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View Full Version : Mills and Drills Brand Recommendation for HSS End Mills?



Eric DeSilva
04-21-2014, 9:07 AM
I just signed up for my local TechShop, which means I now have access to a couple large communal milling machines. Even they have recommended using your own end mills rather than the ones they keep available. I know I need some four flute end mills for steel, some two flute end mills for aluminum and a larger roughing mill for taking off more material. I was going to go with HSS as I relearn this stuff--anyone have a recommended brand? I'm thinking I'd like to stay away from the Chinese imports.

Bruce Page
04-21-2014, 2:40 PM
The companies making top quality HSS end mills back when I was involved were DoAll, Cleveland, POHL, ProCut, and Putnam, among others. For class work I would suggest looking at the ENCO catalog, MSC, Grainger, eBay, and Amazon. There are a lot of Chinese cutters around nowadays, some of it is probably not too bad but some of it is worthless.

Dennis Ford
04-21-2014, 10:54 PM
McMaster Carr is a good source and their web site is very easy to navigate. Any of the "Made in US" are usually good, the "Import" stuff is hit and miss quality, sometimes it is good.

Mike Heidrick
06-17-2014, 1:00 AM
I just signed up for my local TechShop, which means I now have access to a couple large communal milling machines. Even they have recommended using your own end mills rather than the ones they keep available. I know I need some four flute end mills for steel, some two flute end mills for aluminum and a larger roughing mill for taking off more material. I was going to go with HSS as I relearn this stuff--anyone have a recommended brand? I'm thinking I'd like to stay away from the Chinese imports.

Just used a Niagra 4 flute 1/2" on 2" and 1" alum the last couple of nights. Worked well. Came from ebay.

If I was you I would buy the import box set from Little MAchine shop. It will be perfect for you learning again. When you wreck them it will not be as painful.

If the mills are CNC, Do you plan to buy tool holders for them and put them in their tool library for the mill or will you zero them out for each cut? You will want them in tool holders most likely weather it is CNC or not. They use R8, TTS, NMTB 3 or 4, CAT40?

Eric DeSilva
06-17-2014, 2:27 PM
The TechShop actually has a pair of JET knee mills and a Tormach CNC mill. The JET's use R8 collets, I haven't bothered to take a class on the Tormach yet--I'm still trying to come up to speed on the knee mills, the engine lathes and their TIG set up. While I've got a backlog of projects in the back of my mind, the CNC mill, oddly enough, isn't a key element. I think I've got more stuff lined up for the waterjet at the moment...

I was worried all their stuff was going to get trashed, but there are hardly any folks using the mills or lathes (and most of them seem to know what they are doing), so the cutting tools seems to be staying sharp. I had to buy a ball end mill for a project, but otherwise haven't had any problems with their tools. Hopefully I'll have gotten enough training on their mills that I'll know what I want when I am finally forced to buy my own...

Chris Fournier
06-18-2014, 9:01 PM
I find that Poland and Czeck pump out alot of quality HSS tooling. Can't go wrong.