A fly cutter is any single point cutter attached to the mill.  They are a must have finishing and facing tool.  Fly cutters may be more common in the manual machine shop, but CNC machinists know that fly cutters win over face mills when it comes to the best finish. That’s because fly cutters clear a large swath with each pass.  Make fewer passes and get a better finish.  It’s a low-tech tool for a high-tech finish.

cnc fly cutter for precisionWhat Makes a Fly Cutter Great

A fly cutter is a cylindrical body that holds a cutter.  It’s not the best tool for carving out lots of material, but it is dynamite for removing small amounts.  That’s why it is a great finishing tool.

Finishing with a face mill isn’t the same. Face mills use multiple cutters.  And multiple cutters inserted into one tool is a recipe for a poor finish if the inserts are not exactly the same height. Exactly.

A single cutter is the best option when need the smoothest finish. You can get a face mill to do the job by removing all the cutters but one. But why would you? Just start with a fly cutter!

Watch a Fly Cutter Work

See for yourself. Check out the fly cutter at work in this video:


The initial finish might have looked pretty smooth. But, with one pass with the fly cutter there is a much better  finish.

cnc fly cutters set

Set of 3 fly cutters

Use the Best Fly Cutter for the Best Finish

It just makes sense. Use the best fly cutters and get the best finish. And, you get the best fly cutters at The Tool Company.

Pick from 3 sizes. Each size is balanced. Get better stability and cutting action. These fly cutters are American made, like everything at The Tool Company . Each has a 5 year warranty.  So, you know they are made to last.

Don’t get ripped off by cheap fly cutters.  You deserve the best. Order your fly cutters from The Tool Company today.




Thinking about expanding into a new niche? The need for medical industry machining is growing the population ages. But like all niches, machining for the medical industry has its  challenges. First, the materials are different. Second, the sizes are really small. You need all the help you can get. If you machine parts for surgical implants or medical instruments you must machine very small parts (think micro machining) and work with titanium and plastics. You need powerful software too. Plus you’ve got to find the work. The Tool Company can’t help you find medical-industry customers, but we make the tools like the ultra precision arbor and micro drill to get the job done once you get the job. We even point you to some really powerful software to get you up and running.

The Real Value of  Tools

Micromachining and microdrilling require extremely specialized equipment. Buying tools isn’t a time to be penny-wise and pound foolish. Don’t let sticker shock prevent you from buying the best precision saws, ultra precision arbors, and software.

Keep cycle times short and setups simple. Maximize all available turret positions. Invest in quality saws and ultra precision arbors for long-lasting performance. Then, put them to work. Experiment with feeds and speeds until you find the sweet spot.

The Right Software

Autodesk Partmaker  is a Knowledge-Based Machining program that will turbocharge software helps productivityyour productivity. The software takes specific information about your shop then adds in, feeds and speeds, tooling and repetitive processes to speed programming. You receive several options to manufacture your parts based on your available tooling and batch size. Use as a stand-alone program or with FeatureCAM Ultimate and reduce programming time.

SmartCAM also makes use of a Knowledge-Based Machining Library. It is super simple to use. Even first time users can cut metal the first day. Then, set up new jobs by grouping data and associating machines and materials. The newest version improves the user interface even more. Because it doesn’t matter if the software is powerful, if you can’t use it then it’s garbage.

ultra precision saw arborUltra Precision Arbor, Micro Drill Adapter Made in the USA

No matter the job, your work is only as good as your tools. Rely on an ultra precision arbor or a micro drill adapter from The Tool Company.

Will you machine with a cobalt or high speed steel saw? Buy an ultra precision arbor from The Tool Company. It utilizes a Vibra-Core design to reduce vibration and chatter. Go for extra long reach out and get closest cutter to work area available.

micro drill adapter made by Sierra AmericanThe micro drill adapter at The Tool Company is one of the most accurate mini-drill adapters sold. An accufeed is the secret weapon for less drill breakage used by machinists everywhere.

Everything we sell at The Tool Company is made in the USA and backed by a 5 year warranty. So, go ahead and explore new niches. We’ve got your back.

Just because you own a small machine shop  doesn’t mean you must forgo all the time savers used by large shops.  Just think creatively and think out of the box. For example, you know tools are in danger every time they get moved. So, don’t spend money on an expensive tool cart. Make a tool cart yourself. It’s an easy DIY project.  All you need is a CNC tool tray  and an inexpensive 16 x 30 utility cart.  Here’s how.

