Climbing vs. Conventional Milling [Advantages and Disadvantages] (2023)

Here's a nice video overview of Climb vs. Down vs. Up Milling:

Quelle: coluna mensal My CNC Chef com a revista Cutting Tool Engineering

Read on for more detailed information on conventional drilling and uphole drilling.

What is down milling versus conventional milling (down milling versus up milling)?

As a general rule, CNC users always climb milling machines and hand machinists always conventional milling machines. It is probably true that manual machinists should stick with conventional milling as a milling style, as the kickback of their machines makes climbing milling dangerous.

But CNC users should know that there are times when the mill needs to be sized and there are times when conventional milling works better. Before we get into when to use each, let's briefly define the differences.

The first thing to consider is the terminology. Some will say "Up Milling vs. Conventional Milling", while others will say "Down Milling vs. Up Milling". They are one and the same:

  • Down milling = down milling
  • Conventional milling = conventional milling

Up milling is when the direction of cut and the rotation of the cutting tool combine to try to "suck" the cutter up (hence called "up milling") or away from the workpiece. Produces the best surface finish. Here is a graph showing milling versus conventional milling for various orientations:

Climbing vs. Conventional Milling [Advantages and Disadvantages] (1)

(Video) Climb Milling vs. Conventional Milling

Arrows show workpiece movement, not spindle movement!

Note that in this figure the workpiece is moving, not the spindle. On some machines, such as B. a portal mill, the spindle moves, so the labels would be reversed. I'll keep things clear by thinking of the spindle as a pinch roller that can help move the workpiece in the direction it was already going (up milling) or fight it off (standard or conventional milling).

Do the experiment on your dual milling machine and you will find that milling is much smoother and produces a better surface finish (there are often times when traditional milling produces a better surface finish, see below) than traditional sanding. Keep in mind that depending on which direction you are milling in, you need to make sure your workpiece is well supported in that direction.

Pros and cons of down milling and down milling (conventional vs up milling)

Advantages of the conventional milling process (Up Milling):

  • Chip width starts at zero and increases as the cutting tool stops cutting.
  • The cutting edge meets the workpiece at the bottom of the cut in conventional milling.
  • Upward forces tend to lift the workpiece during conventional milling.
  • Conventional milling requires more power than conventional milling.
  • The surface finish is worse because the chips are carried by the teeth and fall in front of the cutting tool. Many chips are cut. Flood cooling can help!
  • Conventional milling is preferred for rough surfaces.
  • Tool deflection in conventional milling tends to run parallel to the cut (cf.tool deflection sectionfor more).

Advantages of up-milling (down-milling):

  • The span width starts at the maximum and decreases.
  • The cutting edge meets the workpiece at the top of the cut.
  • The chips stay behind the cutting edge without cutting.
  • Less wear with up to 50% longer service life.
  • Improved surface finish with less chips.
  • Less electricity is needed.
  • Upmilling applies a downward force when facing, making it easier to clamp and clamp parts.Downward force can also helpReduce vibrations during machiningon thin floors because it helps hold them against the underlying surface.
  • Reduced up millinghardening.
  • However, due to the hardened layer on the surface, chipping may occur when milling hot rolled materials.
  • Tool deflection during down milling is normally perpendicular to the cut, which can increase or decrease the width of the cut and affect accuracy.

So what is the preferred method? The fact that it improves tool life so much is reason enough to stick with conventional milling. However, look at the other pros and cons, as there are cases where conventional milling wins a lot.

Upward milling kickback

There is a problem with up milling, which is that you can have problems with backlash if the cutter forces are high enough. The problem is that the table tends to pull towards the cutter when the grinder is lifted. If there is indentation, this allows some leeway to pull at the indentation level. If there is enough kickback and the cutting tool is operating at its maximum capacity, breakage and possible injury from flying debris can occur. For this reason, many shops simply prohibit upmilling on any manual machine that has clearance. They always use conventional cutting as the required milling style. Some machines even featured a "backlash eliminator" whose main purpose was to enable up-milling and the benefits that came with it.

