Selecting the Right Tool for the Job

Use these questions and tips to guide you in selecting the best, most efficient tools for your work. Although the questions are specific to end milling, most machining operations have similar considerations.

  • What is the job?
  • What is the configuration of the part being worked on before cutting and the condition after the machining is done? This is important.
  • What machine has been selected?
    • Does it have adequate horsepower?
    • Is the fixture adequate?
    • Is it rigid and configured to minimize reach?
  • What are the finish considerations?
    • Is there a surface finish requirement which is measured?
    • Is a rough finish adequate?

Tips to Choosing and Caring for a Metal Cutting Tool

When job requirements do not dictate the size of the tool, try to use the largest diameter available, with the cutting length slightly exceeding, but as close as possible to the depth of the cut.

The machinability of the material being cut strongly influences the rate of metal removal.  Specific alloys require addressing tooth rake angle, chip removal rates, and length of cut, as well as surface feet per minute. Finish is highly dependent upon proper selection of speed and feeds.

Both helix angle and the number of cutting edges are important considerations when determining the right tool for specific applications. This is particularly important in long running production.

Consistency of machining is more important than maximizing the efficiency of individual elements. Tool life, as an example, can be extended by reducing speed, but production minutes will suffer.  It’s best to re-sharpen tools at a predetermined time in production.  This ensures maximum removal rates, reduces the chance of work piece damage and improves the number of regrinds.

For production of today’s materials, the selection of the appropriate surface coating will greatly enhance productivity.

To speak to a Regal representative about choosing the proper tools for your work, contact us now.