Indexable End Mill – Is It the Right Choice?

by | Feb 14, 2017 | Business

Whether you use CNC milling methods or standard milling, choosing the right cutting tools is one of the most important choices you can make. For example, should you go with a solid or indexable end mill tool? Here is information to help you make an informed decision.

What Are End Mills?

End mills (milling cutters) are commonly used to shape parts. You can remove a lot of material at one time with this method. You have two basic choices for milling cutters. You may use a solid or indexable end mill. ‘Indexable’ means the tool has an insert, which is adjustable for a variety of different size cuts.

Solid Milling Cutters

Most machine shops have many solid cutters on hand. They are very useful when cutting standard sizes or performing general milling work. Because the cutter is solid, there are few vibrations to be concerned with during the process of milling. In fact, many shops today prefer solid milling cutters because they deliver the fewest vibrations. For low speed and low horsepower operations, this is very beneficial.

Indexable End Mill

Indexable or adjustable milling cutters are popular shop tools for a number of reasons. The cutting inserts are adjustable to accommodate different sizes. In addition, when the insert becomes dull, it is easily changed. There is no need to grind the tool or replace it. This strategy can save your shop quite a bit of downtime.

You have more variety with the indexable end mill. For instance, you may want to use high speed steel cutters for some operations and carbide for others. Instead of changing tools, you only need to change out the insert. It is much cheaper to purchase carbide inserts than carbide tipped or solid carbide cutters. If your shop has a limited budget, adjustable milling cutters may be the best option.

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