Keyseat Cutters Information

Keyseat cutters produce a groove or slot, which serves as a seat for a complementary engagement key. They are typically used in key shafts to provide positive engagement and prevent unwanted rotation or movement. 


Types of Keyseat Cutters

Keyseat cutters may be of solid construction, or with holders and inserts. They can be used with a number of end or tip geometry options, including square end, ball nose, radius tip, and chamfer tip.  Square end tip geometry for keyseat cutters have a square or straight end that features no radius, chamfer, or other finish. Ball nose keyseat cutter tips have a “ball nose” whose radius is one half of the cutter diameter. This type of keyseat cutter tip is useful for machining female semicircle grooves of radii.


Other ends and tips for keyseat cutters include radius or chamfer-tipped. Radius-tipped keyseat cutter ends are straight flutes with ground radius on the very tip. Chamfer tip ends feature an angled section of the side or the end. These tips produce an angled cut of chamfered edge on a workpiece.


Keyseat Cutters Operation

When selecting a keyseat cutter, consideration must be made to the finish type. There are typically two finish type options: roughing / hogging and finishing. Roughing and hogging cutters are designed so that the machine geometry, flutes, and materials can be used for rapid and heavy material removal. They are typically used to machine workpieces close to the desired finishing dimensions, where a finishing keyseat cutter takes over and produces closer tolerances and higher-quality surface finish. 


Other considerations for selecting keyseat cutters include the number of required cutting edges, the material construction of the cutter, the coating applied to the keyseat cutter, and the application criteria. Keyseat cutters are available with a number of cutting flutes and inserts, which can vary based on the cut diameter, milling material, and other factors. Two-flute cutters are often used with very ductile machines that produce long chips. Higher-flute keyseat cutters can be used to minimize chip load and vibration.


Keyseat Cutter Composition

The material of the keyseat cutter is important for understanding the level of cutting the machine can handle. Materials like carbide, cobalt, and diamond are hard and can be used in high-speed applications, whereas materials like steel are used for general metal machining. Other material options for keyseat cutters include micrograin carbide, which is used most-often in surface finishing applications, and ceramic.


Coatings for keyseat cutter machines are important considerations as well, as they can provide additional

production against corrosion and abrasion, increase the tool’s hardness, provide lubrication and smoothness assistance, and improve the overall lifetime of the tool. Other considerations and options for keyseat cutters may also be available depending on the manufacturer.