What is the difference between a corner radius cutter and ball end mill?

Corner radius end mill

The corner radius end mill is a tool whose arc part length is greater than 1/4 circle. It has following characteristics.

  • Fully ground spiral groove: exquisite spiral groove, large chip removal space, avoid knife sticking, it greatly improve production efficiency.
  • Easy to operate: the chamfering layout is easier to clamp, and it plays a role of shock absorption during the milling process.
  • Sharp cutting edge: long service life.
  • Nano coating: improving the hardness and surface finish, beautiful atmosphere and more durable.

Ball nose end mill

They are for milling various curved surfaces and arc grooves. Ball nose milling cutter is also R cutter.

Ball nose cutters have carbide and high speed steel two materials. It is suitable for milling die steel, cast iron, carbon steel and alloy steel. And it can use for all kinds of curved surfaces and arc groove. It has high temperature resistance, which can maintain cutting performance is 450-550/500-600 degrees Celsius.

Its features are mainly as follows:

  • Fine-grained tungsten carbide base material has high toughness and wear resistance.
  • Large-capacity chip removal, it can achieve high-efficiency processing, and the workpiece is high-precision and brighter.
  • It is specially for CNC milling machines high-speed cutting. Which can increase smoothness, reduce the number of tool changes and save workpiece manufacturing time.
  • Stable cutting force, it eliminates uneven feed, and it is more conducive to processing.

Differences between corner radius and ball nose end mills

You can refer to following tips.

First, the structure is different.

Ball knives are generally integral structure, while corner radius end mills are usually inlaid structure. 

Second, different applications.

If the workpiece is larger, small narrow concave area and surface change, the relatively flat area is suitable for round nose knives, and the narrow concave area is suitable for ball end mill bits.

The advantages and disadvantages between them

Corner radius cutters’ cutting edges and bottom can form two 90-degree, it can machine planes without R angle.

It is good at planes (bottom or side) machining, such as milling end faces, grooves and contour faces, etc.

But when processing 3D shapes, because the corners do not have excessive R angles, they are very fragile. In addition, because the corners are very thin, it only can do a limited cutting amount. So that the processing efficiency is relatively low.   

Ball nose end mills: its outer edge and the bottom have a large R angle, it can form a spherical blade shape.

The blade with a large R angle is stronger than the sharp corner type, and it is not easy to collapse. That is, the service life is more stable. Besides, there is larger values for the pitch and cut depth, which can improve the machining efficiency and workpieces’ surface.

While processing 3D shapes, the cutter contact position and the workpiece will change, resulting in unstable cutting speed.

So from this article, do you have a brief knowledge about the difference between ball nose and corner radius endmill? Hope this file can make a little contribution. For more discussion, please feel free to contact Melody!

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