Best CNC Router Bits-Essentials and for 3D Carving

Best CNC Router Bits-Essentials and for 3D Carving

Best CNC Router Bits-Essentials and for 3D Carving

Router bits are an essential part of any CNC operation.

In general, you need a set of essential bits for everyday jobs and some specific bits for applications such as 3D carving.

In this article, I give a detailed walkthrough of the best and most widely used CNC router bits and their best use cases.

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Best CNC Router Bit Recommendations

Amana Tool AMS-177-K Bit Set

Amana Tool AMS-177-K Bit Set
Amana Tool AMS-177-K Bit Set

Amana Tool AMS-177-K is a 1/4" shank router bit set of eight unique styled high-quality bits.

These bits can be used to work on wood, MDF/HDF, composite, fiberglass, graphite, plastic, and acrylic.

They have a Spektra coating feature, it is nothing but a micro-thin layer of nACo coating that is added to the bit surface.

Spektra coating will boost the tool life by providing high lubricity and preserving the cutter's sharpness. It does so by limiting the heating and oxidation rates of the tool during its operation.

The coating hence provides good cutting results and because of its multi-color hue, it's a great eye-catcher.

Amana Tool AMS-177-K Bit Set
  • Made in USA
  • Advantages of Spektra Coating: nACo coating is a micro-thin ceramic coating which enables the tool's cutting edge to retain crucial sharpness and lubricity. This provides longevity and produces cutting results of the highest quality. Coatings prevents high heat and oxidation which is detrimental to cutting tool performance Multi-colored hues, while attractive, will dissipate upon use and yet coating will remain fully effective. nACo offers approximately 4,500 Vickers for impressive solid hardne

Freud 8 Piece General Purpose CNC Router Bit Set

Freud 8 Piece CNC Router Bit General Purpose Set
Freud 8 piece CNC router bit set

Freud's general-purpose router bit set contains the common and widely used types of CNC router bits. Most of the time when you need a router bit, it may be one this router bit set already has.

These bits are of 1/4" shank and can be fitted on most of the CNC machines out there.

The set has an up-cut spiral ball nose bit, engraving V-groove bit, O-flute up-cut spiral bit, up-cut spiral bit, O- Flute up-spiral bit, O- flute straight bit, 1/2" 90º degree V-groove bit, and a 1/2" 60º degree V-groove bit.

All these bits are made of TiCo super density solid carbide that provides great durability.

These bits are a great addition for working on wood, wood composites, plastics, 2D/3D aluminum carving, and for sign-making applications.

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Freud 8 Piece CNC Router Bit General Purpose Set
  • Advanced cutting geometry for superior chip evacuation and finish quality
  • Enhanced TiCo super density Carbide with chromium designed and manufactured by Freud for 2x cutting life

BINSTAK - 3 Wings CNC Router Bit

BINSTAK - 3 Wings Wood CNC Router Bit
BINSTAK - 3 Wings Wood CNC Router Bit

The 3 Wing CNC router bit from BINSTACK is widely used for spoil board surfacing. Its carbide-tipped cutter is coated with Teflon for heat resistance.

It can be used on MDF, laminate, plywood, particleboard, solid woods, acrylic, compact panel, and much more such materials.

Though designed for CNC machines, it can also be used on handheld routers, table routers, and other automated machines.

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BINSTAK - 3 Wings CNC Router Bit
  • 3 WINGS WOOD CNC ROUTER BIT: Shank: 1/4”; Cut Diameter:1”; Cut Length: 1/4”
  • HIGH QUALITY CNC SURFACING ROUTER BIT: The sharp carbide tipped bit, solid hardened steel bodies with anti-kickback design. Build up with heat resistant Teflon coating which can reduce resin build-up for fast and easy cleaning. This CNC router bit is specifically designed and manufactured for the high quality demanded by woodworking industrial applications, BINSTAK router bit can withstand some heavy duty use and the test of time.

Freud 8 Piece Sign-making CNC Router Bit Set

Freud 8 Piece CNC Router Bit Signmaking Set
Freud 8 piece sign-making CNC router bit set

Freud 8 piece sign-making CNC router bit set is one of the best tool choices for CNC sign-making, lettering, and engraving applications.

The set contains a 6.2º x 1/32" tapered ball bit, 5.4º x 1/16" tapered ball bit, up-cut spiral bit, down-cut spiral bit, 3/4" 90º V-Groove, 1/2" 60º V-Groove, and two up-cut spiral ball nose bits.

These bits are made of solid carbide and are ideal to be used on wood, wood composites, plastics, and for 2D/3D aluminum carving applications.

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Freud 8 Piece Sign-making CNC Router Bit Set
  • Advanced cutting geometry for superior chip evacuation and finish quality
  • Enhanced TiCo super density Carbide with chromium designed and manufactured by Freud for 2x cutting life

Genmitsu 30pcs PCB Drill Bit Set

Genmitsu 30pcs PCB Drill Bit Set
Genmitsu 30pcs PCB Drill Bit Set

Genmitsu 30pcs PCB Drill Bit Set is made of a tungsten carbide steel alloy that provides the bit with high wear resistance and hardness.

