The different types of CNC router bits and how to use them effectively
After you have decided to automate your production with a CNC router there are still more decisions to be made. One of these decisions is which type of router bit to use for your production. The type of bits you use will depend on the type of application you are cutting as well as the cost of the bits themselves. Here are some of the different types of router bits available and how to use them effectively.
Upcut and Downcut Router Bits
Any form of routing will generate chips from the material being cut. Think of the chips that are produced when you use a table saw to cut a piece of wood. Upcut router bits cut from the bottom of the material pushing these chips up and out of the cut where they are sucked away by a dust collector. This superior ability to clear away chips has made upcut router bits very common for manufacturers. If you are looking for precision in a router bit, upcut bits are a great choice.
Downcut router bits on the other hand, cut from the top of the material, which can provide a cleaner cut. Although cutting from the top of the material forces the chips down into the cut, these bits are very effective for woodworking applications. Downcut bits are especially great for doing a final finish pass where you want to avoid chipping the top edge of the cut.
A compression cutter is essentially a combination of both an upcut and a downcut router bit. The spiral turns one way for the bottom half of the bit, and the other way for the top half of the bit. This design creates a pull towards the middle of the cutter, which reduces chipping on both the top and the bottom edge. Therefore, using one of these bits to cut through a workpiece should provide cleaner edges on both the top and the bottom. These bits are used primarily for plywood, composites, and laminates. It is rarely a good idea to use these bits for metalworking.
Helical bits such as upcut and downcut bits gradually ramp up their engagement on a chip, whereas straight cutters do it all at once as the whole edge enters into the workpiece. Although these bits might not be ideal for some manufacturers, they are generally much cheaper than the alternatives making them a great cost-effective solution.
There are many different types of router bits available for use with your CNC router. Some provide more precise cuts, while others are more budget-friendly. Ultimately, which router bit you use will depend on the material you are cutting, your budget, and personal preference among other things. MultiCam Canada offers many different types of router bits for various machines. We also have support staff readily available to help train your company how to use these various router bits.
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