What are indexable drills?
Indexable drills, are tools used in the machining industry, typically on CNC machines and in some case manual machines, offering a versatile and cost-effective solution for precision drilling operations, these drills feature replaceable inserts, that can be easily replaced or rotated when worn out or damaged.
One key advantage of indexable drills is their ability to tackle various materials and applications. With different insert geometries and coatings available, these drills can be tailored to specific machining requirements, providing optimal performance in many drilling scenarios. This versatility makes indexable drills a popular choice among engineers looking to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness in their drilling operations. If machinists are looking to streamline their machining processes and achieve consistent, high-quality results then investing in indexable drills can be a choice that pays off in both the short and long term.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of indexable drilling?
Indexable drilling offers numerous benefits, making it a preferred choice in the CNC and conventional machining industry. One key advantage lies in the cost-effectiveness of these drills. The replaceable inserts significantly reduce tooling costs as only the worn out or damaged inserts need replacing, rather than the entire drill. See below a few advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Indexable Drilling
- Cost-Effectiveness - Replaceable inserts reduce tooling costs as only worn-out or damaged inserts need replacing.
- Versatility - Different insert types, geometries, and coatings are available for all material types.
- Extended Tool Life - The ability to rotate or replace inserts extends the lifespan of the drill, reducing downtime.
- Efficient Chip Evacuation - Indexable drill bodies are designed to improve swarf evacuation, especially in deep hole drilling, ensuring a smoother drilling process.
- Adaptability – Indexable drills are available in various diameters and lengths making them ideal for larger diameter and deep hole drilling applications.
Disadvantages of Indexable Drilling
- Initial Investment - Higher upfront costs may be associated with purchasing indexable drills compared to traditional solid carbide or HSS drills.
- Limited Precision in Some Cases - In certain high-precision applications, solid carbide, powder metal and HSS drills may provide a slight advantage over indexable drills.
- Tool Complexity - The replaceable insert system adds complexity to the tool, potentially requiring more intricate setup and adjustments.
- Tool Rigidity - Some indexable drills may have limitations in terms of tool rigidity, impacting performance in certain demanding machining tasks.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of indexable drilling?
Choosing between indexable drilling and solid drilling depends on the specific machining application and the materials involved. The replaceable inserts in indexable drills allow the user to choose the most suitable carbide grade for the application at hand and manage tool life efficiently which in turn reduces overall tooling costs. Rotating or replacing the inserts can be done in a matter of seconds reducing downtime and enhancing operational efficiency. While indexable drilling may not offer the same level of precision as solid drilling, in certain high-precision tasks, its versatility and cost-effectiveness make it a compelling choice for many machining applications.
In contrast, solid drilling is often preferred when precision and rigidity are critical for the machining process. Solid drills are known for their higher precision and greater rigidity, making them suitable for applications that demand accuracy. CNC machinists may opt for solid drilling in situations where a smoother surface finish is essential, or when working with challenging materials that require a robust tool. While solid carbide drills may have a higher initial cost, they can offer longer tool life in certain scenarios, reducing the frequency of tool changes. The choice between indexable and solid drilling depends on the specific machining requirements, material considerations, and the desired balance between precision and cost-effectiveness.
What is the difference between high performance and general purpose indexable drilling?
High-performance and general-purpose indexable drilling differ in their design and intended applications. High-performance indexable drills (like i-Dream drill, i-One drill and TPDC) are designed for demanding applications that require precision, efficiency, and maximum tool life. These drills often feature advanced cutting geometries, specialised coatings, and innovative designs to excel in challenging materials such as stainless steels, exotic alloys and aluminium. This makes high-performance indexable drills 1st choice for CNC machinists aiming to push the limits of their machining capabilities and achieve superior results across a range of complex applications whilst reducing cycle times.
On the other hand, general-purpose indexable drilling solutions (like Supercut Spade drill and King Drill) are designed to offer versatility across a wide range of materials and applications. These drills provide a balance between cost-effectiveness and performance, making them ideal for everyday machining tasks where the highest level of precision may not be required. General-purpose drills typically come with a range of insert options to accommodate different materials and cutting conditions. This versatility makes general-purpose indexable drills a practical choice for workshops with diverse machining needs, offering a reliable and cost-effective solution without compromising on performance for everyday tasks.
Why would you choose a King Drill over a standard u-drill?
The Korloy King Drill offers a combination of advanced features and benefits that set it apart from standard U-drills, providing the user with a drill that delivers superior performance and efficiency. Some of these features include advanced cutting geometry, special cutting-edge geometries improve chip control and swarf evacuation, leading to improved surface finishes and reduced cutting forces. King drill inserts SPMT/SPET and XOMT/XOET have specialist coatings enhancing wear resistance, reducing friction and heat generation. This results in extended tool life and increased durability.
Customers who use the Korloy King Drill experience a significant increase in productivity and efficiency compared to standard U-drills, making it an ideal investment for those aiming to maximise their machining capabilities and reduce cycle times. The specialised coatings on the King Drill inserts contribute to longer tool life compared to standard U-drills, reducing the frequency of tool changes and associated downtime. While standard U-drills are reliable for general purposes applications, the King Drill's design makes it first choice for applications demanding higher levels of accuracy and consistency.
What diameters and drill depths can indexable drills machine?
Indexable drills, come in a range of diameters and drill depths to accommodate many machining requirements. These drills typically cover a broad spectrum, starting from diameters as small as Ø8mm suitable for precision work, all the way up to Ø114mm ideal for heavy-duty applications.
When it comes to drill depths, indexable drills are equally versatile, offering options for shallow and deep drilling applications. Whether machinists are looking to drill deep holes or shallow holes, Cutwel have a drill to suit your requirements, like the supercut spade drill that’s available from 2xD up to 25xD drills depths. The adaptability of these drills in terms of both diameter and depth makes them a great choice for many CNC and conventional machining applications.
What materials can indexable drills be used with?
Indexable drills are incredibly versatile and can be effectively used with a wide range of materials, showcasing their adaptability in CNC and conventional machining. These drills are suitable for common materials such as steel and aluminium, as well as more challenging materials like stainless steel, exotic alloys, and hardened steel. Korloy, a reputable brand, offers a variety of drilling grades tailored for specific materials, ensuring optimal performance. Whether it's the Korloy PC5300 for general applications or the Korloy’s KEP854 series for exotic alloys and stainless steel, machinists can find many indexable drill grades that cater to their material requirements. YG-1, another renowned manufacturer, provides high-quality indexable inserts with coatings such as the Z coating dedicated for steel and cast iron machining, and the T15, M48 and K20 substrates for the supercut spade drill offer maximum versatility across a wide range of materials.
Our knowledgeable team of experts can help you find the right indexable drilling system to suit your requirements. So why wait? Browse through and buy from our range of indexable drilling systems online or alternatively please call 01924 869 610 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for any advice or queries.