When using small end mills like 1/8” or 1/16” is there any benefit to paying extra for the 1/4” shank or would I be money ahead and just get the 1/8” collet and buy much cheaper 1/8” shank end mills? Seems like an obvious answer I just want to make sure before I throw $30 at a new collet.
Depends a bit on what you’re doing but I’d definitely get the collet. The 1/8" single flute cutters are so much cheaper and better than anything else that I think it should just be considered a necessary upgrade.
I suspect in the long run it’d work out cheaper overall to use them, as well.
The extra shank does make it cool faster and break less often. The bit cutting edge always dulls first for me. So I would rather pick a high quality 1/8" shank than a lower quality 1/4" shank for the same price.
If the shank is the same size as the cutter, you can cut deeper than the flute length