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  1. #1
    Hi guys,

    I'm looking for where to get some 3 and 6mm endmills for cutting aluminium, iv seen apt recommended and i think 2 flute is about right, is it best going with there endmills for aluminium or just with the generic type.

    is AliExpress/ china worth it? if so does anyone have a shop on AliExpress they can recommend for a good source of bits.

    thanks in advance tank

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by tankproof2 View Post
    Hi guys,

    I'm looking for where to get some 3 and 6mm endmills for cutting aluminium, iv seen apt recommended and i think 2 flute is about right, is it best going with there endmills for aluminium or just with the generic type.

    is AliExpress/ china worth it? if so does anyone have a shop on AliExpress they can recommend for a good source of bits.

    thanks in advance tank
    I use Apt 2 flute and am very happy with them but you must get the ones for aluminium as they are uncoated, coated ones will gum up cutting aluminium.

    Never used ali express but have had bad cutters from China off ebay

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ngwagwa View Post
    I use Apt 2 flute and am very happy with them but you must get the ones for aluminium as they are uncoated, coated ones will gum up cutting aluminium.
    Not exactly correct.!!
    I pretty much exclusively cut aluminum and quite aggressively using Carbide cutters with DLC coatings, they never gum up. The most common cause of gumming cutters is people using the wrong cutting parameters, even soft shitty aluminum like 1050 doesn't gum up if using correct parameters.

    To the OP, I suggest you buy cheap cutters to start with as you will most likely snap plenty while learning. Then when you have gained some experience look to buy better quilty as they will last much longer and provide better finishes.

    I'll warn you now cutting aluminum, or anything for that matter is all about getting the cutting parameters correct, but especially so with aluminum as many other variables come into play and it's much less forgiving than say wood or plastics. Machine strength, Material grade, cutter length, # of flutes and spindle power, coolant/Air, etc all play a big part in what happens.

    Aluminum can be very unpredictable with hard and soft spots so your cutting parameters need to be spot on and the machine strong enough with spare spindle power to handle the fluctuating material.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

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  5. #4
    apt are reasonable also rennie tools. i would personally stay away from china for cutters as you don't know what you are getting, and sizes can be inconsistent. The only coating not to get is tialn as this will clog up with aluminium. Uncoated polished is the "standard" but as jazz said dlc (diamond like carbon) is very strong and stays sharp for a long time.

  6. #5
    Muzzer's Avatar
    Lives in Lytham St. Annes, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 8 Hours Ago Has been a member for 3-4 years. Has a total post count of 265. Received thanks 33 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    If you get a couple of the lapped cutters, you can get a truly stupendous surface finish. I tend to buy them when Cutwel do one of their periodic offers like 30-40% off or 3 for 2. The downside is that they are razor sharp so you need to be very careful how you handle them(!).
    https://www.cutwel.co.uk/milling-too...illing-cutters

    I've only broken 2 cutters over the last year or so (not just due to being an armchair warrior) and in both cases it was due to recutting swarf. This was due to me not clearing the chips from the cutting zone. They ended up stir welding themselves to the (uncoated) tool and I don't think the surface treatment or absence of it would have made any difference. Now I use an air gun to blow them clear and the longer term solution is a HVLP spray gun pump (don't want / have a large compressor).

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