Flycutter vs. indexable face mill

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Active Member
Jun 12, 2018
I have a 2" indexable face mill that uses tpg 322 carbide inserts and I'm thinking of going the fly cutter route. The inserts are a bit expensive compared to a fly cutter which I can just regrind the tool bit when it dulls out.

Can a fly cutter pretty much do all the jobs a face mill can do? Can I do as much depth of cut? What are the downsides?

I'm thinking of making my own fly cutter and use 5/16 HSS blank as the bit. Not sure what route I'm going to take, if I want to make it out of 2 pieces or 1. Largest diameter bar I have is 1 3/4", do you think that's big enough? Maybe use a 1/2" shank or does the shank size matter?


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Staff member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Nov 27, 2012
Fly cutters & facemills aren't the same. You can hog with a facemill (if your mill has enough power & is rigid enough), fly cutters normally can't. Fly cutters generally give a better surface, not that facemills can't. I have both facemills & flycutters. I only use the flycutters when the surface finish is more important & for larger surface coverage in one pass.

Inserts aren't really an issue for me. I have a 2.5" FM 45°, the inserts last me a really long time. I also have a 2" Dorian "recycle cutter" FM that I use the most. It uses the "unused" 100° corners of CCMT/CCGT inserts so the inserts are basically "free".
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Genral Manager - Proofreading Dept.
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Aug 15, 2013

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