Cutting aluminum

Do I have to think of something special to cutting aluminum


Search the forum for “stiffening mod” and “aluminum”


Hello Kristian

give me a little info about your project and I might be able to help

What are you trying to do?
What kind of aluminum are you wanting to use?
What kinda machine do you have?
Upgrades done to it?

this will help me help you in finding a great way to cut it

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I thought in general, what I need to consider.
I have an X-carve 1000 mm

oh no problem so in general

you want to high quality end mills I recommend onsrud tooling if you would like a number to my tool rep let me know

I would stick with carbide tooling for sheet aluminum because you can’t really achieve the proper tool chip load so you tools will last longer

use coolant with the x-carve when you are cutting aluminum WD-40 works great will aluminum

make sure and keep a close eye on your rpm setting and your feedrate

make sure and use shallow cuts with the x-carve as it is not a rigid machine

when you are milling out a pocket use an adaptive clearing strategy also know as “Trochoidal Machining”

make sure that your work pieces are held down tight

select the shortest tool possible for the thickness of aluminum you are milling try to stay within .125" over the thickness of the material

dont be afraid to push the tool cutting to slow will cause issues here is a chart that you can follow that will help you calculate the proper chip load when running the tool when you buy the tool it will tell you the proper chip load here is also a onsrud chart for milling aluminum

2012 LMT Onsrud Production Cutting Tools Aluminum.pdf (32.8 KB)

Chipload_calculator.xls (15.5 KB)

…and there’s the rub. You can’t get that kind of chipload with an unmodded x-carve. :wink: If you take it slow and light, it’s fine, but it takes a very long time.

Thank you Sir
That was lots of information
Great info that I save to check before I start cutting the AL

Please enlighten me what you mean by: "if you would like a number to my tool rep "


So Onsrud tools have tool representatives that help customers out with selecting the right tool for the job.

His name is Tom Cornwell @ 316-305-3062

just give him a call and let him know that Evann with Workin Woods sent you and that you are new to machining aluminum and would like to know what are the best tools for general purpose cutting of aluminum

also if you not in Missouri he will probably get you in contact with a rep in your area that will be glad to help you in the future

I have not used Onsrud tools. Do you have any experience comparing them with Amana? I buy mostly Amana, Whiteriver, and CMT, and I’m happy with them all but I don’t like how they are always Prime shipping only. Don’t get me wrong I love Prime, but when you order a lot of something you are just paying extra to pay the Prime price on every item every time, because you know they are adding the shipping into the price.

What area of Missouri are you in? I live in the southwest.


So i am in Springfield, MO I guess that would be the southwest part of Missouri lol

and yeah I have used both Amana and Onsrud tools.

Amana makes some good tool don’t get me wrong when i buy those I am usually buying off of but I should probably buy them on amazon to take advantage of prime. I am pretty new to prime so I dont have alot of experience there wither its cheaper or not.

but the reason I mostly use Onsrud over Amana is because of the customer service that Onsrud has provided to be plus the fact that I have a local tool store that carries a large supply of them in stock. Onsrud hooked me up with a representative right away and this representative even came to my home before I had really done anything with the cnc and took a few minutes to talk shop and help me get on the right track this meant alot to me that a very large tooling company would take such a great interest in a small company starting out

Amana tools makes some good tool and they are the go to place for some interesting tools that for sure I do find that the literature on there tools is not the greatest in regard to chip load ratings and I don’t believe that you can order custom modified tools from amana like you can Onsrud for example if you need a tool that necked down

also amana tools seem to be a little on the expensive side especially for the insert engraving tools at 20 something dollars per insert which I have had to buy quite a few of

I’m about 50 miles from Springfield, out in the country, so I don’t go to town very frequently, thus I use Prime a lot.

I’m curious who deals Onsrud in Springfield? Not Ballew, right?

Interesting you mention In trying to find Amana bits without shipping I looked at some of their retailers, which include Tools Today. It turns out, they are the Amazon seller that I am buying from all of the time already, but they sell their bits for the same price on their site and on Amazon, only on Amazon it’s Prime and includes the shipping whereas on their site they are going to add shipping. This was at least the case on the few bits I checked.

So it seems Amazon is the best price for Amana.

YUP lol do you feel the pain to???

there are the only people in town that do nad they have the market cornered which sucks but you might check out Missouri Carbide they are in a small town outside of Springfield and are supposed to make good tools I have never used them though

and oh yeah? 50 miles huh I might have to take the bike out and talk shop with you for a bit lol

and oh yeah I see yeah I think on Toolstoday site you can get free shipping if you spend over so much not sure on that though I can’t remember what happened when I bought from them

I have a couple of bits made by these guys and they are very good.
Not your cheap knockoffs either.

oh yes they are very high quality tools and they are pretty much the only tool that I will buy I just find that in the long run the cheapo knock offs are not worth my time

Per example:

I was cutting a couple $2000.00 hard maple counter tops the other day and once I hit that start button I better not have any problems with that tool cause could you imagine if the tool broke right in the middle and I had to scrap the piece??

that 3 dollar tool is not looking like such a good deal now lol