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Machine tool that rotates a circular tool with numerous cutting edges arranged symmetrically about its axis, called a milling cutter. The metal workpiece is usually held in a vise clamped to a table that can move in three perpendicular directions. Cutters of many shapes and sizes are available for a wide variety of milling operations. Milling machines cut flat surfaces, grooves, shoulders, inclined surfaces, dovetails, and T-slots. Various form-tooth cutters are used for cutting concave forms and convex grooves, for rounding corners, and for cutting gear teeth.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on milling machine, visit Britannica.com.