Chamfer end mills, also known as chamfer mills or chamfer cutters, are among the cutting tools most commonly used in everyday applications by machinists. Chamfer end mills, also known as chamfer mills or chamfer cutters, are among the cutting tools most commonly used in everyday applications by machinists.
The process of machining metals often leaves roughed, burred edges and other surfaces, and chamfer mills are predominantly used to remove these rough edges, leaving smoother edges and a more polished, refined finished product.
Chamfer end mills also have a variety of other uses in machining, some of which will be covered in this short post.
Chamfer End Mills for Chamfering and Beveling
The two primary applications of chamfer end mills are for chamfering and beveling, which, though the two terms are often used interchangeably, are not quite the same thing.
Beveling is the process of removing a squared-off end by cutting away one corner at an angle, so that one face of the material slopes down at a degree specified by the chamfer mill until it meets the other face.
Chamfering is slightly different. In chamfering (or corner chamfering), the mill only cuts away a portion of the squared-off edge of the material. Basically, the only difference between a chamfer and a bevel is that a chamfer results in two new surfaces whereas a bevel produces only one. Often, the same cutting tool can perform both functions.
To perform both chamfering and beveling, chamfer mills are commonly manufactured in a range of different cutting angles. Two of the most common chamfer mills are 60° and 90° mills, although there are also chamfer mills with 120° cutting edges.
Other Applications of Chamfer End Mills
In addition to chamfering and beveling, chamfer end mills have a wide range of other machining applications.
When metals are cut, often the edge of the metal workpiece is covered in many tiny, sharp projections called burrs. Burrs decrease the quality of a finished workpiece and should be removed. By passing a chamfer mill along the edge of a workpiece, these burrs can easily and swiftly be removed in a process known as deburring.
Spotting is the process of creating a small “spot” in a workpiece to mark the place where another drill mill will be used to complete a hole. Spotting is often performed because creating a depression in the material to be drilled creates a guide for the other drill mill and decreases the chances that it will deflect or walk on the surface.
Chamfer mills can also be used to countersink holes. This process can often be completed while spotting, simply by driving the chamfer mill slightly further into the workpiece. The purpose of a countersink is to allow screws or bolts to sit flush with the surface of the workpiece to create a smooth surface.
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