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Chip Load Chart

The chip load is a measurement of the thickness of material removed by each cutting edge during a cut.  This is a valuable piece of information that can then be used to calculate new set ups.  Calculation are as follows: Chip Load = Feed Rate (inches per minute) / (RPM x number of flutes).  Example: Chip Load = 500 inches per minutes / (15,000 RPM x 2 flutes) Chip Load = .017".

Chip loads are based on material thickness of average size for cutting edge length of tool.  These recommendations do not apply to thicker material or tools with long cutting edge lengths.  These chiploads are only a recommended starting point and may not accommodate all circumstances.  Therefore, tooling damage may still occur and use of this chart does not warranty against tool breakage.

We would strongly encourage you to consult us directly on new tool applications.  Our staff will be happy to discuss any technical questions by phone or email.

 

Tool 
Diameter
Hard
Wood
Softwood &
Plywood
MDF/
Particle Board
High Pressure 
Laminate
Phenolic

1/8”

.003” - .005”

.004” - .006”

.004” - .007”

.003” - .005”

n/a

1/4”

.009” - .011”

.011” - .013”

.013” - .016”

.009” - .012”

.004” - .006”

3/8”

.015” - .018”

.017” - .020”

.020” - .023”

.015” - .018”

.006” - .008”

1/2” & up

.019” - .021”

.021” - .023”

.025” - .027”

.023” - .025”

.010” - .012”

  

Tool 
Diameter
Hard 
Plastic
Soft 
Plastic
Solid 
Surface
Acrylic
Aluminium

1/8”

.002” - .004”

.003” - .006”

.002” - .004”

.003” - .005”

.003” - .004”

1/4”

.006” - .009”

.007” - .010”

.006” - .009”

.008” - .010”

.005” - .007”

3/8”

.008” - .010”

.010” - .012”

.008” - .010”

.010” - .012”

.006” - .008”

1/2” & up

.010” - .012”

.012” - .016”

.010” - .012”

.012” - .015”

.008” - .010”

 

Other valuable formulas:

Feed Rate = RPM x number of flutes x chip load

RPM = feed rate / (number of flutes x chipload)

Metric conversion: Divide inches per minute by 39.374 (example: 300 inches per minutes divided by 39.374 = 7.62 metres per minute)

RPM Selection

The general operating RPM for tooling contained on this site it between 10,000 and 20,000 revolutions per minute.  Usually, the higher the RPM, the better the surface finish becomes.  However, the higher the RPM, the higher the friction generated between the tool and the workpiece.  This friction is what creates the mechanical wear on the cutting edge.  Your goal is to select the lowest RPM possible for each application.