View Full Version : What bits should I buy for my spindle?

21-07-2017, 01:05 PM
Hi, getting closer to finishing my machine so time to start thinking about ordering some end mills. I've had a good read around but a little confused.

I'll give you an example of 3 different jobs I want do

1. I want to cut MDF to make an arcade cabinet
2. I want to mill a 3d mold for vacuum forming from MDF (I think I need a ball nose cutter for this)
3. I want to mill aluminium plates and hole accurately so I can build another machine.

I think I want 1 or 2 flute end mill for aluminium but unsure what sizes would be good? Are the cheap HSS ebay bits ok to start out with until I learn how to use the machine. I'm very unsure on what bits I want for MDF.

I have ER20 collet, 2.2kw spindle.

Open to suggestions, I'm a total newbie and have no end mills.


22-07-2017, 12:21 AM
I can give you some starting tips for Alu when you come down on Sunday.

Web Goblin
22-07-2017, 12:43 PM
Shop APT do some great carbide for aluminium.

22-07-2017, 12:49 PM
I would also recommend APT for cutters, as well as Wealdon Tool Company. Neither are particularly cheap (there are some budget cutters on APT), but I have yet to receive a sub-standard cutter, unlike some cheap ebay sellers.

For aluminium I would recommend single flute carbide and if you use trochoidal or adaptive clearing, then get some 6mm 3 flute serrated roughing end mills for hogging out "large" volumes.

I also use single flute cutters for wood (guitars), but obviously keep a separate set for this purpose.

Boyan Silyavski
22-07-2017, 02:27 PM

1. First of all buy only insert cutters from brands. All else China. They are same quality if not better. I wouldn't have said that 4 years ago. But now yes.

2. Buy HSS only when you are not sure and want a bit to try something. When you are sure, buy carbide, they will cut all materials including mild steel.

3. 2 flutes are best choice when not sure. 1 flute is only for special jobs and many times will NOT drill properly so you need to tool change. Hence i use 2 flute spirals for aluminum.

I believe these are the bits you need that will save you a lot of hussle in the long run:

For general work:

A. Insert cutters

Insert bits from ebay and their corresponding inserts. These are a must, very cheap, extremely sharp and ultimately super duper durable. Compared to any brand bit. Main tools for wood, MDf, Plastic and i use them even on aluminum.
Most of the insert bits you see 2-5 times the price are actually rebranded CMT. The 90 degree cutter you can use for mitre cuts, folding and engraving. These are big cutters that you could use for surfacing, signs and so on.

CMT FRESA TAGLI DIRITTI C/COLT. Z1 S=12.7 D=12.7x29.5x89 DX COD: 652.627.11
CMT COLTELLO REVERSIBILE STD (4/35) 29.5x9x1.5mm HW-F1730 COD: 790.295.09

CMT FRESA X INTAGLI A "V" 90 C/COLT. HW Z2 S=8 D=17x8.5x53 DX COD: 665.170.11

CMT COLTELLO REV. DIRITTO (4/30) 14x14x2mm B6.4 HWM-U2300 COD: 790.140.03

Don't be cheap and buy them, you will thank me later.

B. Your fiend is Bang good. Buy from there 3mm and 6mm cutters. 6mm cutters are usually the typical cutter. Buy only Carbide. Also get from there engraving cutters for small jobs. get some straight flute 6mm cutters as when they dull you can sharpen them yourself using cheap 3$ diamond plate. Not so with spiral cutters that anyway i use mainly for aluminum. Again-carbide only. Dont buy cutters with more than 3 flutes as you can not plunge them and they are not for slot cutting.

22-07-2017, 05:19 PM
I cut wood but not mdf, these cutters perform well for me; https://www.toolstation.com/shop/Power+Tool+Accessories/d80/Router+Bits/sd2579
Sometimes I use them for the roughing cuts and follow up with 4 flute solid carbide ball nose (3D work)

25-07-2017, 07:21 AM
Mate bought me a set of these from Aldi for a 10 yesterday in store
https://www.aldi.co.uk/workzone-router-bits-set/p/094800143506300?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIt7jXsNej1QIVhp3t Ch32Ng06EAYYASABEgLc5_D_BwE

Hopefully they will be of some use

Checking out bangood now ;)

I love how Banggood use the standard ebay text "Please allow 1-3mm error due to manual measurement. please make sure you do not mind before you bid." it's more amusing because banggood isn't an auction site lol.

1-3mm tolerance on a 3mm cutter lol we all know it's just their standard text but it always make me smile.

e2a bought this for a start will order some more shortly.

Paid a bit extra for quick shipping on the 2 flute cutters but the engraving bits will come in normal post.

Boyan Silyavski
25-07-2017, 09:22 AM
Banggood are a very good deal. Dont worry, they want to say that about the length normally, not the tolerance :hysterical:

Solid carbide from there are very good and possible best price around.

25-07-2017, 09:55 AM
I bought 2 flute slot drills for now

2*3mm, 2*6mm, 1*2mm (Was cheap), also a 6pc ball mill set 0.5mm to 3mm and a 10pc engraving set.

I saw this and laughed lol

Was eyeing this up

Boyan Silyavski
25-07-2017, 04:46 PM
That could be laughable nowadays but still valid if you are in a hurry to make a foam cutting bit or similar. But, yeah, who uses HSS at all today...

However its good to know how to properly sharpen drill bits and there was a russian guys channel where he was showing how to sharpen the big drill bits like 30-50mm where they have more complex geometry