The variety of CNC machining tools available allows CNC machines to perform different machining operations. These various CNC tools reduce the amount of manual input from machine operators by having different properties that make them suitable for different kinds of functions. This solves the long-standing issue of fatigued machine operators disrupting workflow.

CNC machine tools are complex tools that are used to produce unique components. There are several categories of CNC machining tools, such as turning drills for several industries. Drilling, grinding, and cutting (milling) tools. The most popular of them are the CNC cutting and CNC turning tools.

This article will outline the several kinds of CNC machine tools and their respective purposes. This brief guide is for you if you would like to learn more about these machining tools.

CNC Turning Tools

CNC turning tools
CNC turning tools

One of the earliest machining techniques dates back to the Egyptian era and is called turning. The lathe, or turning machine, that CNC turning tools use to shape the workpiece into the desired shape is capable of turning the workpiece at high revolutions per minute. The type of turning process and the turning tool used determine the shape of the workpiece.

Various turning tool examples are as follows:

Boring Tools

Carbide boring tools are characterized by a cutting tool at the end and a typical boring bar. There are two varieties: multi-point boring bars, which have several cutting edges, and single-point boring bars, which have just one cutting edge.

A lathe machine’s mounted boring tools can be used to enlarge pre-existing holes or create internal shapes in a workpiece.

Chamfering Tools

A chamfering tool is used to create a slanting edge, or chamfer, on a workpiece’s corner. They come in three distinct subtypes: single angle, variable angle, and indexable chamfer tool. They are constructed from materials like carbide or high-speed steel. A chamfer with a consistent angle along the whole length of the cut can be produced with a single-angle chamfer tool.

Machinists can create chamfers with multiple angles by adjusting the chamfer angle with a variable angle chamfer tool. Because the inserts in indexable chamfering tools are interchangeable, the chamfering process can be made more flexible, and the angle can be altered.

If the turning lathe tool is positioned at a straight angle to the workpiece, it can also be used for chamfering. Be careful to set the inclination angle at a reasonable level, though, as this may make them outdated.

Knurling Tool

Another kind of cutting tool is a knurling tool, which has two or more metal rolling wheels with patterns engraved on them. Depending on the embossed parts, there are various types; the two most common types are the diagonal knurling tools, which are used to create diamond-shaped or diagonal patterns, and the straight knurling tools, which are used to create consecutive patterns.

To improve grip or aesthetics, a raised pattern can be applied to a workpiece’s surface using knurling tools.

Parting Tool

The blade-like edge of parting tools is used to cut materials away from the workpiece. The completed portion is also cut away from the remainder of the workpiece by machinists using it.

CNC Milling Tools

CNC milling tools
CNC milling tools

One of the most used tool sets in the CNC industry is the set of tools for CNC cutting. Despite being called cutting tools, in a CNC, there is no process called cutting. Alternatively, there is the milling process. For this reason, CNC milling cutters and CNC cutting tools are other names for CNC cutting tools.

In terms of the process, some other extensively used process for which machining tools are often used is milling. The extensive range of CNC equipment used in milling allows it to gain the accuracy of turning despite being extremely essential inside the machining space. A CNC mill is used along with CNC milling cutters (or milling device). Using CNC cutters, the milling gadget removes material in a circular movement from various places on a set workpiece. Here are some of the milling gear:

Here are some of the common milling tools:

End Mills

End turbines are the maximum commonplace device for milling operations. Because they are able to perform vertical CNC machining operations, they resemble drill bits. CNC end mills tool are categorized into several kinds. Each category has its personal set of flutes and noses. They typically have teeth on one end and on both sides. End mills are classified as follows:

  • Flat: Flat-faced end mills for general-purpose applications have 2D features.
  • Ball Nose: These are end mills with a ball nose are preferred for machining operations that require 3D contours and curves.
  • Bull Nose End Mills: These end mills have a flat end and a rounded corner and are suitable for roughing and filleting.

Slab Mills

With today’s CNC machining centres, slab mills are rare. Instead, they are still employed in conjunction with manual milling machines to machine big surfaces rapidly. Moreover, this explains why surface milling is another name for slab milling. The horizontal rotation of the slab occurs between the spindle and the support.

