6 Common Cutting Tools in the Machine Industry & Their Applications

A cutting tool in metalworking is used for ‘machining’ - a type of manufacturing process where excess material is gradually sheared off in the form of a chip from a preformed blank. Cutting may be accomplished by single-point or multipoint tools. Single-point tools are used in turning, shaping, and similar operations, and remove material by means of one cutting edge while multipoint tools are used for milling and drilling or grinding.

Requirements for a Cutting Material

In order to perform an effective cutting operation, the cutting tool must be made of a material harder than the work material itself. The tool must also be able to endure the heat generated during machining. Often times, a cutter is wedge-shaped having a sharp edge, for smoothly and efficiently removing material applying minimum strength.

The tool must be designed according to a specific geometry, with clearance angles designed so that the cutting edge can contact the workpiece without the rest of the tool dragging on the workpiece surface, for effective cutting and smooth surface finish. According to the tool geometry, the cutting tools can be classified into solid cutting tools and carbide tipped tools. MK Industrial Suppliers, a leader in the industrial tool supply business for over 3 decades, presents you a list of cutting tools that are most commonly employed in the metal industry.

Types of Cutting Tools According to Their Applications

  1. Reamer

A reamer is a type of rotary cutting tool used in metalworking. ‘Reaming’ means to enlarge a hole. It is used to add finishing to the hole opened by a drill according to the required accuracy. Precision reamers are designed to enlarge the size of a previously formed hole by a small amount but with a high degree of accuracy to leave smooth sides. Non-precision reamers are used for basic enlargement of holes or for removing burrs. A burr is a raised edge or small piece of material which has remained attached to the workpiece after modification.

  1. Drill

A drilling machine is primarily used for cutting round holes into wall, metal, wood, etc or even for driving fasteners. This task is accomplished using a ‘drill bit’ which comes in various diameters and material composition to drill holes accordingly. MK industrial suppliers provide a range of Guhring drills which are best in class.

  1. Milling cutters

Milling is a cutting process where a cutter is used to remove the material from the surface of a metal or workpiece. It has multiple cutting edges on the outer surface or the end face of a disk or cylindrical body to cut the workpiece while rotating. Milling cutters are typically used in milling machines or machining centers to perform milling operations. Kyocera cutting tools is a notable manufacturer of a wide range of milling tools for a number of varied industries like construction, aerospace, machinery and automotive.

  1. Broach

A broach is a toothed tool used for machining the surface of a workpiece. This process is called broaching. Commonly machined surfaces include circular and non-circular holes, splines, keyways, and flat surfaces. Broaching is used when precision machining is required, especially for odd shapes. Broaches can be categorized based on their usage, purpose, direction of motion, construction & function.

  1. Tap & Dies

Taps and dies are tools used to carve a threading path on the screws. A tap is used to form the nut while a die is used to form a bolt. When a tap is used to cut or form threads, the process is called tapping, and when a die is used for the same, it is called threading. The cleaning up of thread is called chasing, for which both can be used.

  1. Chip Breaker

The purpose of a chip breaker is to improve chip control and reduce cutting resistance. The chips formed during the metal cutting are sharp and hot. This spells danger for the machine operator. The chip breaker deflects the continuous chip to a sharp angle so that they break into small manageable pieces. These small chips can then be removed by fluid or can be allowed to fall into the chip pan of the machine.