One way to think about this is to look at the chip shop concept. This is a measure of how much material each cutter tooth is trying to cut. Typical values ​​for finishing would be 0.001 to 0.002″ per tooth. For roughing jobs, this can increase to 0.005″. Now, in the worst case scenario, the cutter can grab the table and slam the workpiece against the cutter at full recoil while a single tooth is cutting. So you can add the chipload response to see what your new worst case effective chipload might be. Let's say you grind 0.005″ per tooth and have 0.003″ clearance. In the worst case, your chip load will explode to 0.008″. It's probably not the end of the world, but it's a burden. Now let's say you have an older machine with a 0.020" gap and a 0.005" chip load. Worst case your chip load will explode to 0.025″ which will likely blow the mill and is very dangerous.

Second, you must consider whether the shear forces are strong enough to pull the table through the gap. A lot depends on the exact cutting scenario along with your machine. If you have a sophisticated low-friction linear guide machine, you can easily pick it up. If you have a lot of irons on the table and maybe run with a bit of a narrow form, it gets harder. There are ways to calculate cutting force, but in general, smaller endmills, shallower depths of cut, lower feeds, and slower spindle speeds reduce cutting force and make it less likely that the cutter will pull the tool gap. table. and create a problem.

In general, CNC machines should not have any noticeable backlash, so they are more problematic with manual machines.

Up milling creates negative cutting edge geometry under certain conditions

By now you've probably gotten the idea that you must always size the mill in CNC milling operations. Ultimately, it leaves a better surface finish, requires less force, and is less likely to deflect the cutter. On the other hand, manual machinists are often taught never to drive in the factory because it is dangerous to do so on a stowed machine. The truth is somewhere in between. ABTools, makers of the popular AlumaHog and ShearHog clippers, suggest some helpful rules of thumb:

– If you are cutting half the cutter diameter or less, you should definitely use milling (assuming your machine has little or no clearance and it is safe to do so).

(Video) SHORT SUBJECT #3 Climb Milling vs Conventional tubalcain

– Up to 3/4 of the cutter diameter, regardless of the cutting direction.

– Conventional reaming should be preferred when cutting 3/4 to 1x reamer diameter.

This is because the geometry of the cutter forces the equivalent of a negative rake angle for these heavy 3/4 to 1x diameter cuts. This is definitely not the best thing for tool life!

It appears that the Dapra Corporation first discussed this phenomenon in 1971.g-magoNow he reminds you with a little tip which one you should prefer:

Climbing vs. Conventional Milling [Advantages and Disadvantages] (2)

G-Wizard tips tell you what to do: "Use conventional milling"...

If you've never played with our G-Wizard Speeds and Feeds software, take a moment to do so now.Sign up for a 30-day trial.

Tool concentricity and cutting accuracy with conventional milling compared to conventional milling

How does up-milling affect tool concentricity and accuracy compared to conventional milling? The following image contains small arrows (often referred to as vectors) that show the direction of the tool's deflection as it moves along the path:

Climbing vs. Conventional Milling [Advantages and Disadvantages] (3)

The arrows show where the cutting force is trying to deflect the cutting edge. Conventional cut on top, rise cut on bottom.

Note that with conventional milling, the deflection force vector is more parallel to the cut (although the arrows are longer and indicate higher cutting forces). In conventional milling, the arrow is almost perpendicular to the cut. If your cutter is off 0.001″, don't you want it to go almost in the direction of travel? Alternatively, the cutter can penetrate deeper into the wall or move away from the wall. In either case, more errors are introduced into the part being machined.The counterpoint is that vector lengths are longer with conventional milling. This indicates that the cutting forces are greater and the tool is more likely to deviate in conventional milling.

Try to go roughing as you can rough rough faster and the effect of tool compensation on accuracy doesn't matter - the finish pass provides accuracy. You can rough faster because cutting forces are lower and the thick to thin chip profile transports heat into the chip. This very thin thickness + heat dissipation is especially important for hard, work-hardened materials such as stainless steel. It also leads to a better surface finish if you can step up to the final pass.

(Video) Milling, Up or Conventional milling, Down or Climb milling

Consider conventional milling for finishing passes

It is counterintuitive to many mechanics, having been trained for most of their careers, that scraping produces a better finish than traditional scraping. All other things are equal, it is true, but all other things are rarely equal!

The problem is that deflection also affects the surface finish. If the vector is nearly parallel to the path, you may consider the part of the vector that pushes it "out of parallel" to be very small. Therefore, the tool has little tendency to drift and ripple the wall you are finishing. Note that this can be especially important for thin-walled jobs with weak walls!

