View Full Version : What size (3mm shank) ball endmill should buy?

01-06-2009, 10:43 AM
There's a bloke out in Hong Kong who appears to do reasonable prices on carbide ball end endmills. I've never used a ball endmill & therefore clueless as to which would be the most useful.

Here's what he says...

"we have 1mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm ball endmill shank at 3mm. The unit prices (including shipping) are
1.0mm - hkd45.00
1.5mm - hkd48.00
2.0mm - hkd51.00
2.5mm - hkd54.00
3.0mm - hkd57.00"

1 Hong Kong Dollar = approx 8p, therefore....

1.0mm - 5.60
1.5mm - 6.00
2.0mm - 6.37
2.5mm - 6.75
3.0mm - 7.12

Which size is the most useful? (or most 'general purpose')

John S
01-06-2009, 12:37 PM
Hank, You don't say where you are as we may be able to offer alternatives.

Most posters put their rough location in with their other details, picture etc at the side.

Kip lists Leeds but that's like listing Middle earth as you have to get your passport stamped and change your money just north of Sheffield. :yahoo:


01-06-2009, 12:53 PM
Ok, I've updated my profile - I'm in North London. This being myCNCUK, I didn't think the Royal Mail differentiated to get an envelope through any UK letterbox?

John S
01-06-2009, 01:43 PM
Hank, although it's UK group we have people from OZ, NZ and the states and telling them this guy in Bedford sells them for threepence isn't a lot of good.
The reason I asked is Jenny from JB cutting tools has loads of 2mm ball mills in carbide on here stall.
She's that busy she won't deal by phone, in fact she never answers it but she's at a show up and down the UK every weekend.
At Harrogate they were all at 2.00 each

01-06-2009, 01:55 PM
she's at a show up and down the UK every weekend
John, any idea where I could find these shows listed? (do they come to East Anglia? or is it too far 'abroad'? )

John S
01-06-2009, 02:00 PM
Bill, no chance of a listing because she does all types of shows not just model engineering.
She does agricultural shows, motor bike shows, staem rallies, I think it depends on what's on where that takes her fancy.

I may have a way of getting in touch with her, if so I'll ask for her list of venues.

Only one I can guarantee is Bristol ME show in August.

01-06-2009, 05:06 PM
Southern Jessie..... The Royal mail doesn't...very true.....but someone may know where you can get em cheaper...in your area.....South of the Watford gap it reads "There be dragons here" on my map :whistle:

"Rough" location John.....have you found me duck! :eek:

Jk....I haven't got a duck :D

I'm actually an exiled Geordie (just need to get my innoculations topped up & I can return to my roots.

I've emailed 'Jenny from the block'...let's see if she answers emails!

John S
01-06-2009, 10:14 PM
I've emailed 'Jenny from the block'...let's see if she answers emails!

You stand no chance :whistle:

I did mange to speak to her this afternoon.

This weekend coming she's at Rufford Autojumble at York.
Third weekend in June Newark Kit car Show.
Last weekend in June Knutsford Steam rally Cheshire ?

John S
01-06-2009, 11:06 PM
Rufford...same as Rufforth (typo) Is she still just "Jenny from the block"? Who's mange who you..."Did" this afternoon... :eek: I may have had dealings with her years ago....not a word to the wife!

This bloody keyboard, can't spel for cherries.

Yup RUFFORTH and manage,

Best to do a Google and check dates as 3rd weekend is often not quite if someone forgets the odd 3 days at the beginning of a month.

Anyway that's what she told me.

I did embarrass her once at Bristol, I shouted across the hall as we were going in one morning.

"Jenny had your hands on any big tools lately ? "


02-06-2009, 01:04 AM
FWIW, since 'Jenny from the block' remains totally uncontactable unless you travel on a 300 mile roadtrip to a wheeltappers & shunters fair tucked away in a place that likely isn't recognised by a sat nav, then this guy is selling 4 x flat endmills (3mm shank) for $7.50 delivered to your door...


(that works out at about 1.15 per endmill delivered)

(his price is listed a little higher, but if you submit a best offer of $7.50 for two sets (eight end mils in in total, he'll accept - well he did with mine).

