Fly Cutters Information

Fly cutterFly cutters are rotary tools that use one or more single-point tools for plane surfacing. The fly cutter is a single-point cutting tool similar to a lathe tool mounted in a special holder.


There are many types of fly cutters. Examples include:

  • point cutter
  • rotary cutting tool
  • rotary carving tool

A point cutter is designed for cutting densely populated corals. Its needle-like points help to reach in harder to reach areas and the precision ground edges gives a precise and cleaner cut every time.

A rotary cutting tool cuts all fabric types up to eight layers quickly and easily without distorting pattern cutting lines.

A rotary carving tool is used to carve on hard materials such as wood, to carve through the grain, or even engrave a piece of blown glass.

Fly cutters may also be a single or double fly cutter. Fly cutter bit type is derived from a machinist’s designs and is used in material up to mild steel. A fly cutter bit type is available for more stability and faster cutting, but are more difficult to set up. Other fly cutters are commonly available.


There are several ways in which fly cutters function. A normal fly cutter is a rotary tool that can be adjusted to cut up to a 2.00 inch (51 mm) diameter and is easily capable of taking a .010 inch (.25 mm) deep cut in aluminum at this diameter. The 3/4 inch body fly cutter uses a 3/16 inch tool bit. A 1-1/8 inch body fly cutter uses a 1/4 inch tool bit. The 1-3/8 inch body fly cutter uses a 5/16 inch tool bit. Most fly cutters are available with a holder, drawbolt, thrust washer, and a left-hand carbide cutting tool. A point cutter is available in long (500 mm) and short (300 mm) sizes. A point cutter has two cutting edges per blade. The blade is similar to 1/3 of a rotary blade. It slips in and out of the handle for safe storage. A rotary tool accessory is an ideal instrument for cutting, carving, sanding, drilling, and grinding. A rotary tool accessory consists of a variable speed motor for smooth operation from 0 to 30000rpm. The main body of a rotary tool accessory has a spindle lock to allow for opening and closing the 1/8 inch collet to fit standard rotational tools. Fly cutters can be designed and manufactured to meet most industry specifications.


Fly cutters are used in many applications. Fly cutters are used primarily on a milling machine for machining large, flat surface areas. Fly cutters can be used in machining centers and manual mills without the use of additional arbors. Fly cutters can be used to remove large amounts of metal and level it with the advantage that it can be re-sharpened by straight-forward grinding. Fly cutters must adhere to MACH 151 and MACH 151L performance standards.

Related Information

CR4 Community—Flatness Achieved by Conventional Milling

Image credit:

Nick Johnson / CC BY 2.0



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