For machining tasks, end mills are the answer. These handy tools are designed to cut away material within various applications. Spiral flute end mills boast a special spiral groove that permits efficient cutting. In addition, ball end mills boast a rounded head for carving curves, whereas roughing end mills show off their serrated cutting edge for swiftly eliminating large chunks of material. All in all, they prove to be quite useful for a wealth of machining tasks.
With a range of sizes and styles, end mills can be found in two distinct variants – square and ball. The diameter of the cutting end determines the size of an end mill; spanning from 1/8″ to 1/2″, the most popular sizes are 1/8″, 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″. In terms of length, 2″, 3″, and 4″ are by far the most widely available measurements.
End mills come in an array of materials, with HSS and carbide topping the list. While HSS milled products are more economical, carbide-crafted pieces have a longer lifespan and greater precision.
Manufacturers need to take multiple factors into account when selecting the right end mill for their project. Chief among these considerations are the kind of material to be machined, the desired level of detail in the finish, and the most intense cut that will need to be achieved. More flutes means a smoother finish, but a slower rate of material removal, while shorter end mills can achieve deep cutting capabilities, but with a coarser finish.
Any machinist knows that having the right tool for the job is paramount, and the end mill is a tool necessary to accomplish the task effectively. End mills power through material for faster production times and can be used to finesse a surface with precision. With such abilities, it’s easy to see why end mills are an essential piece of equipment for any machinist.