A question on spindles

Hey there, you good folks.

With the upgrades that I am aiming to do, with my X-50 Woodworker, it is now seemingly realistic that I will NOT be in the position to, also, add in the PwnCnc 3hp 220v spindle kit. So, my question is this:

Does anyone know of a good Chinese spindle kit (plug & play - if there IS one), that I can marry to my 1F partner? I am ‘electronically anorexic’(:slightly_smiling_face:) when it comes to electrical workings (such as that which would be required, regarding the wiring of a spindle to a VFD).

As always, any help in this matter would be very much appreciated.


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I do not believe there are any “plug and play” kits other than the pwncnc. I believe that the owner has mentioned the pwnCNC spindles are made by Gpenny. You can find their parts in various places.

If you are comfortable soldering a chinese spindle is not difficult to set up. If you are not comfortable with that level of electrical work, or you dont have a friend who is, save up for the pwncnc.

To install a chinese spindle to your onefinity you will need to:

Source proper shielded 4 wire spindle cable (not difficult)

Source an aircraft connector (one will probably come with your spindle)

Solder the spindle cable to the aircraft connector (fiddly if you are not a good hand at soldering as the connections are quite small)

Check that the spindle has the ground wire connected inside the spindle body; some do not for some weird reason (easily rectified)

Connect the spindle cable to the vfd (actually pretty hard to screw up, just solder on spade connectors or the like and attach them to the terminals)

Connect your power cable to the vfd (similarly to the spindle you will directly connect it to the electronics of the vfd)

Program your spindle (buildbotics has a guide on the parameters you would need, and most are fairly obvious based on the specs of your spindle).

When your spindle is appropriately grounded you will also need to disconnect the magnet from your touch probe and you may or may not need to invert the wiring of the touch probe. You won’t know this until you’re that far along. Its trivially easy but as you no longer need the magnet to ground the spindle you may need to rectify that as well.

It is not an overly complicated process but it can be a dangerous endeavor as you are dealing with a fairly high current device, and trusting the chinese to do things right. If you are not comfortable with soldering or basic electrical wiring I would suggest you find a friend or reach out to someone qualified.

I run a 2.2kw / 3hp huanyang spindle on my cnc. It really poses me no problems and I am quite happy with it. I think most hobby users will be well served by a chinesium spindle as long as they are appropriately safe when setting it up. You can get the huanyang spindle and vfd kit for $375 off amazon. You will need to source appropriate shielded cabling that is made for continuous motion. I purchased mine from “len1007” on ebay. It is $100 now. You will probably want a different water pump as the 2.2kw spindles come with a 220v pump and you probably want a 110 pump. Budget in anywhere from $20 for a throwaway amazon pump to $150 for a recirculator/radiator. If you go air cooled you do not need that obviously. You will need a cable for modbus communication which is i think $25 from pwncnc (you can make your own but the appropriate connector cost almost that much for mine shipped at the time). You can skip that and set speeds on the vfd manually but thats really giving up some of the best benefits of having your machine control the spindle. You’ll need a spare power cable to use for your vfd, anywhere from $25-50 at the big box store of your choice.

A couple nice to haves are a remote cutoff for the vfd. I use a 220v “long ranger” by PSI. If your power outlet is in a more convenient location you may not care. Mine is behind my table.

You’ll want decent quality nuts and collets for your spindle. You don’t need ultra precision for woodwork but an unbalanced nut is loud and who knows, maybe dangerous.

You’re talking about $550-600 before you start figuring new bits, because I know you want some big boy 1/2 inch bits you won’t use that often anyway. They are nice to have though. Flattening slabs with my 3" surfacing bit is a major time saver.

No matter what you do a chinese spindle and vfd is a decidedly more janky option than a very high dollar japanese or german spindle. But, our executional requirements as a practical matter are quite low here, and I for one have never been able to drive a spindle hard enough on a onefinity to even begin to really tax it. So a lot of the differences are essentially down to potential unit life or inability to work at very low rpm, but those low rpm metalworking operations are beyond the primary scope of the 1f in the first place.

