View Full Version : Which spindle with a 200 budget?

26-06-2010, 09:25 PM
Hi All..

Have finally decided to get a more light weight spindle (was using a Porter Cable router, veeery heavy)..
I see a lot of you guys are using Kress, and I am sure I saw a post (cant seem to find it now) with someone using a spindle from ebay (hong kong).. I am looking at this one
but have asked some questions of the seller as it does not look like there is any speed control, guessing a spindle control board might be needed..

Which leads me to a question about the Kress, is it possible to control the Kress from a board (speed, on/off etc)?

I have only mentioned these 2 spindles but would like any suggestions from those with more experience than myself.. I will be mainly routing and carving wood, but as I have rebuilt my cnc out of ally (by hand), I reckon I could save myself a lot of time and cash by being able to do light machining of aluminum to make more accurate parts..


27-06-2010, 08:15 AM
Only problem with that spindle is its only half the kit, you also need a high frequency 3 phase driver for it.
That seller on fleabay also does the complete kit for about 300, I think Sir john has one of them or very similar.


27-06-2010, 08:54 AM
Hi Peter..

Was just starting to get frustrated with the fleabay guy's lack of english, keep asking the same question and getting answers to different questions I have not asked.. Thanks, would not have known about the inverter from his ad...
Ok, back to Kress then.. Unless someone recommends something else? I did see a Suhner spindle that looks nice, has a 3,500 bottom speed which seems good for ally, trying to work out if it take ER collets.. The Kress FM 1050-1 seems to be the alternative..


27-06-2010, 09:31 AM
Hi Fasteddy
Just had a look at the Suhner spindle, looks like it does not take ER collets. They say it can use the Kress collets with a new nut so I, thinking its almost the same as the Kress with a slightly slower low end rpm. Also watched a video of a Suhner cutting Aluminium appeared to cut OK but as with all routers the noise is a bit on the high side, hence the ear defender picture on the router!


27-06-2010, 10:10 AM
Hi Fast Eddy,

Not sure how heavy your Porter Cable is, but my spindle (which is the watercooled 1.5KW version of the one you linked to) is around 4kg (dry). Might have been my post you read about? Link below -

As others have mentioned, this needs a 3 phase VFD supply. This can be manually started and stopped, or be controlled from the PC. I went for the 1.5KW water cooled unit (for the quietest operation, although you need to add your own cooling system). The air cooled ones will be slightly noisier due to the fan, but I would guess they are still nothing like a router.

I'm sure someone will correct me on this, but a router has a Universal Motor which is very powerful for it's size, but is always noisy. The spindles use Induction type motors which have no brushes and run very quietly. But they do need a special power supply.

I had read a few horror stories around the Chinese VFD units, so in the end went for a Moeller unit from a UK supplier:

Also bought the remote keypad, mains filter, and 200W brake (to slow it down when stopping). This was about 450 (on top of the spindle cost). I've yet to fire it all up (still finishing the machine itself), but think this will be great for wood, and OK for light occasional aluminium.

Going back to your Kress option you can control a router on/off with a relay board such as this:


27-06-2010, 12:39 PM
Hi fasteddy,

I have a Kress FM-1050 (not 1) for over one year, and I just bought an Suhner spindle (as I needed a lower rpm spindle). Please see the comparison below:

Suhner advantages:
- Suhner is quieter, at same rpm, but the difference is probably not noticeable when milling;
- Suhner looks sturdier and they say it is more reliable;
- the ATC for Suhner is cheaper (at least at Sorotec Germany, please see this link (http://www.sorotec.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p669_spindle-motor-suhner-1050watt-230v-3500-25000-rpm.html));
- Suhner has a lot of empty space in the electronics enclosure, it might be possible to install there an 0...10V rpm controller (at least that's what I wish to do myself);

Kress advantages:
- Kress is lighter and slimmer (1.7 kg compared to 2.9 kg, ); this helps in the overall inertia of the router and, I presume, in faster start/stop;
- Kress has a spindle lock, this helps in changing the bit with a sigle wrench (you need two wrenches for changing the bit on the Suhner motor);
- Kress finishing looks much more refined;
- Kress is cheaper.

