While thread turning and tapping were once popular drilling choices, thread milling has since become a popular alternative. This is because thread milling comes with an array of advantages. It’s not necessarily the best choice for all applications; however, its extensive list of benefits includes the following:
The carbide substrate results in a long tool life
The same tool can machine left- and right-hand threads
Parts with thin walls can be machined via small cutting forces
Other benefits of using solid carbide thread mills include:
More consistent and better-quality threads are produced
Rapid feed rates and high cutting speeds allow for a short machining time
Multiple thread sizes can be threaded with one tool
Multiple materials can be threaded with one tool
Re-machining is possible for threads that are too short or undersized
Thread relief grooves aren’t required
Short chips are easily managed, and there’s no nesting (which is common with taps)
The bore diameter has no upper limits
Much less power is required for threading than for tapping
Asymmetrical, non-rotatable, and large parts are easily machined
Thread mills can’t get stuck in the hole, which is common for tapping
Is thread milling or tapping better?
Unfortunately, there’s no one answer to this question, as the budget, material, machine tool, and application all play a significant role. While there are many advantages to thread milling, taps can be easier to programme, more cost-effective, and faster for certain applications.
Is thread milling or tapping faster?
As with the previous question, the answer to this isn’t straightforward. Some thread mills are faster than standard machine taps, while some high-performance machine taps are faster than thread mills. It all depends on the tools being used, as well as their applications. Despite this, thread mills are much safer than taps, as they’re not as likely to lead to broken tools.
Is a thread milling cycle on the machine necessary?
Most modern CNC machine tools are equipped with a thread milling cycle; however, if your machine doesn’t have a pre-programmed cycle, this doesn’t mean you can’t thread mill. Despite this, the machine will need to be capable of simultaneous three-axis machining.
Why are thread mills more expensive than taps?
Most machine taps are crafted from high-speed steel (HSS), whereas thread mills are crafted from solid carbide. Although the initial expense of thread mills is higher than that of taps, their durability makes them the more cost-effective solution. For instance, thread mills won’t ever get stuck in holes, and they won’t fall victim to difficult applications or materials.
Browse the Rennie Tool Company collection if a thread mill is suited to your application.