All these bits come with a spiral fluted cutting edge which can reduce the cutting force.

It's made specifically for PCB milling applications and is suitable to be used on amber beeswax, printed circuit boards, 3D printer nozzle cleaning, plexiglass, plastic, bakelite, CNC engraving, jewelry, and other precise drilling applications.

Genmitsu 30pcs PCB Drill Bits Set
  • High Quality: The PCB drill bits set are made of high-quality tungsten carbide steel alloy, which is high wear resistance, high hardness, anti-impairment. Seismic design on the blade edge enables it to stay stable during engraving.
  • Various Sizes: 1/8'' shank; bits diameter: 0.1mm, 0.2mm, 0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, 0.6mm, 0.7mm, 0.8mm, 0.9mm, 1.0mm, 1.1mm, 1.2mm, 1.3mm, 1.4mm, 1.5m, 1.6mm, 1.7mm, 1.8mm, 1.9mm, 2.0mm, 2.1mm, 2.2mm, 2.3mm, 2.4mm, 2.5mm, 2.6mm, 2.7mm, 2.8mm, 2.9mm, 3.0mm. This Set contains 30 different size drill bits diameter, each size having1 pcs.

Whiteside RU2100 Router Bit

Whiteside Router Bit
Whiteside Spiral Up-cut Router Bit

Whiteside RU2100 Router Bit is the best spiral router bit for woodworking. Its up-cut spiral flutes are perfect for doing plunge operations.

It has a carbide-tipped cutter which gives a clean cut. It can be used with high-speed spindles as the bit is two fluted and perfectly balanced.

Whiteside Spiral Up-cut Router Bit
  • Whiteside Router Bits are made with Premium Carbide
  • Precision ground for proper balance at high RPM

Best CNC Router Bits for Wood

Router bits are widely used to create joints, grooves, and shape edges in wooden materials.

Spiral Plunge Bits

A spiral plunge bit
A spiral plunge bit (Source: Amana Tool )

Spiral plunges are used to plunge down into wood, plywood, MDF, and melamine. They are down-cut bits that leave behind a clean surface cut.

Amana tools have one of the best-rated spiral plunge bits. It uses solid carbide cutters and is coated with a micro-thin nACo coating which extent the bit's life.

Amana Spiral Plunge Bit
  • Direction: down-cut
  • (D) diameter: 1/4

V Groove CNC Bits

V-Groove bit
V-Groove bit (Source: Amana Tool)

V-Groove bits cut with a wider opening with an angled internal cut. They are mainly used for sing-making and provide the best result in engraving letters and artistic designs.

I suggest you get an Engraving CNC Wood Carving Router Bit Set from FOOS as it has a solid carbide cutter that can do wonders in wood engraving applications.

The bits have 1/4" shank diameter and the set contains a 20° profile bit for etching and outlining, a 15° carving liner bit for fine lines and details, 60° and 90° V-groove bits for multiple background depths.

These bits alone are enough for most of the wood engraving and carving applications.

Surfacing Router Bits

BINSTAK - 3 Wings Wood CNC Router Bit
BINSTAK - 3 Wings Wood CNC Router Bit

As it's obvious from its name, Surfacing bits are used for surfacing applications. These bits are commonly used on solid wood, plywood, MDF, particleboard, and laminate.

They are available in a variety of coatings to resist the built-up heat (Teflon coating) and friction (DLC coating) during their operation.

I suggest you get the Carbide-tipped Teflon-coated Surfacing bit from Binstak.

Straight Router Bit

Straight Router Bit and wood
Straight router bit with a wood sample (Source: Rockler)

Straight router bits are a perfect choice if you want to hog out the material to have deeper cuts like cutting out a channel.

You need to get a long and thick straight router bit, it'll be more rigid and can mill deep on wood and different wood composites.

I suggest you get a Yonico straight router bit as they are a good value high-precision bit, well suited for use in a CNC machine.

Yonico Straight Router Bit
  • This bit features a cutting diameter of 1/16" and a cutting length of 3/16" with an overall length of 1-5/8". The shank is 1/4" in diameter.
  • Route dados and straight cuts for joinery and general use

Ball Nose CNC Router Bit

Ball nosed router bit
Ball nosed router bit (Source: Amana Tool)

Ball nose router bits are widely used to build a smoothly carved relief on wooden workpieces. It can be used to build smoothly carved 2D and 3D designs with your CNC machine.

I suggest you get Amana tool's ball nose router bit sets as they are CNC-only bits that bring a lot of flexibility to your work and have a lot of options to choose from.

