Is it better to use a stainless steel dovetail fixture instead of an aluminum one?
The answer: It depends.
There are many variables to consider when choosing a fixture made from either Stainless Steel or Aluminum.
The end-user would need to consider to the following to make the best choice:
- Typical machining practices: feeds & speeds: conservative or aggressive, depth of cuts: minimal or deep, type of cuts: simple or contouring.
- Type of material(s) machining: softer metals, harder metals or a combination.
- Workpiece(s) size & weight: stay within the limits or push the limits of Raptors' recommendations.
- Number of units per application/job: small or large.
If the answers are more in line with conservative style, then the aluminum fixtures will provide adequate strength.
If the answers are more in line with aggressive style (ie: "heavy machining/pushing limits"), then stainless steel fixtures would be the best solution.
Final note: Stainless Steel fixtures will give you more bang for your buck. There is greater wear resistance, greater rigidity, help with dampening to prevent vibration and chatter, greater resistance to damage.
Hope this is helpful.