Looking to get a better understanding of the types of end mills you can use for your projects? This guide will introduce you to eight common styles of end mills and how they are used.
Square End Mills
Square end mills have been around the longest and have distinctive flat ends and square end mill corner radius that are used to mill something with four sides, such as a cube or box. These tools are great for creating slots, drill pockets, holes, and other symmetrical shapes. They’re also ideal for cutting slots across the workpiece at 90° angles in one pass instead of making multiple passes with angled cutters.
Ball End Mills
Ball end mills are the most common types of end mills and are used to mill contoured surfaces, slot cutting, and profiling. These tools come in a variety of sizes, from large diameters to extremely small sizes. Ball end mills are typically used in applications that require added strength and precision for curved or complicated cuts. When selecting a ball end mill for your job, consider what type of material you’ll be cutting as some will work better in certain materials than others.
Corner Radius End Mills
Corner radius end mills are designed to produce radiused corners in a variety of materials. The tool consists of flutes with a separate cutting edge which is simply bent to create a rounded corner at the required radius. These tools come with various sizes of cutters and are often used for decorative effects, edge deburring, and radius cutting on components such as gears, architectural molding, and more. Choosing the correct corner radius end mill for your project is key to ensuring that you get the best results and accuracy possible.
Chamfer mills are cutting tools used to create a clean and symmetrical angled beveled edge on the outside corner of an object. These tools typically have two flutes with a special shape that allows the user to create this type of corner without the worry of overcutting the material. Depending on the application, Chamfer end mills can come in various configurations such as square, concave, convex, and more. They are commonly used for deburring inside and outside corners in addition to slotting and profiling.
T-slot cutters provide a very clean and fast way to cut slots, grooves, or pockets into workpieces. The unique design of the cutting edge allows the cutter to feed quickly while minimizing the amount of material that must be removed at once. These tools usually come in square, round, and shell-end shapes with straight, diamond, or double flute configurations to accommodate different types of materials. They are typically used for grooving in aluminum, plastic, and other soft materials as well as profiling in harder materials like stainless steel and titanium.