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High Performance End Mills vs. General Purpose End Mills

Have you ever wondered if you should purchase high-performance end mills or general-purpose end mills and what the benefit of purchasing one over the other is? If so, we have put together a list of factors to consider to help you make the right decision for next time.

HP-vs-GP

General Purpose End Mills

First, let's discuss general purpose end mills. General Purpose (GP) End Mills are standard single, 2, 3, or 4 flute geometry end mills made for use in a wide variety of materials.

Benefits of General Purpose End Mills:

  • Lower prices
  • Very versatile - they work in a variety of materials and applications
  • Typically easier to resharpen - general-purpose end mills can usually be resharpened by the user or by a local regrind shop, whereas a high-performance end mill typically will need to be sent back to the OEM for resharpening

High-Performance End Mills

Next, High-Performance (HP) End Mills contain specialized geometries for a specific material being cut.

Benefits of High-Performance End Mills:

  • Material and/or application-specific - This does not mean that an HP cutter will not work in more than the listed materials or applications. For example, our Fury end mill is recommended for a wide range of materials and applications and will cut almost anything and any tool path. So don't be afraid to experiment.
  • Better tool life, especially in difficult-to-machine Materials - HP cutters typically require less frequent tool changes and fewer offsets.
  • More adapted to high-speed machining or other advanced milling techniques.
  • Better surface finishes on your parts.
  • Usually have premium coatings that target a specific range of materials.
  • Typically have edge preps like hones or polishes that target a specific range of materials.

Making Your Next Decision

With this information in mind, if you are a company that does small runs in a wide variety of materials you may prefer GP end mills. Whereas, if you are making high-volume parts where cycle-time and up-time are king, you may prefer an HP end mill for your use. Remember, there are no hard lines drawn. Each application is different and preference is ultimately up to you, the end-user. 

If you aren't sure, you can contact your Fullerton authorized distributor to help make this decision. We will work with you to get the end results you desire with a wide variety of both GP and HP end mills available. We even have some tooling where we apply HP coatings to GP tools to help you get the most out of your cutting tool investments. We have a huge selection of inventory items and of course, if you need a special tailored tool to your specific needs, we have engineering and application knowledge to get the most out of your cutting tool budget.

We also have resources on our website to help you navigate which tool is the best for your needs. Discover what end mills are recommended for your material and application by using our end mill selection guide at https://fullertontool.com/products/end-mills or explore and search for tooling by material, application, or tool specs at https://fullertontool.com/search. We also have recommended speeds and feeds by series which you can access at https://fullertontool.com/resources/speeds-and-feeds.

Have suggestions on other topics you'd like us to cover? Leave a comment below.

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