The Versatility You Need
End mills are the undisputed workhorse of the machining world. They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, materials, styles and coatings. Some of the common uses for these versatile cutting tools include slotting, profiling, chamfering, deburring and counterboring. If you consider the fact that these cutters are equally at home milling radially, or plunging axially, it’s easy to see why the Grind Shop at Aronson-Campbell is excited to offer our custom grinding capabilities to the industry.
Let’s Talk about the Big Picture
Are you wondering how to distinguish a drill and a milling cutter? We’ve got the answers! While a drill can only cut in the axial direction (up and down), most milling cutters can cut in the radial direction (side to side). What makes an end mill special among milling cutters, though, is that it can cut both axially and radially. It is thus distinguished from a drill bit in its application, geometry, and manufacture.
Several broad categories of end- and face-milling tools exist, such as center-cutting versus non-center-cutting (whether the cutter can take plunging cuts), the number of flutes, the helix angle, the substrate material, and the coating material. Each category is then further refined according to special geometry for specific applications.
The Nitty-Gritty of End Mills
If you’re designing a custom end mill for a specific material, you want to choose your helix angle with that in mind. 30° to 45° degree helix angles can handle hard metals, while you might choose around 37-38 degrees for aluminum. 60° tools are excellent for plastics.
You can also request end mills with variable flute helix or random helix angle, and discontinuous flute geometries. These customizations help break material into smaller pieces (chips), improving chip evacuation and reducing risk of chip jamming during the milling process. Some modern designs also include small features like chip breakers. There are also four critical angles to consider in your cutting tool: end cutting edge angle, axial relief angle, radial relief angle and radial rake angle.
A wide variety of materials are used to produce the end mill, with the most common being carbide and High Speed Steel, although we also offer High Speed Cobalt and Powdered Metal. No matter what you are cutting, from dead soft aluminum to ultra-tough 17-4 stainless, we have the ability to help you design the custom cutters you need to put more chips on the floor, and ultimately more dollars in your pocket.
Questions about the tool you need? Feel free to contact us directly to make inquiries. Otherwise use our handy order form on this page to let us know how we can make the perfect end mill to serve your needs.