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Thank you, for the time and effort you put forth in laying that information out, to me. It really means much. And I think that you have, kinda, sealed the deal - in the action that I’m going to take. I’ve a 220v outlet in my little shop, which was put in to power my, previously owned, 3hp Delta Unisaw, and I WILL be saving up for the PwnCnc 2.2kw 220v spindle. I will, however, forgo water-cooled, and opt for air-cooled. It’s a shame that I will run past the 1yr Onefinity warranty, on my X-50 Woodworker, before having the opportunity to use it even once. But that’s ok. At least I’ll be as right as I CAN be, WHEN that time comes :slightly_smiling_face:. Again, I thank you.


Hey Nathan,

@Echd already provided you with a very good response.

It’s true that besides the PwnCNC kit, you will not find an easy-to-assemble kit for cheap chinese VFD/spindle combo. The kits are not complete, they usually even don’t contain the spindle cable.

I think you already excluded the industry-grade german ready-to-use VFD/spindle/control cabinet solutions (e.g. described in the video below) because of budget limits:

So if you want to wire and assemble a VFD/spindle/control cabinet yourself, I add a collection of links below with some information that may help you.

What I think you should know in the first place are a few things:

  1. If you buy a Huanyang HY series VFD (which is part of the cheap Huanyang spindle/VFD kits), this VFD has no sensorless vector control (SVC). The VFD PwnCNC sells has this capability. If you ask me which VFD I recommend, please see Name brand vs Huanyang – Post #4 by Aiph5u. See also PwnCNC’s DELIXI VFD vs. Omron/Hitachi VFD.

  2. Even if you want to wire your spindle/VFD/control cabinet yourself, I would recommend to buy a ready-to-use spindle cable and not make it yourself. For the reason and details, please see Where to get spindle cable – Post #1 by Aiph5u.

  3. The power in kilowatts (kW) that you find on chinese spindle nameplates is often wrong. It may happen that think you buy a 2.2 kW spindle because they sell it with this statement, but in reality it’s only a 1.5 kW spindle. See here for details in order to be able to judge on kW statements on spindle nameplates.

Here is useful information if you want to wire your spindle/VFD/control cabinet yourself (I tried to sort them in a useful order):

20099 Post #1 by Aiph5u
12251 Post #17 by Aiph5u
18604 Post #4 by Aiph5u
11123 Post #2 by Aiph5u
13479 Post #3 by Aiph5u
14032 Post #16 by Aiph5u
19881 Post #4 by Aiph5u
19991 Post #3 by Aiph5u
19137 Post #13 by Aiph5u
18965 Post #7 by Aiph5u
10130 Post #3 by Aiph5u
12331 Post #22 by Aiph5u

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Honestly, my man, you mentioned you didnt really need another trim router, but I’d go ahead and pick up a makita and start using your 1f. You aren’t that limited by it, and if you aren’t experienced or reckless enough to push feeds and speeds hard you won’t be held back. And you can sell or trade the makita when you do get the pwncnc in. The spindle is pretty easy to use, don’t get me wrong- but the makita is essentially fire and forget. Leave the rotating dial at 1 or 2 and rock on. I see the makitas all over ebay for $80-100.

I like having multiple trim routers anyway, i put two bits in if I’m doing a more “complex” molding or trim piece and just use them together.


Hey Nathan, hey Echd,

When I imagine your situation, Nathan, i.e. you have another CNC and the Onefinity is already there ready to be assembled, at same time a spindle is too expensive and a dedicated milling motor probably too and also the latter cannot (yet) be mounted on the Onefinity, I ask myself if @Echd’s advice is not so bad.

I’m usually the first person who warns that the Makita hand trim router is not the right thing for a CNC machine, and that it’s easy to overload it in a CNC, and unfortunately it doesn’t trip in that case (like a VFD would) but gets too hot and can burn, but regarding what Echd says, if you have experience with a hand trim router (in hand-held, short-duration use), then you pretty much know under what conditions it will work without overload (and not burn out), so if you make sure it stays within those conditions you can use it to test the CNC machine for the time being (until you have money for a spindle). Possibly better than having the machine around doing nothing. You could get familiar with the machine this way.

