Cutting tool (machining)

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In the context of machining, a cutting tool or cutter is any tool that is used to remove some material from the work piece by means of shear deformation. Cutting may be accomplished by single-point or multipoint tools. Single-point tools are used in turning, shaping, planing and similar operations, and remove material by means of one cutting edge. Milling and drilling tools are often multipoint tools. It is a body having teeth or cutting edges on it. Grinding tools are also multipoint tools. [1] Each grain of abrasive functions as a microscopic single-point cutting edge (although of high negative rake angle), and shears a tiny chip.


Cutting tool materials must be harder than the material which is to be cut, and the tool must be able to withstand the heat and force generated in the metal-cutting process. Also, the tool must have 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. The angle of the cutting face is also important, as is the flute width, number of flutes or teeth, and margin size. In order to have a long working life, all of the above must be optimized, plus the speeds and feeds at which the tool is run.


Linear cutting tools include tool bits (single-point cutting tools) and broaches. Rotary cutting tools include drill bits, countersinks and counterbores, taps and dies, cutters [ disambiguation needed ], reamers, and cold saw blades. Other cutting tools, such as bandsaw blades, hacksaw blades, and fly cutters, combine aspects of linear and rotary motion

Cutting tools with inserts (indexable tools)

Cutting tools are often designed with inserts or replaceable tips (tipped tools). In these, the cutting edge consists of a separate piece of material, either brazed, welded or clamped on to the tool body. Common materials for tips include cemented carbide, polycrystalline diamond, and cubic boron nitride. [2] Tools using inserts include milling cutters (endmills, fly cutters), tool bits, and saw blades.


Tool setup

The detailed instruction how to combine the tool assembly out of basic holder, tool and insert can be stored in a tool management solution.

Cutting edge

The cutting edge of a cutting tool is a very important for the performance of the cutting process. The main features of the cutting edge are:

The measurement of the cutting edge is performed using a tactile instrument or an instrument using focus variation. To quantify a cutting edge the following parameters are used:

cutting edge profile with parameters Schneidkantenprofil.jpg
cutting edge profile with parameters

One of the most important cutting edge parameters is the K factor. It specify the form of the cutting edge. 1 means a symmetric cutting edge. If the value is smaller the form is called a waterfall. If the value is larger than 1 it is called a trompete. Depending on the cutting material, feed rate and other influence factors a cutting tool with the optimum K factor should be used.

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Router (woodworking)

The router is a power tool with a flat base and a rotating blade extending past the base. The spindle may be driven by an electric motor or by a pneumatic motor. It routs an area in hard material, such as wood or plastic. Routers are used most often in woodworking, especially cabinetry. They may be handheld or affixed to router tables. Some woodworkers consider the router one of the most versatile power tools.

Machining Material-removal process; Manufacturing process

Machining is a process in which a material is cut into a desired final shape and size by a controlled material-removal process. The processes that have this common theme, controlled material removal, are today collectively known as subtractive manufacturing, in distinction from processes of controlled material addition, which are known as additive manufacturing. Exactly what the "controlled" part of the definition implies can vary, but it almost always implies the use of machine tools.

Drill bit

Drill bits are cutting tools used to remove material to create holes, almost always of circular cross-section. Drill bits come in many sizes and shapes and can create different kinds of holes in many different materials. In order to create holes drill bits are usually attached to a drill, which powers them to cut through the workpiece, typically by rotation. The drill will grasp the upper end of a bit called the shank in the chuck.

Broaching is a machining process that uses a toothed tool, called a broach, to remove material. There are two main types of broaching: linear and rotary. In linear broaching, which is the more common process, the broach is run linearly against a surface of the workpiece to effect the cut. Linear broaches are used in a broaching machine, which is also sometimes shortened to broach. In rotary broaching, the broach is rotated and pressed into the workpiece to cut an axisymmetric shape. A rotary broach is used in a lathe or screw machine. In both processes the cut is performed in one pass of the broach, which makes it very efficient.

Drilling Cutting process that uses a drill bit to cut a hole of circular cross-section in solid materials

Drilling is a cutting process that uses a drill bit to cut a hole of circular cross-section in solid materials. The drill bit is usually a rotary cutting tool, often multi-point. The bit is pressed against the work-piece and rotated at rates from hundreds to thousands of revolutions per minute. This forces the cutting edge against the work-piece, cutting off chips (swarf) from the hole as it is drilled.

