31 Jan 2020
Ask any new machinist what scares them most. They will probably answer “flycutters”. For some reason, flycutters strike fear in the hearts of apprentice and experienced machinists alike. That’s a shame. That’s because it’s just about the finest finishing tool you can ever use.
Flycutters beat end mills for the finest finish ever. Your fine finish is easy because you cover a larger area in just one pass. When you finish with an end mill you’ll create overlap marks with ever pass. With an end mill, you get a finish that’s not smooth enough for exposed surfaces. An end mill will cut it (pun intended) for machining heads, but not for decorative surfaces. The shallow flycutter cut makes the perfect finishing cut.
How Flycutters Work
Flycutters have a body and a tool bit. As the body turns, the bit takes broad and very shallow slivers from the workpiece.
Most flycutters are a left turning tool that’s held at a 30° to 60° angle. A quality fly cutter gives you years of dependable service if treated with care.
Should You Make Your Own?
Just Google “make a flycutter” and you’ll get over 90,000 results. You can find videos and bulletin board threads with plans for making your own flycutters. Based on these results, you’ll quickly conclude that it’s really really easy to make a very poor performing tool. Projects in Metal offers a plan complete with the confession “To be honest, I have not had a lot of success with this cutter”. Why on Earth are you sharing plans for something that you know for a fact doesn’t work? Anyone taking on that DIY project is just asking to waste their time and material. Sound fun to you?
Why make your own flycutters when really good ones aren’t even that expensive. It’s easy to find a good single fly cutter that’s less than $50. You can find sets with several sizes that are right around $125.00. It just doesn’t make much sense to waste time and material making a tool that you can buy for less that the cost of a ballgame.
You depend on The Tool Company for your collet wrenches and general purpose arbors. When it comes to flycutting tools, The Tool Company has your back there as well. Discover our selection of the highest quality flycutters on the market.
- Heat treated for long-life
- Perfectly balanced for superior cutting
- Runs safely at high RPMs
- Large set screws for stability
- 5 year warranty
Like everything we sell, our flycutters are American made. Buy American made tools and support American manufacturing. And don’t let flycutting scare you.