Milling Cutters are a vital tool for industrial or large-scale milling, and an integral part of a milling machine. The cutter, as the name may suggest, is the part of the milling machine that is responsible for cutting and removing material from a workpiece. During operation, the milling cutter rotates rapidly, while it making contact with the workpiece. Carving away material until the desired shape has been achieved. As such, milling cutters are always made from a stronger material than the workpiece.

What are Milling Cutters?

“Milling cutter” is the umbrella term referring to all cutting tools used as part of a milling machine or to perform milling operations. A Milling cutter comes in many forms for different applications. From those designed to maximise excavated material to those designed to leave a smooth finish. Milling cutters specially designed for certain tasks may have a bespoke shape. For Example, they may have serrated teeth, or a specific number of flutes – grooves. Designed to carry removed material back up the cutter and way from the workpiece. To make them better suited for that application.

Types of Milling Cutter

Milling cutters and Slot drill’s come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and types.

End Mill

End mills are the most common type of milling cutter used in a vertical operation. Defined by the teeth engraved into the end and the sides of the mill. Different types of end mill will produce a different shape of hole. Such as, rounded, or ball-nosed end mills, which leave a rounded-off bottom.

Roughing Cutters

Roughing cutters, sometimes referred to as roughing end mills, roughing end cutters, or ripper cutters. Designed with deep flutes and serrated teeth, to maximise the amount and speed of material removed. Usually used for high-volume operations. However, roughing cutters leave a rough finish that will need further attention before the workpiece is ready.

Finishing Cutters

Designed to be used after, finishing cutters are the opposite of roughing cutters. These cutters have plenty of flutes and a smooth exterior to leave a clean, professional finish on the workpiece. It’s possible to purchase hybrid roughing and finishing cutters that boast high material excavation with a smooth finish.

Threading Mills

Some milling cutters are designed to carve a hole for a specific application. One example of this is threading mills. A threading mill is a cutting tool constructed with a distinct helix around its shaft. This mills a pre-carved screw thread.

These are just a few examples of the many different types of milling cutter’s available on the tooling market today. Furthermore, milling cutters are available in a variety of materials. Each suited to a particular task. For instance, while carbide end mills are perfectly suited to cutting ferrous and nonferrous metals, PCD end mills are much better for milling composite materials.