Miter saw

A miter saw or mitre saw is a saw used to make accurate crosscuts and miters in a workpiece by positioning a mounted blade onto a board. A miter saw in its earliest form was composed of a back saw in a miter box, but in modern implementation consists of a powered circular saw that can be positioned at a variety of angles and lowered onto a board positioned against a backstop called the fence.

Speeds and feeds Two separate velocities in machine tool practice, cutting speed and feed rate

The phrase speeds and feeds or feeds and speeds refers to two separate velocities in machine tool practice, cutting speed and feed rate. They are often considered as a pair because of their combined effect on the cutting process. Each, however, can also be considered and analyzed in its own right.

Tool bit

A tool bit is a non-rotary cutting tool used in metal lathes, shapers, and planers. Such cutters are also often referred to by the set-phrase name of single-point cutting tool, as distinguished from other cutting tools such as a saw or water jet cutter. The cutting edge is ground to suit a particular machining operation and may be resharpened or reshaped as needed. The ground tool bit is held rigidly by a tool holder while it is cutting.


A countersink is a conical hole cut into a manufactured object, or the cutter used to cut such a hole. A common use is to allow the head of a countersunk bolt, screw or rivet, when placed in the hole, to sit flush with or below the surface of the surrounding material. A countersink may also be used to remove the burr left from a drilling or tapping operation thereby improving the finish of the product and removing any hazardous sharp edges.

A grinding dresser or wheel dresser is a tool to dress the surface of a grinding wheel. Grinding dressers are used to return a wheel to its original round shape, to expose fresh grains for renewed cutting action, or to make a different profile on the wheel's edge.

Tool and cutter grinder

A tool and cutter grinder is used to sharpen milling cutters and tool bits along with a host of other cutting tools.


Turning is a machining process in which a cutting tool, typically a non-rotary tool bit, describes a helix toolpath by moving more or less linearly while the workpiece rotates.

Milling cutters are cutting tools typically used in milling machines or machining centres to perform milling operations. They remove material by their movement within the machine or directly from the cutter's shape.

Tipped tool

A tipped tool is any cutting tool in which the cutting edge consists of a separate piece of material that is brazed, welded, or clamped onto a body made of another material. In the types in which the cutter portion is an indexable part clamped by a screw, the cutters are called inserts. Tipped tools allow each part of the tool, the shank and the cutter(s), to be made of the material with the best properties for its job. Common materials for the cutters include cemented carbide, polycrystalline diamond, and cubic boron nitride. Tools that are commonly tipped include milling cutters, tool bits, router bits, and saw blades.

End mill

An end mill is a type of milling cutter, a cutting tool used in industrial milling applications. It is distinguished from the drill bit in its application, geometry, and manufacture. While a drill bit can only cut in the axial direction, most milling bits can cut in the radial direction. Not all mills can cut axially; those designed to cut axially are known as end mills.

Boring (manufacturing)

In machining, boring is the process of enlarging a hole that has already been drilled by means of a single-point cutting tool, such as in boring a gun barrel or an engine cylinder. Boring is used to achieve greater accuracy of the diameter of a hole, and can be used to cut a tapered hole. Boring can be viewed as the internal-diameter counterpart to turning, which cuts external diameters.

Tool wear

Tool wear is the gradual failure of cutting tools due to regular operation. Tools affected include tipped tools, tool bits, and drill bits that are used with machine tools.

Diamond tool

A diamond tool is a cutting tool with diamond grains fixed on the functional parts of the tool via a bonding material or another method. As diamond is a superhard material, diamond tools have many advantages as compared with tools made with common abrasives such as corundum and silicon carbide.

Arbor milling is a cutting process which removes material via a multi-toothed cutter. An arbor mill is a type of milling machine characterized by its ability to rapidly remove material from a variety of materials. This milling process is not only rapid but also versatile.

There are many types of shears used to shear sheet metal.


  1. Explain Cutting Tools Archived 2019-05-12 at the Wayback Machine ,, retrieved 2019-05-12.
  2. Stephenson, David A.; Agapiou, John S. (1997), Metal cutting theory and practice, Marcel Dekker, p. 164, ISBN   978-0-8247-9579-5.