The Milling Tools Dictionary

The Milling Tools Dictionary

We know how many acronyms you probably come across in day to day life and milling tools are no exception.

Below is a constantly evolving list of terminology we hope will make life easier for you.

General glossary:

  • Benchtop Mill – most commonly used milling machines (such as Roland, Amann Girrbach) ​
  • Collet – part of milling machine that clamps tools ​
  • Collar or ringstop – the ring that fits on to the shank of the tool ​
  • Chip breaker – the chip breaker are the little chips on the cutting edge. Some look like grooves, some just little notches, depending on tool size. They act to break up the swarf when the tools are cutting
  • CNC Mill – industrial sized machines used by larger milling centres and labs, such as HAAS and Arum ​
  • Cusps – the highest areas of the molar teeth ​
  • Dry grinding – cutting grinding with no liquid
  • Dynamometer – A dynamometer or “dyno” for short, is a device for measuring force, torque, or power. It measures the power output of an engine
  • Spindle – The part of the machine that holds the collet and transfers the power from the motor to it
  • Flank (wear)​
  • Feed rate – the speed or depth of the tool when cutting​
  • Green state – name given to pre-sintered Zirconia ​
  • Infiltration Liquids – selection of dyes that can be applied to green state zirconia to add natural look and effects ​
  • Nesting – the digital process of positioning the designed crowns on to a virtual disc ​
  • Performance – tool life, crown quality or finish are all measures of performance​
  • Occlusion – contact of teeth – it is the relationship between the maxillary and mandibular teeth when they approach each other, as occurs during chewing or at rest​
  • Pits and Fissures – the deepest areas of the occlusal that look like very fine lines. This is what the 0.6mm tool cuts​
  • Sintering – the firing process zirconia goes through to reach its finished state ​
  • Stain & Glaze Technique – the finishing applied to a crown to give its natural look​
  • Swarf – the material removed when cutting. In this case dust, but usually swarf refers to the strings of material you get from cutting metal​
  • Tool usage time – the total time the tool is cutting material​
  • Wax Up – traditional process of making crowns before digital. A wax up is a crown built up to exact size in wax​
  • Wet grinding – cutting/grinding using liquid coolant, usually oil based. This cools the tool and disc, removes material and provides lubrication ​


PVD – Physical Vapour Deposition

CVD – Chemical Vapour Deposition

DLC – Diamond like Carbon

AlTiN – Aluminium Titanium Nitride

TiAlN – Titanium Aluminium Nitride

TiN – Titanium Nitride

TiCN – Titanium Carbonitride


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