Find a Utility Cart

The cart is easy to find. Go to the closest Harbor Freight or Home Depot. Fire up that Amazon Prime account. Just look for a few things

Get the 16 x 30 size on wheels. The wheels are important if you want versatility. It doesn’t matter if you get metal or high-grade plastic.  Harbor Freight sells one for under $50. The number of shelves you get depends on the number of tools you need to store. Got tons of tooling? Get the 3 shelf model. Making a cart for the home/hobby shop? Two shelves should do you.  Just make sure it is a 16 x 30 cart. The size is crucial.

Next Comes the CNC Tool Tray

Step two. Get the right number of CNC tool trays to store your tools. Get the right size CNC tool tray. For example, buy a CNC tool tray from The Tool Company and it will be 15 ¾” by 6 ¾”.  So, you can set 4 of them side by side on each cart shelf. Depending on the number of shelves, you will store  up to 80 of your tools. That’s if you have 40 taper tools and a two-shelf cart.

That’s it. One completely genius and absolutely affordable way to protect tools and keep them in order!

It still works if your machine has a 30 taper. The Tool Company’s CNC 30 tray is the exact same size and holds the same number of tools. That means this genius hack works for CNC or manual machines with a 30 or 40 taper.

CNC tool tray for sale at The Tool companyUsing The Right CNC Tool Tray is Important

For this hack to work, you need a CNC tool tray that is a perfect fit. It’s a bonus that the perfect fit just happens to be the perfect tool tray. That’s because the perfect fitting tool tray comes from The Tool Company.

Numbered openings make tool calibration and selection easy. Use the tray numbering to sequence the tools for the job in the tray.

Like everything at The Tool Company, all tool trays are made right here in the USA. As a US machinist, support other US manufacturers!

These CNC tool trays are made of high-impact plastic. So, they protect your expensive tooling from damage. Side ears make it easy to remove the tray from the cart. Awesome!

So, what are you waiting for? Go and get your a CNC tool tray or 3  and make yourself a rolling tool cart.  Order your CNC tool tray here for a 30 or 40 taper and you’ll know it’s made to fit a 16 x 30 utility cart.

The Tool Company, seller of machining tools such as the ultra precision arbor and fly cutter has good news for those in the manufacturing industry. The Gardner Business Index  continues its positive trend. This indicates manufacturing economic and business conditions are better than average.

What This Means

The Gardner Business Index (GBI) was 58.2 in May. Compared to May of last year, the GBI is up 3.9 percent. That means the economic and business conditions in manufacturing are better than average.  Supplier deliveries, production, employment, and new orders drove the Index higher.  Backlog and exports lowered the index’s average.  All index components expanded during the month. That’s really good news. Even the exports reading moved above 50.0.

Why do you care? The movement in the backlog index indicates a shift from contraction to expansion. So, contraction is ready to shift to growth. That’s really good news for people in manufacturing. Grab your cutter and your ultra precision arbor get your tool tray and get ready to get to work.

New Jobs Added

The job growth rate is predicted  to be 17% out to 2024 if you believe the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Like the GBI, that’s better than average. Things look good for machinists as well as tool and die makers too. That job growth rate is about 6%. Don’t let the number fool you. Toolmakers are retiring and young people aren’t entering the field. That makes for a job with tremendous growth potential.

The future is even brighter for CNC’ers. The predicted job growth rate for CNC operators is 14%.

Looks like good news all around for manufacturing workers. As the manufacture of durable goods grows  there will be plenty of jobs. It doesn’t matter if you make goods or the parts to make goods, you should be busy. Get your tools ready!

ultra precision arbor

Need an American Made Ultra Precision Arbor or Slitting Saw Arbors?

Are you ready? It’s time to work. So, make sure you work with American made tools. The Tool Company  supports American manufacturing. We believe in it.

Every product we sell is proudly made in the USA. We back our tools with a 5-year warranty. Every arbor well sell utilizes Vibra-Core technology. Get rid of chatter. Want finger-tip control? Get it with our micro drill adapters. You’ve got the job; we’ve got the tools.

Get the best, and get it at The Tool Company. The future looks good for manufacturing. Get your ultra precision arbor, your fly cutter or tool tray and get ready now.


