Single Point Cutting Tools in Machining Operations

Cutting tools are very important in machining operations. There are various kinds of types that we are using in our applications. One of these applications is single-point cutting tools.

Here you can find detailed information about the single-point cutting tools and geometries. In shaping, planing, slotting and boring operations, we use single-point cutting tools in general.

The nomenclature of the general structures of the single-point cutting tools is different from the other types of cutters. Every geometric feature has different kinds of properties. So, it is very important to have a good understanding of them.

What is the Single Point Cutting Tool?

Single point cutting tool geometry.
Image Source:

Single point cutting tool is the type of geometry that we use in machining operations. There is only one contact point for them with the material. Unlike the multiple-point tools, there are no multiple contacts with the workpiece.

The geometrical features of these tools are very important in machining applications. To obtain efficient machining operations, the tools must have good geımetrical properties.


The general terminology about the general geometries of the single-point cutting tools is as below;

  • Back rack angle and side rack angle: They are the important angles on the tool geometry that determines the chip flow in a typical machining operation. The direction of the chip flow is a very important parameter that we need to consider in the turning operations for example. The chips should not interfere with the machining operation.
  • End and side relief angles: These angles are the important angles that determine the distance between tools and the freshly cut surface. So, it is very important to have these angles to obtain smooth surfaces.
  • Side cutting edge angle: This is the angle that provides smooth loading of the tool while starting to contact the work part. The sudden forces can harm the tool and this angle gives smooth loading of the tool and the workpiece at the first contact.
  • Nose radius: Nose radius is a geometrical feature that decreases the surface texture. With the higher nose radius, marks on the surface will be lower. So, defining a proper amount of nose radius is very important.
  • End cutting edge angle: This provides a clearance between the back of the tool and the newly cut surface. So, this angle is also very important to reduce friction and improve smooth cutting in machining operations.

Use of Chip Breakers

Chip breaker.
Image Source:

Chip breaker geometries are very important in these tool geometries. We use the chip breakers to break the chips in short lengths. For example, the chip formation in turning operations of ductile materials is a problematic issue. It is because the formed chips are very long and can be harmful to the machinery and the operator.

So, in the design of cutting tools, the use of chip breakers is very common. It is very important to use the chip breaker geometries in tools. They are acting cutters for chips that have lengths after a distance. Soi chip breakers cut this length to form a small chip formation.

There are two types of chip breakers in single-point cutting tools. The first one of the groove-type chip breakers. In the groove-type chip breakers, the chip comes into contact with the groove and bends in the groove. And because of this bending effect, the chips are broken.

Also, the second type of chip breaker is the obstruction type chip breaker. In the obstruction type, there is a chip breaker component that directly bends and breaks the chips that are coming and contacting them.

To prevent long chip formations, the use of chip breaker systems is very important.

Single Point Cutting Tools General Geometric Features

There are also very important geometrical features and geometries with the single-point cutting tools that we need to know. The general nomenclature is like this;

  • Shank: The bulk and main body of the tool. The tool holder holds the cutting tool from the shank. While we are changing the cutter, we are not changing the shank in general.
  • Flank: We call the cutting edge surface a flank. The flank is a very important parameter that gives us information about the wear of the tool.
  • Face: The formed chips are sliding from the faces of the tools. The design o the face is very important to cut away the formed chips from the cutting surface.
  • Nose: The nose of the tool is the intersection point of the side cutting edge and the end cutting edge of this tool. We call the radius of this section the nose radius.

Use of Inserts in Single Point Cutting Tools

The inserts are very useful parts of cutting tool materials. We do not need to change all the geometry of the tool after wearing it. We just need to change the insert that makes the cutting operation from the workpiece. So, the use of inserts is very common in machining operations.

There are various kinds of geometries of inserts. The use of these geometries is very common in different applications. And they have different advantages.

For example, round inserts have very large point angles. And the tools that have large point angles generally have stronger and very good chip-breaking capabilities. But the power consumption of the large point angles is higher than the other ones.

The number of edges of the different types of inserts is very important in the machining operations. It is because they increase the total number of usable cutting edges of the tools. So, it will be very convenient to have these multiple edges.

For example, the use of square inserts is very common in single-point cutting tool applications. This is because there are four corners that we can use as the tool material.