Therefore, if you have deflection problems, you should switch to conventional milling for the finish pass (useg-magoto see if the diameter and roughness of the tool results in a small enough deflection for your finishing pass).At a minimum, too large a depth of cut should be avoided when counter-milling to produce less tool deflection. The same article suggests that when runout needs to be minimized, no more than 30% of the cutter diameter should be used for conventional milling and 5% for conventional milling.Again, of course, if you have the G-Wizard you'll know what kind of drift to expect and if that's a problem.

The upcut to finish coarsely and conventionally is consistent withthe consensus on the practical machinistin addition to that, moreover.

Proper deflection management can help avoid the need for additional spring trimming, saving time and money.

I would keep going up to Millbevel cutteror Roundover Mill because they can vibrate a little and reducing the cutting force helps to minimize this.

For micromachining, consider conventional milling

For the same reasons, but taking into account the deviation, it is much worsemicro milling, you should prefer larger scale conventional milling to micro milling. The biggest tool life issues with micromilling are runout and concentricity. If the reduced cutting forces (and therefore reduced deflection) of conventional milling benefits tool life more than the deflection direction of conventional milling, it is a small compromise, but conventional milling wins. check out ourmicromachining pagefor more information.


Deciding between up-milling versus conventional milling is more complex than most operators realize, but now you are in a position to decide which style of milling is best.

Frequently asked questions about up milling vs conventional milling

What are the disadvantages of up-milling?

The disadvantages of up-milling are:

  • Up-cut milling can lead to flaking in hardened materials.
  • Although the tool is less likely to travel, it is in a direction perpendicular to the cut. Therefore, if the tool moves, the accuracy and surface finish of conventional milling will deteriorate.
  • Upmilling cannot be used on machines with significant clearance, including most hand mills.
(Video) Difference Between Up Milling And Down Milling

What are the disadvantages of conventional milling?

The disadvantages of conventional milling are:

  • Tool wear can increase by up to 50%
  • The surface quality is worse because the chips fall in front of the cutter and many chips need to be chipped.
  • Conventional milling requires more power than conventional milling.

Is it better to climb a mill or a conventional mill?

If you do manual editing, machine reproduction will likely limit you to conventional editing.

Conventional milling is often preferred over CNC. The exceptions where the conventional mill is better are:


  • When milling rough or hardened surfaces.
  • If the cutting width is 3/4 of the diameter or more. In these cases, conventional milling produces a negative cutting edge geometry.
  • If the finish pass is challenged by tool deflection, prefer conventional milling.
  • Conventional milling is often preferred over micromachining.

Why does conventional milling give a better finish?

One of the main reasons conventional milling gives a better finish is that the chips lag behind the cutter, resulting in less chip removal. With conventional milling, chips fall in front of the cutter, which maximizes chip evacuation. Second, cutting forces are reduced, which can mean less tool deflection and therefore less rippling in the cutting wall. However, in cases where tool deflection is significant, conventional milling can produce a better finish than conventional milling.


What are the disadvantages of conventional milling? ›

Conventional milling machines often require an operator to manually change cutting tools depending on the cutting operation to be performed. Not only is this time-consuming, but it is also inefficient as end results are based on the operator's judgment.

What is the difference between climb and conventional cutting? ›

The main difference between climb and conventional cutting is how the cutter bites into the material. A conventional cut deflects the bit towards the cut and a climb cut pushes the bit away. Climb cutting can be dangerous on a non-CNC router, as the piece may he hard to control by hand and may 'walkaway'.

Why is climb milling not widely used as conventional milling? ›

One problem with climb milling is that the workpiece tends to pull the workpiece toward the operator, which can affect the overall accuracy of the machine. Conventional machines don't have that, which means greater control and stability in the results.

Why use conventional milling? ›

The advantages are lower cutting forces, thicker chips when engaged capturing more of the heat, downward force means easier mounting, chip moves away from the working direction, good surface smoothness and longer tool life.

Is it better to climb mill or conventional mill? ›

Climb Milling is generally the best way to machine parts today since it reduces the load from the cutting edge, leaves a better surface finish, and improves tool life. During Conventional Milling, the cutter tends to dig into the workpiece and may cause the part to be cut out of tolerance.

