Common CNC Cutting Tool Types in detail

There are many types of CNC cutting tools, and the materials suitable for cutting are different.

Different tools need to be used in the face of various processing requirements in actual production.

How to choose a suitable cutting tool has become a difficult problem.

The following will list some common CNC tools and explain their processing applications.

cnc cutting tools

End Mills

End mills are one of the most common cutting tools used in CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining.

They are cylindrical with cutting edges on the bottom and sides.

End mills are typically made from high-speed steel (HSS) or carbide and come in various diameters, lengths, and flute configurations.

They are versatile tools capable of performing various operations such as slotting, profiling, and contouring.

Drill Bits

Drill bits are cylindrical cutting tools designed specifically for creating holes in workpieces.

They have a pointed tip and spiral flutes that aid in chip removal.

CNC drill bits can be made from HSS, cobalt, or carbide materials. They are available in various diameters and lengths to accommodate different hole sizes and depths.

Drill bits are essential for tasks like drilling, reaming, and counterboring.

Turning Inserts

Turning inserts are used in CNC lathes for cylindrical workpiece machining.

These inserts consist of a cutting edge made from carbide, ceramics, or other advanced materials mounted on a shank.

Turning inserts are available in different shapes, such as square, triangular, and round, with specific geometries optimized for various cutting operations.

They are capable of high-speed cutting, roughing, finishing, and threading.

Face Mills

Face mills are milling cutters primarily used for facing operations, where material is removed from the face of a workpiece to create a flat surface.

These cutting tools feature multiple edges on their periphery and come in various sizes.

Face mills are typically made from carbide or HSS. They effectively remove large amounts of material quickly and are commonly used in heavy-duty milling applications.


Reamers are cutting tools used for precision sizing and finishing of existing holes.

They have a cylindrical body with flutes and cutting edge.

Depending on the application, reamers come in different types, including straight-flute, spiral-flute, and rose reamers.

These tools are usually made from HSS or carbide and are available in a range of sizes.

Reamers ensure accurate hole dimensions, smooth surface finish, and tight tolerances.

Ball Nose End Mills

Ball nose end mills are specialized end mills with rounded tips resembling a ball.

These tools are commonly used for 3D contouring and machining curved surfaces.

The spherical design of the cutting edge allows for smoother cuts and reduces the risk of workpiece damage.

Ball nose end mills are available in various sizes and flute configurations and can be made from carbide or HSS.

Slotting Cutters

Slotting cutters, also known as slot drills or slot end mills, are designed for cutting slots or grooves in workpieces.

They have a cylindrical body with cutting teeth on the periphery and end face.

Slotting cutters can be made from carbide or HSS and come in different sizes and widths.

Precision and efficiency make These tools suitable for milling slots, keyways, and other recesses.


Taps are cutting tools used for creating internal threads in drilled holes.

They come in various types, including hand, machine, and spiral point taps, each designed for specific applications.

Taps feature a tapered or straight body with flutes and cutting edges. They are typically made from high-speed steel or cobalt.

Taps enable the production of accurate threads, ensuring proper fastening and assembly of components.

Chamfer Mills

Chamfer mills are milling cutters that create chamfered edges or bevelled angles on workpiece features.

These cutters have angled cutting edges and can be made from carbide or HSS.

Chamfer mills are available in different sizes and angles, allowing for precise and consistent chamfering operations.

They are commonly used in applications where smooth transitions or deburring of edges is required.

Boring Bars

Boring bars are tools used for rapidly enlarging or finishing existing holes.

They consist of a long, rigid shank with a replaceable cutting insert at the tip.

Boring bars are commonly made from carbide or high-speed steel.

They are used in CNC machines to achieve accurate internal diameters, concentricity, and surface finish in bores or cylindrical holes.


These common CNC cutting tool types play crucial roles in various machining operations, enabling precise and efficient material removal. Understanding their characteristics and applications helps optimize CNC machining processes and achieve desired results in manufacturing and fabrication industries.

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