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What is an End Mill Used for?

By John Sunshine
Updated May 17, 2024
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An end mill is a tool used on a milling machine, a machine found in a metal working shop that is used to remove material from a metal block to make it into a finished part. It is one of the tools used on the milling machine to make a particular type of cut.

End mills come in single ended and double ended varieties. A single ended one has only one useful working end; the other end is just a smooth shank for holding the tool in the tooling holder on the milling machine. A double ended one has two useful working ends. When one end becomes dull and no longer useful, it can be installed such that the opposite end can be used.

These tools are made of carbide steels, with the cutting surfaces sometimes made entirely of carbides. It is also common for end mills to be coated with a very thin layer of titanium nitrate. Titanium nitrate is a gold colored coating that prevents the metal chips being removed from the part from sticking to the tool, reducing its life and the quality of the cut. End mills come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. To those unfamiliar with metal machining, it will look like an odd drill bit.

While this tool can be used to drill a hole, its function is much larger than that. In many ways, a milling machine with an end mill is very similar to a router in wood working. It can be used to cut blind holes or grooves, bevel edges, cut a flat edge, and make holes in a block of material. It can also be used to make bearing raceways and cylinders. You cannot make a square hole with an end mill, but you can make a square post. When coupled with a milling machine, it is possibly the most versatile machine in the shop.

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Discussion Comments
By alvin07158 — On Oct 28, 2013

An end mill is a kind of cutting tool used on a milling machine, and mostly on a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling machine. According to the different shape of the end, the end mill is separated into different types, like a square type endmill, ball type endmill, nose type end mill and so on.

By danny0324 — On Jul 07, 2010

The gashing on the end of an end mill is for chip evacuation. Especially when plunging or when milling only using a small depth of cut.

By satyasig — On May 02, 2008

hello sir,

i want know why gashing and notching operation is done on end mill? what is dog leg in end mill?

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