Your creative possibilities are endless when using a router for your woodworking and other crafting projects—and the real magic happens with the bit. Do you know what the best CNC router bits are and how you should use them? When you use the wrong bit, you risk wasting materials, damaging your material or dulling or ruining your bit or router.
If you take the opportunity to learn a little bit more about the best use for specific router bits, you will be creating masterful pieces in no time.
The Best CNC Router Bits Explained
How the bit performs will determine which one you choose for your project. Before you can select the right bit, you will need to understand a few terms.
Also, you’ll need to learn the basic principles of the way bits cut. Generally speaking, a bit is designed to either cut fast or cut smooth. An example would be the differences between a chainsaw that cuts quickly or a fine-tooth hand saw, which creates a smooth finished edge.
Here are a few industry terms that will help as you select the correct bits:
- Chip load: The size of the chip removed from the material; crucial for selecting the correct size and diameter of the bit.
- Flute: The cutting edge of the bit. The more flutes, the stronger the bit, which means a quicker feed rate. You may select a straight flute (cutting edge parallel to the shank) or a spiral flute (cutting edge helix around the tool).
- Feed rate: Measured in inches per minute (IPM), indicates how quickly the bit moves laterally through the material.
- Speed rate: Measured in revolutions per minute,this specifies the speed of the spindle.
- Tool path: The guide your device uses to create the pattern designated for your task.
Next, you need to understand the difference between a drill bit and a milling bit. As suggested by the name, drill bits drive into the workpiece, creating a hole through the material. A milling bit, also known as cutters, carving bits, and end mills, cut from side to side to achieve a 3-dimensional design. Note, there are end mills available that move in all directions.
Now that you have a bit of understanding of the terminology, the next thing to think about is the material you will be using.
3 Ways How to Use CNC Router Bits
You can create the most extravagant designs and complicated workpieces using a router bit, and there is a formula for determining which one is the right one for your project. You may even find that there is a need for multiple bits depending on the piece.
First, consider the material with which you will be working. These are the types of materials your CNC router bits can cut:
- Wood, both soft and hard
- MDF (fiberboard)
- Acrylic, HDPE, UHMW and other plastics
- Foam and Composites
- Aluminum and other non ferrous metals
While you are selecting the material you intend to use, consider the thickness of the material. Also, determine the speed you need. Then you will want to look at how the finished edge of each cut should look. All of these factors into the tool you will select.
Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the different types of bits and when and how you will use them.
1. Single- and Double-Edge Bits
The determining factor as to whether you would choose a single- versus a double-edge bit depends on the cut quality. When speed is crucial, you will use a single-edge. When edge quality is your priority, you will use a double-edged tool.
If you are building a Queen Anne headboard for example, you would use both of these bits. One for the intricate details, and one for the sharper edges.
2. Up- and Down-Spiral Bits
Spiral bits are perfect when horsepower and torque are an issue. You will also consider the finish. You will use an up-cut when you need to create slotting or grooving—or when the chips must be removed quickly. Another tip for using an up-bit is that this is an excellent tool if you’re working with coated materials.
The down-cut is a bit you will use if you are working with thinner materials. They leave a nice finish on the surface. The only issue with this bit is chip extraction isn’t as effective.
3. Straight and Shear Bits
Perfect for composites, natural wood, plywood, and particleboard, the straight bit is most common and used for making cuts straight down into the material. You do this to form grooves or dados or hollow out a place for an inlay or a mortise.
Shear bits work on the same materials that straight bits do. Yet they run slower. That is due to the speed of chip evacuation. You will use this bit when you are cutting a shallow groove or dados with a visible edge.
What You Ultimately Must Know About CNC Routers
If you are new to woodworking and are not familiar with what it takes to work with cnc routers, don’t be intimidated. There are quite a bit of resources you can turn to for helpful tips and ways to improve your skills. You will get better with every piece that you create.
Simple projects will get you started, but knowing all the ways you can use your CNC router will make it easy to choose what project you want to tackle next.
The most common applications you will use CNC router bits for are:
- Architectural millwork
- Cabinet making
- Sign making
- Plastic fabrication
- Metal fabrication
- Foam cutting
- Furniture making
- General woodworking
- 3D carving
How CAMaster Will Help You Find the Best CNC Router
Whether you are a skilled craftsman or run a production shop, knowing the very best CNC router bits and how to use them will take your designs to the next level. With your research in hand, you will feel confident when choosing the bit you need.
At CAMaster, we offer an extraordinary value in automated manufacturing solutions. As a leading manufacturer of CNC routers, you can count on comprehensive lifetime technical support and the very best product warranty.
Are you looking for the very best in CNC router bits? Contact our helpful team at CAMaster for more information about the ultimate bits resource for your projects.