HSS, FSS)

High-speed steel, a tool steel grade, has several alloy additives to provide better heat and wear response than ordinary carbon steel; as the life cycle of the mill cutter increases, the cost increases.

It is divided into general purpose and special purpose HSS. It has the following characteristics.

Tungsten, chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium alloying elements have high contents, and the hardness can reach HRC62-70, which can hold high hardness at 6000 ° C.

Good mill cutting edge strength and toughness, strong vibration resistance, can be used to make tool medium cutting speed cutting machine, in case of low steel machine tool, use high-speed mill cutter, still easily Can be cut.

Good process efficiency, forging, machining, and sharpness are relatively easy, and more complex tool shapes can be created.

There are still disadvantages compared to carbide materials, such as lower hardness and worse red hardness, and wear resistance.

#2. Carbide

Carbide mill cutters are tougher than high-speed steel, but their strength is not as good. Higher stiffness provides greater protection against wear, but lower strength makes it slightly more susceptible to cracking and peeling.

It is composed of metal carbide, tungsten carbide, titanium carbide, and cobalt-based metal binders in powders and non-metallic processes. Its main features are the following.

It can withstand high temperatures and maintain good cutting efficiency at around 800–10000C.

When cutting with a carbide mill cutter, the cutting speed can be 4-8 times faster than the HSS.

Good room temperature abrasion resistance and hardness. Low bending strength, low toughness, blades are not easy to sharpen, very fast.

The materials used for making milling cutters are: –

  • High Carbon Steel.
  • High-Speed Steel.
  • Sintered Carbide Tip.
  • Stellite.

Of all the above four materials used to make cutters, the use of high carbon steel is the least because cutters made from it quickly become sluggish when using high cutting speeds and feeds.

Various grades of high-speed steel are used extensively for the manufacture of cutters because they maintain a deep cutting edge even at high temperatures and thus can be easily used at high speeds.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Type of Cutter

Types of Milling Cutters Used in the Machining Process

  • Roughing end mill
  • Slab mill
  • End mill cutter
  • Hollow mill
  • Ball mill cutter
  • Involute gear cutter
  • Face mill cutter
  • Woodruff cutter
  • Thread mill cutter
  • Fly cutter
  • Slide and face cutter
  • Hobbing cutter
  • Dovetail cutter

Types of Milling Cutter

The most common types of milling cutters are:

  • End mill
  • Face mill
  • Ball cutter
  • Slab mill
  • Side-and-face cutter
  • Involute gear cutter
  • Fly cutter
  • Hollow mill
  • Shell mill
  • Roughing end mill
  • Dovetail cutter
  • Woodruff cutter

Milling Cutter

Milling Cutters. MSC offers a complete selection of angle, radius, side, T-slot cutters, and more to tackle all your machining jobs.

Hollow Milling Cutter

Hollow milling cutters, more often called simply hollow mills, are essential “inside-out endmills”. They are shaped like a piece of pipe (but with thicker walls), with their cutting edges on the inside surface.

Types of End Mill Cutter

Common tool bit types are square end cutters, ball end cutters, t-slot cutters, and shell mills. Square end cutters can mill square slots, pockets, and edges. Ball end cutters mill radiused slots or fillets. T-slot cutters mill exactly that: T-shaped slots.

Side Milling Cutters

Find Side Milling Cutters at MSC Industrial Supply, serving the metalworking, safety, and MRO industries for over 75 years.

Types of Milling Cutters and Their Applications

Some Cutters with Description

  • Roughing End Mill. This type of cutter is used when you have to remove more amount of material from the work piece.
  • Slab Mill. This type of cutter is used when you have to remove more amount of material from the work piece.
  • End mill.
  • Hollow Mill.
  • Ball Mill Cutter.

High-Performance Milling Cutters for Precision Machining

Here are some types of high-performance milling cutters commonly used for precision machining:

  1. Carbide End Mills: Carbide is a hard and durable material, making carbide end mills highly effective for precision machining. They come in various geometries and coatings to suit different materials and applications.
  2. Micro End Mills: These are specifically designed for machining small and intricate parts. Micro end mills come in diameters as small as a few thousandths of an inch and are ideal for micro-machining operations.
  3. Ball Nose End Mills: Ball nose end mills have a rounded tip that is excellent for contouring and creating smooth curved surfaces. They are often used for 3D machining and finishing operations.
  4. Corner Radius End Mills: These end mills have a corner radius that increases tool life and reduces stress concentrations in corners. They are useful for machining features with tight corners.
  5. High-Speed Steel (HSS) End Mills: While not as hard as carbide, HSS end mills are suitable for a wide range of materials and are often used for smaller-scale precision work.

Top-Rated Manufacturers of Milling Cutters in the USA

Here are a few manufacturers that have historically been known for producing top-rated milling cutters in the USA:

  1. Kennametal: Kennametal is a prominent manufacturer of cutting tools, including milling cutters. They offer a wide range of tooling solutions for various industries and applications.
  2. Garr Tool: Garr Tool specializes in high-performance carbide cutting tools, including end mills and milling cutters. They are known for their focus on precision and innovation.
  3. SGS Tool Company: SGS Tool Company produces a variety of cutting tools, including milling cutters, drills, and reamers. They are known for their quality and innovative tool designs.
  4. Niagara Cutter: Niagara Cutter is known for its high-performance solid carbide end mills and milling cutters. They offer a range of tools for different materials and applications.
  5. LMT Onsrud: LMT Onsrud is known for its precision cutting tools, including end mills and milling cutters. They serve industries such as aerospace, automotive, and woodworking.

