Woodruff cutters are used for milling (cutting or shaping) woodruff key slots in materials such as steel and aluminium. Woodruff key slots are a pocket intended to accommodate a key - an element used to connect a rotating machine element to a shaft. The whole system is called a keyed joint. A keyed joint allows two joined parts to move securely.
Woodruff cutters are fitted to your milling cutting tool. They have staggered teeth on one side for cutting and shaping. This staggered teeth design is important because it reduces chatter (vibration) and removes more metal at higher speeds than straight teeth woodruff cutters.
Woodruff cutters can also be used to saw, drill, channel grooves, cut and produce tapered cut-out sections in soft materials, plastics and wood.
Common keyed components in engineering which typically involve the use of woodruff cutters include gears, pulleys, couplings and washers. Common applications include machine tools and automotive applications.