CNC fly cutters are single point cutters that you attach to a computer controlled mill.  They are the finishing and facing tools no shop can be without.  There may be more fly cutters in a manual machine shop, but CNC’ers know know that a fly cutter beats a face mill every time for a superior finish. That’s because fly cutters cut a larger swath on each pass.  As you know, the fewer the passes, the smoother the finish.  It’s a low-tech tool for a high-tech finish.

cnc fly cutters set

set of fly cutters

CNC Fly Cutters Rock

CNC fly cutters are just a cylindrical body that accepts a tool for cutting.  It’s not the tool for removing large amounts of metal, but it is perfect for shaving off very small amounts.  Fly cutters rock the finishing world.

Face it, finishing with a face mill just doesn’t cut it. All puns intended. Face mills use multiple cutters.  When you put multiple cutters into one tool you get a bad finish if the inserts are not exactly the same height. And, you know they won’t be.

For the best possible finish, a single cutter is always the best solution. A face mill can only do the job if remove all the cutters but one. Still, it won’t be the same. So,  just start with a fly cutter!

Watch CNC Fly Cutters in Action

Watch this Tormach with a fly cutter. Just one pass and its incredibly smooth.

As you can see, after just one pass the fly cutter provides a great finish.

The machine in this video is a Tormach CNC machine. But, if you use a manual machine, the geometry is the same you just adjust your feeds and speeds as described here.

Use The Best CNC Fly Cutters to Get the Best Finish

The finest finish comes with using the finest CNC fly cutters. You get the best fly cutters at The Tool Company.

Three sizes are available. Each is balanced for better stability and superior cutting action.  Best of all, everything we sell is made right here in the USA.  The CNC fly cutters come with a 5 year warranty. So,  you know they are made to last.

Order your fly cutters today and get the best finish from the best fly cutter made. Your works deserves the best finish, the finish you get from a fly cutter from The Tool Company.



Well the first quarter of 2018 is in the books. How are those New Year resolutions going? Did you resolve to get organized, but it didn’t happen? It’s not too late. There’s still plenty of time to get your R8 collets together and get them straight. Just go ahead and get them in an R8 collet tray.

courtesy Exact Tooling

R8 Collets

Bridgeport developed the R8 taper for their milling machines.  A drawbar extends through the spindle to the top of the machine. This keeps things tight and prevents loosening. You insert tools with an R8 taper  directly into the machine’s spindle. The collets (tool holders) go directly into the spindle. Tighten the  drawbar into the top of the collet. You’re set.  The R8 system uses collets  18″ to  34″  diameter.

You know this; it’s not new. But, there is a new way to keep those R8 collets organized and protected.  Use collet trays.

Protecting Your Collets

Collets you use regularly stay in good shape and rust-free.  Collets that aren’t used as often get rusty.  As a preventative, control humidity to control rust. It’s the best rust preventative. Therefore, use fans to circulate the air in the shop. Fans reduce humidity and keep moisture down.  Run shop fans constantly and keep moving air. In addition to affecting temperature,  heating and air conditioning affect affects humidity as well.  Avoid wild temperature swings too. Because metal sweats in drastic temperature changes.  So, if the shop closes for a long week-end for Memorial Day or the week of 4th of July, keep the fans on and the AC running.  Otherwise, when you re-open the shop and turn the AC on, the metal will sweat.

A light coating of oil protects collets that aren’t used regularly. Avoid using heavy-duty oil. It’s too much work to clean it off.  Breakthrough CLP  protects more than just gun metal. Just saying!

Store collets in a collet tray.  The Tool Company’s R8 collet tray is made of high-impact plastic. It doesn’t rust and won’t rust your expensive tooling.

R8 Collet Trays Love Your Collets

So, use collet trays or racks and protect your collets while keeping them organized.  The 52 holes in the R8-52 tray has enough room for one full set of collets and room for emergency extras as well.  Steel stamped collet trays can damage expensive tooling; high-impact plastic does not.

Store your collets in a tray that is American-built and American-strong.  Store your collets in a Tool Company  R8 collet tray.

Buy your collet tray today from The Tool Company.  Don’t trust your collets to cheap, foreign made trays from inferior materials. Get a Tool Company tray and get an American made product, backed by a five-year warranty.  Your collets deserve the best.

Edgar Cayce was an American psychic. He fell into a deep trance and began to make predictions. Someone gave him the name the “Sleeping Prophet.” He said many things while he was in this sleeping state. Did he say anything about the collet wrench? Maybe he did!

Dealing with Difficult Relationships

Cayce predicted that difficult relationships would arise. He counseled that these difficulties are an opportunity to grow in this life and the next. You just need a tool to help through those difficult times. Could the tool he recommended be a collet wrench?

