AskDefine | Define countersink

Dictionary Definition



1 a hole (usually in wood) with the top part enlarged so that a screw or bolt will fit into it and lie below the surface
2 a bit for enlarging the upper part of a hole [syn: counterbore, countersink bit] v : insert (a nail or screw below the surface, as into a countersink) [syn: set] [also: countersunk, countersank]

User Contributed Dictionary



from counter + sink


  1. a conical recess, typically machined around a hole to admit a screw so that it sits flush with a surface.



  1. to create such a conical recess.


See also

Extensive Definition

A countersink is a conical hole cut into a manufactured object, or the cutter used to cut such a hole. A common usage is to allow the head of a countersunk bolt or screw, when placed in the hole, to sit flush with or below the surface of the surrounding material. (By comparison, a counterbore makes a flat-bottomed hole that might be used with a hex-headed capscrew.) A countersink may also be used to remove the burr left from a drilling or tapping operation thereby improving the finish of the product and removing any hazardous sharp edges.
The basic geometry of a countersink (cutter) inherently can be applied to the plunging applications described above (axial feed only) and also to other milling applications (sideways traversal). Therefore countersinks overlap in form, function, and sometimes name with chamfering endmills (endmills with angled tips). Regardless of the name given to the cutter, the surface being generated may be a conical chamfer (plunging applications) or a beveled corner for the intersection of two planes (traversing applications).
A countersink may be used in many tools, such as pistol-grip drills, drill presses, milling machines, lathes, and others.

Cross-hole countersink cutter

A cross-hole countersink is a cone-shaped tool with a cutting edge provided by a hole that goes through the side of the cone (see picture at right). The intersection of the hole and cone form the cutting edge on the tool. The cone is not truly symmetrical as it is essential that the cone retreats away from the cutting edge as the tool rotates. If this does not occur the cutting edge will lack clearance and rub rather than bite into the material. This clearance is referred to as cutting relief.
These tools are best used as deburring tools, where the burr from a previous machining operation needs to be removed for cosmetic and safety reasons, however they may be used in softer materials (such as wood or plastic) to create a countersunk hole for a screw.

Fluted countersink cutter

The fluted countersink cutter is used to provide a heavy chamfer in the entrance to a drilled hole. This may be required to allow the correct seating for a countersunk-head screw or to provide the lead in for a second machining operation such as tapping. Countersink cutters are manufactured with six common angles, which are 60°, 82°, 90°, 100°, 110°, or 120°, with the two most common of those being 82° and 90°. Countersunk-head screws that follow the Unified Thread Standard very often have an 82° angle, and screws that follow the ISO standard very often have a 90° angle. Throughout the aerospace industry, countersunk fasteners typically have an angle of 100°. The ideal countersink angle for holes tapped with 60° threads, when no countersunk fastener head will sit in the countersunk area, is often 60°; but often another angle is used if that is the cutter that is at hand, and the difference usually doesn't matter.

Speeds, feeds, and avoiding chatter

It can often be difficult to avoid chatter when cutting with countersink cutters. As usual in machining, the shorter and more rigid the setup, the better. Better-quality fluted countersink cutters sometimes have the flutes (or at least one flute) at an irregular pitching. This variation in pitching reduces the chance of the cutting edges setting up a harmonic action and leaving an undulated surface. This surface ripple is also dependent on the surface speed of the cutting edges, material type, and applied pressure (or feed rate); once started it is hard to remove. Too light a feed tends to increase chatter risk. As in many other machining operations, an appropriate response to the chatter may be to decrease speed and increase feed.
countersink in Azerbaijani: Zenkerləmə
countersink in German: Senken
countersink in French: Fraisure
countersink in Russian: Зенкерование
countersink in Ukrainian: Зенкер
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