Does climb milling make less heat? ›

Climb Milling

Less heat on the tool: Because the cut is gradually decreasing, heat is generated in the chip rather than the tool. Better surface finish: Because the chip thickness is at full thickness at the start and gradually decreases, the force on the tool decreases during the cut.

When would you use a climb cut? ›

When routing the edge of a curved panel, say for a demilune tabletop or curved apron, use a climb cut on one half of the curve (left illustration), starting near the top, or center, of the curve, where the grain is straight.

What are the potential hazards of climb milling on a conventional milling machine? ›

Performing a climb mill on hot rolled steel can result in chipped cutting edges because of the hardness of that outer layer and the more aggressive way the tool engages the rough surface, causing more deflection and potentially heavier chips.

Which milling is mainly preferred? ›

Down milling is always the preferred method whenever the machine tool, fixture and workpiece will allow for it. In peripheral down milling, the chip thickness decreases from the start of cut, gradually reaching zero by the end of cut.

Which type of milling machine is most widely used? ›

The most common type of milling machine is called knee and column. In this machine, you will find a vertical column that is attached to the bed that consists of all the gear drives and helps in rotating the knee and saddle.

Which milling cutter is the most economical Why? ›

Cemented carbide is another step towards high performance milling because of the aforementioned properties of such milling machine tools. In the long run, they are a more cost-efficient choice while the up-front costs are higher.

What are the three 3 limitations of a milling machine? ›

The general limitations of CNC Milling are prototype size, axis movement, and drill bit size. The size and shape limitations will vary by the machine used.

Why is conventional machining done? ›

Conventional machining generally costs less and is more cost-effective and efficient for small jobs.

Why is conventional machining essential? ›

It is a critical component of a variety of manufacturing processes. For efficient, safe, and high-quality part production, operators who know how to operate the various work holding devices are needed. When used correctly, it increases production speed while also improving part tolerance and finish.

Is it better to use a fly cutter or face mill when milling steel? ›

Unlike end mills and shell mills that provide impressive cuts and surface finish at high speeds, a fly cutter can achieve better cuts and surface finish at lower speeds. That means a machinist will require less power to create high-quality cuts using the fly cutter.

How do I get better surface finish in Mill? ›

10 Tips to Improve Surface Finish
  1. Increase the Speed. Increasing surface feet per minute (SFM) reduces built-up edge (BUE). ...
  2. Reduce the Feed. ...
  3. Increase the Top Rake Angle. ...
  4. Use a Chip Breaker. ...
  5. Use a Large Nose Radius. ...
  6. Use a Wiper. ...
  7. Use the Correct Technique. ...
  8. Use Different Tools to Rough and Finish.
Oct 15, 2012

Which one of the characteristics of a milling cutter is most suitable for climb milling? ›

High rigidity of the machine tool is required in this milling operation.

How do I stop milling vibration? ›

  1. Choose milling cutters with a coarse pitch and clamp them with the smallest possible overhang.
  2. Select cutting edges with positive geometries.
  3. Select a milling cutter with a smaller diameter, especially with Steadyline tooling.
  4. Select a small cutting-edge radius.

Why is down milling generally avoided? ›

It can also cause chips to stick or weld to the cutting edge, which will then carry them around to the start of the next cut, or cause momentary edge frittering. Cutting forces tend to push the cutter and workpiece away from each other and radial forces will tend to lift the workpiece from the table.

Is climb milling clockwise? ›

The definition for climb milling is the tool rotating clockwise, climb milling goes with the rotation. When climb milling, the insert hits the material at the top of the cut, and the thickness of the chip decreases as the insert cuts.

What is the first rule of climbing? ›

There are a few Golden Rules of Rock climbing. The first, keeping your arms straight, will help you conserve immense amounts of energy. Bent arms deplete strength quickly while straight arms and hanging on your skeleton will help conserve your energy.

Do you climb cut with a router? ›

Climb cutting is when the workpiece moves in the same direction as the bit. This is dangerous, and not allowed on the router table. Climb cutting is only allowed on CNC routers.

Which one of the following is true for climb milling? ›

4. Which of the following process is also known as climb milling? Explanation: Down milling is also known as climb milling as in this process metal is removed by cutter which rotates in the same direction of the travel of the work piece.

Why is up milling safer? ›

It has no tendency to drag workpiece into the cutter, so it is a safe operation. The selection type of milling operation mainly depends upon the nature of work. These type of milling generally used for milling of casting and forging.

