CNC milling machines rely on specialized tools to cut, engrave, and machine materials. Generally, different tools are required for different machining projects, but the question is often asked if you can use a regular milling cutter in a CNC machine, and the answer to this question requires consideration of performance, longevity, and safety.
Milling cutters designed for CNC manufacturing are often optimized to machine tougher materials such as metals, composites, plastics, and hardwoods. Conventional drills can shatter when used for extended periods of time to CNC machine such materials.
The rigid metal structure of a CNC milling machine transmits higher cutting forces to the drill, and because the tool is rotating at high speeds, this can overload a regular drill and make it more susceptible to breakage.
Large CNC spindles and servo motors can rotate milling cutters at speeds far in excess of what is feasible for manual operation. CNC spindles typically run at 24,000 rpm or higher. Without heat-resistant coatings and proper tool geometry, common drills degrade rapidly under severe and prolonged machining conditions.
As you can see from the above, conventional milling cutters are not suitable for use when machining harder materials and more complex projects due to their susceptibility to damage, but they can be used when working on softer or simpler projects. Frequent professional use, however, requires upgrading drills designed for automated precision machining to produce clean results and maximize drill life.