Trying to increase the efficiency of your machining operation, or even starting your milling operation in the back of your garage, always pops up in our minds when our passion leads us into the manufacturing world.
We know we want to craft our own pieces, and can´t look at a chunk of wood or metal without imagining the wonders hiding under all that material.
If you´re anything like me, you´re always on the lookout for new tools and bits to help you carve out perfectly polished pieces with fewer passes, thus saving money on bits and other tools. However, every tool has specific uses, and we want to find the ones we would be using the most if we want to save money and time.
Carbide-coated tools are an excellent choice when machining cast iron, alloys, non-ferrous metals, and hardwood. They are sharper and their particularly high heat resistance makes them the weapon of choice for those who need to increase their RPMs and feed rates when going through a lot of material. Carbide end mill sets offer extra rigidity, making them extremely accurate and reducing the risk of chatter when engaging hard surfaces.
Additionally, given the sharpness and speed carbide tools offer, they always leave a more polished finish. They are especially good for cutting hardwood as carbide goes easy on the grain. The same goes with metal, leaving shiny and smooth grooves and edges in one pass.
Should I Buy a Carbide End Mill Set or Only One?
Most people working with CNC or lathes will tell others to only buy their end mills one at a time depending on the project at hand. Of course, they have accumulated a huge collection of drill bits and tools over the years. This means they can afford to purchase a specific end mill without worrying about not having the right tool at hand may they encounter unexpected complications.
Most of us are better off starting with a high-quality carbide end mill set. If you choose the right one, it will cover any situation and last long enough to be used combined with other tools you come across in the future.
If you´re worried about quality when purchasing sets of end mills, don´t be. Unlike drill bits, which are produced en-masse, end mills are not a hardware store commodity. They are produced in small quantities, making them much more consistent in terms of quality. Just make sure you find trusted manufacturers, preferably grounded in the US, so the quality of their tools follow strict standards and you´ll be gold.
What if I will only need specific end mills such as dovetails or round noses?
These are tools with very specific uses so you might not find them as part of regular carbide end mill sets sold by distributors. They tend to be more expensive and only be useful over a very narrow range of sizes, making them bad candidates for universal application.
However, you can always contact tool manufacturers like carbide online. They specialize in crafting top-quality cutting tools at affordable prices. We recommend you give them a call at 630.238.1424 and explain what project you have in mind. They will certainly help put a carbide end mill set together.