Cutting Tools: Types and Characteristic of Material [With PDF]

As we already know, to perform a certain operation we need different types of cutting tools.

Cutting tools can be chosen according to the:

  1. Job Material
  2. Which type of operation you are going to perform

It is used in metal cutting or forming to acquire the desired shape, size, surface finish.

Types of Cutting Tools:

Different types of cutting tools are used in different types of machine, according to the usage of the cutting tool, we can divide it into 7-types, and those are:

  • According to the shape of the cutting tool.
  • According to the types of cutting.
  • Depending on types of operations.
  • The material of the cutting tool.
  • With respect to the number of the cutting tool used in one tool.
  • According to the direction of the tool movement.
  • According to the motion of the tool.

So let me discuss this one by one.

According to the shape of the cutting tool:

A cutting tool can be differentiated with the help of their shapes, in this category we can devise a cutting tool into the following:

  1. Solid
  2. Tool Bit
  3. Tipped Tool
  4. Pointed Tool
  5. grain Size


Generally this type of cutting tool used in turning operations like lathe turning tool.

Tool Bit:

It is a non-rotary cutting tool, we can use this cutting tool on shaping, planning, etc. etc. 

This is a single-point cutting tool that means there will be one cutting edge.

The example of this kind of cutting tools is the Lathe turning tool fixed in the holder and Cast non-ferrous satellite cobalt, etc. 

Tipped Tool:

This cutting tool is made of different types of materials.

That means the body of the cutting tool is made by other material and the cutting portion of the tool is made by some other material, to join two different materials we use different types of process like weld, clamped, etc. etc. 

Pointed Tool:

As the name suggests point, that means the tip of the tool is so fine, and edges end in a single line, few examples of these types of cutting tools are diamond pointed on the holder, hard carbide pointed tool.

These are one of the costlier types of cutting tools.

Grain Size:

Cutting tools depends on the number of grain and size of the grain, if suppose the grain size is big then it will remove more material and if the grain size is small it will remove less material.

For example, abrasive type tool which is used in grinding wheels.

According to the types of cutting:

According to the types of cutting, we can divide a cutting tool into two types.

  1. Orthogonal Cutting
  2. Oblique Cutting

Orthogonal Cutting:

In this type of cutting, the cutting edge is perpendicular to the direction of the motion of the tool.

For example, two-dimensional cutting for square shoulder operation.

Oblique Cutting:

In oblique cutting the angle between the cutting edge and the direction of the tool, motion is anywhere except 90 degrees.

For example, three dimensional cutting mostly used in turning operations.

Types of material used for making the cutting tool:

With respect to the materials used, the cutting tool is divided into the following categories:

  1. High Carbon Steel 
  2. High-Speed Steel
  3. Cast non-ferrous steel cobalt
  4. Ceramic
  5. Cemented Carbide
  6. Diamond
  7. Abrasives

Cutting tools depends on the types of operation:

Different types of operations need different types of cutting tools. We can categorize this as following:

  1. Turning Tool (Used for turning in lathe machine)
  2. Drilling Tool (Used for drilling operation performed in drilling machine or lathe machine)
  3. Parting Off Tool (Used to cut the job after the operation is finished in Lathe machine)
  4. Milling Tool (Used to cut the slots and gears)
  5. Thread Cutting Tool (Used to cutting thread in a lathe machine)

With respect to the number of the cutting tool used in one tool:

There are two types of cutting tools in this category,

  1. Single-Point Cutting Tool
  2. Double-Point Cutting Tool
  3. Multi-point Cutting Tool

Single -Point Cutting Tool:

In a single-point cutting tool, there is only one cutting edge by which the material will remove, the examples of single-point cutting tools are turning the tool, shaping tools.

Double-Point Cutting Tool:

In this type of cutting tool, there are two edges to cut the material, for example, a twist drill.

Multi-Point Cutting Tool:

In a multi-point cutting tool, there are no. of cutting edges by which the material will be removed, here are the examples of multi-point cutting tool, drilling tool called milling cutter, in broaching machine, etc.

According to the direction of the tool movement:

The cutting tool can be categorized in term of tool movement, and that is:

  1. Righ Hand Tool
  2. Left-hand Tool

Right-Hand Tool:

In the right-hand cutting tool, the tool movement is from the right side to the left side.

Left-Hand Tool:

In the left-hand cutting tool, the tool movement is from the right side to the left side.

Both the cutting tools we can use in the lathe machine according to the types of operation we need.

According to the motion of the tool:

Again cutting tool are divided into 5-category according to the motion, and those are:

  1. Translatory Motion (Lathe cutting tools)
  2. Intermittent Translatory Motion (Planning tools)
  3. Reciprocating Motion (Shaping tools)
  4. Rotary Motion (Milling tools)
  5. Rotary and Verticle Translatory Motion (Drilling tools)

Here is the Diagram of Some of the cutting tools:

types of cutting tools

Characteristic of Cutting Tool Materials:

When you choosing or making a cutting tool you should take care of its property, strength, and quality, below are some characteristic of cutting tool:

  • Cutting tools should have high strength, hardness even at higher or lower temperatures.
  • It should not change any of the material properties (ductility, hardness, strength) in the long rung.
  • It should have high toughness and should have the ability to withstand shock and vibration.
  • The tool should be cheap in price.
  • Easily manufactured.
  • It should have a low coefficient of friction.

Materials used in cutting tool with their function:


It is used to make the tool elastic and corrosion resistance.


It is used to give strength and toughness to the tool.


It is used to increase the hardness as well as to resist corrosion.


It can resist high temperatures.


It is used to increase the sharpness of cutting edges.

So now I think you are clear about the types of cutting tools in the manufacturing process, and the characteristic of materials used in cutting tools, feel free to ask your doubts in the comment section, or you can visit our community portal too!


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Anup Kumar Dey

A Mechanical Engineer with 19 years of working experience in various renowned MNCs.

One thought on “Cutting Tools: Types and Characteristic of Material [With PDF]

  1. Hi there, I’m new to the CNC world and I don’t know how to choose the right cutting tools for milling or turning operations, can u supplied me with a pdf manual to help me with that, please?
    With my regard

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