Are the spindle speed and cutting speed the same?

Correct speed for milling cutters

The correct speed for the milling cutter is essential for a clean milling pattern and for your milling cutter, in order to avoid damage during woodworking and to keep post-processing to a minimum.

As a supplement to our last article about tools for hardwood and softwood, we would like to give you appropriate guide values ​​for the rotational speed and the feed rate of milling cutters.

Relevant settings when milling

Milling depends on the speed, the cutting speed and the feed rate. If the cutting speed and feed speed are not taken into account, this can lead to a poor milling pattern - nobody wants that.

rotation speed

The maximum speed of the individual ENT milling cutters can be found on the respective shaft, the set speed of your machine can be determined using the number on the scale and the respective device manual.

Cutting speed

The cutting speed is the speed of the moving cutting edges; it is calculated from the speed of the milling machine and the diameter of the milling cutter. For wood we recommend a cutting speed of at least 50 m / s.

Formula for calculating the cutting speed:

Vc = cutting speed
d = diameter of the milling cutter
Pi = 3.14
n = speed of the milling machine

Feed rate

The feed rate describes the speed at which the workpiece moves along the rotating cutting edges. In most cases this speed is determined by your own movement. For milling machines with a feed device, the feed rate can be specified by the manufacturer.

Note the tooth feed for clean surfaces

The tooth feed results from the cutting speed and the feed speed (also known as the knife stroke arc). The tooth feed determines the milling pattern on your workpiece.

The smaller the value of the tooth feed, the better the milling pattern, because the cutting edges remove the material at smaller intervals. The greater the value of the tooth feed, the larger the waves will later be visible in the milling pattern and require post-processing.

A value below 1 mm is usually recommended.

The following applies to a clean surface:

  • many cutting edges
  • low feed
  • high speed

Formula for calculating the knife stroke arc:

fz = tooth feed / width of the knife stroke arc
Z = number of cutting edges
n = speed of the milling machine
Vf = feed speed in m / minute

Maximum speed when milling

The following table is based on the diameter of the milling cutter. With large cutter diameters, a slower speed tends to be set than with smaller cutter diameters. With hard types of wood, the speed can be significantly reduced again than with softer types of wood.

Note: Lower speed for hardwoods and higher speed for softwoods.

Diameter in mmMax. Revolutions / minute
1 - 24~ 28.000
25 - 30~ 24.000
31 - 50~ 18.000
51 - 67~ 16.000
68 - 90~ 12.000

Our range of ENT milling cutters:

Immerse yourself in the workpiece during milling

For dipping and drilling in wood, we recommend only using milling cutters with a hard metal base cutting edge (Z2 + 1) and only dipping into the wood step by step.
The groove cutters, from the 12-piece cutter set of the PLUS Edition by ENT, are ideal for dipping and drilling into hardwood, for example.


The TopTools24.de team will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Write to us at [email protected] or use our contact form