Tooling & Workholding

Milling Tools

Milling is the work of producing a flat or precision-contoured surface on a machined workpiece by using a rotating tool, and generally by taking multiple parallel passes with that tool. The work can be done on a machining center or milling machine, and can also be done on a lathe, turning center or turn-mill machine that happens to have rotary tool (or “live tool”) capabilities. The tools for milling include both solid tools and inserted tools—the latter consisting of a tool body that uses replaceable cutting inserts. Carbide is the most likely material for milling tools, though high speed steel is another choice, as are ceramic, cermet and diamond tools in certain more demanding milling applications. A common milling tool variety is the “end mill,” which generally describes a relatively narrow cylindrical tool that can mill on both its tip and its side, and can reach into various constrained features and spaces. The end mill can be flat-bottomed for flat surfaces, or ball-nosed for milling up, down and along the contours of complex milled shapes such as die and mold surfaces. Another common milling tool variety is the “face mill,” a generally larger-diameter tool designed for efficiently milling a wide, flat surface in an economical number of passes.

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Featured Zone Content

Video: Hard Pocket Milling


Relieved end mills and pre-machining of corners are two important considerations for accurate pocket machining in hard steel.



Cutting Tool Edge Prep: The Invisible Advantage

By: Peter Zelinski
Edge preparation involves removing material from a cutting tool in order to extend its life. That may sound counterintuitive, but a maker of glass molds says edge prep has dramatically reduced the amount it spends on tools.

Lovejoy Tool MaxCut 651 cutters

Cutters and Inserts Enable Continuous Heavy-Duty Cutting

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Lovejoy Tool Co.’s MaxCut 651 cutters feature a new chip gullet design and 0.250"-thick inserts for continuous heavy-duty work.

Cutting Tool Helps Automotive Manufacturer Implement Design Change

By: Edited by: Emily Probst
Horn USA’s Mini Mill helped Machine Tool and Gear mill a flat at 90 degrees from other operations.

Face Mills Keep Shop from Making Large Capital Expenditure

By: Edited by: Emily Probst
By retooling its machines with Tedimill face mills from Ingersoll Cutting Tools, Ward Production Engineering was able to take on a jump in order volume without making a large capital investment.

The Anatomy of an End Mill for Titanium

By: Mark Albert
Titanium is often characterized as a “challenging workpiece material.” Certainly, machining this material is a challenge to milling machines, cutting tools and workholding accessories that are suitable for machining more common materials such as mild steel, cast iron or aluminum.


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