End Mill Basics: Types of End Mills and Their Uses

Types of End Mills

End mills are cutting tools used in milling operations to remove material from a workpiece. They have a cutting edge at the end of the tool, allowing them to perform various milling operations such as contouring, slotting, and drilling. Here are some common types of end mills:

1. Square End Mill

The square end mill has a square-shaped cutting edge at the end of the tool. It is widely used for general milling operations and can create 90-degree square corners.

2. Ball Nose End Mill

The ball nose end mill has a rounded end, resembling a ball. It is suitable for creating contoured surfaces, curved profiles, and 3D shapes. The ball nose design allows for smoother cutting and reduced chipping.

3. Corner Radius End Mill

The corner radius end mill has a rounded corner at the end of the cutting edge. It is ideal for milling rounded or contoured features, as well as creating fillets and radii in workpieces.

4. Drill End Mill

The drill end mill combines the functions of an end mill and a drill bit. It has a pointed tip for drilling holes and a cutting edge for milling operations. This type of end mill is commonly used for hole-making applications.

5. Roughing End Mill

Roughing end mills are designed for rapid material removal and are commonly used for roughing operations. They have a coarse pitch and multiple flutes to quickly remove material from the workpiece.

6. Finishing End Mill

Finishing end mills are used for achieving smooth and precise surface finishes. They have a fine pitch and fewer flutes compared to roughing end mills, allowing for more precise cuts and improved surface quality.

7. Tapered End Mill

Tapered end mills have a tapered cutting edge, which allows for gradual cutting and improved stability. They are commonly used for milling tapered walls, dovetail grooves, and other tapered features.

8. Chamfer End Mill

Chamfer end mills are used for creating chamfered edges or beveled corners on a workpiece. They have an angled cutting edge that forms a chamfer at the intersection of two surfaces.

These are just a few examples of the many types of end mills available, each designed for specific milling applications. The choice of end mill depends on factors such as the desired milling operation, workpiece material, and required surface finish. Selecting the appropriate end mill is crucial for achieving optimal milling results.