The Different Types of Cutting Tools and their Uses - Engineering Choice (2023)

What is a Cutting Tool?

In the field of machining, a cutter or cutting tool is usually a hardened metal tool used to cut, shape, and remove material from a workpiece using machining tools and abrasive tools through shear deformation.

A cutting tool is a wedge-shaped, sharp-edged tool used to remove excess layers of material from a workpiece by cutting during machining to obtain the desired shape, size, and accuracy. It is firmly attached to the machine tool. The relative speed between the workpiece and the cutting tool is also provided by various mechanical and other arrangements for the cutting motion.

Most of these tools are designed specifically for metal. There are many different types of single-edge cutting tools that are milled from various hardened metal alloys into specific shapes to perform specific parts of the turning process to produce the final machined part.

Single-edge cutting tools are used primarily in turning operations performed on lathes and vary in size and alloy composition depending on the size and type of material being turned.

These cutting tools are held in place by something called a tool post that manipulates the tool to cut the material to the desired shape. Single-edge cutting tools are also a means of cutting material that is performed by metal shaping machines and metal planers that remove material with a single cutting edge.

Milling and drilling tools are often multi-point tools. Drilling is used only to make holes in the workpiece. All drills have two cutting edges that are ground to two equal taper angles that apply a downward rotational force to cut the material.

An end mill or milling bits that cuts material through rotational force. Although these tools are not made for drilling the workpiece. They are cut by a horizontal shear deformation introduced into the tool as the workpiece rotates.

This is known as the tool path determined by the table axis that holds the workpiece in place. This table is designed to accept a variety of clamps and clamping tools to hold the workpiece and move it to the cutter at different angles and directions. There are several different types of end mills for specific types of milling operations.

The Different Types of Cutting Tools and their Uses - Engineering Choice (1)

Classification of Cutting Tools

A cutting tool can have one or more primary cutting edges that simultaneously participate in the cutting process in single pass.

Cutting tools can be classified in different ways. However, the most common method is based on the number of leading cutting edges simultaneously participating in the cutting process. Based on this, cutting tools can be divided into three groups as shown below.

  • Single Point Cutting Tool
  • Double Point Cutting Tool
  • Multi Point Cutting Tool

1. Single Point Cutting Tools

A single-point cutting tool consists of only one main cutting edge that can perform material removal operations at a time. Single point cutting tools are used in turning, shaping, planning and similar operations.

Made of hard materials such as high carbon steel, high speed steel, ceramic and diamond.

With single-point cutting tools, one cutting edge does all the work, and material may not be removed quickly, increasing the chance of edge breakage.

If one of the cutting edges breaks during use, the entire tool must be stopped and replaced before being used again.

A single-point tool, such as a single-blade reamer, has only one cutting edge to remove material. Single blade reamers work with only one edge and are often time-consuming.

The main advantage of single-point cutting tools is that they are very easy and fast to design and manufacture, and such tools are relatively inexpensive.

Single cutting edge also have disadvantages. It is in constant contact with the workpiece during machining.

The result is increased tool wear and reduced tool life. Due to the continuous contact, the temperature rise rate of the tool is high. On the one hand, this accelerates tool wear, and on the other hand, it causes thermal damage to the finished surface.

If the temperature becomes too high, the tool tip may undergo plastic deformation, resulting in poor machining accuracy. The material removal rate (MRR) is much lower because only one cutting edge requires the full depth of cut (chip load) in one pass. So, productivity is low.

The Different Types of Cutting Tools and their Uses - Engineering Choice (2)

2. Double Point Cutting Tool

A double point cutting tool consists of two cutting edges that can cut or shear at the same time in one operation. In contrast, a single-point cutting tool contains only one main cutting edge.

A multi-edged cutting tool contains more than two cutting edges to perform machining operations in a single pass.

Sometimes cutters can only be divided into two groups when double-point cutters are also considered multi-point cutters.

In addition, a cutting edge is obtained through the intersection of a rake face and a flank. Double-point cutting tools, therefore, contain two rake faces and two flanks.

Double Point Cutting Tool Example: Drill is the only example for this category. Note that drills can have more than two cutting edges. However, conventional (without cutting edge modification) metal cutting drills contain two cutting edges.

The simultaneous action of two cutting edges sometimes creates a certain cutting force component in that two cutting edges automatically eliminate (or reduce) one another. This reduces various shocks (such as instability, vibration, etc.) of an unbalanced cutting force.

3. Multi-Point Cutting Tools

A multi-point cutting tool contains more than two main cutting edges that work simultaneously in one pass. Sometimes cutters with two cutting edges are also viewed as multi-cutting tools (rather than double-point cutters).

