What Are End Mills?

What Are End Mills?

The process of cutting materials to create a wide variety of products has existed for many centuries. It used to be by hand, later by machines, and now entirely automated.

End mills are multi-functional tools that have cutting edges on the periphery and end face. These tools are used to cut materials in several directions or make shapes and holes in a workpiece.

What are the advantages of using an end mill?

  • End mills can be used to cut in both a radial and axial direction, unlike a drill bit that can only cut in an axial direction.
  • End mills are available in different lengths, diameters, flutes, and shank types. You can select an end mill based on the material you need to cut and the surface finish required for your project.
  • End mills allow for precision parts to be cut and are used to produce machine parts, jewelry, wood engravings, and circuit boards.

Different types of end mills

End mills are divided into many groups based on the number of flutes present, on how the endmill cuts, by the different coating material used, by the helix angle and material.

End mills divided based on the number of flutes present

Flutes are grooves that are cut into the body of the end mill. The number of flutes on the end mill gives different end results.

  • Single flutes are used for high-speed machining and high-volume material removal.
  • Two flutes have the most amount of flute space and are used in general milling operations.
  • Three flutes have a larger cross-section for greater strength.
  • Multiple flute designs allow for faster feed rates and produce a much finer finish.

End mills divided based on the end-cut type

  • Centre cutting end mills have one or more cutting edges at the tip and are used in a variety of applications including plunging, drilling, or ramping.
  • Non-center cutting end mills have peripheral teeth allowing for the user to make radial cuts or contour an exterior surface.

End mills divided based on the shank type

  • Plain shanks are used in combination with a collet-type holder.
  • Weldon shanks come with a flat section that is held by screws.

End mills divided based on the coatings

  • Titanium Nitride (TiN) coating increases the heat and hardness resistance of the end mill.
  • Titanium Carbonitride (TiCN) coating enables the end mill to run at higher spindle speeds.
  • Titanium Aluminum Nitride (TiAlN) coating gives the end mill higher hardness and oxidation temperature.
  • Uncoated end mills are used for applications that do not require high speeds.

End mills divided based on the cutting tool material

  • High-Speed Steel (HSS) offers good wear resistance and is used for basic milling applications.
  • Solid Carbide is exceptionally heat resistant and used for high-speed applications.
  • Vanadium High-Speed Steel (HSSE) is intended to increase abrasive wear resistance and toughness.

If you need end mills for any of your industrial applications like milling, profiling, face milling, tracer milling, semi-finishing, and finishing, take a look at our wide variety of products available at RS Components.

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