Face it, you probably have a love/hate relationship with your mill. Sometimes everything sets up right and sometimes setup gives you a fit. But with a collet wrench in hand, you get just the right amount of torque on the collet for the best hold. Maybe Cayce prophesied the difficult relationship you can have with your collets and saw the collet wrench as a tool to help.

bridgeport mills use r8 colletsThe Gasless Motor

In reading 4666, Cayce predicted the electric motor that powers mills and lathes today. Honestly, when is the last time you had to add diesel to your machine?

You will have before you the gasless motor invented

Now granted, Cayce did live until 1945. That was plenty of time to see electricity and electric motors become commonplace. Wonder if while he was dreaming of motors that ran without gas if he dreamed of the lathes and mills operated by these motors? If so, surely he knew that the collet would be the preferred method of tool holding, and collets need collet wrenches. This means he must have predicted the collet wrench!

5c collet wrenchGet Your Collet Wrench – The End is Near!

Cayce predicted that cataclysmic events would change the face of the Earth forever.  On August 11, 1936 he asked about changes that might happen with the start of a new millennium (2000 or 2001). He responded

When there is a shifting of the poles a new cycle begins.

Well that’s been about 17 or 18 years. There are scientists that believe that about that time, the North and South Poles started to shift. No joke. It’s happened before. They say when it happens, its bad.

So just in case he was right, you should probably get your collet wrench now. That way you have time to use it before the end is near. Cayce didn’t prophsey about where to find a good collet wrench, but if he had, he would have said The Tool Company.

Cayce appreciated quality. He’d predict the best quality collet wrench would be made in the USA. Even then, he was suspicious of goods made in China.

Get your Armageddon-proof collet wrench from The Tool Company now. The design made by Sierra American Multi-systems has a concave face that aligns perfectly. The handle is sturdy, durable and easy-to-find. So, follow the lead of the sleeping prophet and buy your collet wrench today.

*Edgar Cayce didn’t really predict the collet wrench. His dictated prophesies while in a trance and many of them were so vague you can manipulate them to mean almost anything. Most of the predictions in this blog are pure fiction. But CNC machining is based on hard physical science. You need serious equipment (tool tray, saw arbor, collet wrench) like you find at The Tool Company. We’ve made what you need when you mean business.

Ever get the feeling your shop is possessed? Are strange things happening in there?  Maybe you’ve just been away for awhile. Even dedicated hobbyists can get a bit rusty when life comes between them and their hobby. Maybe all you need is a quick refresher on some tools and techniques. Ready? Let’s begin with definitions. Slotting and slitting saws blades have a specialized purpose. These tools make deep and narrow cuts. Use a slotting saw to slice material from stock. Slitting saw arbors are the tool holders that keep the slitting saw blade on the spindle. Slitting saws and slotting saws do a better job than endmills when it comes to cuts that are deeper than wide. See, isn’t it all coming back to you? Nothing to be afraid of here.

Always  Buy the Right Blades

Don’t buy garbage because it is cheap. You will only lose money over the long haul. Always start with the number of teeth on a blade. Go with a high tooth count to get a clean, finished cut.

Always choose the right blade material for the job you are doing. Slitting saw blades are usually made from carbide or high speed steel.

Next, go with the thickest saw blade the operation can handle. Thicker blades mean more stability. Stability means rigidity. You want rigidity in all times and places.

Now, select the right blade size. Most slitting saws have a 3” to 4” in diameter. If you go big, you will go home with run out, wobbling, and staggering. All bad things.

Use Proper Feeds and Speeds

Feeds and speeds are always important. But, working with a slitting saw is literally a make or break operation. Get it wrong and trash the blade. All cuts are precise, but slitting cuts are extra, super precise. Pick software that handles slotting and slitting saw cuts. The wrong feed and speed setting will destroy your slitting blade faster than Godzilla destroyed Tokyo.

One Pass or Two?