Face Mills

Face mills are the most commonly used tools for producing flat surfaces on raw materials. These milling cutters have a single body with replaceable cutting inserts, ensuring maximum quality and longevity. Face mills are frequently contrasted with fly cutters, which are less expensive and can be manufactured in-house. Face mills, on the other hand, provide greater precision and are better suited for high-quality cutting. Fly cutters, on the other hand, can produce a smoother surface finish than most face mills.

Your specific requirements, desired level of precision, and budget influence the decision between face mills and fly cutters. Face mills and fly cutters both have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to creating flat surfaces with high accuracy.

Fly Cutters

Fly cutters are cheaper than face mills and are used to make broad and shallow cuts in blank material. They consist of one or two tool bits attached to a solid body. Fly cutters with a two-tool bit are also known as fly bars. These tools produce parts with a smoother surface finish.

Hollow Mills

Hollow mills are pipe-shaped cutting tools that enclose and revolve around a cylindrical workpiece and have three or more cutting edges. This unique cutting tool allows you to create a consistent pre-thread diameter fast and easily. They can also be used in drill press work to finish projections that must be in a specific position.

Other types of cutting tools

Aside from these types of cutting tools, there are many others, such as:

  • Reamers

Assume you need to drill a 1/2″ hole in a workpiece. You can use a 1/2″ drill bit now, right? Wrong! If you do this, you should expect an oversized hole when you finish drilling your workpiece.

It’s best to start with a more minor drill bit, say 31/64″, and then use a reamer to expand the hole to 1/2″. Reamers enable you to enlarge existing gaps while maintaining dimensional accuracy and tight tolerances.

  • Side-and-face cutters

As the name suggests, this type of cutter has teeth on the perimeter and both the side of its cutting tool. Machinists use this cutter to create slots and grooves in a variety of materials. Despite the fact that they perform similarly to end mills, their use has become less common as a result of technological advancements.

  • Thread mills

Thread mills are experts in the cutting process used to create internal threads in workpieces. There are three types of specialty tools: roll form taps, cut taps, and thread mills. These are used on numerically managed machining facilities with simultaneous, triaxial control and helical interpolation competencies.

Thread mills provide precision and accuracy to obtain the appropriate result, whether or not you are developing tapped holes or reducing inner threads. With the correct thread mill, you can make sure that your components fit together easily and securely

  • Involute Gear Cutters

Gear cutters are the CNC milling world’s engineers, liable for milling cutter fabrication of gears that maintain the wheels of enterprise turning. These strong point equipment necessitate using a hobbing system, the form of that’s decided via the quantity of equipment teeth.

Gears play a critical role in a huge range of applications, from car transmissions to heavy machinery. Gear cutters make sure that these important additives are perfectly crafted for the use of the correct kind of hobbing gadget for the job.

Different Types of Materials Used in Producing CNC Machine Tools

High speed steel
High speed steel

CNC machine tool raw materials determines the precision machining technique that you may use, inclusive of the feed price and cutting pace. As a standard rule, the uncooked cloth of your CNC gadget gear should be more difficult than the cloth of the workpiece. Otherwise, the tool could be in large part vain for the technique. Some common materials used in the manufacture of machining tools are as follows:

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is the maximum fee-effective material for milling cutters, making it perfect for low-velocity operations. This material is regularly applied in tools together with milling cutters and twist drills. However, because of its confined durability and occasional melting point, carbon metallic is not suitable for immoderate-speed operations or lowering hard materials.

While carbon metallic is a low-price choice, its obstacles have to be taken into consideration. Other materials, together with excessive-pace steel or carbide, can be greater appropriate for tasks requiring better velocity or durability.

High-Speed Steel

Cutting gear have changed dramatically with the creation of excessive-velocity metallic (HSS). Molybdenum, tungsten, and chromium make up HSS. In contrast to ordinary carbon metallic, it gives higher stages of hardness, longevity, and sturdiness. With a stronger resistance to heat and put on, this cloth can cut each ferrous and nonferrous metals.

High-pace steel is ideal for milling gear that need to run at higher speeds and reduce more difficult substances because of its progressed features. Longer device existence and multiplied machining operation overall performance are assured while you use HSS.

