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What Bits do you use, where, and why?


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So as I co to use to learn more about CNC I keep finding brand new rabbit holes to go down... that often you HAVE to go down... to improve your work. The latest one is bits. For some reason shopbot and the community love Onsrud bits... but there are a million options from them and things quickly get daunting.

Ive read through most of the threads in this forum and haven't seen this stuff yet, so let's get a comprehensive thrread going!

1- What bits do you use? (Brand, model, dimensions)

2- What operations do you use them for?

3- Why did you settle on that bit for those operations?

Let the fun begin!


Calling out @MiKro @RestorationAD @demonx @Myka Guitars

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Hi Chris,

I will try and answer this over a few days. so check back. First, I use mainly metal cutting endmills for most operations. That being said, I have a Super PID 2 to control my Router/spindle speed which allows me to run at 30000rpm down to 5000rpm. Very rarely do I go over 14000RPM. Because of this, most router bits require 20K or better so I don't usually use standard router bits. There are some exceptions to this UNLESS they are large diameter such as my surface router bit which require less than 20k RPM.. Or a deep cut,

I use ( 2"-3" doc) 1/2" straight router bit for cutting out bodies. I use the diablo bit from Homedepot. It is made by Freud very reasonable cost.

Surface Router Bit I use:  Magnate 2706 Surface Planing ( Bottom Cleaning ) Router Bit - 2" Cutting Diameter usually at about 12k and less than 0.050"DOC

for hardtail string through holes I use long reach 1/8" endmills 2 flute

I use long reach and standard 1/4" endmills 2 flute for many operations on smaller pocket holes. Inlays I use 0.060 to 0.030 2 flute HSS endmills

most all endmills I purchase are HSS and I get them from Shars.com. As far as fretting slots I also use micro endmills from Shars. usually 0.027 diameter.. with 0.090 doc 1/8"shank

I use the precise collets from Precisebits as well. I have 4 sizes, 1/8"-3/16"- 1/4"- 1/2"

If I am doing 3D fine work, I will use one of these. Tapered Ball-nose Carving bit  in either 1/16th or 1/32nd. from precisebits.com

I will sometimes use standard ball nose bits for roughing out 3d stuff .I still stay under 14k and watch my DOC and Feedrate with stepover.

For vcarve I use route bits from Woodcraft. The wood river brand works well. and very affordable.

As far as roundover I use Whiteside router bits as the center point is a little wider and must be compensated for but they tend to last longer having more meat at that point..

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4 hours ago, verhoevenc said:

For the endmills are you generally using upcut or downcut?

Is there a particular reason you've chosen a standard router bit over spiral endmills for body profiles?


Upcut for the endmills.

As for the router bits. The rough pass is done conventional. the spring pass done climb cut. I have found that sharp router bits for deep cuts have less flex. thus the reason I use them for the profile. Also I can touchup sharpen them with a diamond stone.

Hope that helps!



added a few more to my original post

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  • 2 months later...



Same as the other thread, it's been a while since I logged in.


I use mostly upcut endmills.  Sizing and so forth will simply depend on what cuts you're making, for example I've got a upcut endmills ranging from 0.5mm to 12.7mm, if I'm hacking out large profiles it's the larger bits like the 12.7mm, if I'm cutting smaller edges it might be a 4mm or I might use a 6.35mm for the truss slot. But these sizes wont mean anything to you as you'll be using what suits your hardware and truss slots etc.


One thing I will say that is important is use a brand that has a consistent supply and keep spares of the most used. The more often you're using the machine the more often you're replacing the bits and it's a real pain in the butt when you get everything sorted with one bit and then you cannot get it anymore. 



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