Modern CNC machining has quickly evolved to take the place of many other tools. One time saving innovation has been the use of thread mills. For decades threads were created using tap and die tools. Now machinists can thread mill pipe threads in no time using specialized milling cutters. Using the right tools can help you create threaded surfaces quickly and efficiently.
Threads used to be created using either hand tap and die tools or special machine taps. These tools slowly “screwed” into or around the component that is being threaded and it cuts away material to create the threads. These tools can definitely cut threads well, but they came with a few issues. One big problem was that tapping threads took a considerable amount of time, especially when working by hand on a small batch of components. If you were unlucky enough to have a tool break in use, it was almost impossible to extract the tool without ruining your threaded surface.
Luckily thread mills were created to solve both of these problems. You can thread a component in only a few seconds with these unique end mills. There are two different types of thread mills, full form thread mills and single pitch thread mills. Each of these cutting tools is uniquely suited to several applications.
The full form thread mill is the larger of the two options, with a row of “teeth” creating the cutting surface. These tools can thread a component in one 360 degree pass, making them a great option when speed is a factor. You can thread mill pipe threads in seconds, which can be a gamechanger for many shops.
Basically full form thread mills cut the threads by completing one rotation while dropping the height of the tool by the thread pitch(the space between two threads) during the cutting process to create a spirally threaded surface. These tools can create several different types sizes as long as the thread pitch is identical. As long as you are working on a stable piece with uniform thread pitches, a full form thread mill will tackle the job with ease.
For more delicate jobs, the single pitch thread mill is your best option. These cutting tools are designed with only a single “tooth” on the cutting surface, meaning that the tools have to cut the entire threaded surface. This will obviously take longer, but there are several advantages to using these end mills. One of the biggest advantages is the fact that these tools have less contact with your workpiece, meaning that they are ideal for thin walled or unstable components. They can also be used to create threads with different pitches and asymmetrical threads. If you have a complex piece with many different thread sizes and pitches, these cutters are an excellent option for your shop.
If you are looking for quality threads mills for your shop, you need to try out the options from Online Carbide. They offer several single pitch end mill sizes as well as full form thread mills for UN, Metric, NPT, and NPTF thread sizes. All of their thread milling cutters are coated with TiAlN to ensure a long working life. With these tools you will be able to thread mill pipe threads and more in moments with incredible accuracy. If you have any questions about any of the solid carbide end mills and drill bits that Online Carbide manufactures, you can reach out to a member of their team by calling 630-238-1424 or sending an email to [email protected]