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.



Horn M117P face milling cutter

Face Milling Cutter for High-Polish Milling

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Horn’s M117P face milling cutter is designed for high-polish milling applications.

SGS Tool S-Carb tooling

High-Performance End Mills Enable Aggressive Machining

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
SGS Tool Co. has expanded its S-Carb line to include a new ballnose geometry, additional corner radius and reach options, and larger diameters.

Seco Tools R220.LN14 square shoulder mills

Square Shoulder Mills Provide Large Depths of Cut

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Seco Tools’ R220.LN14 square shoulder mills are said to reduce costs and improve performance in applications that require large depths of cut.

Engis superabrasive tooling

Range of Superabrasive Tooling Offered

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Engis offers a range of superabrasive tooling for use in machining centers.

End Mills Enable Hexalobular Shapes

By: Lori Beckman (editor)
Mitsubishi Materials’ VQ-XL Series three- and four-flute end mills enable the machining of precision hexalobular (T4, T6, T8, T15, T25 and T40) shapes common to bone screws in a two-step process: drill, then helical mill.


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