Metal cutting tools and metal cutting machines are the heart of any precision metal working industry including sheet metal stamping die manufacturing industries. From the simple hardened steel tools the metal cutting tool technology has developed a long way. Today the various materials used for making metal cutting tools include high carbon steel tools, high speed steel (HSS cutting tools). Furthermore extreme hard cutting tool materials like carbide, ceramic and diamond are used to improve machining quality and productivity. These materials are used in manufacturing a wide variety of cutting tools from raw material cutting saws to precision CNC milling cutters. Let’s examine some of these metal cutting tools in detail.
Types of Cutting Tools
First of all, let’s take a look at the various types tools used for metal cutting operations. The most commonly used metal cutting tools are, hand tools like hacksaw, files, chisel, taps, reamers, thread cutting dies. And cutting tools used on machines like drills, center drills, turning tools, milling cutters, slitting saws, cutting tool inserts. In addition modern metal cutting machine tools like edm machining, wire cutting (wire edm), waterjet cutting etc requires special tools.
Lathe Turning Tools
Turning is metal cutting operation performed on a lathe machine to remove excess material from a work piece to produce cylindrical shaped parts. Since lathe machine is one of the most common machine in any metalworking facility, turning tools widely used. Turning tools are made of high speed steel or carbide insert tools. Other cutting tools used on a lathe machine includes thread cutting tool, parting tool and recessing tool. Also hole making operations make use of centering tools, drills and boring tool.
Drilling is another commonly used machining process where a rotating drill bit is used for making holes on work piece. Twist drills are probably the most widely used type of drill bit. You can see a detailed guide on drill bits here.
These cutters are made out of high speed steel or carbide. The carbide milling cutters can be, whole solid carbide cutters like carbide end mills or carbide insert milling cutters. Milling cutters come in different sizes and shapes depending upon the type of milling machine and milling operation to be performed. End mills, shell end mills, slab milling cutters, carbide insert milling cutters etc are examples of various types of milling cutters.