Types of Milling Cutters

There are many types of milling cutters.

Each has its unique function, properties, and limitations.










SIDE-AND-FACE CUTTERSWhich tool is to be selected depends on requirements and technician’s expertise.

1. End Mills

End mill is the most widely used CNC cutter.

Its one end contains sharp teeth and sides as well.

End mill is different from a drill bit in function, application, and shape.

Comes in different shapes.

As some have a single flute but others can have eight flutes.

Types of End Mills

Flat End Mills

These are flat-faced milling cutters used for general purposes and are proficient in 2D cutting.

Ball Nose End Mills

These are cutting tools having a ball-shaped end and are perfect for 3D contours and curves.

Bull Nose End Mills

These cutting tools have a flat bottom and rounded corners and are suitable for filleting and


2. Face Mills

It has a unique body that offers replaceable cutter inserts.

Face mills are normally made using carbide.

Predominantly used for milling a face on the surface of a workpiece.

Only capable of cutting in the horizontal direction.

3. Roughing End Mills

This tool is best for material removal in substantial amounts from the workpiece.

Suitable in heavy operations.

These cutters have jagged teeth that help to remove huge pieces.

They allow for little to no vibration but leaves a rough finish.

4. Slab Mills

These are used to mill flat surfaces.

Slab mills don’t have any side teeth.

Helpful in performing general or heavy-duty operations.

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5. Involute Gear Cutters

These CNC machining tools are utilized in the manufacturing of metal gears.

Metal gears provide useful functionality in manufacturing.

These cutters also use in creating of a special milling machine known as the hobbing machine.

6. Fly Cutters

Fly cutters have a solid body on which one or two tool bits can be attached.

They help to create broad and shallow cuts on a workpiece.

These are comparatively cheaper as compared to other milling cutters.

A double tool bit fly cutter is also known as double-end fly cutters or fly bars.

7. Ball Cutters

Ball cutters are used to create corner radiuses on the perpendicular faces of a workpiece.

These are a special kind of tool.

Easily recognizable from their hemispherical cutting tip.

8. Hollow Mills

Hollow mills have a pipe shape and look like inverted end mills.

These have their cutting edges inside the pipe shape.

Used for creating shapes like full points and form radii.

9. Woodruff Cutters

Woodruff cutters are also called keyseat cutters.

These tool are used to cut key slots into parts, such as shafts.

To produce suitable slots for woodruff keys, these cutting tools have their teeth

perpendicular to the outside diameter.

10. Side-and-Face Cutters

These cutters have teeth placed on both the sides and the circumference.

They are used to create slots and grooves.

There are much better options to available to produce slots and grooves.

Therefore, their use has decreased over time.

Materials Used in CNC Machining Tools Manufacturing

Different types of materials are used to make CNC machine tools.

It is the material that determines the machining process for which the tool will be utilized and

required functionality too.

Carbon Steel

High-Speed Steel

Pro Tips

CNC Machine Tools Selection

Next we’ll discuss few pro tips for tools selection.

They’ll be helpful to conduct a successfully machining process.

Tool Material

Tool material is very important.

Select that tool whose material will suit best for task completion.

Tool Coating

Prefer those tools that are coated with Titanium Nitride.

It will perform perfect and tool life will enhance.

If surface lubricity and hardness are required in tool,

then use Titanium Carbo-Nitride. 

Number of Flutes

Flutes are helical grooves that run down the exterior of the tool.

The number of flutes is directly proportional to the feed rate of a milling bit.

Flutes are selected carefully according to the requirements.


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