If you’ve ever had to machine components that are connected by threaded bolts, you know how aggravating tap and die tools can be. Not only can these tools fail in the middle of thread production, but they can also damage your tools and your workpiece. Traditional threading tools are not only prone to failure, but they are also a time-consuming means of creating threads. Thread milling with solid carbide tools is the ideal approach to get things done quickly and efficiently while producing accurate results.
Thread milling is the process of cutting threads into components with a CNC milling machine. Because these mills are computer-controlled, the possibility of human error is eliminated. You should be able to make flawless threads every time if you’ve programmed the right tool route. These cuts necessitate the use of specialist end mills that are designed to cut precisely. There are a few possibilities when it comes to selecting the correct tool for the job.
One of the quickest ways to cut threaded surfaces is with full form thread mills. The cutting surface of these tools is covered with rows of small tooth-like cutting points. The most significant benefit of employing a complete form cutter is that it can cut an entire threaded surface in a single 360-degree pass. The tool evenly reduces the distance between two adjacent cutting sites (the thread pitch) throughout its route as it makes its cut. This means that each cutting point completes the cut started by the one below it, resulting in a flawlessly threaded helical surface. Each complete form thread mill can only cut one thread pitch due to the spacing between the cutting points.
A single pitch thread mill will suffice if you need to mill threads with multiple pitches on the same piece. Instead of the row of points found on a full form tool, these tools only feature one pointed cutter. The time difference between these tools and full-form tools is significant. Single pitch thread mills, like thread taps, must trace the whole length of a thread surface. Despite the longer working time, these tools are an excellent choice for mixed production work for threading difficult surfaces like overhangs or when you need to add threads to thin walled components.
End mills made of carbide are the obvious choice when it comes to thread milling cutting tools that will actually last and that can handle high temperatures. Tungsten cobalt ceramic powder is used to make carbide, a composite material composed of cobalt metal and tungsten cobalt ceramic powder. Carbide tools have a ceramic component that is twice as robust and rigid as steel. These tools’ ceramic composition not only helps to keep the cutting blades sharper for longer, but it also increases the end mill’s stiffness. The rigidity means that tools made from carbide have less of a tendency to vibrate and cause chatter when running at high speeds. When it comes to producing threaded components in your shop, solid carbide thread mills are definitely the most accurate option.
If you’re looking to thread milling with solid carbide mills for your shop, there are a number of reputable manufacturers to choose from. Online Carbide is an American company that specializes in high-quality milling equipment such as thread mills, drill bits, and a variety of other milling cutters. Their website has a complete list of their tools. Please contact a member of their team by sending an email to [email protected] if you have any questions or are interested in having some unique tools manufactured from your shop.