The number of cutting edges present in a multi-point cutter can vary from three to a few hundred.

In contrast to a single-point tool, a multi-point cutting tool allows more than one cutting edge to be used at the same time. Ultimately, the multi-point tool allows multiple edges of the tool to remove material at once.

This allows multiple-cutting tools or “multi-blade” tools to run faster than single-cutting tools.

Because the amount of heat generated at the cutting edges is distributed across each cutting blade, the tool can often run longer and be more wear-resistant. A Diatool high-performance reamer is a great example of a multi-cutting tool.

Compared to alternative methods, a multi-bladed reamer can shorten cycle times and increase quality.

Multi-point cutting tools have many advantages such as low chip load per tooth, higher speed and feed, high MRR and productivity, also reduced tool wear, low cutting temperature, and longer tool life.

It also has disadvantages such as intermittent cuts, cutting edges, or teeth are exposed to fluctuating loads. This creates noises, vibrations, and permanent failure of the cutter. The cutter is comparatively difficult to design and manufacture. This makes such a cutter more expensive.

Types of Cutting Tools

As the name suggests, cutting tools are used for machining operations in metal cutting technology. The milling cutters can be used in various machining applications. Therefore, the milling cutters were named according to their respective role in the machining.

Here is a list of the cutting tools that are commonly used:

  • Single Point Turning Tool. This cutting tool is for performing the turning operation in the lathe machine.
  • Drill. A drill is a cutting tool that drills a hole in a workpiece that has a cutting edge at the tip and a groove in the body for evacuating chips. It is the most common tool among cutting tools, with various shapes and types for use from DIY to specialty machining tools.
  • Mill (or Milling cutter). A milling tool is a generic term for tools with several cutting edges on the outer surface or the end surface of a disk or a cylindrical body; it cuts the workpiece as it rotates. It is mainly used in the milling machine and machining center; The blade material includes diamond/CBN, high-speed steel, and carbide. An end mill is also a type of milling tool.
  • Reamer. A reamer is a tool used to finish the hole opened by a drill according to the required accuracy. Similar to the cutting tool, the blade material includes diamond/CBN, high-speed steel, and carbide. The number of cutting edges ranges from one to several, depending on the hole diameter and application. With the step reamer, the blade is divided into several steps, which means that several operations are possible with a single reamer.
  • Broach. A broaching machine is a tool for machining the surface of a workpiece or the inner surface of a hole in the broaching machine, in which numerous cutting edges are arranged in the order of dimension along the axis of the rod-shaped main body outer periphery.
  • Fly cutter. This tool does the task of fly milling on the milling machine.
  • Shaper. This cutter is for giving specific shape and accuracy to the workpiece and is performed on the shaping machine.
  • Planer. This wedge device is similar to a shaper. However, in this process, the larger workpieces are employed which move during the process, whereas in shape, the cutter moves.
  • Boring bar. This cutting device is performed on the boring or drilling machine to execute the boring operation.
  • Hob. This cutter is to perform the hobbing operation on the hobbing machine.
  • Grinding wheel. This grinding tool is an abrasive device used on the grinding machine for the grinding operation.

Classification of the Cutter Depending on the Shape

Depending on the shape of the milling cutter, the cutting tool is now further differentiated. Let’s look at the category that the cutting tool can be divided into in terms of shape:

  • Solid
  • Tipped Tool
  • Tool Bit
  • Grain Size
  • Pointed Tool

1. Solid

In general, such a kind of cutter is employed as a lathe turning tool to perform the turning operations.

2. Tipped Tool

This cutter was developed from different materials. That is, the body of the cutter is made of several different materials while its cutting part is developed from a different material.

These two parts of the cutting tool can be joined by following any process including clamping, welding, etc. Examples of tools with tipping are tools with tungsten carbide tipping,

3. Tool Bit

This is a non-rotating cutter. You can use this tool on the shaping or planing machine to shape and plan the workpiece accordingly and much more.

It falls under the cutting tools category, which means that this cutting tool only has one main cutting groove. Some common examples of this type of cutting tool are the cast non-ferrous satellite cobalt, the lathe tool in the machine holder, etc.

4. Grain Size

Cutting tools depend on the grain size and the number of grains. Assuming the grain is smaller, it will shear off more of the material from the workpiece.

Conversely, if the grain size is larger, more material will be sheared off. For example, the abrasive type of cutting tool is used in grinding wheels.

5. Pointed Tool

As the tool name suggests, the Tio of this cutter is pointed and fine. All edges coincide in one line. A few examples of such cutting devices include hard carbide cutters and pointed diamonds mounted on the holder.