Materials of the Single Point Cutting Tools

Here, you can find the general materials for cutting tools. These materials are also valid for single-point cutting tools. But we can give some information about these materials.

  • High-speed steel: High-speed steel is the most common cutting tool material and also very common in these tools. Because, they possess very good hardness, toughness, and high-temperature hardness.
  • High carbon steel: This is also another hard material because of its high carbon content in them. The production of inserts and the use of high-carbon steel are very common.
  • Ceramics: Ceramics and ceramic-based cermet materials are also very common in the production of different kinds of single-point cutting tools.
  • Diamonds: Diamond is the hardest material in nature. And also, there are production techniques for diamonds artificially. The use of the diamond is also around the materials.
  • Cemented Carbide: Cemented carbide tools are very good in drilling and broaching operations.
  • CBN: Cubic boron nitride is a new technology in cutting tool materials technology. The hardness and the toughness values of these materials are very high if we compare them with the other materials. But their prices are also high if we compare them with the other materials. In the machining of very hard materials, the use of CBN tools is common.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Single Point Cutting Tools

There are different kinds of advantages and disadvantages that we need to consider about the single point cutting tools.


  • The most important advantage of these tools, their design, and structure are very simple. So, building and using these systems is very easy if we compare them with multi-point tools.
  • They are cheaper. Because of this, the machining applications with these tools are much cheaper than the other operations.
  • There are different kinds of materials and geometries available for single-point cutting tools.


  • The major disadvantage of single-point cutting tools is, that the total wear rates are very highç This is a very problematic issue in the long run. And you need to change the tool frequently.
  • Also, the total tool life of these types is lower than the multi-point cutting tool.
  • The cutting temperatures are very high. Because of the higher cutting temperatures, effective cooling systems can be required.
  • And the other effect of the higher cutting temperatures, thermal damage is a problematic issue.
  • The total material removal rate is lower than the multi-point tools. Because of this situation, the production rates of single-point tools are lower.

It is very important to consider these advantages and disadvantages of the tools before making machining applications with them.


These are the general important points about these tools. This is a very important class of tools that we use in the different turning operations of the different parts.

Also, the geometrical features are very different. There are very important angles, edges, and points that have different kinds of duties. It will be very precious if you learn all of them.

Inserts and chip breaker structures are also very important in these tool materials. This is because they are very important in turning and other machining applications. We do not want to have lots of long and curly chip formations.

Furthermore, the general materials for these tools are very common. So, this is a very important thing in the selection of single-point cutting tools. It is a very important consideration. You need to assess the hardness of the material that you have. And according to this harness value, you need to select the proper material for your application.

It is very important to consider the general advantages and disadvantages of single-point cutting tool materials before the applications. Because you need to calculate the general important costs and expenses before the application of them. So, if you know the general disadvantages, it will be much easier to calculate the general costs.

Finally, do not forget to leave your comments and questions below about this topic.

Your precious feedbacks are very important to us!

FAQs About Single Point Cutting Tools

What is a single-point cutting tool?

They are the cutting tools that we use in the machining operations such as turning, planning, slotting, and boring operations. The total edges that are responsible for the cutting activity are one. Only one edge has come into contact with the workpiece. Also in the multiple edge cutting tools, multiple edges contact with the surface of the material.

What are the types of single-point cutting tools?

There are different types of them. But we can classify them according to the use areas;
Shaper machine tools
Tools in the planer machines
Slotting operation tools
Boring tools
Turning operation tools
These are the most common applications in that we use single-point cutting tools.

Which cutting tool materials are used in single-point cutting tools?

The general materials of single-point cutting tools are; high-speed steel, high carbon steel, CBN, ceramics, and diamond. These are the hardest materials available in machining operations. The hot hardness properties of these materials are also superior.

Is the lathe a single-point cutting tool?

Most of the applications of the lathe are single-point cutting tools. There is a tool that removes material from the surface of the workpiece. But in some applications, there are applications of multiple-point tools in engine lathes to obtain more rapid machining applications.

Is a drill bit a single-point cutting tool?

The drill bit is not a single-point cutting tool. Because the drill bit has two points to take material from the surface of the workpiece. Because of this situation, we consider drill bits as double point tools. The cutting edges are connected with two spirals to take the chip formation up to the surface.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *