Milling Cutters & Tools - Types and Their Purposes (with Images)

Different connotations apply to machine tools and cutting tools when discussing mechanical engineering, manufacturing, and the cutting tool supply business. But what are cutting tools, exactly? How about machine tools? What is the difference between the two?


What Is A Cutting Tool?

A cutting tool is a wedge-shaped, sharp-edged tool used to shear extra material from a workpiece during machining to achieve the required form, size, and precision.

Examples Of Cutting Tools

A cutting tool is a general term that refers to the cutter used in machining operations. These cutters have varying names depending on the kind of machining operation they are used in. The following is a list of widely used cutting tools.

  • Drill
  • Hob
  • Planer
  • Broach
  • Reamer
  • Shaper
  • Fly cutter
  • Boring bar
  • Grinding wheel
  • Mill (milling cutter)
  • single-point turning tool


What Are Machine Tools?

A machine tool is a stationary power-driven tool used to form or shape metal, wood, or other material components. It securely fixes the cutting tool. Machine tools may also give the cutting action relative velocity between the workpiece and the cutting tool through different mechanical and other configurations.

Shaping is done in one of four ways:

  1. shearing mechanical material
  2. compressing metal parts to the required shape;
  3. removing excess material out from components in the form of chips;
  4. applying electricity, ultrasonic, or corrosive agents to the material.

The fourth category includes modern machine tools and technologies for processing ultrahard metals that are hard to fabricate using traditional methods.

Examples Of Machine Tools

Tradespeople and those in the cutting tool supply industry use various machine tools to manufacture components by cutting chips from a workpiece. Examples of machine tools are lathe machines, drilling machines, milling machines, and power saws. In addition, punch presses are used to cold form metal pieces such as cookware, automotive bodywork, and other similar objects, while forging presses are used to hot form white-hot blanks into correctly shaped dies.


What Is The Difference Between Cutting Tools And Machine Tools?

A cutting tool is a compact wedge-shaped, sharp-edged tool mounted on a machine tool used by cutting tool supply operators to do cutting, machining, or metal cutting operations. During machining, an extra layer of material is progressively stripped from the workpiece using a cutting tool.

The cutting tool compresses (or cuts) a workpiece’s layer of material, while the machine tool holds or fixes the cutting tool. Single point turning tools (SPTT), drills, milling cutters are cutting tools, whereas lathes are machine tools.

The machine tool solidly mounts the cutting tool, secures the workpiece, and enables the basic relative movements for the seamless cutting action. Cutter-workpiece synchronization is a must for the fast and smooth removal of material on any given workpiece.

Summing it up, the cutting tool cuts off excess material from the workpiece. In contrast, the machine tool helps solidly mount the cutting tools, workpiece, and other essential accessories while imparting appropriate movements.


Have You Found The Right Cutting And Machine Tools For Your Workshop?

Suncoast Precision Tools has been the leader in manufacturing reliable cutting tool supplies for over five decades. Our experience over the years has taught us that successful businesses thrive because they know who to partner with. So contact us for your cutting tool supply needs.