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.



End Mills Cut Steel and Cast Iron

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
LMT Onsrud has added end mills for steel and cast iron to its high-performance end mill range.

Cutting Tools Reduce Risk of Edge Chipping, Cracking

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Precision Cutting Tools offers cutting tools produced using its Edge Cut manufacturing process, which adds a controlled radius on the tool’s cutting edge.

Seco Highfeed Cutters Deliver Increased Speeds and Feeds

By: Lori Beckman (editor)
Seco Tools, LLC expanded its Highfeed series of indexable-insert milling cutters to include the Highfeed 2 and 4.

IMC Group President Says Best Tool Value Comes from Productivity

By: Peter Zelinski
Only cutting tool productivity can reduce other factors affecting part cost. Jacob Harpaz made this point at a recent Ingersoll Cuttings Tools event in Cleveland.

People are Part of the Process for Machining Inconel

By: Peter Zelinski
A Tacoma shop describes its winning strategy for efficient machining of Inconel. That strategy includes careful choices of cutting tools and cutting parameters. It also includes a healthy breakfast.


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