7 Must Have CNC Router Bits (2023)

Choosing the right kind of CNC router bits can be a daunting task. And, there are several factors you need to consider before buying. If you are new in this area, you need some reference before making the purchase.

Certain things to consider include the shape, size, and purpose of the CNC router bits.

There are many types of router bits and each of them has their specific usage depending on the nature of your project. You can’t expect the same kind of result from all bits.

This article gives you a better understanding of the 7 must have CNC router bits for your workshop needs.

Table of Contents show

Must Have CNC Router Bits

1. Amana Tool DRB 418 PCD Tipped Router Bit

7 Must Have CNC Router Bits (1)

Best CNC Router bit for Wood

Amana router bits can cut a wide variety of materials such as wood composites, MDF, plywood, and many more. Diamond is the hardest material to be found on earth. PCD or polycrystalline diamond present in this specific CNC router bit is manufactured using high-pressure and high-temperature that fuses diamond particles into carbide substrates.

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This way, the diamond gets braced into the tool body. If you are looking for the ultimate bit for wood, the Amana DRB-418 will chamfer a variety of abrasive, tough materials including hardwood. The cutting edge lasts much longer.

This tool is excellent for “V” grooving, chamfering, and engraving. Some of the benefits of this bit include optimized machine tool capacity, cuts hundreds of feet without changing, provides high resistance, and the finish quality is much better than other bits.

Suggested Article: Best CNC Router bit for Plywood

2. Amana Tool 51404K Spektra Coated bit with Mirror Finish

7 Must Have CNC Router Bits (2)

Best CNC Router bit for Plastic

The ceramic micro-thin coating provides heat resistance and extreme nano-hardness to this specific router bit. This way, it enables the tool to retain lubricity and crucial sharpness in its cutting edge. Because of this, it provides longevity and creates amazing cutting results of the topmost quality.

Coatings help to prevent oxidation and high heat, which can be harmful to the tool’s cutting performance. While looking attractive, the multi-colored hues dissipate upon use. But, remains fully efficient.

The ceramic coating provides 4500 Vickers for amazing solid hardness on the cutting areas of the tool. This increases about 2.5 times when compared to the uncoated CNC bits. This bit cuts with “mirror finish” that results in clean smooth cuts with superior surface finish and improves its life.

3. Amana Tool 51402SC router bit with Mirror Finish

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Best CNC Router bit for Aluminum

Available in both inch and metric sizes, this router bit is specifically developed for a variety of CNC applications. This aluminum engraving bit makes use of sub-micro grain carbide of the highest quality, has a proprietary edge processing unit, and features a superb polished edge with “mirror finish”.

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This way, it gives the CNC router bit as the best tool when it is about engraving aluminum. The spiral “O” flute finishing or sharpening process increases the feed rates and allows for more linear feet routed within less time.

Continuous developments in the engraving process, the impressive carbide polishing process, and the geometry and design makes this router bit perfect for routing displays and signs on different kinds of aluminum projects.

4. Amana Tool 46282K Spektra Extreme

7 Must Have CNC Router Bits (4)

Best CNC Router bit for 3D carving

Specifically designed for both 2D and 3D carving and profiling in a variety of materials, this router bit is crafted with nanocomposite coating intended for superior performance and longer life. The ball nose tip cut smooth 3D contours with decreased stepping. The Spektra coating provides resistance to war.

It also helps to engrave edges with precision, increase the tool life and builds up less heat and friction. It is designed to run at 60,000 RPMs. All you need to do is adjust the chip load and the feed rate. This CNC router bit is perfect for 3D carving.

The bit is useful in 3D profiling, contouring, pattern, and modeling making for cabinets, jewelry mold making, and sign making. Also, it works perfectly on big 3D milling profiles used in abrasive EPS foam.

5. Amana Tool RC2250 Mini Surfacing and Rabbeting Router Bit

7 Must Have CNC Router Bits (5)

Best CNC Router bit for Surfacing

Another useful CNC router bit intended for sign making on a variety of materials. This outstanding tool is great for engraving tight corners. It features a one-of-a-kind 2+2 design insert knife that contains 2 engraving flutes and 2 up-shears scorers. As a result, this router bit provides a smooth finish along the edges of the engraved materials that are rarely found on other bits.

Engineered with carbide grade standards for deriving the highest quality while engraving, improved engraving efficiency, and quicker material removal procedure, this particular CNC router bit is a must have for professionals.

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This router bit is perfect for resurfacing spoil boards, planing big glued-up panels, and surfacing & finishing wood. This industrial router comes along with four MDF-grade insert knives, each with 4 engraving edges that allow you to rotate the knives if one side isn’t capable of performing.

