The variety of milling cutters available helps make milling a versatile machining process. Cutters are made in a large range of sizes. Milling cutters are made from High Speed Steel (HSS), others are carbide tipped and many are replaceable or indexable inserts.
Periphery milling cutters — Periphery milling cutters are usually arbor-mounted to perform various operations. Common high-speed steel milling cutters include the staggered tooth cutter, side-milling cutter, plain-milling cutter, single-angle milling cutter, double-angle milling cutter, convex milling cutter, concave milling cutter, and corner-rounded milling cutter.
Light-duty plain mill — A general-purpose cutter for peripheral milling operations. Narrow cutters have straight teeth, while wide ones have helical teeth.
Heavy-duty plain mill — Similar to the light duty mill except that it is used for higher rates of metal removal. To aid it in this function, the teeth are more widely spaced and the helix angle is increased to about 45 degrees.
Side milling cutter — Has a cutting edge on the sides as well as on the periphery. This allows the cutter to mill slots.
Half-side milling cutter — Same as the one previously described except that cutting edges are provided on a single side. It is used for milling shoulders. Two cutters of this type are often mounted on a single arbor for straddle milling.
Stagger-tooth side mill — Same as the side-milling cutter except that the teeth are staggered so that every other tooth cuts on a given side of the slot. This allows deep, heavy-duty cuts to be taken.
Angle cutters — The peripheral cutting edges lie on a cone rather than on a cylinder. A single or double angle may be provided.
Shell endmill — Has peripheral cutting edges plus face cutting edges on one end. It has a hole through it for a bolt to secure it to the spindle.
Form mill — A peripheral cutter whose edge is shaped to produce a special configuration on the surface. One example is the gear tooth cutter. The exact contour of the cutting edge of a form mill is reproduced on the surface of the workpiece.
End-milling cutters — End mills can be used on vertical and horizontal milling machines for a variety of facing, slotting and profiling operations. Solid end mills are made from high-speed steel or sintered carbide. Other types, such as shell end mills and fly cutters, consist of cutting tools that are bolted or otherwise fastened to adapters.