An end mill is a type of cutting tool that is used in milling applications. End Mills have cutting edges on the end and sides of the shank enabling them to cut in all directions.
Why use an end mill?
The end mill removes material by their movement within the milling machine or from the cutters shape.
The number of flutes (spirals on the end mill) give different results:
- 2 flutes allow maximum space for chip ejection and are used for general milling operations
- 3 flutes is an excellent choice for slotting, it has a larger cross-section and is used in general milling operations
- 4, 5, 6 and 8 flutes can improve the surface finish if the feed rate remains the same. A greater number of flutes reduces chip load and produces a much finer finish
What types of End Mills are available?
End cut types:
- Centre cutting end mills have one or more cutting edges at the tip to allow the user to plunge, drill or ramp into a cut.
- Non-Centre cutting end mills have peripheral teeth that allow the user to side cut or contour an external surface.
- End mills with a plain shank are used with a collet style holder and are the most common shank type
- End mills with a Weldon shank have one or two flats with set screws in the holder that tighten on the flanks of flats to hold the mill to prevent it
Typical applications of End Mills
End mills are used for profiling milling, face milling, tracer milling, semi-finishing and finishing.