I have an application where I want to do some milling at the bottom of a pocket. I need a 1/4" diameter cutter that can reach >3/4" into a 1/4" slot, but I don't need more than about .100" for the length of cut and I'd like something that is both ridged and durable.

What I'd really like is a 1/4" HSS end mill on a 1/4" shank with only about 1/2" of cut, which would result in most of the stick out being full cross section which should help strength and rigidity. But for some reason all the mills I find with those dimensions (other than the cheap 1 star chinesium on Amazon) are carbide.

Is there some reason what I'm looking for isn't made? Is what I'm looking for know by some other name?

  • $\begingroup$ It might be that HSS isn't brittle like carbide so doesn't need to sacrifice the length of the cutting edge for that extra support? What material are you cutting? $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Jul 2, 2021 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ @DKNguyen Mild/structural steel. I'd expect the "HSS isn't brittle" argument would go the other way: the HSS bits all have the larger 3/8 shanks. And even if brittle isn't a problem, flex seems to be a limiting factor. $\endgroup$
    – BCS
    Jul 2, 2021 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ You need a flat bottom I take it? Yeah...I'm not seeing anything. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Jul 2, 2021 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ The best I can find are "stub length square end mill" or "corner radius ball endmill" with or without the "stub length" phrase. But carbide. I think they're meant for composites. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Jul 2, 2021 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah; flat bottom. I could tolerate a maybe .050 of chamfer/radius for the specific application, but I'd prefer something more generally useful. --- It look s like you can get 1/4 OD carbide tube. I wonder if that, a WEDM machine and some brazing could make a steel shanked carbide bit? Not that I have the $XXk it would take to find out. $\endgroup$
    – BCS
    Jul 2, 2021 at 20:54


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