6. Amana Tool 46272 Long Flat Bottom Router Bit

7 Must Have CNC Router Bits (6)

Best CNC Router bit for Foam Milling

Now you can rest assured that all your foam projects would be milled with unparalleled clarity, details, and accuracy. Specifically developed for milling EPS (expanded polystyrene), XPS (extruded polystyrene foam), polyethylene foam, EVA, and polyurethane foam, this particular router bit is perfect for your needs.

This CNC router bit tool helps you achieve both depth and precision needed in foam milling, EVA, and carving applications. It provides larger slices and deeper cuts even in thick materials with accuracy. This way, you can improve your productivity.

Designed to last for prolonged life, this router bit saves you from the cost of future replacements compared to other low-quality foam engraving tools. Keep in mind that never use this tool on a hand-held router.

7. Amana Tool 51462SC for Non-Ferrous, Stainless Steel, and Steel Router Bit

7 Must Have CNC Router Bits (7)

Best bit for Steel Metal Engraving

Now it wouldn’t be fair to not mention that most DIY and standard CNC Routers won’t be able to cut steel. When it comes to engraving on steel and other similar materials, this CNC router bit from Amana Tool serves your purpose with efficiency and less effort. The 3-flute coating of this industrial router bit is manufactured using exclusive ultra-fine carbide and features a thirty-degree center engraving mill end.

Also, the bit has a corner chamfer intended for extra strength, Aluminum Titanium Nitride (AlTiN) coating, and Up-Cut design. The router bit is great for use in materials such as cast iron, stainless steel, composites, steel, low carbon steel, superalloys, titanium, and so on.

The carbide grade in combination with the AlTiN coating gives you shear performance. The corner chamfer is responsible for the bit’s strong strength. The router bits are available in different sizes.

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Bonus Pick: AMS-179 CNC Router Bit 8-Pc Advanced Starter Set

7 Must Have CNC Router Bits (8)

CNC Router Bit Buying Guide

Now that you have got an idea about some of the must have CNC router bits available on the market, you need to make sure what you want from the router bit. If you are a professional in this area, you may know about your specific needs. Otherwise, you have to consider some factors.

Carbide vs HSS

The use of carbide in engraving tools began in 1925. Tungsten carbide particles are combined with cobalt to build a solid mass. Carbide modernized the metal-engraving industry by enabling faster speeds and providing longer life to the tool. It retains the hardness at higher temperatures compared to HSS.

HSS or high-speed steel has been a standard metal-engraving and drilling tool since the 1930s. It is often regarded for its wear resistance, sufficient hardness, and toughness for metal engraving for general purposes. These tools are cost-effective and readily available.

Why is coating important?

Solid carbide CNC router bits are made with specially formulated coatings that enable the tool’s engraving edges to keep its lubricity and sharpness. The coating is necessary because it produces amazing engraving results of the highest quality and provides longevity to the tool. The coating prevents oxidation and high heat buildup which can be harmful to its engraving performance. Also, the coating acts as a barrier on the engraving edge and saves it from hard materials.

Tool Geometry

One of the most important factors for your consideration when choosing a router bit is determining the type of tool geometry best for your task at hand. Both application and material have an important role to play in the selection process. Tools that have more flutes have a larger core. In short, a larger core equals tool strength. Larger the core stronger would be the tool. Larger core reduces its flute depth and restricts the chip space.

Roughing vs Finishing

End mills and bits are available in different sizes and shapes. And, each of them is meant for specific purposes. Engraving is normally done with point-shaped, fine end mills at higher speeds. Roughing is conducted on the piece of material with the help of flat roughing end mills.

Whereas, finishing of the material is done with sharp ball nose engravers. Remember that you don’t finish with the tool that you used for roughing. Keep aside brand new tools for finishing, and later use them for roughing after the bits were used for a while for finishing.

Can you use CNC Bits in a Router?

Ultimately it depends on the CNC router bit you are planing to use. Some straight single flutes could used for trimming the profile on wood. Overall we don’t recommend using CNC router bits in a handheld router. Always check with the manufacturer for specific uses of any tool you use.

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Router bits are super accessories that can be utilized for many purposes. Choosing the best CNC router bits is very important when it is about working on various projects. Because it gives you more power to work efficiently and seamlessly on your specific products.

Related Posts:

  • Best CNC Router Bits for Aluminum
  • How Long Do CNC Router Bits Last?
  • Can a CNC Router cut Steel?
  • Best CNC Router Bit for Plywood: Our Top Pick
  • CNC Router Projects to Make and Sell!


What size router bits do I need? ›

Router bits come in a few different sizes, but for general purposes, you will almost always reach for a 1/2-inch router bit. These offer better stability and overall performance than smaller router bits. For fine or slight edge work, a 1/4-inch bit may be preferable.