There are two techniques for making deep cuts. With one approach, you make a series of multiple cuts.  Start shallow and then cut progressively deeper. Another way is to dig in and make the full cut in one single pass.  The single pass method avoids the problem of chips that don’t clear and then foul the blade on the next passes. But, if you just program the right feeds and speeds and use plenty of fluids, this shouldn’t be a problem. Seasoned machinists use a series of cuts.

slitting saw arborsAlways Use Quality Slitting Saw Arbors

Your saw blade deserves the best slitting saw arbors. If you used care in picking your blade, use care in picking the arbor. You will never go wrong if you buy slitting saw arbors at  The  Tool Company. These slitting arbors are heat treated. That prevents vibration.  Deep, low-profile caps add rigidity. You get less blade slippage. They sell individual slitting saw arbors and multi-size sets.  Every tool sold sold by the Tool Company is made in the USA. All slitting saw arbors have  a full 5 year warranty. Buy your slitting saw arbors today


You know you must handle moving and transporting your valuable tools carefully. Every move is just a chance for disaster; tool damage. A truth worthy CNC tool tray and tool holder makes the process easier.  A good CNC tool tray makes transport easy; and it makes transport safe.

cnc tool traySigns of a Trustworthy Tool Tray

Look for a CNC tool tray designed by people with knowledge of CNC machining. The signs are obvious.

Sequencing.  Machinists know that a tray is also a tool for tool sequencing and set up. The CNC tool trays sold by The Tool Company are clearly marked for easy sequencing and set up.

  • 30 and 40 Taper CNC tool trays are marked 1 through 10
  • 50 Taper tool trays are marked 1 through 6

Put those numbers to work. Use the numbered marks to sequence your tools before you leave the tool room. The fewer times you handle your expensive tooling the fewer times you can damage it. Then, the tools are properly sequenced and ready to go when you get to the machine work area. You just get to work!

Storage.  Use the CNC tool tray for storage if you only use a small number of tools. Store tools right next to your machine. This is a safe and economical way to store tools for home hobbyists too.

Durable Protection.  Good CNC tool trays are durable, but not indestructible. You don’t find gentle in the machine shop. Standing up to the rigors of life is tough in a shop setting. Quality, very strong impact-resistant plastic goes into every CNC tool tray sold by The Tool Company. Integrated handles won’t break off or break loose. This design also results in a smaller footprint for the tray. Other trays may be more expensive, but they aren’t as good.

cnc tool tray to store and transport toolsQuality CNC Tool Trays

The Tool Company sells quality trays made by Sierra American Multi-Systems. They’ve been making products for CNC and manual machining for more than 20 years. We trust them to inspect every item for quality before it leaves their factory.  And they do. They make their CNC tool tray in the United States.  We like that too. When you buy a tool tray from The Tool Company, you know you are getting a quality product, made in the USA by American machinists, just like you. We guarantee it.


Milling machines have evolved. Today’s machines have more power and bring more precision to the trade.  The need for precision gave birth to ever more sophisticated machinery. CNC mills make ultra precision cuts that weren’t possible with manual mills. This ultra precision machining requires ultra precision arbors. Good news for American machinists. The Tool Company has American-made arbors  from Sierra American Multi-Systems that give you ultra precision for ultra precision cuts.

ultra precision arbor for machining for aerospace industry

Feel the Need for Speed?

Maverick and Goose might have felt the need for speed in Top Gun, but today’s machinists need speed and precision. The “Danger Zone” is failing to deliver parts at the rate your customer needs. And, it doesn’t matter if you do rapid prototyping, small runs, or large runs. The customer’s needs are your needs. Those customers demand quick turnaround and they want tight tolerances. Your mission is to deliver. And deliver you do, ultra fast, ultra precision and on-time. From precision, micro-machining to industrial engraving you must have reliable tools and parts.  The Tool Company can help.

American Made Arbors for American Machinists

The Tool Company sells high quality cutting tool holders and shop supplies made right here in the USA.  Every ultra precision saw arbor we sell is made in San Juan Capistrano. Get tools made with the same care and attention to detail you use in your own shop.

The arbor product line starts with long reach, general purposes arbors. These arbors are famous for getting you as close as possible. Our gold series of ultra precision arbors really stands out. It doesn’t matter if you are cutting, grinding or sharpening, your tool is secure.

set of ultra precision arbors

Ultra Precision Arbors for Carbide and Cobalt High Speed Saws

This gold series of ultra precision arbors features deep, low profile caps. Your blades get the benefit of extra support. You get the benefit of  less cutter slippage.

Need precision to get close?  This unique cap design gives a machinist the closest cutter to the work area possible.  You  get closer than with any other saw arbor on the market. Talk about a gold standard in ultra precision arbors!

So, buy an ultra precision arbor made in the USA. Make sure your arbors come from The Tool Company.

Don’t get ripped off by cheap, foreign imitators. Buy from The Tool Company.  We believe that American machinists do the best work and deserve the best quality tools and supplies. See the difference ultra precision arbors make. Order your ultra precision arbor today.


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