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What Are the Different Types of CNC Router Bits?

By Jean Marie Asta
Updated May 17, 2024
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Computer numeric control (CNC) wood routers cut wood with a spindle holding CNC router bits in three different directions: along an X-axis, a Y-axis, and a Z-axis. The CNC router bits rotate at high speeds, between 8,000 and 30,000 rotations per minute (RPMs), for cutting wood and certain kinds of softer materials. The types of bits available vary in shape depending on the type of cutting that needs to be performed, but include elongated bits with knife heads; spiral, rounded bits; and straight-toothed bits.

One of the types of CNC router bits utilized by a CNC router machine includes a body portion that is elongated, a piece on one end that mounts to the machine, and a shaped knife head on the opposite end. The knife head end has pairs of recesses in the bit, that are formed to be interchangeable and adaptable longitudinally. This compensates for knife recess wear and diametrical dimension loss from resharpening of the bit’s knife recesses. These types of CNC router bits are beneficial because they are semi-universal for wood cutting machines.

Another type of CNC router bit is spiral, rounded, and used for cutting wood products laterally. The shank portions of these CNC router bits are adapted for gripping within a router. Construction of this bit includes two flutes that are helical and parabolically ground, having no plane adjacent to the cutting edge. The bit’s flutes rotate in a clockwise direction so that the cut pieces of the wood fall below it. This is beneficial if a user wants to use a bit piece that eliminates debris from cutting.

One of the other types of CNC router bits is one that uses a straight tooth configuration in the bit part. It is used in the process of chamfering and board side or butt end finishing. This type of CNC router bit is standard and the shape is used for sides of wood boards, but it is likely to form what are known as burrs on the wood. The straight tooth cutting edges of these types of CNC router bits are paired and form an edge in opposite directions based on the rotation of the bit’s axis.

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