In my opinion, I would use Suhner only with an ATC (myself I bought the one from http://www.sorotec.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p1548_tool-changer-for-suhner-1050.html, I didn't start it yet), otherwise I would probably go for Kress FM-1050-1 (the 5000 rpm version).

Hope this helps.


John S
27-06-2010, 01:12 PM
When I finished my router I bought a Kress spindle to power it, as It's only a small router , 300 x 300 I bought the FM-800 model, 12,000 rpm to 30,000 rpm on a rotary thumb wheel switch. It's controlled by the computer thru one of Roy's breakout boards via the on board relay.

In position 1 to 2 on the control it's bearable close up as regards noise, flat out it sounds like a router.
It has Kress special collets which can be sourced in standard sizes.

I later swapped this for a Chinese air cooled spindle, I had 3 of them before I found a company that sold a reliable unit.
Don't believe all the hype about ceramic bearings, in fact don't go there, one crash and the bearing is toast.

Buying one can be an expensive job, cheap is not always the best.

27-06-2010, 06:39 PM
John would you be willing to share a diagram for connecting Roy's board to a Kress as i would really like to try to slow this down till i can afford a better spindle. To the folks who have mentioned the Suhner from Sorotec thanks looks that will meet the bill just great. Now just have a bunch more learning to do on Acrylic speeds and feeds and set up the Table for BobCad as they don't come with cutting conditions for acrylic or wood. Need to send them a letter about that, as a good number of their clients use both materials and probably go through some of the headache I have been through doing set up for it.


27-06-2010, 08:50 PM
Ah guys..

What jewels you are.. Think you have saved me a costly (for me) mistake with the chinese spindle.. And Florin, your comments make perfect sense.. So, a Kress FM 1050-1 it is! Guess it should be ok for some light ally work although in my engineering days 5000 rpm would have seemed a tad fast..

Like Michael, I would very much like to know how you wire a Kress to a board, I have a System 3 which has the spindle on/off option on it..

Thanks to all who advised me, am just popping my cherry with cnc and the advice on this forum is invaluable to noobs like me.. Have not posted pics of my machine yet, give me a week or two and will do so.. Looks like someone lobbed a couple of grenades into B&Q at the moment..


29-06-2010, 09:56 AM
Hi John S..

Thanks for your advice, although if you think a Kress is noisy, try a 3 1/2 Hp Porter cable router at full welly! Had to insulate my workshop..!

Really would like to know how to wire my Kress to my board if you are willling to share this info..


John S
29-06-2010, 10:13 AM
I'll sort the wiring out but to be honest it's probably not what you want / think.

Because the Kress is thumb wheel controlled I just used the relay on Roy's Uniport board to power a sealed 3 pin socket that the kress just plugs in so the computer turns it on and off but i control the speed with the thumb wheel.

The air cooled one runs the same, inverter plugged into the socket and the speed controlled by the knob on the front of the inverter.

This can be fully computerised but I'll need to add a speed board.

Recently I have been fitting Roy's System 1 board with the plug in speed board that fits the system 4 setup.
very cost effective, work brilliantly.

If you needs Roy's boards http://www.diycnc.co.uk/html/cnc_boards.html
buy direct, they work out a lot cheaper.

29-06-2010, 11:51 AM
Hi John..

Am ok to switch it on/off and set speed manually, but the on/off would be nice.. Already have one of Roy's boards (System 3), works really well and very glad I bought it.. I really do not know much about electronics, get by with guile and luck mostly, so please excuse my dumb questions.. Here's one, is it not possible to have a mains relay so the 240v supply to the spindle can be switched on/off at the board? Seems simple to me but there is probably a good reason why not..

Have bought my Kress now from www.damencnc.com (http://www.damencnc.com/) and also got the kress mount.. Very helpful people so far and prices are good.. Have ordered my collets from http://www.sorotec.de/shop/index.php which seem to be the cheapest I have found on the net, less than half price of anyone else..