End mills with two flutes are often used to cut grooves or slots. Because it can drive vertically into the workpiece, this mill is also known as a plunge mill. The bit's cutting end contains two blades of differing lengths. They intersect at an angle, creating a V-shaped groove when they meet the material being cut.
Two-flute end mills are commonly used to cut channels in metal, but they can also be used to cut holes or other shapes. These operations are called surface treatments. End mills with two straight edges are used to smooth and polish wooden surfaces, while those with four sharp corners are used to carve decorative designs into wood products.
End mills with three or more flutes are used in precision engineering and manufacturing applications where very small cuts are needed. These mills have extremely sharp cutting edges that can slice through hard materials such as steel or titanium.
End mills are available from several different manufacturers with varying levels of quality and price point. It is important to choose an end mill that has a diameter large enough to produce the results you need. Lower quality mills may not hold their shape well and will dull quickly when cutting difficult materials. Higher quality mills may be more expensive, but they will last longer.
The two-flute end mill is one of the most common types of end mills used by hobbyists and professionals alike.
End mills have traditionally been available in two flute or four flute configurations. The commonly recognized rule of thumb was to machine aluminum and non-ferrous materials with two flutes and steel and tougher alloys with four flutes. This is no longer true today when most commercial mills can be fitted with either 2 or 4 flutes.
Modern end mills are made out of tool steel or high speed steel and are hardened by heat treating or nitriding. They usually have a diameter of between 1/4" and 3", although some 6" end mills have been manufactured. End mills are attached to their host tool using either a broaching process or a welding operation. Broached tools are cheaper than welded ones but require careful maintenance to keep them working properly. Welded tools can be used indefinitely if cared for properly.
Aluminum has many properties that make it difficult to work with, especially when cutting thick sections. Because of this, aluminum is generally cut with harder materials such as steel or wood. However, because aluminum is so lightweight, it can also be cut with softer materials such as brass or bronze. In fact, some people say that aluminum is easier to cut with these soft metals because the surface tension helps lift the metal away from the workpiece.
Because aluminum has less strength than other materials, its thicker sections tend to be weaker.
However, these considerations only go so far in determining which tool to use and when. This is because end mills cut faster with more effective removal of material when they are sharpened.
These days, many manufacturers offer both types of end mills for the same application. Some prefer using one type of end mill on soft materials and another on hard materials. It all comes down to personal preference and experience. If you're a beginning user, we recommend starting out with 2-flute end mills on softer materials and then moving up to 4-flute end mills as you gain experience.
Here's an example of how end mills are used: Imagine that you need to make ten identical holes in your workpiece. A regular end mill would be enough to do the job, but it would take too long because each hole needs to be drilled individually. However, a rotary cutting tool can cut multiple holes at once by using a bit that makes several passes across the material.
In this case, a rotary cutting tool is more efficient than a conventional end mill because it reduces the amount of time needed to complete the project. Rotary cutters come in various sizes and shapes for different applications.