15 Cutting Choices of Tungsten Carbide End Mills

Carbide End Mills
The importance of choose carbide end mills in machining is self-evident, learn to choose carbide end mills can help your work efficient.

1、The most important thing in machining is tungsten carbide end mills

Any tungsten carbide end mill that stops working means that production has come to a halt. But that doesn't mean that every tungsten carbide end mill has the same importance. Carbide cutters with the longest cutting and processing time have a greater impact on the production cycle, so on the same premise, this carbide end mills should be given more attention. Attention should also be paid to carbide end mills that require the tightest tolerances for machining critical components and machining tolerances. In addition, focus should be placed on carbide end mills with relatively poor chip control, such as drills, grooving cutters, and threaded machined carbide end mills. Because poor chip control can cause downtime.

2、Matched to the machine tools

Carbide end mills are divided into right-handed and left-handed cutters, so it is important to choose the right one. In general, right-handed carbide end mills are suitable for counterclockwise (CCW) tooling machines (looking along the spindle); left-handed carbide end mills are suitable for clockwise (CW) tooling machines. If you have several milling machines, some clamping left-handed carbide end mills, others left- and right-handed compatible, then choose left-handed tungsten carbide cutters. And for milling, people usually tend to go for the more versatile carbide end mills. But even though these carbide end mills cover a wider range of machining, you immediately lose the rigidity of the carbide end mills, increase the bending deformation of the carbide end mills, reduce the cutting parameters, and are more prone to machining vibrations. In addition, the robot for the tool machine to replace the tungsten cutter also limits the size and weight of the carbide end mills.

3、Match with the material to be processed

Carbon steel is the most common material to be machined in machining, so most tungsten carbide end mills are based on optimized carbon steel machining designs. The grade of end mills must be selected according to the material to be processed. Manufacturers of carbide end mills offer a range of cutter bodies and mating cutters for machining non-ferrous materials such as high temperature alloys, titanium alloys, aluminum, composites, plastics and pure metals. When you need to process the above material, choose a tungsten carbide end mill with a matching material. The vast majority of brands carry a variety of series of tungsten steel end mills, marked with an indication of what material is suitable for machining.

4、Tungsten carbide end mills specifications

A common mistake is that the size of the carbide end mills selected is too small and the size of the carbide end mills too large. The stiffness is better with larger cutters; the larger cutters are not only more expensive but also take longer to cut. Overall, the price of large specification carbide end mills is higher than small specification carbide end mills.

5、Select the interchangeable end mills or resharpened carbide end mills

The principle to follow is simple: avoid resharpening carbide end mills as much as possible. With the exception of a few drills and solid end mills, choose as many interchangeable or interchangeable cutter type tungsten carbide end mills as possible when conditions permit. This will save lots of money on labor while getting a stable cutting results.

6、Material and grade of tungsten carbide end mills

The choice of material and grade of carbide end mills is closely related to the performance of the material to be processed, the maximum speed and the feed rate of the machine. Choose a more common carbide end mills number for the material group to be machined, usually with a coated alloy number. Refer to the "Recommended Chart for Grade Application" from the supplier of carbide end mills. In practice, a common mistake is to try to solve the carbide end mill life problem by replacing similar material grades from other manufacturers of carbide end mills. If your existing carbide end mills is not ideal, then switching to another manufacturer's grade that is close is likely to bring similar results. To solve the problem, the cause of failure of the carbide end mills must be identified.

7、Power rate requirements

The guiding principle is to make the most of what you have. If you have purchased a milling machine with a power rate of 20hp, then, where the workpiece and clamps allow, select the appropriate tungsten carbide cutter and machining parameters to achieve 80% of the tool machine's power utilization. Pay special attention to the power/rotation table in the machine's user manual to select a carbide end mills for better cutting applications based on the effective power range of the machine's power.

