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Ball Nose Milling Cutter

If you’ve just recently gotten a CNC machine, you are probably wondering about the various types available and what type of cutting you can do with it. You can find a variety of cutters available, such as end mill, roughing end mill, slab mill, and ball cutter sometimes called a ball nose milling cutter. All options are suitable for various things, and it can be helpful to understand them all, while primarily concentrating on the ball cutter. At Supermill, we have a variety of cutting tools and options available for you.

Ball Cutter

A ball nose milling cutter uses ball nose end mills and is similar to a slot drill, though the ends are hemispherical. Therefore, they are suitable for machining any 3D contoured shapes into the machining centers, such as dies and molds. Sometimes, they are called ball mills on the shop floor, even though the term has another meaning. A ball mill is a grinder that grinds and blends materials to use in paints, ceramics, and more. Regardless, you are likely to hear that term used by machinists.

The ball nose cutter can also add radiuses between perpendicular faces, which reduces the stress concentration.

The ball cutter should not be confused with the bull nose cutter, which uses a fairly large corner radius. It is half the diameter of the ball mill, so that a 20-mm diameter cutter would have a 2-mm radius corner.

Other Types

It is helpful to understand that there are other cutters on the market. These can include:

  • End Mills have cutting teeth on the ends and sides and typically refer to flat bottom cutters, though they can include the rounded ball-nose cutter.
  • Roughing End Mills can remove larger amounts of materials and are similar to the end mill, though larger.

With this information in mind, you may want to contact us for help on choosing the most appropriate ball nose cutters for your needs.