In the context of machining, a cutting tool (or cutter) is any tool that is used to remove material from the workpiece by means of shear deformation. Cutting may be accomplished by single-point or multipoint tools. Single-point tools are used in turning, shaping, plaining and similar operations, and remove material by means of one cutting edge. Milling and drilling tools are often multipoint tools. Grinding tools are also multipoint tools. Each grain of abrasive functions as a microscopic single-point cutting edge (although of high negative rake angle), and shears a tiny chip.
Cutting tools must be made of a material harder than the material which is to be cut, and the tool must be able to withstand the heat generated in the metal-cutting process. Also, the tool must have a specific geometry, with clearance angles designed so that the cutting edge can contact the workpiece without the rest of the tool dragging on the workpiece surface. The angle of the cutting face is also important, as is the flute width, number of flutes or teeth, and margin size. In order to have a long working life, all of the above must be optimized, plus the speeds and feeds at which the tool is run.
CUTTING TOOL TYPES
Linear tools include tool bits (single-point cutting tools) and broaches. Rotary tools include drill bits, countersinks and counterbores, taps and dies, milling cutters, reamers, and cold saw blades. Other tools, such as bandsaw blades, hacksaw blades, and fly cutters, combine aspects of linear and rotary motion.