Cutting Tool Material

Cutting tool materials are used to make cutting tools used in machining (drill bits, tool bits, milling cutters, etc.) but not other cutting tools like knives or punches.

Cutting tool materials must be harder than the material of the workpiece, even at high temperatures during the process.

The following properties are required for the cutting tool:

  • hardness, hot hardness and pressure resistance
  • bending strength and toughness
  • inner bonding strength
  • wear resistance
    • oxidation resistance
    • small prosperity to diffusion and adhesion
    • abrasion resistance
    • edge strength

No material shows all of these properties at the same time. Very hard materials, have lower toughness and break more easily. The following cutting tool materials are used:

  • Tool steels. They are relatively cheap and tough. Their hardness is sufficient to machine other steels.
  • Carbon tool steels. Carbon steels have been used since the 1880s for cutting tools. However, carbon steels start to soften at a temperature of about 180oC. This limitation means that such tools are rarely used for metal cutting operations. Plain carbon steel tools, containing about 0.9% carbon and about 1% manganese, hardened to about 62 Rc, are widely used for woodworking and they can be used in a router to machine aluminum sheet up to about 3mm thick.
  • High-speed steels. They lose their hardness at 600 °C and are widely used in machining. HSS tools are tough and suitable for interrupted cutting and are used to manufacture tools of complex shape such as drills, reamers, taps, dies, and gear cutters. Tools may also be coated to improve wear resistance. HSS accounts for the largest tonnage of tool materials currently used. Typical cutting speeds: 10 – 60 m/min.
  • Cutting ceramic. They are even harder than cemented carbides but have lower toughness. Aluminum oxide and silicon nitride are used. The latter has higher toughness, but can’t be used for machining Steel, due to very high wear.
  • Cemented carbide. Cemented carbide cutting tool consists of tantalum, tungsten, and titanium carbide with cobalt as a binder. These carbide tools are very hard and can withstand temperatures well above a 900-degree Celsius.
  • Ceramics tools. Aluminum oxide and silicon nitride are considered the most common ceramic materials. They have high compressive strength and can withstand temperatures up to 1800-degree Celsius. Due to their low friction between tool face and chip and low heat conductivity, they usually require no coolant and provide an excellent surface finish.
  • Cubic boron nitride tool (CBN). CBNs are the second hardest material after diamond. They offer high resistance to abrasion and use an abrasive in grinding wheels.
  • Diamond tool. Diamonds are the hardest material and not to mention also quite expensive. It has a very high thermal conductivity and melting point. They offer a low friction coefficient, low thermal expansion, and high abrasion-resistant. Diamonds are excellent for dimensional accuracy and surface finish.
  • Other Materials. To improve the toughness of tools, developments are being carried out with whisker reinforcement, such as silicon nitride reinforced with silicon carbide whiskers.


The Different Types of Cutting Tools and their Uses - Engineering Choice? ›

Cutting can be broadly divided into two methods: rolling, where the workpiece is restrained while the tools turn, and turning, where the workpiece is turned instead.

What are the 5 types of cutting tools? ›

  • Cutting tools. A cutting tools is a type of cutting tool with a blade at the end of the shank. ...
  • Reamer. A reamer is a tool to finish the hole opened by a drill according to the required accuracy. ...
  • Drill. ...
  • Milling tools. ...
  • Endmill. ...
  • Broach. ...
  • Tap/thread cutting die.

What are the different types of cutting in engineering? ›

Cutting can be broadly divided into two methods: rolling, where the workpiece is restrained while the tools turn, and turning, where the workpiece is turned instead.

What are cutting tools in engineering? ›

cutting tool in Mechanical Engineering

A cutting tool is a pointed tool mounted in a machine tool and used for cutting materials. Lathes and milling machines use different types of cutting tools. Diamonds are sometimes used in cutting tools because its hardness allows it to cut other hard materials.

What are the types and uses of cutting tools? ›

Cutting Tools Example

Single point turning tool—cutter for turning operation performed in the lathe. Drill—cutter for drilling operation performed on drilling machine or lathe or milling machine. Milling cutter (or mill)—cutter for milling operations performed on a milling machine.

What is the 10 example of cutting tools? ›

Fabric scissors, kitchen shears, spring loaded scissors, pruning shears, paper trimmer, craft knives, thread clipper, rotary cutter and more.