Of course it depends on what projects you intend to mill with it. But it seems obvious to me that many Onefinity CNC owners only do things that don’t burn out the Makita hand trim router. In any case, with a hand trim router mounted in the CNC, I would always stand besides the machine when it runs (of course with a big (e.g. paddle-style) emergency stop disconnecting the entire installation (=not the red button on Onefinity Controller case) and a fire extinguisher ready) and avoid using bits larger than 1/4". When a Makita burned out, it was often when users used 1¼" surfacing bits.

As explained here, the Makita has no torque at high speeds (and wood is milled at high speeds) and with this type of motor, the speed decreases with the load, and when slowed down the current increases, and with it, the heat, while the fan then turns too slowly. So you know what to avoid: Too high load. Also I would only use 1/4" bits with the Makita.

What is bit sad and often leads to problems is that the proprietary Makita collet does not hold the bit as safely as on an ER collet.

Further reading

The Makita router ate the big log – Post #1 by Bear
Makita Router Overload – Post #1 by RexH
Fire Safety in workshop – Post #9 by Aiph5u
Largest clearance bit the Makita router can use – Post #2 by Aiph5u
Makita Bearing went Bad – #4 by ConvenientWoodwork


You know, the main issue I’d had, with pairing the trim router with my 1F, had to do with having read (in a couple of different places) that such motors were not suitable for CNC tasks and, therefore, not recommended. And now, I learn that it wouldn’t be wise to use bits with shanks larger than 1/8", with them.

But, within the next thirty days I am going to have SOMETHING riding the rails of my 1F :slightly_smiling_face:.
If it isn’t the spindle, it will be the Makita. I just need to insure that all is proper, with my CNC, before the warranty expires.


If I can give you a bit of advice, and I don’t think it’ll be very popular on this forum, it’s that Makita router is just fine. If you’re in the market for a machine like the onefinity, sure, a spindle would be nice to have, but I totally believe it’s over kill.

If you’re a person who is going to push the machine to the point where a Makita is no longer suitable, you should probably be looking at a more industrial CNC to begin with.

Between all the talk of spindles and tool changers on this forum I think people are losing sight of how amazing the base machine is with something as simple as a.trim router installed. You can do almost anything you’d ever need with this thing.

I ran a small buisness making one item on a Shapeoko 3 with a trim router and did just fine. I’ve upgraded to a onfinity and it’s already heads and tails above that.

Just do what it takes to get working and then make decisions from there.

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Hey Nathan,

It is still not recommended (in my opinion). In the Makita manual, it says it is only for hand-held usage, and Makita support confirmed that when you mount the Makita hand trim router into a CNC, the router’s warranty is lost in that moment. But I think you’re in a situation where you have to think practically, and I think that’s why Echd’s advice (who also, like me, bought a spindle) to consider buying and using the Makita trim router for a while, which I agreed with regarding your situation: you have to see where you stay. You can always spend money later.

Sorry, I meant 1/4". I am not used to think in inches, I mean 6 mm. The Makita is sold outside the U.S. with 6 and 8 mm collets.

What I rather meant, not using larger bits than 1/4" will be the best way to avoid any overload.

Exactly :slight_smile:

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@newsvan is also totally correct. The makita is deemed totally appropriate and vouched for by onefinity. Yes, a spindle is objectively “better”. In reality you gain some work time as there is nothing a spindle can do in this context a makita cannot also do, just maybe slower or with a few more passes.

A spindle is not a “must have”, but many cnc owners- especially the sort doing it as a hobby- are inveterate tinkerers. Look at all the fancy work tables on this site! A lot of it is totally for fun. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. But don’t lose sight of the reality that the machine was designed with the makita in mind and it is up to the task.

If you are looking to pick up some bits to get started with the makita i recommend the spetool bits on amazon. Inexpensive and fairly high quality. I use their 1/8 compression bit with a 3/4 inch cutting surface a lot! They sell good starter sets with endmills and vbits that will get you in the game cheaply.


You know what? The BOTH of you make sense. I’ve come to be acclimated to the more frugal arena, in my somewhat elevated years, which is to say that I am quite a bit more careful with spending :slightly_smiling_face:. Thank you, for clarifying that you meant 1/4" instead of 1/8" bits (that, initially, scared the Dickens out of me :slightly_smiling_face:).

