What is a CNC Milling Cutter? Common Types of CNC Milling Cutters

What is a CNC Milling Cutter? Common Types of CNC Milling Cutters

CNC milling cutters are indispensable tools in the mechanical processing industry, playing a crucial role in shaping and machining materials. In the following article, RX Tradex will provide a detailed introduction to CNC milling cutters, the materials used to make them, common types of CNC milling cutters, basic parameters of CNC milling cutters, and considerations when selecting and using milling cutters on CNC milling machines.

1. What is a CNC Milling Cutter?

A CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling cutter is a type of cutting tool controlled by a computer system to perform machining operations on CNC milling machines. CNC milling cutters can produce highly precise and complex parts. These cutters are designed to withstand high cutting speeds and are highly durable, enhancing machining efficiency and quality.

2. Materials Used to Make Milling Cutters

Carbon Steel: This is the most common material for making milling cutters. Carbon steel is hard, durable, and has good heat resistance. However, carbon steel cutters generally do not last as long as cutters made from other materials and wear out quickly when machining hard materials.

Tool Alloy Steel: This material contains various alloying elements such as chromium, vanadium, and molybdenum, which increase hardness and wear resistance. Tool alloy steel is often used to make milling cutters that require high durability and cutting ability.

High-Speed Steel (HSS): This type of steel can withstand high temperatures and retains its hardness even at high temperatures. HSS milling cutters are often used in high-speed machining applications, enhancing cutting performance.

Cemented Carbide: Composed of tungsten carbide and metal binders, this material is extremely hard, wear-resistant, and has a long tool life. Cemented carbide milling cutters are commonly used to machine hard and difficult-to-machine materials.

Diamond: The hardest material used to make CNC milling cutters, diamond cutters have exceptional durability, superior wear resistance, and produce very smooth machined surfaces. However, diamond cutters are generally expensive and mainly used in specialized applications such as machining composite materials and ceramics.

3. Common Types of CNC Milling Cutters

3.1. End Mills

End mills resemble fingers and are often used to machine small, highly precise parts. They can have multiple cutting edges and are commonly used in mold making, slot cutting, and small part machining.

3.2. Insert Mills

These mills use replaceable cutting inserts, saving costs and making maintenance easy. Each insert is attached to the tool body and can be replaced when worn or damaged. Insert mills are suitable for large machining operations and continuous cutting applications.

3.3. Disc Mills

Disc mills are shaped like discs and are used to machine flat surfaces or cut large materials. They can have multiple cutting edges around the circumference and are commonly used in precision mechanical processing.

3.4. Ball Mills

With a spherical cutting head, ball mills are suitable for machining curved surfaces or parts with high complexity. They are often used in mold making and applications requiring a high surface finish.

3.5. Cylindrical Mills

Cylindrical mills have a round cylinder shape and are used to machine flat surfaces and deep slots. They can have multiple cutting edges and are commonly used in mechanical processing.

3.6. Face Mills

Face mills have a flat cutting head and are used to machine flat surfaces and quickly remove material. These tools are suitable for machining large surfaces and applications requiring high precision.

3.7. Form Mills

Form mills have cutting edges designed to match the specific shape of the part to be machined. These tools are used in applications requiring machining parts with complex and unique shapes.

4. Basic Parameters of CNC Milling Cutters

  • Cutter Diameter: The diameter of the milling cutter affects the depth of cut and machining capability.
  • Cutting Length: The length of the cutting part on the milling cutter determines the ability to machine deep parts.
  • Number of Cutting Edges: The number of cutting edges on the cutter affects the cutting ability and the surface finish of the machined part.
  • Cutting Angle: The cutting angle of the milling cutter affects the cutting force and the quality of the machined surface.
  • Material Composition: The material used to make the milling cutter determines its durability, wear resistance, and cutting performance.

5. Considerations When Selecting Milling Cutters for CNC Milling Machines

  • Choose the Right Cutter for the Material: Each type of material requires a suitable milling cutter to achieve the best performance and avoid damage.
  • Accuracy of the Milling Cutter: Ensure the milling cutter has high accuracy to achieve the best machining quality.
  • Check Durability and Wear Resistance: Choose milling cutters with high durability and wear resistance to save costs and maintenance time.
  • Select Appropriate Technical Parameters: Ensure the technical parameters of the milling cutter match the specific machining requirements.

6. Some Usage Tips

  • Regular Maintenance: Periodically check and maintain the milling cutter to ensure cutting performance and tool durability.
  • Use Appropriate Coolants: Use coolants during machining to reduce temperature and avoid damaging the milling cutter.
  • Control Cutting Speed and Force: Adjust the cutting speed and force to ensure machining quality and extend the tool life.
  • Ensure Safety: Follow safety rules when using CNC milling cutters to avoid accidents and ensure operator safety.

CNC milling cutters play a crucial role in mechanical processing, enhancing product efficiency and quality. Selecting and using milling cutters correctly not only improves machining performance but also reduces costs and maintenance time. We hope this article has provided you with useful information about CNC milling cutters and common types of milling cutters. Additionally, businesses can learn about new technologies in the mechanical industry, visit machinery, and connect with industry peers through the METALEX Vietnam International Exhibition – one of the most reputable exhibitions in the manufacturing mechanics field in the region.