How to Save Time and Money with Combination Cutting Tools

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So, you’re cranking out parts on your machine at a steady rate. The orders are being filled and the boss is happy. Life is good.

But, if you’re like me, you’re still agonizing over the seconds that could be saved. I’ve talked before about the benefits of Dynamic settings to decrease cycle time and increase surface finish quality, but then what? One surefire way to save some time in your process is to decrease tool changes. After you’ve organized the order of your operations to minimize tool changes, things have improved, but what if we could exchange two tools in place of one? Well, luckily, DATRON has the same thing in mind.

Combination Cutting Tool – DATRON Milling Thread Mill

Combination cutting tool that combines milling of holes with threading those holes in a single action with not tool change required.
Combination cutting tool for milling and threading holes.

Meet the Milling Thread Mill. The name may sound redundant, but there is a big reason why. Before the outer flutes take care of the task of cutting the threads, the three flutes at the tip remove all the material in your way. By comparison to standard thread milling, this not only saves you the time of changing the tool from a drill/mill to a thread milling tool, but also the time spent removing that material in the first place.

A combination cutting tool made by DATRON mills holes and threads them in one pass, thereby eliminating a tool change and time associated with drilling holes with one tool and threading them with another.
A combination cutting tool from DATRON cut the hole and thread it in a single pass.

Consider this: This piece above, for example, has ten M6x1.00 threaded holes. Using a 3 mm single flute end mill and a M5-10 thread mill, it is taken care of in 3 minutes and 20 seconds. However, the same part done with the Milling Thread Mill blasts through in just 1 minute and 11 seconds. That’s 20 seconds a hole versus 7 seconds a hole, a 65% improvement! Apply that to your thread-heavy application and you’re looking at a considerable benefit in the long term (especially if you’re hand threading after the fact!).

Not to mention that since you’re not using two tools to accomplish one task you’re saving on tooling cost as well as adding useable life onto other tools. It’s a win-win. Now watch it in action:

Combination Cutting Tool Video (Milling and Threading Holes)

Combination Cutting Tool – DATRON Milling Countersink Tool

Combination cutting tool for producing holes and countersinks at the same time without a tool change.
Combination cutting tool for milling and countersinking in one process … without a tool change!

This combination tool is well suited to front panel applications, but is also handy elsewhere. When many holes need a countersink, this tool combines both operations into one quick operation. With a single flute end mill at the tip and a single angled flute at the shoulder, both operations can be taken care of quickly. It is not limited to just countersinking however, as you can also use it as a chamfer tool to de-burr edges or mill appealing bevels.

Combination cutting tool for milling holes and a countersink in one action to eliminate the need for a tool change which saves time and money.
These holes and the countersinks were made with a single combination cutting tool.

For example; This simple part has 5 countersunk holes and a chamfered perimeter. When cut the typical way, a 3mm single flute end mill clears out the holes, while a 45 degree countersink takes care of the rest. This is accomplished in 1 minute 22 seconds.

When using the combination mill though, the holes and countersink are created at the same time, and the perimeter is beveled without the need for a tool change. Thanks to this small change the cycle time improves the 45 seconds, which is about 45% quicker than before.

So next time you find yourself chasing down seconds, take a look at DATRON tooling, and you might end up saving minutes.

Learn More: Download the DATRON Cutting Tool Catalog:

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About the Author

Dann Demazure is an Applications Engineer at DATRON Dynamics. His technical expertise makes him an integral part of programming new projects for potential and current customers as well as training them on the use of their equipment.

One thought on “How to Save Time and Money with Combination Cutting Tools

  1. Great tips! Those combination of tools will make my work finish faster and I can work more effectively. Thanks for sharing this, Dann.

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