Not ball end mills ...but cheap as chips for carbide flat endmills (last price I paid was about a fiver delivered from an Ebay seller in the UK)

John S
02-06-2009, 01:20 AM
One think I noticed with those is they are 4 flute, now 4 flute can be centre cutting or can't depending on how they are ground.
The ad doesn't say centre cutting so it's anyones guess, if one flute doesn't cross over centre then they won't plunge cut.

Can you post after you have received them ?

04-06-2009, 12:11 PM
Just as a footnote, the Chinese seller (who's English is very good), has reported that these 4 flute endmills do bore dowanwards as well as cut sideways.

As predicted Jenny from the block hasn't answered my email, so her wares are only available to peruse in person - Bristol could be a suitable contender? ;-)

John S
04-06-2009, 12:16 PM
Good, Most modern stuff is but you never know.

07-06-2009, 09:54 AM
Just thought I better post a follow up to this - I think I've screwed up here! Basically, the ones he sells on Ebay are 4mm shaft (Dremels take 3mm end mills)...I emailed him to ask if he did 3mm shaft - he does, but stupidly, a couple of days later I only went & bought the ones he's selling online forgetting that those are in fact 4mm shafts! doh.

So in short....don't buy off that link that I gave above - email the seller to ask for 3mm shaft prices.

I'll get me coat.....

07-06-2009, 10:19 AM
Just out of interest... what type of router are end mills with 4mm shafts used with?

I'm figuring those routers with 1/4" capability, but with a collet to shrink it down a litt?

As it goes I do have a larger 1/4" router (but it makes way too much noise)...I shall probably hang onto them for after when I get my acoustic shroud built!

John S
07-06-2009, 11:09 AM
It's the way things are changing, all the old engineering books like Chapman etc are totally out of date as regards tooling. For one thing what we knew as cutter descriptions have changed out of all context and even the manufacturers come up with their own descriptions.

At one time we had slot drills and end mills, slot drills are two flute with one flute going over centre so it can plunge and hey ho cut a slot.
Ends mills were 4 flute and had a hole in the centre for the grinding wheel to run out into and for that reason they couldn't plunge cut, you had to start off the work and move in hey ho hence 'end' of the work.

However modern CNC grinding techniques mean we can get 2, 3, 4, 5 or even 6 flute with or without centre cutting. Confused :question: well you will be.
The manufacturers haven't helped in that they call some cutters 4 flute end mills but they can plunge cut and on the same page they call a similar cutter a 4 flute slot drill.

So basically they have thrown the book out the window and it's a free for all. The old standards and terminology have gone forever. Don't believe me look in J&L book, or Cromwell, or WNT

Now the next bit is shanks, we had 4 sizes in metric and imperial.
6,10, 12 and 16 or 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8" with 1/8" or 3mm for the tiny sub spindles. Many were threaded to fit the Clarkson type chucks.

With the advent of Carbide it was harder to grind the thread and the Clarkson fell out of favour for the straight collet chucks such as the ER series.
Because the ER series has no gaps in the range unlike a 1/2" Clarkson which can only hold 1/2" it then became viable to make the cutter size out of the blank size so we get things like a 7mm cutter ground from a piece of 7mm stock, add to this it can have 2, 3 or 4 flutes and still be centre cutting and you can see how we have moved on.

Hope that answers your question. :whistle:


28-07-2009, 12:07 AM
And I thought that would clear up the confusion. lol
I understood Dremels to have 1/8" 3/32" and 1/16" collets in their metric equivalents 3.2mm 2.4mm & 1.6mm. Their collets are very difficult to align. As too their 3 pin mini chuck.

I have limited experience of Routers; the ones I have, have 1/4" & 8mm collets. My friend bought an AEG one last week which had a range of collets from 1/2" down to 6mm, I didn't get to see what other sizes were in the box before he magiced it away. :wink:

My first Dremel died after a long life and rather than recycle it at the community depot, I stripped the rotor out of it, removed the fan, cut the shaft just below the rotor windings, and had it ground down to fit the 8mm collet of my B&Q el cheapo router. So with that in place I get to use all my Dremel bits.

To answer the question posed in the thread title? I suggest a 1/16" ball end mill cutter. Perfect for fine detail carving in wood featured in Vcarve.