How do you shorten your endmills?

(martin redeby) #1

I find myself in need of some (carbide) end mills with long flutes (30mm, 1.18"), thing is these always seems to be coupled with very long shanks (OAL 75mm, 3" or more).

So since the internet seems to suggest everything from just bashing them with a hammer and hoping for the best, to specialized equipment. I was hoping that someone here might have some practical experience in the matter?

How do you cut down the shank to a appropriate length?


(Alex Kahn) #2

angle grinder or a hack saw? do you have an example of one of these end mills?

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(Phil Thien) #3

I’ve cut HSS drill bits with a diamond cutoff wheel in a Dremel-like tool.

I think cutting carbide would be a challenge. Absolutely test on old (dull/nicked) bits first.


(William Adams) #4

Carbide is quite brittle — accidentally snapped an endmill just by moving it into a clamp when trying to do a setup w. the spindle off.


(martin redeby) #5

so basic glass cutting tactics might be the way to go… score it and give it a tap with a hammer.

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(William Adams) #6

Probably don’t even need to score it — I’d wrap the endmill in aluminum foil, clamp the length you want to break off and then just tap it.


(mikep) #7

Use a file to make a nick where you want it to break, clamp the flutes between two pieces of wood in a bench vice and whack the part you want to break off with a hammer (gently, work you’re way up to where it breaks) . WEAR SAFETY GLASSES!



I would suggest a diamond file to nick it (or a diamond burr or wheel). A common file may just skate or chip the endmill. I cut them down with a diamond wheel (I use my TIG electrode grinder)

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(martin redeby) #9

So the first tries went sort of decent. Though on thicker endmills (6mm) I would definitely recommend making a proper grove all around the piece if you want it to break of cleanly.

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(system) closed #10

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