How to Choose a Head Size?

What Size Angle Head Should I Choose?

In selecting a size for your angle head, the largest head capable of accessing the cavity or bore and making the required cut is generally the best choice, in terms of durability and rigidity of the head. The larger the angle head, the larger the bearings, gears and tool holding capacity.

The exception might be if you anticipate the angle head will not be dedicated to the specific application you are considering at the moment and the nature of your work tends to be smaller. If a smaller head would be more valuable to you overall and still capable of accomplishing the task at hand, it might be a better long term choice.

Angle head size selection can be determined by the MBS (Minimum Bore Size) and MTC (Maximum Tool Clearance) as given in the Key Cutters Sizes and Dimensions section of the website. However, we can sometimes “shave a little off” a head, so give us a call if moving up to the next largest head size is marginal.

What Head Length Do I Need?

Standard head lengths are the best balance between rigidity, reach, and versatility for multiple jobs. Longer heads are available if a feature to be machined is further into a bore or cavity than what the standard length is able to reach. If a longer head is required, first determine if the standard length head can be put into a long endmill holder and still fit into the bore. Rigidity would be much better and would keep the cost of the angle head to a minimum. An example of this configuration is reaching 20” into a 6” bore. A 20” endmill holder is more rigid than a 20” right angle head and costs significantly less. In rare cases, the bore size is small enough to where a 12” or 14” head is the only option.

Standard length 3M on a long endmill holder for 36” of reach.
Standard length 3M on a long endmill holder for 36” of reach.

Shorter heads are often chosen to maximize rigidity or for machines with limited travel and in rare cases for machines with a weight limit for tools going through the ATC.

Head Lengths:

0D – 2”-3” (2” Standard)
1D – 1.5”-6” (3” Standard)
1M – 1.5”-8” (3” Standard)
2D – 2.5”-6” (4” Standard)
2M – 2.5”-6” (4”Standard)
2TD – 2.5”-4” (3” Standard)
2TM – 3”-7” (4” Standard)
3M – 2”-14” (5” Standard)

Eltool Head Length Example Image 1Eltool Head Length Example Image 2

For tech help or ordering assistance, call us toll free at 1-877-435-8665 (USA).