A Rundown on CNC Router Bits and End Mills

There is a wide range of drill bits available for CNC machines. The type of drill bit you choose will depend on the material you are working with and the project you are undertaking. Here is a rundown on some of the most popular drill bits.

 

CNC Router End Mill

 

Upcut end mill: This type of end mill is the most commonly used, usually with 2 flutes. The name derives from the fact that as the mill is cutting into the wood the chips are drawn to the upper surface of the workpiece, leaving the bottom surface smooth.

Down-cut end mill: This 2-fluted end mill is another must-have. When cutting with this mill, the chips are drawn to the bottom of the workpiece, leaving the upper surface smooth.

V-cut bit: This is essential if you are making hardwood signs with your router. It’s used to create slots and grooves with a v-shaped bottom.

Fishtail end mill: A fishtail end mill has a flat end, so it will produce a flat surface with a clean edge on thin materials. You can also use it to make pockets with flat bottoms.

Ballnose end mills: A ballnose end mill has a round tip and will produce a path with curved edges. Ballnose end mills are often used for 3D contouring because if you’re cutting layers in several steps, they will reduce the risk of creating jagged steps. You can also increase the step over amount and use a ballnose end mill to cut a wide path with curved edges.

Indexable bit: This type of drill bit is designed with ceramic inserts and a hardened tip.  This means it has cutting edges that serve the inner and outer spans of the cut and it need sharpening less often. An indexable bit can cut holes up to five times the diameter of the drill shaft.

Ejector bit: This bit is mainly used for drilling deep holes. The cutting edge is on the side and has the ability to make large radial holes. If you need holes with an even wider diameter you can use multiple bits.

Spade drill bit: This bit has a solid body and a removable metal bit that clamps into the body. It has a twist-shaped cutting surface with notches designed to prevent long chips that can potentially clog the drilling space.

Flat bit: This drill bit has a flat cutting edge and screw-like threads for drilling holes rapidly.

Augur bit: This bit also has a twist cutting edge, in this case it is wide with a single outer spur designed to cut the wood ahead of the bit’s edge.

Dowel bit: As well as a sharp center point, this bit also has cutting spurs to make holes faster. It can also be fitted with inserts to increase the cutting balance.

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