Top 12 End Mills

End mills are a necessity in the industrial process of milling. However, given the variety in end mills, selecting the most appropriate one can be arduous. That’s what this guide is here for, to tell you all there is to know about end mills so you can make a satisfactory purchase.

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End Mills Buying Guide

End mills are often confused with drill bits, but these types of tools are vastly different. The purpose of a drill bit is to plunge into the material and drill holes, while end mills can cut laterally into materials to create profiles and slots. Various factors such as length, type, and material determine the outcome provided by a particular end mill.

The types of end mills

Straight flute end mills, unsurprisingly, have a single-ended straight and basic flute. They’re mainly used on composites of glass and epoxy, plastics, and special profile milling. End mills of the up-cut and down-cut variety are spiral-shaped. An up-cut end mill carries the residue up and away from the working area, giving a rougher finish, while the down-cut end mill pushes residue down, providing a smooth top finish. Ball end mills have round tips and are used for profile milling, contouring, etc. Roughing end mills are used when removing large amounts of material, while V-bit end mills are used for carving.

High-speed steel vs Coated carbide

HSS, or high-speed steel, and coated carbide, are the most popular materials out of which end mills are made. HSS is relatively inexpensive and provides good wear resistance. They can be used to mill wood, metals, etc. End mills with coated carbide are more expensive, but they’re also more durable, rigid, fast, and heat-resistant. An easy way to dial up the performance of an end mill is a coating of titanium aluminium nitride, which makes the end mill cut 25% faster. If you can’t splurge on materials that provide more rigidity, opt for end mills with a larger diameter.

Some more material aspects

The material of your end mill depends on the material you wish to mill. For example, plastics require a different type of endmill compared to metals. When milling soft metals such as aluminium, one needs a deep and polished flute with a sharp cutting edge; this means less force has to be applied, ensuring minimum breakage of the material. For more rigid materials such as stainless steel, opt for shallow flutes with a squared-off cutting edge which helps to optimise tool life and removal of material. Ensure that the endmill is three-four times harder than the material to be cut.

Lookout for length

How long your end mill should be is determined by how deep you want the tool to penetrate the material. Ensure that the cutting depth does not exceed the flute length of your endmill. End mills that are too long can create inaccurate tolerances, chatter, a bad surface finish, and decreases tool life. On the other hand, short end mills are more rigid and inexpensive. Ultimately, the desired length of your end mill rests entirely on your specific needs.

Categories Simillar to End Mills

Categories Simillar to End Mills includes Ball Nose End Mills