View Full Version : best cnc bits?

Brian Stoddard
08-13-2008, 3:03 PM
I am sure this has been dealt with many times here but I would appreciate any opinions.

I route a variety of materials from woods and plastics to aluminum. What have you found to be the best for clean cuts and durability? Any good suppliers?

james mcgrew
08-13-2008, 10:59 PM
i like onsrud best, have had sucess with southeast tool and ballew saw and tool, you can get whiteside on amazon for some bits,


Skip Weiser
08-13-2008, 11:28 PM
I like to use Fullerton Tools square end endmills from Discount-Tools.com (http://www.discount-tools.com/endmills1.htm)
with a TICN coating. For the stuff I cut they last twice as long as an uncoated router bit and are about half the price.

I cut G10 epoxy/fiberglass composite and Dymondwood, which are materials that are tough on tools. I think on normal hard and soft woods a TICN coated Fullerton tool would out perform a router bit 3 to 1 for straight cutting.


Steve knight
08-14-2008, 12:45 AM
onsrud are nice but expensive. for basic bits I use these http://www.centuriontools.com/index.html?cart=1205519234587759
they are great bits and cost effective.
but it depends on what your cutting of course. if I am cutting plastic I like the onsrud o flute. solid wood a centurion downcut bit is great.

Wil Lambert
08-14-2008, 10:15 AM
I use Courmatt tooling. The are very helpful when ordering and working with you on a project. Nice people and good quality tools for a reasonable price.


Larry Bratton
08-14-2008, 11:26 AM
I like Whiteside. They have some really good cnc bits plus other router bits. Give them a try http://www.whitesiderouterbits.com/

Michael Kowalczyk
08-14-2008, 2:44 PM
We use Whiteside, Courmatt, Amana, Vortex, Gladu and some others. When I go to IWF, I always spend time at the tooling booths to see what's new and get some to test. We keep very good records of our tooling use to see how many sheets we get from each bit. Sometimes we have achieved over 500 sheets of 2 sided MDF melamine on a single diamond bit. Always monitoring edge quality, wood splinters. etc... and trying to maintain the best chipload. Have tried most of the vendors out there but it is an ongoing quest to maintain the best bits for the least expense.

Remember sometimes you have to pay a little more to get a lot more.
If a 50.00 bit yields 50 sheets and a 200.00 bit gets 200 sheets, some would say "no difference" but I say it's a huge difference.

#1 most of the time when you decide it's time to change the bit it is because of the edge quality. Therefore you will have additional manual labor to correct it if you can. So you may even loose a few parts or even a sheet, which will add to your costs.

#2 is the time it takes to change your bit. So even if you get 50 sheets per bit and loose no part from edge quality issues, you will still have CNC production downtime.

#3 we have found that by using a Brand new bit instead of a sharpened one saves time and money also. Not having to worry about cutter compensation means less errors because the operator can run the CNC without having to mess with the calculations each time a program is run with a different diameter bit. This works for us but may not work as well for a 1 man shop.

It all depends on what you are producing, what type of material, HP of your spindle, what duty your CNC is (light, medium, heavy and high production), what type of finish/edge quality you need and what type of production schedule you need to maintain.

Just a little side note. We still keep all our used tooling thinking maybe someday I will have a bunch of the SC bits sharpened all the same diameter and all the diamonds sharpened also to same diameter. I am hesitant because if it costs me 75% of a new one to get them sharpened and they never last as long as the new ones, what have I gained???
Can anyone prove different? Would love to hear of a proven track record showing resharpening pays dividends or a good ROI.

Hope this helps a little and ...

Skip Weiser
08-15-2008, 11:53 AM
I should have mentioned that I use a few Whiteside bits also. They make very high quality tooling.


Brian Stoddard
08-19-2008, 12:57 PM
thanks for the tips everyone, I have been using onsrud but wanted other options as well