Other than the geometry, the most critical components of any cutting tool, be it an end mill, tap, drill, or insert, are the condition and quality of the edge and flutes.
1. Edge Honing: For both coated and uncoated tools, edge condition is critical. Introducing a slight radius of between .0002 and .001 inches in diameter can increase cutting speed and extend tool life exponentially.
2. Polishing: Most coating methods produce microscopic "droplets" on the tool surface, invisible to the naked eye. Polishing the tool's surface removes these droplets, allowing it to run cooler at higher speeds, as well as improve life and performance.
Take a look at our many process examples below, or visit our dedicated cutting tool edge-prep/honing & polishing website, ToolHoning.com.