What Is Rake Angle?

Are you curious to know what is rake angle? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about rake angle in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is rake angle?

In the realm of machining, engineering, and woodworking, the concept of “rake angle” holds crucial significance. It’s a fundamental parameter that greatly influences the performance, efficiency, and functionality of cutting tools and machinery. In this blog, we’ll explore the intricacies of rake angle, its definition, variations, and its profound impact on various industries.

What Is Rake Angle?

Rake angle refers to the angle formed between the cutting edge or surface of a tool and a reference plane perpendicular to the workpiece’s surface. It is a key parameter in determining how a cutting tool engages with the material being worked on, affecting cutting efficiency, tool life, and the quality of the finished product.

Types Of Rake Angle:

  • Positive Rake Angle: When the cutting edge slopes upward from the reference plane, it’s termed as a positive rake angle. This configuration allows for more aggressive cutting, reducing cutting forces and heat generation. It’s commonly used for soft materials or when high-speed cutting is required.
  • Neutral Rake Angle: A neutral rake angle occurs when the cutting edge is perpendicular to the reference plane. It provides a balance between cutting forces, tool life, and surface finish. It’s often used in general-purpose cutting.
  • Negative Rake Angle: In this case, the cutting edge slopes downward from the reference plane. Negative rake angles are advantageous for cutting hard materials, providing better tool strength and resistance to cutting forces.

Impact Of Rake Angle:

  • Cutting Performance: The rake angle significantly influences cutting performance. Positive rake angles excel in reducing cutting resistance and heat generation, enhancing cutting efficiency, especially in softer materials. Negative rake angles provide better tool strength and stability but may require more power and generate higher cutting forces.
  • Tool Life and Wear: The rake angle affects tool life and wear patterns. Improper rake angles can lead to premature wear, chipping, or breakage of cutting tools. Properly selected rake angles can extend tool life by reducing wear and enhancing chip evacuation.
  • Surface Finish: The rake angle influences the quality of the surface finish. Positive rake angles often produce smoother finishes due to reduced cutting forces and heat generation, while negative rake angles may result in a rougher finish but offer better tool stability.

Applications In Industries:

  • Metalworking: Rake angles play a vital role in machining operations for metals, affecting cutting efficiency, tool life, and surface finish in milling, turning, drilling, and other operations.
  • Woodworking: In woodworking, rake angles in saw blades, planers, and routers impact cutting performance, chip removal, and surface quality in various wood materials.
  • Engineering and Manufacturing: Industries ranging from automotive to aerospace utilize rake angles in manufacturing processes to optimize cutting operations and achieve desired outcomes.


Rake angle, a seemingly simple geometric parameter, holds immense significance in the realms of machining, engineering, and manufacturing. Its influence on cutting performance, tool life, and surface finish makes it a critical consideration in selecting and optimizing cutting tools and machinery. Understanding the nuances of rake angle empowers professionals across industries to make informed decisions, enhancing efficiency, precision, and quality in their operations.


What Is Meant By Rake Angle?

The rake angle is the angle formed between the cutting target workpiece surface (reference surface) and the surface (rake surface) on which cutting chips flow away when the cutting tool abrades the target workpiece.

What Is The Rake Angle Of A Lathe?

The rake angle should take a small value during rough machining and a large value during finishing. The rake angle is generally selected between -5° and 25°. Usually, the rake angle (γ0) is not pre-made when making the turning tool, but the rake angle is obtained by sharpening the chip flute on the turning tool.

What Is The Benefit Of Rake Angle?

The advantages of a positive rake angle include: Improved Chip Evacuation: Chips are directed away from the workpiece. This means that there is a reduced chance of chips being re-cut, improving tool life and part surface finish.

Which Rake Angle Is Best?

Positive rake angle implies the sum of the clearance angle and wedge angle is less than 90º. As schematically shown below, positive rake angle offers sharp cutting edge and thus less chip deformation during machining action.

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