Lesson #17: Question From Reader: Machining Aluminum

From Michael in Australia:

“Hi Phil , Do you use normal style HSS or Carbide endmills on aluminium? Are the different helix angles on the flutes of dedicated aluminium endmills worth the extra cost?

Great question. Most folks see “aluminum” and their mouths start to water just thinking of the prospect of running their cutting tools full-throttle. I say, slow down a minute.

While there are a lot of positives to machining aluminum, the reality is that unless you’re machining over 100 parts, don’t worry so much about the feeds and speeds. Yes, you can absolutely increase your speeds and feeds, but now is not the time to lose your mind.

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