Long reach end mills provide an essential cutting tool for the machinist – they are used to accurately cut and shape materials with precision, speed, and power. In this guide, you’ll find out how long reach end mills work, their benefits and applications, as well as the different types of long-reach end mills available.
Straight Shank Long Reach End Mills
Straight shank long reach end mills have an extended cutting length that allow for deep plunge cuts, typically in blind holes. These end mills can also make quick work of facing operations due to their extra rigidity and shorter overall height when compared to other types of end mills. Due to the rigid construction of straight shank designs, they require less power but often cost more than other types of long reach end mills.
Taper Shank Long Reach End Mills
Taper shank long reach end mills are ideal for use in longer, deeper cavities since they can produce deeper cuts than conventional straight shank designs. This has the added benefit of removing more material faster, which reduces costs and time. Furthermore, taper shank end mills are preferred over straight shank tools by many machinists due to their increased range of motion and greater rigidity when reaching into cramped spaces. The taper shank design also allows for greater stability during operation and superior chip evacuation compared to straight shank designs.
Corner Radius Long Reach End Mills
Corner radius long reach end mills are well-suited for producing geometrically complex parts that require a high degree of accuracy. They can create shallow or deep cavities with sharp corners, as well as miter cuts—all without the need for manual corrections and adjustments. Corner radius end mills are also strong and rigid, making them suitable for aggressive milling operations. Additionally, these tools can minimize the number of tool changing operations needed to produce complex parts in less time.
Reduced Neck Long Reach End Mills
Reduced neck long reach end mills are particularly helpful for providing machining flexibility over a wide range of depths and stepovers. These tools have shorter flute lengths and reduced overall cutting diameters—all while still being able to reach deep cavities when required. Shorter flutes on reduced neck long reach end mills provide better chip evacuation and improved chip-breaking performance, resulting in smoother surface finishes on the workpiece.
Square Shoulder Long Reach End Mills
Square Shoulder long reach end mills are ideal for deep cuts into a variety of materials. These tools extend the length of their overall cutting diameters and reduce the amount of deflection when milling. They feature 3- and 4-flute designs that provide good chip breaking capabilities, while also offering extra reach in deeper cavities. These end mills are great for profiling, facing, pockets and more!