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Newbie question what end mills to get

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  • Newbie question what end mills to get

    I got myself a clausing mill and want to get a set of end mills to learn how to use the machine. They sell sets of mills in 2 flute and 4 flute. They also have Cobalt and tiN coated. What is a good chioce to start off with. What's the difference between them. I'm looking to get a set from 1/8" to 1/2" or 3/4". Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    Just starting off, I'd suggest you get the "quality imports" while you're learning because you ARE going to destroy a few in the process and it's less traumatic to whack a $7 endmill than it is a $20 endmill. Eventually, you'll probably find that the name-brand (Weldon, Putnam, Niagara) are worth the extra money, but starting off I think you'll do fine with imports.

    Two-flute end mills are better for cutting slots than 4-flute. You'll probably get a slightly better finish with 4-flute. As far as cobalt, TiN, etc., they make the end mill more wear-resistant so it will last longer.

    On the TiN coating though, I have a suspicion that the TiN coating on cheap endmills is an attempt to "powder the pig" and make the endmills appear better than they really are. If an endmill is bad to begin with, putting TiN coating on it won't fix it.

    Check the sales flyers from Travers , MSC , etc. Endmills of one sort or another are on sale all the time.

    [This message has been edited by SGW (edited 03-21-2005).]
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    • #3
      The Clausing is a great little knee mill. You can use up to a half inch shank end mill in the MT2 collets. If you want to use an endmill larger than 1/2" you will need to find reduced shank endmills, they are out there but are not real common. Be careful with the larger endmills taking large cuts, the machine has its limitations. The Enco sale flyer always has some sale endmills from far off countries that work fine for hobby work. I prefer to buy centercutting endmills so that I can plunge into work if needed.


      • #4

        Generally, 2 flute end mills are for aluminum, 4 flute for steels.
        The TiN coated ones won't gum up on aluminum as fast if you are not using coolant.
        I got a cheap set of TiN coated end mills when I started out. It had 2 & 4 flute of various sizes. Worked great for learning.
        Carbide is expensive but is a lot harder and lasts longer. M42/Cobalt is in the middle as far as hardness.



        • #5
          Thanks for the info. I ordered a set of imported 2 flute and 4 flute end mills just to try out. I was trying to use some old ones that I got with the machine. They were pretty well shot. I took one and tried to sharpen it just to see what would happen. It was way better just from me sharpening it by hand. So I know if I get new ones they have to be a lot better than what I have. I'm just trying to cut down a block of soft steel I have to see how the machine works.