Cheap CNC router bits?

Hey CD,

Our team has been using a 2 flute end mill from Yonico recently, but we want to have chips that aren’t total dust. An alumnus from our team recommended we use an O flute or single flute carbide upcut bit, and we are having some trouble finding some cheap options online. This AMANA bit has the dimensions we want, but not the price. Are there any alternatives or vendors that you have had good experiences with?

I also found these that would work.

  • Team 2658, E-Motion
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I admittedly don’t have any CNC experience of my own, but I’ve heard good things about the bits from Ozzy Boards:

https://ozzyboards.com/cnc/

They don’t seem to have the 1/4 shank size you want, but I believe that can be solved with some sort of adapter for the 4mm ones, or it may be better in the long run to get additional collets for your router so you can use more sizes of bits.

See this recent thread:

+1 on the Ozzy Boards bits. Great life and performance for the price. We use their 4mm bit for 95+% of our router work.

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HQMaster on Amazon is solid for the sizes they stock.

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It’s worth noting that collet reducers will add runout, but if OP decides to take that route my brief testing suggests spending a bit more on a brand name reducer is worth it.

I’m in the middle of building a kit CNC router myself and recently did some runout measurements between the Bosch 1617EVS router I’m planning to use as a spindle. The 1617EVS comes with both 1/4" and 1/2" collets and I measured the following runouts with a .0005" increment Shars test indicator:

For FRC purposes, I suspect a good quality reducer will probably be fine, and in some cases (e.g: using a hand router as a spindle) it may be the only way to use tools with otherwise unsupported shank diameters.

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Collets are not generally ridiculously expensive, so I would get the proper size collet for the bit you want to run.

As for cheap bits, the only ones we use are the 4mmx4mmx12mm Huhao bits. I’m sure there are better, but at <$2/endmill we feel zero guilt about any learning mistakes or even just throwing out bits that aren’t performing well.

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+1 for the Huhao bits, for the price they are great. But, floor finish is pretty garb because they aren’t completely flat at the tip.

RC sells some high-quality, uncoated single flute cutters (4, 5, & 6mm)

If you want imperial, I found this site a while ago Square End Mills for Aluminum, Soft Materials for Excellent Surface Finish - 2L inc. - Engraving Tools and End Mills, Spring Loaded Engraving Tools I haven’t tried them, but they look solid and were featured in an NYC router video.

I use these 1/8" 1-flute endmills that I find on ebay

Cheap, works well on aluminum and plastic

Aluminum - Full slot 1/16 DOC, 18k RPM, 20-25IPM (Which is what we use for our 1/16" aluminum sheet). Use WD-40 as coolant/lubricant

Polycarbonate - 3/16 DOC (all the way through), 50-75IPM, 24K RPM. You can go 150 IPM+ if you’re doing adaptive clearing

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Tools Today is a good source for bits. We have been happy with all of them for polycarbonate and the little alum we have worked with.
https://www.toolstoday.com/

Also - https://drillbitsunlimited.com/

They have excellent prices on carbide drill bits and endmills.

I buy all of my drills off there. I use the .191" drill for 3/16" rivets, 1/16" drill for marking bend lines, and a bunch more for random stuff. Good prices, can’t go wrong

Plus, the .191" drill has a 165 degree tip, which means it won’t go super deep into your spoilboard

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I have had good success with uncoated 2 flute straight carbide. It’s a bit pricey cause it’s carbide but works for us. We have a home built CNC router table and use spindle speed 10-15k. Speeds, feeds and depth of cut all important to make good chips and keep thin wall aluminum from vibration. McMaster-Carr