fly cutter surface finish

Clickspring’s holographic fly cutter finish…

Do you use a fly cutter in your CNC work?

Maybe you’re a pro who views fly cutters as a throwback to the days when there was no CNC and we were winning a war with Bridgeport milling machines.  There is an element of truth to that, but fly cutters are quite useful to CNC’ers too.

Have you seen the great surface finish you can get out of one?  A fly cutter is capable of producing an amazingly fine finish if you set it up right, even on a CNC.  Some folks use them strictly for that purpose.  I have to admit to really like the aesthetic aspects of CNC machining quite a lot, so I see the point in a flycut finish.  But are there other advantages to them for CNC?

It turns out there are quite a few:

  • They produce a nicer finish than most multi-insert Facemills
  • They’re economical on everything except Material Removal Rate where the Facemill often wins.  On lower HP machines, this may not be much of an advantage though.
  • They can be large enough in diameter to finish work in fewer passes.
  • Their larger diameter can let them reach outside the normal work envelope of your CNC, which can be useful.
  • If you have one that is based on an arm, it may fit your toolchanger when a big facemill wouldn’t.

I cover all of this in my Ultimate Fly Cutter page, plus a lot more:

  • Optimal cutter shape for fly cutting
  • Examples of many fly cutter designs
  • Feeds and speed for fly cutters
  • Lots of tips on their use, care, and feeding

Whether you are currently using a fly cutter or not, give the page a look see:

fly cutter guide

[ CNCCookbook Ultimate Fly Cutter Page ]


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