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Thread: 2 or 4 flute end mills

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    25

    Question 2 or 4 flute end mills

    Looking to by my first set of end mills. What should a beginner buy 2 or 4 flute? My projects for now will be mild steel and aluminum. Thanks all.

    ------------------
    Matt
    Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Nottingham, England
    Posts
    15,218

    Post

    Doesn't really matter but if you are doing a lot of alloy then the 2 flute clear chips better than 4 flute. Just make sure you get centre cutting ones. Most 2 flute are, some of the older 4 flute aren't and so you can't plunge.

    John S.
    .

    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.




  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    563

    Post

    If you can afford it, buy 2 and 4 flutes of each size...3 flutes in my opinion are the best...

    Either 2, 3, or 4 flutes will all do the job just great...

    brent

  4. #4
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    I've had bad experience with machining aluminum using 4 flute. Perhaps I didn't get the speed right (although with 2 flute at the same speed the problem disappeard), but instead of making nice chips it was making mashed potato.

    If I had to choose between owning only 1 set, it would be 2 flute. As Brent noted, I too have heard good things about 3 flute endmills but have never used it myself.

    Albert

  5. #5

    Post

    For slotting two's are better because there is not that flute in the front pushing the spindle and mill over.
    Also more chip clearance.
    For facing and side cutting I'd use a four fluter.
    You get smoother cutting action with more flutes.
    Some machinists claim four flute mills are stronger becauce of a larger root. This may be true but I'm not convinced because of loss of chip clearance and extra cutting forces on more flutes.
    You pays your money and takes your choice.
    metal

  6. #6

    Thumbs up

    Two flute are the stongest. Four flute is nice to finish machine as it gives slightly better surface texture. Three flute are a comprimise between the two and commonly used in machining Aluminum at very high speeds - their cost is usually much higher than two ro four flute. If you can afford only one set get the two flute center cutting endmills in M-42 or T-15 HSS. Surface coating is not a requirement TiAlCN is the best all round choice (great with cast iron) but TiN is much cheaper. Buy good US or British made endmills - the cheap imports are not a good bargain most of the time. You can always just buy the sizes you need as you need them to cut initial sticker shock.

  7. #7
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    Hi Thud,

    You made me thinking about HSS as it refer to home machinist. I remember reading that unless you're cutting very hard material or doing production work, other HSS (as you mentioned M-42 or T-15) do not offer much advantage over the regular M2. Is this true? How does this apply to HSS toolbit for the lathe?

    Albert

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    1

    Post

    Important point to remember is that you should never cut an open ended slot with a four flute mill. If you do it will probably break when it emerges at the end of the slot.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    801

    Post

    sauniere,
    you're right about those slots. Sounds like experience talking.

    Albert
    Some American brand of endmill is good for starting out.
    If you're new you'll likely chip them before you wear them out.
    Some of the imports don't have proper clearance.

    lathe tools
    pick up a handful of those used lathe tools at the flea market, some momaxes, rex xxx ,all high speed steel.
    They usually go for $.5to $1.5 each and they will do most of what you need.
    A small radius and nice lip will cut most iron alloys, and aluminum like butter.
    Leave them flat on top for cast iron brass, and bronze.
    A couple of brazed carbides are good for scaley castings.
    You're not doing hastelloy, 4140 preheat, or 17-4 ph in the home shop much.
    Kappullen

    [This message has been edited by kap pullen (edited 03-11-2002).]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    506

    Post

    John,
    You mentioned "center cutting". How do I know if my cutters are that type?

    Thanks.

    ------------------
    RPease
    RPease

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