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What cutting data should I use and where can I find it?


What cutting speed, circumferential speed and other cutting data should I use when drilling and milling?

Using the correct cutting data during the machining process is vital to tool life, accuracy and machining success. The value of this data depends on several factors. The material type and diameter of the tool, the properties of the material to be machined, the stability of the workpiece and the way in which the tool is used all play an important role in determining the correct data. In this article we explain the cutting speeds and speeds, the feed and how to easily look up the recommended cutting conditions. In addition to the article below, we also offer free information posters about this data related to drilling and milling. Here you can request your poster. 

Cutting speeds and speeds

Cutting speed refers to the speed at which a tool (or workpiece in the case of turning) rotates around its circumference. This value is expressed in meters per minute (m/min). The choice of a certain cutting speed depends on the operation and the tool. When drilling, for example, the following must be taken into account:

  • The base material of the tool: HSS is less hard and wear-resistant, but has a higher toughness and can therefore be used at low cutting speeds. Tungsten carbide is harder and more wear-resistant and often has higher speeds. But the material is much more brittle and requires a stable process.

  • The coating of the tool: Various coatings have been developed to increase the performance of a drill, often allowing higher cutting speeds.

  • Workpiece material: drills designed with a certain geometry for machining certain materials (stainless steel, plastic, cast iron, …) may have different recommended cutting speeds. 

The recommended cutting speed is a value provided by the tool manufacturer. In addition, rotational speeds are often also calculated. The cutting speed can be easily converted to rotational speeds using the following formula:


  • Vc is the cutting speed in m/min.

  • x1000 because the diameter is expressed in mm.

  • π x D, where D is equal to the diameter of the tool.

  • n is the resulting speed, expressed in rpm.

To save time you can find a conversion table of cutting speeds and speeds in the Dormer catalog, so you don't have to calculate them again and again. You can also use the calculators below

n= omw/min

Vc= π x D x n
      / 1000

Vc= m/min


The term feed refers to the speed at which the tool moves in the material. Usually this value is expressed in millimeters per revolution (mm/rev). From there, the feed rate can also be easily converted into millimeters per minute (mm/min) by multiplying this value by the speed. The choice for a certain nutritional value is subject to similar factors as those already described above. Experiments often also show whether a certain guideline value should be lowered or increased.

Vf = f x n

Vf = mm/min

T= (L/Vf)*60

T= sec

Enter the correct values ​​in the white blocks above and the feed and cutting time will be calculated automatically.

  • D is de diameter in mm
  • Vc is the cutting speed in meters per minute
  • n is the resulting speed, expressed in rpm.
  • Z* is the number of teeth (when drilling it is 1) 
  • fz is the feed per tooth in mm
  • fn is the feed per revolution (when drilling)
  • L is de snedelengte in mm
  • Vf is the feed rate in mm per minute

Where can the cutting data be found?

In the Dormer catalog you can find guide values ​​per tool and material group. The overview pages contain a table with the different tools and their compatibility with certain materials. Next to it is a number with a letter. These indicate the recommended cutting data.

The number represents the recommended cutting speed in m/min. So in the above example 25. If we want to calculate the speed of, for example, a 10.0 mm drill, then it is as follows:

             = 796 revolutions per minute 

The letter after the number refers to the recommended diet. For this we use the table below, which can also be found in the catalogue.

cutting data.png

The correct feed in mm/rev can be found in the table for each letter and diameter. In the case of the example just now, we find the value 0.165 for the letter F and diameter 10 mm.

cutting data2.png

Download cutting speeds and feed tables for drilling and milling here. These PDFs (including threading speeds) can also be downloaded here.

 The above data has been processed in a clear information poster about cutting speeds with regard to drilling and milling. You can request these posters for free by filling in your request at the top of this page. As soon as you leave your details, we will hand you the correct poster. Of course it is also possible to request both posters.

Do you have any questions or need more information? If so, please contact one of our experts.