There are different cutting tools for various types of hard and soft plastics, which are used for the desired results in the specific job that they are recommended for. Some of the same tools can also be used for composite milling, but there is no such thing as one tool that can be used for all plastic and composite jobs. When it comes to plastic machining, there are different recommendations for all the different tools that are available on the market depending on the material being used.
Plastic machining with single edged “O” flutes should not be used in diameters above 3/8 because of balance issues, which is one of the most important things to remember when switching from one material to another. Cutting tools such as double edged “O” flutes should be used to accommodate balance issues in diameters above 3/8 and to provide better finish. Many people find that composite milling of materials with diameters of 3/8 and above is best accomplished with triple edged finishers, though, in order to avoid flute loading issues.
Sometimes cutting tools with shaped edges are used for various applications where a specific radius or chamfer is required. Since these plastic machining applications are typically finish cuts, the amount of material being removed is fairly minimal and the finishes are excellent. Plastic machining jobs such as slots and pocketing, on the other hand, require a bottom surfacing tool, which is available to provide swirl-free finishes on these bottom surfaces.