What are the 10 basic cutting techniques? ›

Here are the cutting techniques every chef should know:
  • Cross Chop.
  • Rock Chop.
  • Julienne Cut.
  • Brunoise Dice.
  • Small Dice.
  • The Batonnet.
  • The Baton.
  • Pont-Neuf.
Dec 22, 2015

What are the four classification of cutting tools? ›

Currently, cutting tool materials are mainly divided into four categories: tool steel (including carbon instrument steel, Alloy steel, and high-speed steel), hard alloy, ceramic and ultra-hard cutting tool materials. High-speed steel and hard composite steel are commonly used in machining.

What are the 4 types of cuts? ›

There are four types of open wounds, which are classified depending on their cause.
  • Abrasion. An abrasion occurs when your skin rubs or scrapes against a rough or hard surface. ...
  • Laceration. A laceration is a deep cut or tearing of your skin. ...
  • Puncture. ...
  • Avulsion.
Aug 14, 2018

What is mechanical cutting tool? ›

Mechanical cutting tools use physical or abrasive force, often applied by hand, to achieve the desired effect. This would include tools such as hacksaws, shears, chisels, or metal grinders. The size of these tools can vary; smaller tools are easier to transport, but larger tools tend to have more cutting capacity.

What are metal cutting tools? ›

What is a Metal Cutting Tool? Metal cutting tools have a primary purpose of removing leftover material from a manufactured piece of metal by using the process of shear deformation. There are mainly two types of metal cutting tools that are normally used; single point tools and multi-point tools.

What are the different types of mechanical cutting machines? ›

Some common machines used in mechanical cutting include lathes, milling machines, and drill presses, which correspond to the processes of turning, milling, and drilling, respectively.

What is special cutting tools? ›

The special cutting tools and special milling cutters are made with high-quality materials to ensure long-lasting performance. The special cutting tools are designed to cut materials with precision and accuracy. The special milling cutters are designed to produce parts with high accuracy and reliability.

What is the most common cutting tool? ›

End Mills are the most common cutting tools for CNC and manual mills and are generally used for machining the sides and faces of a workpiece. High-Speed Steel End Mill materials are designed for a variety of milling process on most materials.

How many types of basic cutting are there? ›

The Food Production department or Kitchen make a wide variety of dishes, and the chefs working the kitchen should be very familiar with the different variety of cuts used in the advance culinary preparation.

What is the most powerful cutting tool? ›

Reciprocating saws are among the most powerful and aggressive saws. Reciprocating saw tool works with standard metal reciprocating saw blades. You can use it to cut through metal sheets, wood, PVC, and pipes.

What are the main ten 10 requirements of cutting tool materials? ›

Welcome back.
  • Properties Required for Tool Materials: ...
  • 1] Hot hardness: ...
  • 2] Wear resistance: ...
  • 3] Toughness: ...
  • 4] Low friction: ...
  • 5] Thermal conductivity: ...
  • 6] Low cost:

Where are cutting tools used? ›

In the context of machining, a cutting tool or cutter is typically a hardened metal tool that is used to cut, shape, and remove material from a workpiece by means of machining tools as well as abrasive tools by way of shear deformation. The majority of these tools are designed exclusively for metals.

What tool is used to cut wood? ›

Hacksaw, Keyhole saw, Japanese saw, Coping saw, Crosscut saw, Fret saw and Bow saws. One of the major advantage of these power saws is it allows a significant amount of wood to be cut in a short period of time.

What are the 6 basic knife cuts? ›

Let's break down the top eight knife cuts every professional cook and chef should know.
  • Mince. For specific garnishes and sautés, mincing is the ultimate knife cut because it's as microscopic as you can get. ...
  • Julienne. ...
  • Batonnet. ...
  • Brunoise. ...
  • Dice. ...
  • Rondelle. ...
  • Chiffonade. ...
  • Paysanne.
Sep 2, 2022

What is the largest knife cut? ›

One of the largest of the knife cuts, the baton cut is perfect for thick-cut french fries. The baton is the largest of the stick cuts, with a standard dimension of 2 inches by a 1/2 inch by a 1/2 inch.

What are the different types of cutting design? ›

The three basic cutting methods are flat pattern cutting, draping and computerized cutting.

What are the cutting tools in shape construction? ›

Other materials in shape construction are cutting tools are scissors, cardboard =, glue or gum brush, plier, sellotape, clip and nails or pins.

What are the basic cutting operation? ›

Cutting processes work by causing fracture of the material that is processed. Usually, the portion that is fractured away is in small sized pieces, called chips. Common cutting processes include sawing, shaping (or planing), broaching, drilling, grinding, turning and milling.

What are the 5 types of wounds explain the 5 types of wounds and how to treat each accordingly? ›

The five types of wounds are abrasion, avulsion, incision, laceration, and puncture. An abrasion is a wound caused by friction when a body scrapes across a rough surface. An avulsion is characterized by a flap. An incision is a cut with clean edges.

