Using Your Mill Drill Machine For Face & End Milling

Face & end milling are simple, essential operations that are easy to achieve with your mill drill

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End and face milling are the most common types of milling operations that you will carry out with your mill drill machine. Face milling is the process of machining a flat surface on a workpiece, and face mills are usually circular with cutting teeth on the end face and radius of the tool. End mills have cutting teeth on the face and the edge of the tool, which makes them suitable for cutting in a sideways direction.

End Milling

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With cutting teeth on the edge and face of the tool, end mills cut into the workpiece using the side of the tool as it rotates as well as being able to cut vertically if the cutter profile allows it. End mills are used for profiling, contouring, reaming, grinding, and slotting to create shapes and openings in the workpiece. 

The range of types, profiles, and sizes can be bewildering, but is because there are specific profiles that work extremely well for different, specific, applications. Some end mills can be used for face milling, to finish surfaces, but the comparatively smaller diameter of end mills makes them less well suited for this task.  

Face Milling

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End mills tend to look more like drill bits, with a screw-type ‘helix’ cutting edge when seen from the side. A face mill has a smooth, circular or cylindrical outer edge, because it only cuts with teeth on the end face or radius edge of the tool. 

Face mills give you the best results when they have a large diameter compared to the workpiece, which can make it possible to carry out a milling cut across the entire surface at each pass. Face milling allows you to make fine surface cuts to remove small volumes of metal and create excellent surface finishes.  

What are the differences between end mills and face mills?

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The designs of end and face mills reflect their use. End mills have cutting edges on both the ends and sides of the tool, but face mills carry out horizontal cutting by using cutting edges along the circumference or face of a circular tool. End mills can cut deep slots and pockets, but face mills can only be used to machine a surface. 

What are 4 main features of end mills?

  1. End mills rotate to make horizontal and sideways cuts whereas a drill bit only cuts straight down, vertically into the material.
  2. End mills are manufactured in different lengths, diameters, flutes and styles, designed to match the material to be cut and to achieve a specific surface finish.
  3. End mills are used to cut slots, make profiles and contours, and perform reaming and counter-boring.
  4. End mills enable high precision cutting in metals and non-metals for the manufacture of machine parts, molds, jewelry, tools, plastic parts and even electronics.

What are 5 features of face mills?

  1. Face mills are designed to cut and finish horizontal surfaces that are perpendicular to the axis of tool rotation
  2. Face mills create better finishes by having larger diameters than end mills for smoother, more stable, horizontal cutting
  3. Face mills cannot cut slots or make profiles, contours or carry out boring and drilling operations
  4. Face mills are used to achieve very flat, smooth or machine-textured surfaces 
  5. Face mills are often manufactured by fitting indexed blades to shell tools to achieve larger sizes than end mills

How to get the best results from face & end milling

The quality of results you get from your mill drill machine are always dependent on tooling selection, correct feed rates and chip clearance. Following these simple steps will minimize the need for time consuming hand finishing and problems caused by tool and workpiece damage from overheating and distortion.

What are 7 ways to get the best results from end milling & face milling?

  1. Use the the right cutting tool for the job
  2. Match feed rate of material to the specifications of the cutting tool
  3. Use the correct flute count for the cutting operation to improve chip removal and avoid overheating
  4. If you are working with hard materials or fast cutting consider using carbide tools
  5. If you need to use long tools, use the largest diameter tool possible for maximum rigidity, and ensure cutting speed and feed rate are correct to reduce tool deflection
  6. Correct coolant flows, lubrication and/or compressed air are all vital to clear chips and keep the cutting edge from becoming burnt or dulled
  7. Use as much of the cutting edge as possible rather than just small sections of it to distribute cutting stresses and heat over a larger area and extend tool life

How do you set up your mill drill for face & end milling?

Clamp your workpiece correctly before starting, and index your mill drill machine if necessary before you begin milling. Lubrication, milling and feed speed are all important considerations. Some roughing end mills are designed to operate at high speed, unlike many plain milling cutters, so be sure to check the specifications of your cutting tool when setting up your mill drill machine.

Rong Fu Mill Drill Machines For Face & End Milling

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The RF-31 seen here, is a good example of reliable Rong Fu mill drill machines that provide a sturdy and dependable solution for end milling and face milling tasks in a machining or maintenance workshop. 

With 3” face milling and ¾” end milling capacity in mild steel, the RF-31 offers better capacity than many competitor machines in a more compact, cost-effective package. The 360 degree swivel head adds versatility for a wider range of milling and drilling operations.
Contact us to discover the full rainge of Rong Fu mill drill machines and identify the best options for your milling and drilling requirements. We build our mill drill machines to the highest quality control standards and offer an unrivaled range of standard features and options tailored to your workflow.

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