What Is A Shank Cutter?

Published On: August 21, 2020

The shank cutter for woodworking(also called milling cutter) is one of tools which is most widely used in computer numerical control machine tools(CNC machine). We have different kinds of shank cutters, but most of them are cylindrical. There are blades twined its body and its head. Each of the cutting edges of a milling cutter acts as an individual single-point cutter when it process the workpiece, but they can also do the cooperative engagement.


There are more than one kind of shank cutters. After all, we have more than one kind of surface need to be processed. So, we have shank cutters with flat-end, ball end milling cutter, round nose end milling cutter, flat-end milling cutter with a chamfer, and many other formed milling cutters. Each of these shank cutters have their favorable position for the use of their own skills, like rough machining, finish machining, blank removing, chamferring, etc.

Although we say that different milling cutters have their favorable positions, they are mainly used in two kinds of ways. First is facing milling. But because of the tool cutting edge angle is a right angle, we often use it to machine planes with steps. The other one is called side milling. Due to the edges are swining around its body and head, we can use it to deal with both the surface and the side face. But it takes us other problems which don’t have in face milling: side wall shape and accuracy.


There is one more thing we should know is that the materials we used to produce shank cutters. There are mainly two materials we use in shank cutters. One is high speed steel(HSS) router bits, the other is tungsten carbide shank cutters.

What’s the difference?

Simply speaking, tungsten carbide shank cutters for woodworking have higher hardness than the one made by HSS. These tungsten carbide router bits with excellent cutting force have higher speed and feed rate, which improve productivity. What’s more, shank cutters made by tungsten carbide can process stainless steel titanium alloy and other refractory materials. But in the case of rapid alternating cutting force, its blade is easy to be broken. This kind of milling cutter, of course will cost more, but with a long service life, it completely worth it.

Sure, these are just some basic knowledge about shank cutters. The shank cutter, in fact, have more things we could know but we don’t know.

I hope you have learned what you want to know in this article, thanks for reading.

Share our article: