7 Types of Cutting Tools + Features, Applications & Examples

types of cutting tools

In the expansive manufacturing world, the right cutting tool can make all the difference. As varied as their tasks, these tools embody precision, efficiency, and innovation. With Linquip‘s robust platform, exploring, comparing, and understanding cutting tools becomes a seamless endeavor.


  • Basic Understanding: Cutting tools remove material to shape a workpiece.
  • Types of Cutting Tools:
    1. Single Point (e.g., Lathe tools)
    2. Multi-Point (e.g., Milling cutters, drills)
    3. Abrasive (e.g., Grinding wheels)
    4. Rotary (e.g., Drills, milling cutters)
    5. Indexable
    6. Micro Drills (For precision tasks)
    7. Form Tools (Custom shapes)
  • Cutting Tool Materials: Advanced materials like HSS, Tungsten Carbide, CBN, and Diamond improve tool performance.
  • Technology’s Impact: CAD in tool design and tool monitoring systems enhance precision and lifespan.
  • Sustainability: Emphasis on recycling, using green lubricants, and energy-efficient production methods.
  • Linquip’s Role: Provides a digital platform for tool selection, performance analytics, promoting sustainable practices, and fostering a community for collaboration and learning.
  • Conclusion: Linquip is a comprehensive platform that aids in understanding, selecting, and using cutting tools effectively in the constantly evolving industry.


The Essence of Cutting Tools

Before delving into the types, understanding the fundamentals of cutting tools is pivotal. These tools primarily serve to remove material from a workpiece, shaping it according to specific requirements. The choice of a cutting tool often influences the efficiency, finish, and precision of the operation.


  • Single Point Cutting Tools
  • Multi-Point Cutting Tools
  • Abrasive Cutting Tools
  • Rotary Cutting Tools
  • Indexable Cutting Tools
  • Micro Drills
  • Forum Tools

Additionally, while they are not types of tools per se, the article also discussed various advanced cutting tool materials:

  • High-Speed Steel (HSS)
  • Tungsten Carbide
  • Cubic Boron Nitride (CBN)
  • Diamond

Types of Cutting Tools Table with Characteristics and Usage

Cutting Tool Characteristic Usage
Single Point Singular cutting edge Turning, shaping, and planning
Multi-Point Multiple cutting edges Drilling, milling, and broaching
Abrasive Uses abrasive grains Grinding, honing, and finishing surfaces
Rotary Rotates to perform the cutting Drilling holes, threading, and milling surfaces
Indexable Replaceable cutting edges Prolong tool life by changing only the cutting-edge
Micro Drills Extremely fine for precision Electronics and medical industries
Forum Tools Custom-designed for specific shapes Creating unique profiles and patterns in workpieces

This table provides a concise overview of various cutting tools and their characteristics and applications. However, for detailed insights, it’s recommended to explore each tool type individually.


Diving Deep: Types of Cutting Tools

Single Point Cutting Tools

Lathe tools
Lathe tools (Reference: amazon.co.uk)
  • Features: Singular cutting edge.
  • Examples: Lathe tools, and shaping instruments.
  • Applications: Used for turning, shaping, and planning.

Multi-Point Cutting Tools

Milling cutters
Milling cutters (Reference: amazon.co.uk)
  • Features: Multiple cutting edges.
  • Examples: Milling cutters, drills, broaches.
  • Applications: Essential for drilling, milling, and broaching.

Abrasive Cutting Tools

Grinding wheels
Grinding wheels (Reference: amazon.co.uk)
  • Features: Uses abrasive grains to effect cutting.
  • Examples: Grinding wheels, and abrasive belts.
  • Applications: Predominantly for grinding, honing, and finishing surfaces.

Rotary Cutting Tools

Drills (Reference: amazon.co.uk)
  • Features: Tools that rotate to perform the cutting action.
  • Examples: Drills, taps, and milling cutters.
  • Applications: Drilling holes, threading, and milling surfaces.

Indexable Cutting Tools

Indexable Cutting Tools
Indexable Cutting Tools (Reference: apex-cuttingtools.com)
  • Features: Replaceable cutting edges.
  • Examples: Certain types of milling cutters and turning tools.
  • Applications: Prolonging tool life by simply changing the cutting edge rather than the whole tool.


Factors Influencing the Selection of Cutting Tools

  • Material of Workpiece: Different tools are apt for different materials – from soft aluminum to hard stainless steel.
  • Type of Operation: Drilling, milling, turning – each has its specialized tool.
  • Machine Compatibility: Ensure the tool aligns with the machine’s capabilities.
  • Cost and Durability: An optimal balance between the tool’s price and its lifespan is essential.
  • Finish Requirements: Some tools offer smoother finishes while others are designed for rough cuts.


Advanced Cutting Tool Materials

The material of a cutting tool plays an influential role in its performance. Let’s dive into some of the advanced materials and their significance:

High-Speed Steel (HSS)

  • Features: Resistant to high temperatures, maintaining hardness.
  • Applications: Widely used for drills, gear cutters, and other tool forms.

Tungsten Carbide

  • Features: Extremely hard, three times stiffer than steel.
  • Applications: Ideal for drilling and milling purposes due to its wear resistance.

Cubic Boron Nitride (CBN)

  • Features: Second only to diamond in terms of hardness.
  • Applications: Perfect for cutting ferrous metals.


  • Features: Hardest known material.
  • Applications: Used in ultra-precision and finishing tasks.


Specialized Cutting Tools for Unique Needs

Every industry has its unique requirements, necessitating the design of specialized cutting tools.

Micro Drills

Micro Drills
Micro Drills (Reference: cutwel.co.uk)
  • Features: Extremely fine drills for precision.
  • Applications: Electronics and medical industries.

Forum Tools


  • Features: Custom-designed for specific shapes.
  • Applications: Creating unique profiles and patterns in workpieces.


Tool Coatings & Their Importance

The longevity and efficiency of cutting tools can be significantly enhanced by coatings.

  • Titanium Nitride (TiN): Offers wear resistance and reduced friction.
  • Titanium Carbonitride (TiCN): Provides more hardness than TiN and is more wear-resistant.
  • Diamond Coatings: Especially for non-ferrous and abrasive materials.


Linquip’s Contribution to Advanced Cutting Tool Solutions

Linquip recognizes the nuances and sophistication in the world of cutting tools. As such, it offers:

  • Advanced Search Features: Easily find specialized tools and materials.
  • Collaborations with Manufacturers: Stay updated with the latest innovations directly from the source.
  • User Experience (UX) Feedback: Learn from the experiences of other industry professionals.


A Glimpse to the Future: Innovations in Cutting Tools

The cutting tool industry is on the brink of several advancements, from nanotechnology to smart tool solutions. Linquip is dedicated to keeping you abreast of these innovations, ensuring you’re always ahead of the curve.


Digital Revolution: How Technology Impacts Cutting Tools

The advent of technology has significantly shaped the dynamics of the cutting tools world.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD) in Tool Design

  • Features: Facilitates precise design, ensuring optimal functionality.
  • Applications: Creation of custom tools, improved ergonomic designs, and rapid prototyping.

Tool Monitoring Systems

  • Features: Monitors tool condition, preventing premature wear and potential breakage.
  • Applications: Real-time monitoring of tool health, predicting the need for replacements, and enhancing overall tool life.


Linquip’s Digital Integration for Cutting Tools

Virtual Tool Libraries

  • Description: Digital databases containing specifications, 3D models, and performance data.
  • Benefits: Simplifies the selection process, ensures compatibility, and aids in virtual testing before physical deployment.

Real-time Tool Analytics

  • Description: Provides immediate data on tool performance.
  • Benefits: Facilitates optimization of tool operations, reduces downtimes, and increases productivity.


Sustainable Practices in the Cutting Tools Industry

With growing environmental concerns, sustainable practices have become imperative.

  • Recycling of Tools: Many modern tools, especially carbide ones, are recyclable, reducing waste.
  • Environment-friendly Lubricants: Use greener alternatives for cooling and lubrication.
  • Energy-efficient Production: Emphasis on producing tools using energy-conserving methods.



The multifaceted domain of cutting tools, marked by constant advancements and innovations, requires a steadfast partner for guidance. Linquip, with its exhaustive databases, community collaborations, and commitment to sustainable practices, is that partner. As we gear up to embrace the future of cutting tools – be it through digital innovations, sustainable measures, or advanced materials – Linquip stands ready to assist, educate, and guide. Join us in this journey, ensuring that every cut, every design, and every innovation stands out with unmatched precision and purpose.


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