Choosing the Right Milling Cutter for Specific Materials

Here’s a general guide to help you select the appropriate milling cutter for common materials:

1. Aluminum:

  • Recommended Cutter Type: High helix end mills, carbide end mills with polished flutes.
  • Considerations: Aluminum is relatively soft and can lead to built-up edge. High helix end mills with polished flutes help prevent chip welding and ensure good chip evacuation.

2. Steel (Carbon, Alloy, Tool Steel):

  • Recommended Cutter Type: Carbide end mills with appropriate coatings (TiAlN, TiCN, etc.).
  • Considerations: Steel is tougher and more wear-resistant than aluminum. Coated carbide end mills help reduce friction and heat buildup.

3. Stainless Steel:

  • Recommended Cutter Type: High-performance end mills with specialized coatings (TiAlN or TiCN with additional layers), variable helix/variable pitch end mills.
  • Considerations: Stainless steel has high hardness and can work harden, causing tool wear. Specialized coatings and variable helix/pitch help manage heat and chip evacuation.

4. Cast Iron:

  • Recommended Cutter Type: High-speed steel (HSS) end mills or carbide end mills with TiCN or TiAlN coatings.
  • Considerations: Cast iron is brittle, and the right combination of cutting speed and feed is important to prevent chipping.

5. Plastics (Acrylic, PVC, Nylon, etc.):

  • Recommended Cutter Type: Single or double-flute carbide end mills with upcut geometry.
  • Considerations: Plastics can melt and deform under heat, so using cutters with upcut geometry helps evacuate chips and prevent melting.

Milling Cutter Geometry and Its Impact on Cutting Efficiency

Here’s a breakdown of how different aspects of milling cutter geometry impact cutting efficiency:

**1. Helix Angle:

  • Impact: The helix angle determines the angle at which the flutes wrap around the cutter. A higher helix angle helps in efficient chip evacuation and reduces the risk of chip recutting, which can lead to tool wear and poor surface finish.
  • Efficiency: A higher helix angle is generally more efficient in removing chips and reducing heat buildup.

2. Flute Count:

  • Impact: The number of flutes affects the chip load distribution, chip evacuation, and tool engagement with the material. More flutes distribute the load and reduce the force per flute.
  • Efficiency: Higher flute counts can result in smoother cutting and less vibration, enhancing cutting efficiency.

3. Flute Shape:

  • Impact: Flute geometry, such as variable helix and variable pitch, influences the stability of the cutter in the material and helps reduce harmonics and chatter.
  • Efficiency: Flute shapes that optimize chip evacuation and minimize vibration contribute to better surface finish and extended tool life.

Milling Cutting Tools

Here are some common types of milling cutting tools:

  1. End Mills: End mills are versatile cutting tools used for various milling operations, including contouring, slotting, and profiling. They come in different flute counts, helix angles, and geometries to suit different materials and applications.
  2. Face Mills: Face mills have multiple cutting edges and are used for facing large flat surfaces. They’re often used in heavy-duty applications and can remove material quickly.
  3. Ball Nose End Mills: These end mills have a rounded tip that’s ideal for creating curved surfaces, 3D contouring, and engraving. They come in various sizes and are suitable for intricate machining.
  4. Shell Mills: Shell mills are large diameter cutters with multiple inserts or cutting edges. They’re used for heavy-duty facing, slotting, and contouring operations.
  5. Slotting Cutters: Slotting cutters are used for machining slots and keyways. They come in various widths and can have multiple teeth for efficient material removal.

Milling Cutter Types

Types of Milling Cutter Tools
  • 1.1 Ball Mill Cutters. These end mill cutters feature a ball nose.
  • 1.2 Square End Mills.
  • 1.3 Radius Endmills.
  • 1.4 Undercutting Endmills.
  • 1.5 Rounding Endmills.
  • 1.6 Corner Radius End Mills.
  • 4.1 Plain Metal-Slitting Cutters.
  • 4.2 Side Teeth Slitting Cutters.

Milling Machine Cutting Tools

Top 10 CNC Milling Machine Cutting Tools You Need to Know [2023]
  • Face Mills. You’ll use this area for on the block of the material.
  • Thread Drills.
  • Ball cutters.
  • Center Spotting Drills.
  • Flutes.

The Cutting Tool Used in Milling Machine Is

Milling cutters are cutting tools typically used in milling machines or machining centres to perform milling operations (and occasionally in other machine tools).

Classification of Milling Cutters

What are the Types of Milling Cutters? End mills: These tools usually have a flat bottom, and round and fillet cutters are also available. End mills are similar to drills in that they can cut axially. But milling has the advantage of being able to make transverse cuts.

Milling Cutter Material

Cutters are made in a large range of sizes. Milling cutters are made from High Speed Steel (HSS), others are carbide tipped and many are replaceable or indexable inserts. Periphery milling cutters — Periphery milling cutters are usually arbor-mounted to perform various operations.

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