Metric End Mill Size Chart: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Cutters
End mills come in different sizes, shapes, and materials. Choosing the right one for your project can be a daunting task, especially if you are not familiar with the different metrics and terminologies used in the manufacturing industry. Fortunately, with this guide, you will be able to make an informed decision on the type of cutter to use on specific materials.
Metric End Mill Size Chart
End mills are cylindrical cutters that come in different sizes and shapes. The most common shape used in industrial milling are the square end mills, which feature a flat bottom. Others include ball nose end mills, which feature a rounded tip, and corner radius end mills, which have a rounded corner on the cutting edge. Depending on the project, the shape of the end mill will determine the type of cut that would be most effective.
Metric End Mill sizes are measured in millimeters, with the size referring to the diameter of the cutting tool. The ranges of sizes vary from 1mm to 20mm for end mills and 1mm to 12mm for slot drills. The largest diameter available for an end mill is 20mm, while for a slot drill, it is 12mm. The smaller the size of the end mill, the finer the cuts it can make.
The material of the end mill is another important factor to consider. The two most common materials are high-speed steel (HSS) and carbide. HSS cutters are ideal for softer materials such as plastic, wood, and aluminum, while carbide cutters are best suited for harder materials like steel and stainless steel.
Carbide cutters are more resistant to wear and tear and can last longer in high-stress cutting applications. They come at a higher price point than HSS cutters, but they are worth every penny for heavy-duty cutting. Titanium Nitride (TiN) and other coatings can also enhance the lifespan of carbide cutters.
Selecting the Right End Mill for the Job
Choosing the right end mill for the job depends on various factors such as the material being cut, the shape of the end mill, and the type of operation. For instance, a ball nose end mill would be more effective in creating 3D contours in softer materials like wood and plastic. A slot drill, on the other hand, is perfect for creating slots in a variety of materials.
The size of the end mill also plays a crucial role in selecting the right cutter. A large diameter end mill will have a longer reach and a higher cutting speed, but it will require more power to operate. On the other hand, a smaller diameter end mill will operate quicker and will require less power.
Another factor to consider is the number of flutes on the end mill. The flutes are the number of cutting edges per revolution of the cutter. The more flutes an end mill has, the smoother the finish it can achieve. However, they also reduce the chips’ evacuation, which can lead to clogging and reduced visibility.
In summary, selecting the right end mill for your project requires careful consideration of various factors such as the material being cut, the shape of the cutter, and the type of operation. Understanding the metrics and terminologies used in the manufacturing industry can help you make an informed decision on the type of cutter to use. Whether you are a professional machinist or a DIY enthusiast, utilizing the right end mill for your project can make all the difference in achieving a perfect finish.