Miniature end mills are tiny drill bits that are often used in industrial applications and by dentists, nail technicians, and other professionals. The miniature size gives the operator a precise cut and drill pattern that would be otherwise impossible with standard drills and tools. As with all drill bits, miniature end mills will vary according to size and the materials from which their made, so consider a quick guide to choosing the best end mills for your application.
Reducing Risk of Breaking
Because of their small size, miniature end mills are often at greater risk of breaking than other drill bits. The longer their length, the greater the risk. If you need to make deep bores and cuts, you would need a miniature end mill made of a strong alloy or composite and you would need to avoid thin and lightweight metals such as aluminum. Carbide is often recommended for longer miniature end mills.
A longer size of miniature end mill should also be allowed to do the cutting on its own, and should never be forced. If the operator feels he or she needs to force the cut, it's instead better to opt for a tougher coating. Diamond tips can offer more strength and cutting ability, and this can be worth the investment since it means a longer life for the miniature end mill itself.
Choosing Heat Resistance
A dentist or nail technician may not need to worry about heat being produced from their work, but when you use miniature end mills in a production facility, a tremendous amount of heat can be produced when drilling metal against metal. To reduce friction and to protect the end mill, you always want to choose one that is rated as heat resistant and for your particular type of metal.
Plastic or plastic coated end mills will not be good choices for when heat will be produced, and instead you would want stainless steel or titanium. These metals can also be powder coated or otherwise treated so that heat production is kept to a minimum and so that the heat produced does not affect the end mill itself.
Choose Ball Ends for a Smooth Finish
If your drilling work needs to be smooth and rounded such as for dental work, you need to choose ball ends for your miniature end mills. These allow you to drag the end mill over the finished product to create a rounded and smooth finish. Standard square ends do not allow this type of precise work and cannot create an attractive finish.