Amana Tool AMS-148 Router Bit Set
  • 1/4 Inch Shank
  • Benefits of Zirconium Nitride (ZrN) Coating: Creates a harder and tougher cutting edge allows for a prolonged cutting edge life and helps to prevent the build-up of material in the flutes while cutting Have the tendency to run/spin much faster than an uncoated tool Optimized flute geometry and low Total Indicated Runout (TIR) guarantees clean cuts, essentially eliminates sanding and reduces chatter (where the machine or work piece vibrates) under high chip loads (when used with low TIR spindle

Best CNC Router Bits for Metals

Metals are harder and denser than wood and hence require bits that can handle the stress of cutting metal. Typically endmills are used for cutting metals with router bits being used mainly for roughing and surfacing operations.

Specially crafted router bits are used in metals and they are mainly used on non-ferrous metals like aluminum.

ACM Pannel Router Bit

ACM panel router bit
ACM panel router bit (Source: Richelieu)

Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) panel CNC router bits are designed to shape sandwiched aluminum composites.

It has a bottom V-shaped cutter which helps route V-Shaped grooves by removing the aluminum cover and a part of the polyethylene core.

O Flute Aluminum Router Bit

O-flute aluminum router bit
O-flute aluminum router bit (Source: Amana Tool)

O Flute router bits come in a single flute fashion. It is used on CNC machines and routers with automatic feeding.

It has a super polished cutting edge which gives a mirror clean finish on aluminum.

I suggest you get a solid carbide-tipped O flute from Amana, they'll give extreme tool life as they come with special coatings.

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Amana Tool - 51411-K Spiral 'O' Flute
  • Direction: up-cut
  • (D) diameter: 1/8

Face Milling Router Bit

non ferrous face milling router bit
Non-ferrous face milling router bit (Source: Amana Tool)

A face milling router bit can work on non-ferrous metals with a larger surface area. It is mainly used for surfacing and milling operations.

With a face milling bit, you can mill on metals like aluminum, bronze, and copper.

Bur Edge Router Bit

bur edge router bit
Bur edge router bit

Bur Edge router bits are mainly used on steel and aluminum but can also be used on titanium and cast iron.

It is used for chamfering and deburring operations to shape the edges to round over and smoothen them out.

These bits are not widely used, only a handful of people know about this bit and are the best in edging metals.

What are Composite Router Bits?

Composites Router Bit
Composites Router Bit (Source: ToolsToday)

Composite router bits are specially crafted bits used on materials like carbon fiber, graphite, and fiberglass.

The flute on this bit has a diamond-like pattern which produces good quality finish on the cut surface.

Composite bits can cut pockets and with its cutter that goes all the way to its tip, it can do plunge cuts easily.

Plastic Cutting CNC Router Bits

router bits for plastic
Router bits for plastic (Source: Amana Tool)

Router bits specifically made for cutting plastic are mostly single fluted or double fluted. This is to minimize the heat produced.

It comes coated with a micro-thin ceramic coating to provide lubricity, preserve cutter sharpness, and increase the lifetime of the tool.

Coatings like these help reduce heat generated while cutting plastics. Minimizing heat while working with plastic is important, else the plastic will melt and stick to the bit which can damage the bit or workpiece.

Amana Tool has an 8 piece set of spectra coated plastic cutting O-flute bits made of solid carbide. I suggest you get this one if you are mainly into plastic cutting and are looking for some good quality bits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do all CNC routers take the same bits?

No, routers come with holders of different sizes and each has a specific range of shank sizes it can accommodate.

To give you an example, an ER-8 collet holder can only hold a tool with a shank size ranging between 1mm - 5mm. On the other hand, an ER-50 collet holder can accommodate tools with a 6mm - 36mm diameter range.

Can I use a CNC router bit in my drill?

Yes and no.

Router bits are not designed to plunge into an object like how a drill does. Drill bits are specifically made for plugging into a work material with its downward pressure.

Technically you can use a router bit in a drill for smoothing a workpiece in case you don't have a hand router, router table, or CNC machine.

I would not recommend you to try this as it'll never be as close as what a router bit can achieve with a router table or CNC machine.

One thing you have to take note of is, router bits need a rigid machine set up to hold them in a straight and well-supported way without swaying during their operation.

Can I use a CNC router to mill metal?

Yes, you can.

There are specially designed router bits that are made to mill on metals.

In the case of metals, router bits are mostly used on non-ferrous metals, and in them, it is mostly used on aluminum.

There are special bits that you can purchase to work on other materials like titanium and steel.

About John

Hey I'm John. I talk about CNCs and Power Tools at Mellowpine. I'm a CNC hobbyist who has been making CNCs and writing about CNCs for a while. I currently also work as a consultant for business owners and hobbyists setting up their own CNCs. If you have any questions related to CNC, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at john@mellowpine.com

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John

Hey I'm John. I talk about CNCs and Power Tools at Mellowpine. I'm a CNC hobbyist who has been making CNCs and writing about CNCs for a while. I currently also work as a consultant for business owners and hobbyists setting up their own CNCs. If you have any questions related to CNC, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at john@mellowpine.com

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