What is the use of CNC router bit? ›

CNC drill bits are usually used for pre-drilling holes for screws. These CNC bits drive into materials. They don't have side edges, so they can't mill horizontally. CNC milling bits, also known as CNC carving bits, CNC end mills or engraving router bits, can cut or move across the surface of the workpieces.

What router bits do I need for tongue and groove? ›

A 1/4-in. straight bit or spiral upcut bit makes an ideal groove-cutter into the edge of a workpiece.

What is the best router bit shank size? ›

Shanks come in two different diameters, ¼" and ½". The ½" diameter bits will generally give smoother cuts without as much vibration. They're also less likely to bend or snap. At the end of the day, ½" bits are almost always better, but not always necessary.

What is the most common router bit type used? ›

Straight bits are perhaps the most frequently used type of router bit since they can be used in a wide variety of applications. While in a class of their own, straight bits are usually used for cutting different types of square-shaped grooves.

What is the difference between 1 2 and 1/4 router bits? ›

Router bits with 1/2-inch shanks have nearly four times the mass of 1/4-inch-shank bits, which translates into greater stability.

Can you sharpen CNC router bits? ›

General Cutting Tools can sharpen CNC router bits for you.

Keep in mind that after sharpening, the diameter will be slightly smaller.

How deep can a CNC router cut? ›

The kind of material to be cut, the accuracy of the CNC router, and the shape and size of the parts being machined all play a role. Nevertheless, industry professionals believe a CNC router can easily cut material that is up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick.

Can I use normal router bits in a CNC? ›

Yes. If the router bit is able to remove wood quickly in a high-load situation — remember, CNCs do their work much faster than mere humans with hand-held routers. Many spiral router bits will work fine for woodworking tasks on the kind of CNC machines that woodworkers use: CNC routers.

What is CNC bit called? ›

Bits are V-shaped, ballnose, endmills, PCB end mills, and PCB drill bits. These bits cut into the wood at an angle, usually leaving 45° profiles. Some shapes that they leave are called V-groove, bevel and dovetail.

Can you use CNC router bits in a regular router? ›

CNC Router Bits

Some bits in this catalog are designed specifically for use in Computer Numerical Controlled Routers (CNC) and should not be used in a hand-held or table-mounted router.

What are the 4 most common bearing guide router bits? ›

The most commonly used router bit profiles for most woodworkers include straight or spiral bits, roundover bits, cove bits, 45° chamfer bits, rabbeting bits with various sizes of bearings and flush-trim and pattern bits.

What router bit do I need for a juice groove? ›

The correct router bit to use in order to cut a juice groove is a 3/8″ round nose bit.

What is the best metal for router bits? ›

Carbide Tipped, No Contest! Router bits made of steel are cheaper, but that is the only advantage. Carbide-tipped router bits maintain a sharper cutting edge longer than steel, produce a better finish when cutting, and provide cleaner and smoother cuts.

Are more expensive router bits worth it? ›

Yes, expensive router bits are worth it. The price tag can fend some people off, but they are a good investment down the road and eliminate a lot of troubles that would come with cheap router bits.

Which router bits stay sharp longer? ›

Carbide tip bits are harder and can hold an edge longer than HSS bits. And when it comes to the lifespan of the bit, HSS bits simply can't compete. According to Router Techniques: A Comprehensive Guide to Using Routers, carbide tips can last 80-90 percent longer than HSS bits.

Can you use 1 4 router bits with 1 2 inch router? ›

The router collet extension makes it possible to use all diameters of 1/4" shank bits safely. Place the router collet extension shank in the 1/2" router collet and the router bit shank in the extension collet and tighten both.

Can I use a 1/4-inch shank in a 6mm collet? ›

1 Answer. You cannot use a 6mm endmill with a 1/4” collet. The endmill size must always match the size of the collet, as you run the risk of the endmill falling out. You will need different size Collets to be able to use different size bits.

What depth should I set my router bit at? ›

Set up the cut. Use a guide fence if needed. Adjust the bit so it's cutting somewhere around 1/4-inch deep. Run the wood through the router to make the cut.

Can you plunge with a straight router bit? ›

Plunge bits Because there is no cutting surface on the tip of a standard straight bit, they cannot be plunged into the work to make a cut.

What are the two basic types of router bits? ›

Straight (not profiled) router bits come in two basic types: straight-flute and spiral-flute. Both types are used for straight cuts, such as dadoes and rabbets, and both offer specific advantages and disadvantages.

Can you use any bits in a router? ›

Routers can use hundreds of types of bits. Each bit has a different purpose or decorative design. Common types of router bits include flush trimming, chamfer, round over, rabbeting, dovetail and cove. Most woodworkers buy bits as they need them.

What is the K mark on router bit? ›

'K' mark to indicate safe depth. PTFE Coating to minimise heat. Shank mounted bearing profilers are ideal for template guidance. 1/4in shank for smaller routers and easy control for hand held trimming use on curved and straight edge work or to follow patterns and templates for replicating components.

