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Good place for sourcing end mills?

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GunsOfNavarone

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#1
I have researched enough about end mill materials, coating, designs and purposes that I have enough comfort there's that I won't those questions however, any suggestions on a place to get decent end mills? My used PM-727M came with some nice ones from a place local here Colorado Mold Supply. Seems to be too quality and great performance but possibly expensive to very expensive (here's a link, let me know your thoughts) I don't mind so much if the last/perform, but also I am a novice, mistakes will be made. I'm not sure I should experiment with a 75-100 dollar end mill.
Colorado Mold Supply,
A small set maybe a cost effective way, but haven't had much luck but with Amazon and those are probably Chinese-ium or Grizzly with are a bit expensive for what I'm guessing is also Chinese.
Any links would be very appreciated as word of mouth is the best way of sourcing good products...
 

Trip

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#2
Search ebay for resharpened end mills . some really good deals can be had .
 

pacifica

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#3
An ebay seller: carbidetoolco. sells 1/2" stub refurbished carbide end mills, $6.83. I have some and they are excellent.American made, leave a great finish.
 

Bob Korves

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#4
As a novice, the first thing you should learn about is feeds and speeds. There are plenty of formulas and programs available on the web, and free slide rule types can often be had free from the bigger makers of tooling. Actually, in the real world, I have this simple speed formula in my head (with sample equations:)

(Surface feet per minute) (times 4)
______________________________________ = Spindle RPM
(cutter diameter in inches)


1018 steel at 90 sfpm X 4
____________________________ = 720 RPM
1/2" end mill


6061-t6 aluminum at 400 sfpm X 4
______________________________________ = 6400 rpm
1/4" end mill


None of this is critical (but it does matter!), and other factors enter into the equation as well, so those numbers, or somewhat slower, might be a starting point on my knee mill. As far as feed rate goes, there are formulas out there you can use, which usually are giving tool movement per tooth based on material, cutting tool, and tooth count (and outputting feed per tooth.) You can also simply make the tool work hard enough to cut real chips, no crumbs or powder, but at the same time not hard enough that the machine and tool complain too much. Abusing cutters dulls them and breaks them. Start with known common machining metals instead of mystery metals, nothing at all exotic, make sure that all axes are locked except for the one you are using, make sure the setup is rigid, and cut some metal!

You will find that going by the book does not always achieve optimum results. Learn what you are looking for, and know what you should adjust and in which direction to improve the cut and make the tool and machine happy. You will dull and break some end mills along the way, even pros do it, but it will just be worse if you use cheap or dull used tools. The good ones, in good condition, and run under the correct conditions, will make you look like a pro. Use some of each while you are learning. We learn on the machine by experience, though some useful study and a good mentor is a BIG help, especially at first.
 

Bob Korves

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#5
Search ebay for resharpened end mills . some really good deals can be had .
An ebay seller: carbidetoolco. sells 1/2" stub refurbished carbide end mills, $6.83. I have some and they are excellent.American made, leave a great finish.
That is a really good price for carbide end mills, but I recommend that the OP starts out with standard high speed steel tooling, and learn how to work with it first. Not pushed too hard, and on softer materials, HSS is less demanding of proper technique,
 

Cobra

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#6
I would suggest using Bob's formula to make up a chart of the speeds of your machine vs sizes from .25 to 3 inches to give the sfm.
list the target sfm for various materials below and you have an easy reference at the mill.
If you have to err, go for a little less sfm rather than too high. Your tools will last much longer.
Best of luck.
 

GunsOfNavarone

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That is a really good price for carbide end mills, but I recommend that the OP starts out with standard high speed steel tooling, and learn how to work with it first. Not pushed too hard, and on softer materials, HSS is less demanding of proper technique,
With my machine topping out at 1700 rpm...I'm not sure Carbide tools are a good option for me?
I have been browsing ebay, though I'm uncomfortable with purchasing there. It is so hard to know where the tool is from or what kind of resharpening job they have done. I'd really like to have a decent set of new, but do I need to spend 70 to $100/ea to get a decent tool. I have no idea!
 
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T Bredehoft

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#8
I've found many opportunities to buy multiples of small HHS and carbide end mills on Ebay. The last, five 3/8 solid carbide, 6 flute double end mills for about $5.00 ea.
This was a couple of months ago, they're still out there.
 

projectnut

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#10
The type of mill you select is not only dependent on the speed you intend to cut, but also dependent on the material you intend to cut. Personally I prefer HHS mills for the bulk of the work I do. In total I have in the neighborhood of 1,000 different end mills with the vast majority being HSS. I would guess there are less than 50 carbide mills in the lot.

Most of my mills were acquired through equipment dealers, flea markets, and eBay. I did buy a number from Enco, but those were specialty mills for specific jobs. I do wish they were still around, because their prices for name brand mills were considerably less than most other vendors. I have found over the years that eBay lots can be a bargain if you're willing to look at lots of 25 pieces and larger. I have bought lots as large as 50 and more. When buying in larger numbers unit prices are generally considerably less expensive.

