CNC Router Bit Size

      Pros select why to choose a larger or smaller bit. July 3, 2005

I am in the process of installing my first CNC router and have a question about tooling. How come you guys all use 1/2" or 3/8" router bits instead of 1/4"? It would seem to me that 1/4" would leave more material on the deck and less dust in the collector. Also the vacuum should hold parts better if the kerfs are 1/4" instead of 1/2". Is breakage an issue with 1/4" bits? Or do they wear out faster?

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor J:
With 3/8 compression, I can cut at almost any speed in my 1/2 birch nests without breakage. But more importantly, the 3/8 kerf allows room for dadoes and grooves to cut past the radius of the cutters without cutting into a neighboring piece.

From contributor G:
With a .250 tool you will not be machining as quickly as a .375 or a .500 tool. The gullet space from a 1/4" to a 1/2 tool is deeper, which allows for more chip evacuation, thus increasing tool life.

Your yield will be much better on the 1/4 vs. 1/2 tool. Depending on your needs, a 1/4" tool may be the way to machine, or a .375 may be the way to go.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Computerization

  • KnowledgeBase: Computerization: CNC Machinery and Techniques

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2017 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article