8、Flute of cutting edges

Buying twice as many durable carbide end mills does not mean paying twice as much. Over the past decade, advanced designs have led to innovations in the flute of cutting edges for grooving cutters, cut-off cutters and some end mills. It is common to replace a carbide end mills with an advanced 8 cutting flute instead of 4 cutting flute. Increasing the flute of effective cutting edges also has a direct impact on table feed and productivity.

9、Choose the overall cutters or the modular cutters

Small cutters are more suitable for integral design; large cutters are more suitable for modular design. For large format cutters, when a cutter fails, users often want to simply replace a small and inexpensive part and get a new cutter again. This is especially true for grooving cutters and drills.

10、Choose a single cutter or a multifunctional cutter

The smaller the workpiece, the more suitable the compound cutters. For example, a multifunctional cutter for compound drilling, turning, bore machining, thread machining and chamfering. Of course, the more complex the workpiece, the more suitable it is for multifunctional cutters. A tooling machine will only bring you revenue when it's cutting, not when it's down.

11、Select standard or non-standard special carbide end mills

With the popularity of CNC machining centers, it is generally accepted that workpiece shapes can be programmed rather than relying on carbide end mills, thus eliminating the need for non-standard custom carbide end mills. And in fact, non-standard carbide end mills still account for 15% of total carbide end mills sales today. Why? The use of special carbide end mills meets the precise dimensional requirements of the workpiece, reducing processes and shortening machining cycles. For high-volume production, non-standard special carbide end mills can be used to shorten machining cycles and reduce costs.

12、Chip control

Remember, your intent is to machine the workpiece, not the chips, but the chips can clearly reflect the cutting state of the carbide end mills. Overall, there is a stigma about chip because most people are not trained to interpret chip. Remember the following principle: good chips don't destroy the process; bad chips do the opposite.
Most carbide end mills are designed with chip breakers, which are designed according to the feed rate, both for light-cutting finishing and for heavy-cutting roughing.
The smaller the chip, the harder it is to break. For difficult materials, chip control is a major problem. Although the material to be machined cannot be replaced, the carbide end mills can be updated to adjust the cutting speed, feed rate, depth of cut, rounding radius of the tip, etc. Optimizing the chip, optimizing the process is the result of a combined selection.


When faced with carbide end mill, workpieces and CNC machining tools, it is often necessary to define the path of the carbide end mill. Ideally, understand the basic machine code and have an advanced CAM software package. carbide end mill path must take into account carbide end mill characteristics such as beveling angle, direction of rotation, feed, cutting speed, etc. Each carbide end mill is programmed with corresponding technology to shorten machining cycles, improve chip removal and reduce cutting forces. A good CAM software package can save labor and increase productivity.

14、Choose an innovative carbide end mill or a conventional mature carbide end mill

At the current rate of development of advanced technology, the productivity of cutting carbide end mills can be innovative every 10 years. Comparing the cutting parameters of today's carbide end mills recommended 10 years ago, you will find that today's carbide end mill can double the machining efficiency while reducing the cutting rate by 30%. The new carbide end mill alloy base is stronger and more resilient, allowing for higher cutting speeds and lower cutting forces. The chip breakers and grades are less application specific and more versatile. At the same time, modern carbide end mills have increased versatility and modularity, which together reduce inventory and expand carbide end mills applications. The development of carbide end mills also led to new product designs and machining concepts, such as Tyrant cutters with both turning and grooving functions, large feed carbide end mill, which promoted high-speed machining, micro-lubrication cooling (MQL) machining and hard turning technology. For these and other reasons, you also need to keep up to date with the latest advanced carbide end mill technology by following the most preferred processing method, otherwise you risk falling behind.


The price of carbide end mills is important, but not as important as the cost of production due to carbide end mills. Although carbide end mills have their corresponding prices, the real value of carbide end mills lies in the duties performed for productivity. Usually, the lowest priced carbide end mills are the carbide end mills that cause the highest production costs. The price of cutting carbide end mills is only 3% of the cost of the part. So be concerned about the production rate of carbide end mills, not their purchase price.