Mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK) is a microtubule-depolymerizing kinesin-13 member that can track with polymerizing microtubule tips (hereafter referred to as tip tracking) during both interphase and mitosis. MCAK tracks with microtubule tips by binding to end-binding proteins (EBs) through the microtubule tip localization signal SKIP, which lies N terminal to MCAK's neck and motor domain. The functional significance of MCAK's tip-tracking behavior during mitosis has never been explained. In this paper, we identify and define a mitotic function specific to the microtubule tip-associated population of MCAK: negative regulation of microtubule length within the assembling bipolar spindle. This function depends on MCAK's ability to bind EBs and track with polymerizing nonkinetochore microtubule tips. Although this activity antagonizes centrosome separation during bipolarization, it ultimately benefits the dividing cell by promoting robust kinetochore attachments to the spindle microtubules.