HSS - The majority of end milling cutters will be made from standard High Speed Steel (M7).
Cobalt - For tougher machining applications cobalt end mills will be required. Cobalt is a M42 tool steel with an 8% cobalt content. It usually will require a premium price. Cobalt end mills allow for an increase in feed rates over regular M7. At Melin, we offer our complete line of tools in M42 cobalt steel, but all are priced at M7 price levels.
Carbide - This tool material combines increased stiffness with the ability to operate at higher SFPM. Carbide tools are best for shops operating newer milling machines that do not have much chatter as the material can be brittle. Carbide end mills require a significant premium price over the cobalt end mills, but they can also be run at speeds 2 1/2 faster than HSS end mills. For best results mount in a hydraulic type holder.
All types of end mills must be handled with care. This is particularly important when storing in the Tool Crib. Tools should be stored in a tube protector or dipped in a protective coating. Tool life will be significantly shortened if the tool edge is damaged.
Special Note about Coatings - The use of coatings will increase the surface hardness of the tool. This will allow for greater tool life and/or increased cutting speeds & feeds (between 15 - 25%). Standard coatings available at Melin include Titanium Nitride (TiN), Titanium Carbonitride (TiCN), and Aluminum Titanium Nitride (AlTiN). These coatings are all available at the same price, depending on the tool. Other coatings available includeTitanium Aluminum Nitride (TiAlN), Zirconium Nitride (ZrN), Diamond, and Black Oxide. More info on coatings.