Recommended straight bits?

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Forum topic by opticsguy posted 05-06-2021 10:06 PM 343 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 1015 days

05-06-2021 10:06 PM

I am using a CNC at a local makerspace facility and wanting to purchase my owns bits and not rely on bits found at the CNC machine.

In need of straight bits, 1/16”, 1/8” , 1/4” spiral up-cuts. Not interested in solid carbide. Also not interested in paying $20 a bit.

Asking for your recommendations please, and thank you.

8 replies so far

View Ocelot's profile


3133 posts in 3757 days

#1 posted 05-06-2021 10:21 PM

Yonico makes good bits for the money. Amazon has a 5-piece set of straight bits for less than $25 right now.

I have some yonico bits, but I’ve never used one of their straight bits.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View Loren's profile


11209 posts in 4767 days

#2 posted 05-06-2021 10:55 PM

Spiral upcut bits are always, as far as I know, solid carbide. I have some 1/8” bits I got on ebay I think, they only have one piece of carbide cutter on them. I doubt 1/16” bits are available but if they were they would probably be high speed steel with one cutting edge.

View Aj2's profile


3891 posts in 2917 days

#3 posted 05-06-2021 11:21 PM

You get what you pay for
. I use Amana and Freud sometimes the rockler blue.
There was a thread last week about Yonico. They don’t sound promising

-- Aj

View DevinT's profile


1168 posts in 86 days

#4 posted 05-06-2021 11:36 PM

I posted a list of my bits here and you can absolutely get 1/16”, but it will cost you.

I didn’t list all of my bits. I use a freud 1/4” straight bit not mentioned on that list.

Amana Tool makes all the bits you need, but they won’t be cheap, though they will last and last and last.

-- Devin, SF, CA

View DevinT's profile


1168 posts in 86 days

#5 posted 05-06-2021 11:47 PM

You can even get 1/32 inch bits from Amana Tool

Here’s a very basic 2 flute up-cut 1/16 inch cutter for 1/4 inch shank

NOTE: By “basic” I mean no special coating and is not an O-flute bit (single or double).

However, you said you didn’t want solid carbide, but I’m pretty that’s unavoidable with spiral cutters.

However, I think there is also some confusion in your initial question. A spiral cutter is not a straight bit and a straight bit is not a spiral cutter. A straight bit has straight flutes and comes in flavors that are not solid carbide. However, throwing the term spiral in there makes it solid carbide and no longer a “straight bit.”

-- Devin, SF, CA

View Ocelot's profile


3133 posts in 3757 days

#6 posted 05-07-2021 12:27 AM

I took him to mean he wants straight bits AND a spiral upcut.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View splintergroup's profile


5284 posts in 2342 days

#7 posted 05-07-2021 02:55 PM

Metal “end mills” are inexpensive and the HS steel will give excellent/clean cuts, just with a shorter lifespan compared with carbide.

You can shop various quality levels at places like MSC direct or check out ebay for really cheap sets (about $2 per bit)

Be aware that end mills commonally have shank sizes equal to their cutter diameters so a 3/8” mill will probably have a 3/8” shaft. I use enough of these type bits that I have router collets or bushings sized for some of the “in between” 1/2” and 1/4” common router shanks.

Four flute bits need to take slower feed rates as the chip extraction is poorer, two flutes are better in most cases.

View oldnovice's profile


7708 posts in 4487 days

#8 posted 05-20-2021 04:24 AM

I have used Amana, Freud, Eagle America, Whiteside, Onsrud, OSG, SGStool, Niagara, Basset, Bosch, and others that I may have missed.
Over the 40+ years, I have found that you get what you pay for and some bits are definitely better than others.
It’s difficult to determine what companies make their own bits or private lable another manufacturer and for that reason I prefer companies that make cutters almost exclusively especially those made in the U.S.

My final remarks are that a CNC can make use of more than straight router bits.
You can expand your arsenal with spiral bits, upcut, downcut, and compression bits as these will improve the cuts and your projects. In fact, spiral bits have become my favorite for extremely smooth cuts in wood, plastic, and metals. Just remember to watch your chipload, feeds, and speeds.

Just yesterday I used an SGStool 1/64” carbide bit to groove some Zebra wood, it was utterly beautiful, and only required minimal sanding.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

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