Types of Milling Cutters and Their Uses,Cutting Principle,Feed

Hello friends, Today we are going to discuss types of milling cutters and their uses.

Along with types of milling cutters and their uses, we will also know the cutting Principle, cutting speed, and feed of milling cutters.

Milling cutters are the most important part of the milling machine because through milling cutters different types of surfaces are produced like flat, plane, horizontal and also used for making a gear, slot, grooves.

Before knowing the types of milling cutters and their uses first of all I suggest you read the milling machine and their parts, types, operations which I have already discussed in the previous article.

So, without wasting time let's know different types of milling cutters and their uses.

What is Milling Cutters?

Milling cutters are the multipoint cutting tools used in milling machines to produced different variety of products like slots, grooves, gear, and much more.

Types of Milling Cutters and Their Uses

There are the following types of milling cutters and their uses described below in detail.
  • Plain Milling Cutters 
  • Face Milling Cutter
  • Side milling cutter
  • Angle Milling Cutters
  • 'T' Slot Milling Cutter
  • Form Relieving Cutter
  • Gang Milling Cutter
  • Formed Milling Cutter
  • End Mill Cutter
  • Metal Slitting Saw
  • Fly Cutter
  • Inserted Tooth Milling Cutter 
  • Woodruff Key Slot Milling Cutter
  • Tap and Reamer Cutter  
  • Solid Cutter
  • Tipped Solid Cutter

Show in the figure different types of milling cutters and their uses described below.

types of milling cutters and their uses
Types of Milling Cutters

Plain Milling Cutters 

Plain milling cutters are cylindrical in shape and have a tooth only on the periphery surface  

These types of milling cutters are used for producing flat, plane, and horizontal surfaces.

Plain milling cutters can be categorized into the following types:
  • Light duty plane milling cutters
  • Heavy duty plane milling cutters
  • Helical milling cutter

See in figure types of plain milling cutters

types of milling cutters and their uses
Types of Plain Milling Cutter

Light duty plane milling cutters

These types of milling cutters have a face width of less than 20 mm and have straight teeth parallel to the axis.  

In light duty plane milling cutters, helical teeth are made on large size cutters whose angle of helix is less than 25 °.

Heavy duty plane milling cutters

Helical teeth are made on heavy duty plane milling cutters and these cutters are used for heavy duty work.  

Their teeth have a helix angle range of 25 ° to 45°.

Helical milling cutters

Helical milling cutters have a course pitch and the tooth helix angle has a range of 45 ° to 60 °.

Face Milling Cutter

Face milling cutters are made with a large diameter of cutters and it is bolted or fastened with the spindle nose.

It is used in a face milling operation where flat surfaces are produced.

Side milling cutter  

The teeth on the side milling cutter are on its periphery and also on one or both sides. 

This type of milling cutter cuts the metal from the work side.

It is used to perform side milling operations.

There are the following types of side milling cutters:
  • Plane side milling cutters  
  • Staggered Teeth side milling cutter
  • Half Side Milling Cutter
  • Interlocking Side Milling Cutter

Angle Milling Cutters

Angle milling cutters are similar to single or double angle cutters used for any angle machining other than 90 °.

These types of milling cutters are used for performing an angular milling operation.

T Slot Milling Cutter

This is a special form of end mill for making a 'T' slot.  

The teeth are formed on the circumference and both sides of the cutter.


Form Relieving Cutter

These types of milling cutters are mostly used to cut gear.

The form relieving cutter can be a cylindrical type or end mill type.

Now, shown in the figure some other types of milling cutters and their uses are described below.

types of milling cutters and their uses
Types of Milling Cutter

Gang Milling Cutter

The gang milling cutter is the type of milling cutter where several surfaces are machined on the workpiece.

Formed Milling Cutter  

Irregular profiles are formed on the cutting edges of the formed cutters, which can lead to irregular outlines on the work.  

Different types of standard formed cutters are as follows:
  • Convex milling cutter
  • Concave milling cutter 
  • Corner milling cutter
  • Gear cutter 
  • Thread milling cutter

End Mill Cutter

Cutting teeth on end mill cutters are made at its ends and periphery.  

These cutters are used for the milling of small faces, slots, profiles, etc. 

There are straight shanks or taper shanks on end mill cutters.

Metal Slitting Saw  

Metal slitting saw milling cutters similar to a plane milling cutter but their width is very small.

These cutters are used for parting off operations or slotting.

Fly Cutter

This is a simple cutter form that is used for tool room work. 

It has a single point cutting tool that is attached to one end of the arbor.

Inserted Tooth Milling Cutter  

The teeth of this cutter are made from alloy tool steel or carbide and are mechanically added or brazed to the correct location by screws set along the body.  

These are suitable for more expensive cutter materials such as carbide.  

Woodruff Key Slot Milling Cutter  

These are small size standard cutters used to make woodruff 'key' slots. 

These milling cutter cuts have shanks with straight or staggered teeth.

Tap and Reamer Cutter  

These are special types of double angle cutters that are used to make grooves or flutes in taps or reamers.  

Solid Cutter 

Its teeth are cut along the body of the cutter.

Tipped Solid Cutter

This is similar to a solid cutter, the only difference being that the cutter's teeth are with cemented carbide or stellite tip which are brazed on the tool shanks of the cutter body of ordinary tool steel. 

Cutting Principle of Milling Cutters in Milling Machine

Arbor is rotated in any direction, but the tool will only cut in one direction, so it should be checked that the direction used is correct according to the tool.  

There are two cutting principles 
  • Up Milling
  • Down Milling

Up Milling

Up milling is mostly used.  

In this method, the work moves in the opposite direction of the rotation of the cutter.  

The chip first cuts through the thin spot of the workpiece.  

Down Milling

Down milling is used only where it is needed.

In this, work and tools move in the same direction.  

The chip cuts first from the rough position.  

This method is suitable for thin workpieces because the machine's table presses slowly on the workpiece.  

This method is also useful for deep cuts.

Cutting Speed of Milling Cutter

The cutting speed of milling cutters is the speed at which the circumference of the cutter moves as much as in meters per minute when machining a certain metal. 

The following factors must be kept in mind to determine the cutting speed.
  • Material to be machined 
  • Types of milling cutter 
  • The required finish  
  • The depth of a cut
  • The workpiece and the soundness of the machine. 

Following is the formula to determine the cutting speed in meter per minute  -

V = πDN/1000


V = Cutting speed (m/min)

D = Diameter of milling cutter(in meter)

N = Milling cutter speed (in rpm)

Feed of Milling Cutters

Feed is the rate at which a rotating cutter enters the work, which is measured in mm per minute. The chip is the amount of metal per tooth in which as much of the metal is cut by each tooth as the moving cutter enters.  

The milling feed can be determined by multiplying the required chip size by the number of teeth in the cutter and the cutter's circle per minute. 

The main assumption in milling is that, because multi-round cutting tools are used, high speed and light feeds should be used as far as possible.

Following is the formula to determine feed of milling cutter in mm per minute -

F = f×n×N


F = Feed rate (mm/minute)

f = Feed per tooth

n = No of teeth on the milling cutter

N = Rotational speed of milling cutter

So, we discussed here different types of milling cutters and their uses as well as cutting principle, cutting speed, and feed of milling cutter.

I hope you all like this post.

Thank You.

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