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1. CNC machines are very rigid. Nonetheless, they do have limits. Improper tooling or processes can be dangerous or damaging. Changes should be carefully considered to prevent accidents. Take care to safely hold the workpiece. Once you know the material is safely held and the tools are correct and correctly positioned, it is time to consider optimizing the CNC program.

After you have carefully considered your setup and selected the proper tooling, it is important to put it all together. Start by using the mid range of the speeds/feeds provided by the tooling manufacture. Then adjust your speed/feed to find the optimum cutting conditions for your job. Keep close and careful record of your adjustments. Record how long the tooling lasts for each speed/feed setting. This information is critical to good tool life management. By optimizing the cutting process, you will see longer tool life and lower overall tooling costs.


1. Give proper consideration to coolant. Good coolant can also reduce tooling costs, depending on the operation. Coolant accomplishes three objectives. Lubrication, Cooling, and moving chips away from the cutting process.

2. Lubrication can be critical in keeping cutting tools working properly. With HSS(High Speed Steel) cutting tools it is important to keep them lubricated when cutting metal materials.

3. Cutting processes can produce a lot of heat, so it is also important to keep everything cool. Generally, but not always, you want to keep the tool and work piece cool during cutting. Coolant is used for this and it is important that you have a consistent stream, as coolant turning off and on can “shock” some cutting tools, causing them to break, and shorten tool life.

Re-Sharpen Drills and End Mills

1. Keep tooling sharp and in good condition. If you do not know how, learn to re-sharpen your drills. It is good to know how to sharpen drills by hand, but many shops use special drill grinders, or end mill grinders to re-sharpen tooling. Sharp tools cut faster, give a better finish and leave smaller burrs to remove.