What is classified as a deep cut? ›

The wound is large or deep, even if the bleeding is not severe. The wound is more than a quarter inch (. 64 centimeter) deep, on the face, or reaching the bone. Stitches may be needed.

What is a diagonal cut called? ›

The roll cut (also known as the oblique cut) is used on long vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, cucumbers, or zucchini to create pieces with two angled sides.

What is CNC cutting tools? ›

CNC machines are computer-controlled, high-precision tools designed to make accurate movements in a repeated pattern. During the 1940s and 50s, CNC cutting tools were introduced in the industrial world. These high-precision machines were used for various machining operations.

What are cutting tools examples? ›

Examples of cutting tools include drills, reamers, planers, saws, grinders, shapers, taps and dies, and fly cutters.

What are the automotive cutting tools? ›

Automotive Cutting Tools
  • Drills.
  • Center Drills.
  • Piloted Reamers.
  • Piloted Core Drills.
  • Reamers.
  • Step Reamers.
  • Core Drills.
  • Step Drills.

What machine is used to cut steel? ›

Machines used to cut metal include lathes, milling machines, drilling machines, boring machines, and machining centers. Mother machines are machines that enable other machines to function.

What is the best tool for cutting welds? ›

Angle Grinder

Grinders are best for unfinished metal, rough cuts, removing seized hardware, or cutting welds. The blade gets exceptionally hot during the cutting process, which can burn paint or finish off the piece you're working on. For this reason, there are other tools better suited to finish work.

What are three commonly used cutting metals? ›

The following cutting tool materials are used:
  • Tool steels. They are relatively cheap and tough. ...
  • cemented carbides. Harder than tool steels, but less tough. ...
  • cutting ceramic. They are even harder than cemented carbides but have lower toughness. ...
  • "super hard materials": cubic boron nitride.

What is metal cutting called? ›

Chip Forming is a metal cutting process that uses mechanical means like sawing, milling, drilling, and turning. This method was pioneered by Kivima and Franz in the 1950s. This metal cutting process is often described in regards to a three-way model, this model is widely known in the machine tool design industry.

What is a sheet cutter tool called? ›

Snips, also known as shears, are hand tools used to cut sheet metal and other tough webs. It is a cutting tool. Workers use various types of snips, either straight or blend one be obtained.

What are the 2 different types of cutting machines? ›

In the graphic arts industry, they are used to cut paper, cardstock, and other materials into specific shapes for card making, scrapbooking, and other crafts. The two main types of industrial die-cutting machines are flatbed and rotary die-cutting machines.

What are the 4 cutting tools? ›

Examples include turning tool, boring tool, fly cutter, slotting tool, etc. Double point cutting tool—As the name implies, these tools contain two cutting edges that simultaneously participate in cutting action at a pass. Example includes drill (common metal cutting drill that has only two flutes).

What are the 2 most common types of cutting tool materials? ›

Mostly cutting tool materials which are used to make the cutting tool can be divided into the following types: High Carbon Steel. High-Speed Steel.

What are the tools for cutting in construction? ›

  • Brushes.
  • Point chisels, chisels and cold chisels.
  • Wood chisels.
  • Trowels, floats, scrapers and spatulas.
  • Hammers and striking tools.
  • Construction shovels.
  • Trowels.

What two tools are used to cut metal? ›

Like a pair of scissors, tin snips are an inexpensive handheld tool that cuts straight, or if the blade is curved, can cut curves and circles. Tin snips are ideal for cutting soft metals like aluminum and copper, and are especially useful for cutting sheet metal, gutters, metal roofing, and studs.

How do I choose a cutting tool? ›

The selection of the right cutting tool is based on the material to machine, power available on machine, fixture stability, machine dynamics which leads to the right selection of cutting tool material, grades, geometries, depth of cuts and the feeds.

What is the toughest thing to cut? ›

Diamonds are largely considered to be one of the hardest, naturally occurring materials on Earth, although with the right tools, you could actually cut or fracture a diamond.

What is the most versatile cutting tool? ›

Circular saws are the most versatile electric cutting tools. Like all tools, there's a learned skill involved in operating circular saws.

What are the 4 basic knife skills? ›

Here are six basic knife skills, as pointed out by Tasty, to master in your 20s.
  • How to grip the knife properly. Before you start chopping anything, you want to make sure you're holding the knife correctly. ...
  • How to cut properly. ...
  • How to dice. ...
  • How to mince. ...
  • How to chiffonade. ...
  • How to julienne.
Dec 27, 2017


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