I, yet, have so very much too learn, about CNC operations. But my appetite for doing so is MASSIVE. The fact that I - as a newbie here, can put forth a query, concern - or WHATEVER, to this community - and gain not only speedy, but very helpful responses, is (to me) unparalleled. I am, most certainly, in a very great place (here), with some very considerate, caring and super helpful fellow CNC’ers. My hat is off - to each, and every one of you :slightly_smiling_face:.



Hey Nathan, hey @Echd,

you wrote earlier you own an Axiom Iconic-8. With its welded base and all-axes ball screws this must be a nice machine. What kind of milling motor is inside the case on the gantry? Is this a spindle on a VFD, or a milling motor?

I still believe the best thing for you would be what I consider the best milling motor solution for hobbyists and semiprofessionals, since it requires no VFD, but is explicitly made for CNC machines. You would need to spend approx $500 once and you would not need anything else (no VFD, no custom wiring, just an analog line for the motor’s speed control interface to the CNC controller). What is still missing is a possibility to attach such a milling motor to the Onefinity CNC. A simple reduction ring to 43 mm would not be enough, as explained in this thread, a mount option for the Onefinity CNC would have to look rather like this (it is a requested feature).

If you look at this AMB milling motor video, you can see how it performs in a CNC machine. Unlike the Makita hand trim router, which is not allowed to be used in a CNC by its manufacturer and looses warranty if you do, these motors are explicitly made for use in a CNC machine. They have an all-steel motor flange with double bearing for high performance and longevity. And they have ER collets.

A similar milling motor was used to mill the entire Jazz Bass in this video. Looks like a rebranded Mafell milling motor.

In principle, you are right, it is a motor that rotates a milling bit. It’s more the performance and the behaviour in different situations that makes the difference. With a spindle, you can get to a very high performance limit without problems. When you increase the mechanical load (more feedrate, more depth of cut, more stepover, harder wood), the spindle will not be slowed down like the hand router, and when you go beyond the limit, the VFD will simply protect the spindle and the workpiece and stop the spindle and the g-code program. A hand trim router is completely unable to do that. If you give it a higher load, it will be slowed down, get hotter, and then fail, possibly with severe damage, in the range from broken bit, ruined workpiece, to shop burned down. A spindle is not only much more efficient, but also much more smart and will prevent damage to your machine and your workpiece.

This also means with a hand trim router as a CNC milling motor, you have to always stand beside the machine. With a spindle and a VFD wired to a safety relay that monitors everything, you can leave the machine alone. If something goes wrong, the spindle and the machine will be stopped. However this are additional costs to the bare spindle/VFD kit.

Here is a video which shows when you get near the limit of the spindle/VFD:


It shows how their 220 V 2.5 kW spindle is driven to draw up to 10 A current from the output of the VFD (spindle current drawn in Ampères shown on the lower right). The test consists of driving a 10 mm 3-flute aluminium end mill through an 6061 aluminium block with 1000 mm/min feedrate, 10 mm depth of cut and 8 mm width of cut (US customary units: The test consists of driving a 13/32" 3-flute end mill through an 6061 aluminium block with 40 IPM, 13/32" DOC, 5/16" WOC).

What they don’t show, is what would happen if you go beyond the limit that is set in a VFD parameter: The VFD would trip and the safety circuit would stop the spindle and the g-code program on the CNC controller.

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I’m in the process of installing a PwnCNC 220V/Water-cooled spindle and I hate the Makita with a passion. (My pair have failed 5 times total and the local Makita warranty shop, 45 minutes away, finally stopped repairing them citing ‘improper use case.’). However, there is so much to learn and you will surely make some drastic mistakes that you’ll be very glad were made with a wimpy trim router that bogs down quickly instead of a 3HP industrial spindle trying to maintain 20,000 rpm.

Seriously, as much as I hate to admit it, 1F and the other folks here are right in saying that it’s a great way to learn.

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Yes, my Axiom Precision 8 is powered by an air cooled spindle, and is really a nice machine.