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M2-Al tooling?

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  • M2-Al tooling?

    I have used Carbide and Cobalt endmills in my milling machine with great results. Carbide & Cobalt tooling can get expensive. I have seen catalogs advertising M2-Al alloy endmills for about half the price of traditional Cobalt alloy tooling. Does anyone have any experience with M2-Al tooling? Does it really have the same properties as M-42?

  • #2
    I've used a small M2-Al endmill some time ago, and as I recalled it was similar to regular HSS in terms of maintaining the edges sharp. This is definitely anecdotal at best, but I didn't think M2-Al lasted as long as M-42 in cutting mild steel.

    For endmills, I have settled on either buy import HSS or domestic carbide.



    • #3
      M2 is just one of many high-speed steel alloys. I think it is a general-purpose, middle-of-the-road alloy. Good for machining mild steel, etc, and not as expensive as some of the other HSS alloys.

      Dunno about the M2-Al designation.

      You can look up the analysis and properties of HSS alloys. I've never worried about it too much. I've found M2 is pretty good; the more expensive ones (M42, T15, etc.) stand up somewhat better. Since I'm not concerned with maximum production rates, it isn't a big deal for me.

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      • #4
        M2 is a general purpose HSS of about 64C hardness. M42 is tougher and holds it edge better and is much harder 70C. T-15 has a higher red hardness than the M series and is better for heavy duty use or interupted cuts.

        Although cheaper, the M2 bits may be false economy - much like the difference between a superior drill bit and an low grade import. Something to consider.