What are the two main types of milling operations? ›

Conventional Milling and Climb Milling Operations

Also referred to as up milling, conventional milling is the cutter rotating against the direction of the table feed. Contrast this with climb milling, also called down milling, where the cutter rotates with the direction of the table feed.

What are the disadvantages of vertical milling machine? ›

Disadvantages of Vertical Milling Machines

With a vertical mill, you may find it more challenging to handle some pieces because they often have lower-horsepower motors than horizontal milling machines. Compared to horizontal mill machines, they do not offer as fast of an output rate.

What is the easiest type of climbing? ›

Free soloing is the easiest type of rock climbing to understand: No ropes are involved, and if you fall while climbing, you will fall all the way to the ground.

What is the best type of climbing? ›

The Takeaway

In terms of safety and ease, the best type of climbing for beginners is indoor bouldering in a climbing gym, where you can benefit from qualified instructors and protective measures.

What is a Gumby in climbing? ›

A gumby is the semi-derogatory term for a beginner climber. Everybody is a gumby at some point, and actually, use it as self-disparagingly all the time, as well.

Should I get a drill press or a milling machine? ›

Milling drilling machines are more expensive than drill presses of a similar size, but are more versatile. For high precision, high value work a mill drill is likely to be the best choice. For any work requiring high quality face cutting and finishing a mill drill is also the best solution.

Which milling machine is normally used for very high production rates? ›

Bed-Type Milling Machines —High production calls for heavy cuts, and the rigidity of a knee and column type of milling machine may not be sufficient to take the high forces. A bed-type milling machine is often ideal for this kind of work.

Which mill is preferred for toxic material? ›

Advantages of Ball Mills

It is suitable for milling toxic materials since it can be used in a completely enclosed form.

How do I choose a milling cutter? ›

Factors that must be considered when selecting milling tools include the type of material being machined, the shapes of internal and external profiles, the amount of stock to be removed along internal and external profiles, the desired finish of the part surfaces, and the capabilities of the machine.

Which milling machine is most suitable in tool room operations? ›

Omniversal milling machine

It is useful for machining helical grooves, reamer and bevel gears. It is mostly used in tool room work.

Which type of milling machine is mostly used in general workshop and industries? ›

The Column milling equipment is highly popular, and consists of basic components, such as the work table, saddle, head, knee, and over arm. This simple machine has a cutting tool that is positioned vertically in order to drill metals.

What rpm is best for milling aluminum? ›

Instead, any milling process run at around 15,000 rpm or higher is likely to offer some optimum spindle speed, a "sweet spot," where the cut is significantly more stable than it is at both higher and lower speed settings. This sweet spot rpm value may permit double the depth of cut compared to other speeds.

How much does a good milling machine cost? ›

So, how much does a good milling machine cost? For a hobbyist router, the price is roughly $2,500-$3,500 for a solid machine.

Is a CNC workstation cheaper than conventional milling machine? ›

Conventional typically costs less and is used for small-quantity projects. CNC machining is normally used for high quantities and is not as cost-effective for smaller ones.

What RPM is high speed milling? ›

Although generally, HSM is understood to start at 18,000 rpm, various shops have shown that the process can work with slower spindles as well.

What is the biggest disadvantage of using CNC? ›

  • Cost: CNC machines are more expensive and require a greater initial investment than machines that can be operated manually. ...
  • Skills Loss: As the demand for manual machine operators decreases, fewer and fewer new students adopt those skills.

What are the limitations of conventional manufacturing process? ›

Below are the disadvantages of the conventional machining processes in their various applications.
  • Less surface finish is produced.
  • Complex shapes cannot be machined.
  • Tool wear frequently occur.
  • Low dimensional accuracy.
  • Noisy operations result in sound pollution.
  • Lubrication is necessary.
Feb 24, 2022

What is difference between in conventional and non conventional machining? ›

Conventional machining process involves the direct contact of tool and work piece, whereas unconventional machining does not require the direct contact of tool and work piece. Conventional machining process has lower accuracy and surface finish while non-conventional machining has higher accuracy and surface finish.

What is the most complicated manufacturing process? ›

Batch processing is arguably the most difficult manufacturing there is. Discrete assembly operations have thousands of parts to source, manage and track.


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