Cemented Carbides

Carbide, or technically Tungsten Carbide, is the heavyweight champion among materials for CNC milling tools. For superior surface finishes in more recent milling machines, this extremely durable material is perfect. Combining tungsten and carbon results in a chemical compound called carbide, which has a higher wear resistance than HSS.

Carbide is the ideal material for milling tools if you’re searching for something that can handle even the most difficult tasks. Professionals using CNC milling machines often choose it because of its durability and capacity to create superior finishes.

Common Coatings Used in CNC Machining Tools

Chromium nitride coating
Chromium nitride coating

Here are some of the common coatings used in CNC machining tools:

Titanium Nitride

A typical coating used to improve the hardness and thermal stability of cutting tools is titanium nitride (TiN). When newer coatings with better properties came along, this golden coating was the standard for milling tools. However, its use has decreased.

Titanium nitride contributes to improved tool performance even though it may not be the most advanced tool coating on the market right now. TiN coatings, in particular, can increase hardness, decrease adherence to workpieces, and prolong tool life.

Chromium Nitride

In the world of tool coatings, chromium nitride is the underdog. For high heat applications, this hard, inert thin film coating improves hardness, corrosion resistance, and thermal strength. However, chromium nitride coatings are expensive and require specialized equipment to apply.

Despite its shortcomings, chromium nitride has significant advantages for specific machining tools and operations. If your project necessitates a tool with high heat resistance and corrosion resistance, chromium nitride may be the ideal coating.

Aluminum Titanium Nitride

In the world of machine tool coatings, aluminum titanium nitride (AlTiN) is a rising star. AlTiN, which is composed of 65% aluminum, improves the heat resistance of CNC machine tools, making it an excellent choice for high-temperature operations. This coating outperforms other coatings in terms of heat resistance, wear resistance, and oxidation resistance.

AlTiN is a treasured addition to any CNC milling tool arsenal due to its unique aggregate of residences. Equip your tools with this powerful coating and watch your machining operations jump to new heights of efficiency.

Titanium Carbonitride

This is a carbon-containing variant of the titanium nitride coating. This coating can’t be characteristic in excessive-temperature environments because of its tremendously low running temperature. It improves CNC cutting tool properties which include hardness and floor lubrication.

What Are the Factors to Consider When Selecting CNC Machine Tools?

CNC machine
CNC machine

There are several factors to be considered when selecting CNC machine tools:


Hardness, durability, and machinability are all properties that range between substances. The fabric being machined has a large effect on the CNC gadget device choice. Harder substances, for instance, necessitate tools with particular coatings for progressed cutting performance.


The tool selection is motivated by way of the complexity of the workpiece and the machining operations. Milling operations, as an example, necessitate the use of unique gear or tool geometries with the intention to achieve the desired effects.

Tolerance Levels

Another crucial aspect to recollect is the preferred tolerance of the machined parts. Tighter tolerances can also necessitate using excessive-precision equipment with minimum runout designed to gain specific dimensions.

Consideration of those elements will help you in aligning your machining desires with the abilities and specifications of numerous CNC equipment, allowing you to make properly-knowledgeable selections while selecting the proper tools for your applications.

Determining Desired Machining Speed and Accuracy

The necessities for machining speed and accuracy range depending at the software and production goals. Higher machining speeds can increase productiveness, however preserving accuracy is crucial for unique dimensions and floor finishes.

Determining the right machining velocity and accuracy degree on your assignment is important while assessing your machining requirements. This will affect the choice of tools in phrases of cutting parameters like spindle pace and feed price, further to the materials and device layout. Achieving accurate and green machining outcomes requires hanging stability between velocity and accuracy.

By comparing your machining wishes based totally on complexity, material considerations, tolerance ranges, and preferred velocity and accuracy, you may make nicely informed decisions whilst selecting the correct CNC tool that suits your precise requirements and optimises your machining methods.


While this text discusses the diverse kinds of CNC cutters available, there are numerous other factors to note before choosing the satisfactory one in your process. Material selection, geometric complexity of your layout, required tolerance, and different factors will always decide an accurate choice. Sometimes, one cutting tool is sufficient; in other instances, greater cutting equipment may be required to complete your part.

Please contact Zintilon to discuss your project so that our experts can assist you with the perfect selection of cutting tools, exact materials, and the proper manufacturing process ideal for your task, or you can get a quote online to get started with your CNC machining project right away.

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