Get to know your bits: A CNC router bit is important because it will determine the type of carving that you do, the resolution of the finished piece and how fast your router can move through the wood. For standard CNC routing, bits come in a range of diameters from pinpoint to more than an inch. Different types of bit include fluted end mills, v-groove bits and ballnose end mills.
Woodworking Drill Bits
- 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.
Fishtail End Mills
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.
V-carved End Mills
V-carved end mills, sometimes called engraving bits or v-bits have a short pointed end and are used to produce v-shaped paths with a sharp bottom. These are commonly used for detailed sign making and are available in many angles and sizes. The most frequently used angels are 30, 60 and 90 degrees.
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