A milling cutter is a device used for various milling operations. The milling cutter dimensions are diverse but those used for heavy wall pipes have 1 1/4 in ID to 6 5/8 in OD working range. Others have 0.0040 in. to 0.1575 in. radius and 63 inches long. The reason for the varied milling cutter specs is that there are many types available.
End Mills and Face Mills
The end mill is designed to cut using the ends and on their sides. They come with at least two helical flutes. The face mill cuts with the cutter instead of the sides. They produce a flat face at the workpiece. The diameter is bigger than the workpiece width that it is facing. This allows the surface to be processed without making another pass.
Shell and Slab Mills
The shell mill has a bigger face than the end mill and is set on an arbor. The typical shell mill has a depression in the center so hardware can be mounted on another shank. The slab mill usually uses the peripheral edges when cutting. These devices are mounted horizontally. They are used to produce plane finishes.
Plunge milling cutters vary but they are used the same way: they are used for plunging the cutter into the object being operated on.
Features of Milling Cutters
Aside from the different milling cutter dimensions, they are available in different shapes as well. The coatings vary as well. Below are listed some of the features common in milling cutters.
The flutes are the helical grooves that run on the cutter. The blade that is along the flute edge is called the tooth. As the tooth chops the material, chips are drawn up the flute. Most cutters have one tooth per flute, but some have two teeth. There re numerous milling cutters with as many as four teeth.
There are also some cutters that can make straight drills in a material. Many of these cutters can also slice at 45 degree angles. There are also cutters that remove large quantities of material but leave the surface rough. There are also some cutters that produce clean finishes. These are called finishing cutters and typically have four teeth.
The milling cutter dimensions and types make it one of the most useful tools for cutting. Whether you need a rough surface or want a clean one, there is a machine that can meet your requirements. The specs will vary per machine, so they must be scrutinized well.