What is a 1 4 in collet? ›

Simply put, the 1/4" collet allows you versatility. Think about a flush cutting router bit or pattern router bit with the bearing on the shank above the cutter. It has a bearing pressed over the shank, and its outside race is the size of the cutter.

Does router bit shank size matter? ›

Their advice made sense – a thicker shank is indeed stronger. In the 1/2″ vs 1/4″ router bit debate, larger shank bits provide for greater stability, better collet grip thanks to greater surface area, and less deflection, with all of this translating into better cut quality and user experiences.

How long do carbide bits last? ›

The tungsten carbide drill can drill 1,500 to 10,000 holes in aluminum, aluminum alloys, copper alloys, stainless steel, alloy steel, carbon steel, cast irons, and structural steel.

How long does a CNC router last? ›

Ensuring proper use of the machine is essential; if used as intended, a CNC router will last at least 10-15 years for smaller models and up to decades for industrial-grade routers.

Why is my CNC burning wood? ›

Incorrect chip load for the material being machined is the primary cause of burning bits. Halts in momentum in places like inside corners are also prone to burning due to the CNC slowing momentarily and thereby recutting chips that would have otherwise already been extracted from the cut.

Why is my router bit burning the wood? ›

Increase the feed rate. ---Probably the most common cause of burning is too slow of a feed rate. Even a slight pause as you reach an inside corner or reposition your hands on the stock can often cause burning.

What is the rule of thumb for CNC? ›

Rule of thumb: never cut deeper than one half the diameter of the bit in any single cut, this means that the depth of the depth cuts should be no deeper than one-half the bit diameter.

Can you CNC router plywood? ›

A CNC router can machine many materials, but for strength, stability and availability, you can't beat plywood. Available in many species and cost ranges, it's a great choice for furniture, accessories or utility projects.

Can a CNC router cut glass? ›

CNC can cut, drill, and shape your glass to almost any size, shape or curved edge. Internal cut outs, including perfect holes can be removed and beautifully polished. Your finished glass is fully bespoke, cut from templates or your own drawings. Incredibly accurate and produced to the highest quality.

Can a Raspberry Pi run a CNC router? ›

The RPI CNC Board combines a real-time CNC controller(Micro-controller running GRBL) with a powerful credit card size computer(Raspberry Pi). By combining the two systems we have created an eco-system where the Raspberry Pi provides benefits like: Processing power, connectivity(IOT) and a well supported community.

Is there a difference between CNC and router bits? ›

CNC mills can create more delicate cuts than routers, achieving precision within one 1,000th of an inch. This precision makes mills ideal for creating detailed pieces. CNC mills, though designed to work with strong metals, can also work with some soft materials.

What are the most common CNC bits? ›

Three particular mill bits that are commonly used for CNC machinery are flat end, ball end and v-crave milling bits.

Is CNC 2d or 3D? ›

Most CNC machines in practice are three-dimensional cutters. That is, the toolhead can move along the x, y, and z axes simultaneously to permit double-curved surfaces.

Can a CNC router cut through wood? ›

Cutting and engraving of wood and MDF with a CNC Router: All types of wood and its derivatives such as MDF and plywood can be cut and engraved efficiently by a CNC router machine, in fact, it is one of the most popular uses for computerized milling machines.

Can I use router bits in a mill? ›

Router bits are cutting tools with specific geometry for use on wood, plastics, nonferrous metals and some composites. Routers offer high feed rates, heavy depths of cut and better finishes. Ideal for use in CNC routers, machining centers and milling machines.

Can you cut carbon fiber with a CNC router? ›

Carbon Fiber Cutting 101

You can use a bandsaw, scrollsaw, jigsaw, or table saw with a fine-tooth carbide blade. You can also use a CNC router with a carbide bit. For smaller work, a Dremel tool can be used. Once cut, edges can be finished with light sandpaper or a file.

Is there a difference between CNC bits and router bits? ›

Compared to an ordinary CNC mill, notice that the spiral cutting edges on a woodworking router bit are closer to vertical. Technically, their helix angles are shallower: 18°-30° compared to 30°-45° or more for an end mill designed for metal cutting.

Do all router bits fit all routers? ›

The brand of the bits and the router has nothing to do together. What matters is the size of the bits and the size of the router collet, the two common size are 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch so make sure to buy a 1/4 size inch if your router only accept 1/4.

Can you sharpen router bits? ›

If you start to notice imprecision in your router cuts, it's probably time to sharpen the bits. Thankfully, sharpening a router bit is a straightforward task requiring only a few tools. You'll need a clamp, a diamond paddle, and maybe an Allen wrench depending on the style of bit you're sharpening.


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