One of the main features or characteristics of a face milling cutters is that it generally has a large diameter and many cutting edges (teeth). This is to ensure that it can effectively and efficiently carry out machining of wide planes or faces.
In the past blade type brazed tools were used but recently there has been more of a focus on reducing tool costs and improving machining accuracy and as such most face milling cutters now use indexable inserts with wedge type clamping or screw-on type clamping.
There are various types of face milling cutters. The correct cutter is chosen according to workpiece material hardness, depth of cut, and the geometry of the work needed to be machined.
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Face milling cutters are divided into the 2 groups. Plain milling cutters that have a lead angle other than 90° and shoulder milling cutters that have a lead angle of 90°. Selecting of a tool depends on the machining method or application to be carried out.
If a 90°, right angle is required then a shoulder milling type is used. When carrying out machining that does not require a right angle then a plain milling cutter is suitable. This is because, at the same depth of cut and feed per tooth, the plain milling cutter with a larger corner angle develops thinner chips and as such the impact or load on the cutting edge as it engages with the workpiece is reduced.
Comparison of chip thickness
X=Feed per tooth