Why You Should Consider Thread Milling


Carmex has prepared a series of articles to assist those not currently using thread milling, or only applying it on particular parts, to better understand the technology and ease its integration into their operation.

The first step toward understanding thread milling is knowing its advantages and exploring where it could fit in your operation. Although many operators would have no trouble visualizing the use of thread milling on larger size parts, advances in the technology have made it an extremely advantageous choice for even the smallest holes.

Most of our customers discovered thread milling — and Carmex — when they consulted their industrial distributors about problems they were having with taps. As parts have become more complex and materials harder to machine, the disadvantages of tapping has become more apparent.

By virtue of their design, taps are prone to breakage. The extraction of a broken tap can cause real problems in high-value parts that demand precision thread finishes — not to mention the lost man-hours involved.

A frequent cause of breakage involves chip overload, and chip removal has continually been a problem in tapping. For this reason, the use of taps on NC equipment has always presented challenges due to breakage and thread quality. A further disadvantage is the inability of a tap to thread to the bottom of a blind hole. This requires an extra allowance for clearance that is both undesirable and unnecessary.


Shorter tool life is another problem and, in automated situations, requires redundant tooling that takes up space in the tool magazine.

Thread milling, on the other hand, avoids the difficulties associated with tapping since it not only delivers better chip control but can proceed unimpeded to the bottom of the blind hole.

Because of thread interpolation and the use of solid carbide and indexable tooling, breakage is eliminated, vibration is reduced, and a more precise thread and better finish are generated. This in turn translates to greater economy through longer tool life and increased dependability, especially on NC machines or automated equipment.

Versatility is likewise a consideration. Thread milling can be utilized on holes as small as 0.25" up to the largest sizes. All standard thread profiles are available and, for specialized applications, custom-made tools can be produced, tested and delivered to match tight production schedules.

Besides the advantages inherent in thread milling, Carmex offers customers further benefits. Years ago, our engineers perfected the tool design we refer to as our “Helical Advantage™.” By smoothing the engagement of the tool, our products can operate at higher speeds, ensure precision threads, and deliver better overall finish. The Helical Advantage is also a major factor in extending tool life.

We also offer free software on our website to speed your start-up.

Most important, our sales staff is thoroughly trained and ready to assist you, not only in getting started but in selecting the right tools for your applications. Whether your operation involves large transfer type equipment, conventional NC machines, automated lines, or high precision Swiss style machining, we’ll be happy to work with you to develop the best solutions to your individual needs and advance your processes to the latest in thread milling technology.