If I don't want to bother with sharpening them I usually inspect the pictures religiously. If I see anything the seller may have missed I ask questions. I usually only look at "Buy It Now Lots" that accept "best offers". From time to time I have purchased known damaged end mills that still can be sharpened. For those I would guess I've paid in the neighborhood of $2.00 per unit on sizes 1/2" to 1 1/2". For sizes 3/8" and under I try to buy "New" or "New Other". I find the smaller sizes more of a PIA to sharpen, especially when the prices for new, name brand quality ones are reasonably priced.
 

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#11
Hi Guys,

I must shamefully admit that I buy most of my "Slot Drills" both two and three flute from China. I've been very satisfied with the product I've received.
In fact I once got a couple marked "Yamaha".

But unless I actually need to machine a slot, I use the biggest that I can get into my ER32 collet chuck.

I don't have any carbide cutters.
 

markba633csi

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#13
Watch for the "estate sale" batches of endmills on ebay, I put together a nice collection of HSS mills, many brand new for less than 75$
Some of course will be dull but overall good value when you are starting out and might break/dull a few anyhow
Mark
ps I have also tried the cheap chinese ones from alibaba and they work but are easy to fracture- very brittle
 

BaronJ

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Hi Mark,

Fortunately I've not had that experience. I've had the flute edges rubbed off when trying to machine SS. Horrible stuff...
 

GunsOfNavarone

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#15
Yeah, if I buy Chinese, it will have to be through someone reputable (Grizzly or LittleMachineShop) not ebay and definitely not shipping from China. I guess I'll go with this Colorado Mold Supply as my main/reliable set and perhaps some singles from Amazon. I'm easily looking at $500 for 10 ish tools. Once I have a decent set, I can afford the time to search ebay for the steal that comes along. I just don't have enough of a selection to wait it out..
 

Cobra

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#16
Decent quality and good prices -- CDCO Machinery
Chinese tools shipped from IL.
 

john.oliver35

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#17
If you are staying away from Ebay, and want American HSS, try going to Amazon and browse everything they have in stock from Niagara. Usually there are some pieces on sale. One advantage we have as hobbyists is that we only need a mill or two at a time, and frequently don't care much about the specific length.
 

P. Waller

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#18
You have not hinted at what material or milling operations you require.

This is like asking the questions, I need to buy a rock, which one?
Where is the cheapest place to buy a rock for unknown purposes?

 

GunsOfNavarone

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#19
You have not hinted at what material or milling operations you require.

This is like asking the questions, I need to buy a rock, which one?
Where is the cheapest place to buy a rock for unknown purposes?

Fair enough. Mostly mild steel, under an inch thick. Now that I have the lathe and the mill i see how many doors are open. I might build a space shuttle, albeit the crappiest space shuttle you've ever seen! There will be some aluminum and I will get a few one offs for that, but steel is my best friend for sure...good old hot rolled, mill scaled steel!
 

GunsOfNavarone

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#20
I did pick up a few things to get the ball rolling...I would recommend looking at these guy's catalog...they talk about the technology that goes into their tool designs...they may be my go to tool supplier...and I pass them everyday on the way to work!
 

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GunsOfNavarone

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#22
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francist

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image.png
 

TomS

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#25
I buy 90% of my end mills from All Industrial Tool. allindustrial.com

Their pricing is reasonable and shipping cost is very good.
 

81husky

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#26
I buy Niagara from KBC Tools, but I'll check out All Industrial.
 

Jubil

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#27
Probably not the best, but I bought a 20 piece set (3/16 - 3/4) of 2 & 4 flute titanium nitride coated HSS end Mills from Harbor Freight for $79.95. Thus far I am pleased with them, but as a hobbiest I am in no hurry and don't crowd things.
 

TerryH

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#28
Probably not the best, but I bought a 20 piece set (3/16 - 3/4) of 2 & 4 flute titanium nitride coated HSS end Mills from Harbor Freight for $79.95. Thus far I am pleased with them, but as a hobbiest I am in no hurry and don't crowd things.
I believe this to be the same set on Ebay. I used a 15% off Ebay day to get it for $46 and change shipped. The box was broken when I recieved it so they gave me $20 back. Didn't see how to go wtong after all that. Agree that they are probably not the best but so far so good.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-20-pcs-4-2-Flute-HSS-Titanium-Tin-Coated-Square-End-Mill-Set-3-16-3-4/172101206337?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
 

GunsOfNavarone

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#29
Everybody seems to offer that set, I'll get for practice purposes...
I believe that is this set from Amazon, $45 & free shipping.
Amazon 10 piece set
 

BaronJ

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#30
Hi Guys,

Someone made a comment about buying steel ! I get most of mine from either the local engineering workshop scrap box or the scrapyard. If I need something specific the engineering workshop always seems to be able to sort something out, and don't charge me an arm and a leg for it. Often cutting a piece from stock.
 
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