Best bits to start off with?

Hi , what are the best bits to start off with Im new at cnc and I want to practice on not so expensive bits. Any help would be great.
I’m using 1/4” shank.

Initially, you will want to buy a variety of bits to play with and you’ll most certainly break a few here and there as you learn the machine. I’ve had pretty good results with the 5-packs and variety packs on Amazon from SpeTool, Yonico, Speed Tiger and the like.

It won’t be long before you figure out which bits are most important to you and where to spend extra on good quality tooling such as Jenny’s, Amana and Whiteside to name a few of the better ones.

There’s always a place for cheap bits regardless of how experienced you are :wink:


Thanks !! Looking for in picking up my machine tomorrow morning. Been studying the software Carveco I got when I bought the machine. Will take my time learning the inns and outs of everything. Thanks

Mine arrives soon and I just went deep into bits. Cheap starters are a nice way to learn the hard lessons the cheap way.

You’ll need a spoil board bit to flatten and level your work area.
After that it all depends on what you want to make and the materials you want to cut.

As a general rule, most places have a ‘starter kit’ and its not a bad way to get a discount.

I’d recommend doing some research on YouTube. There’s lots of makers and CNC users who go into depth on bits and show how they cut. That will help you decide which of those you’ll need.

You don’t have to buy everything at once and you can even find some at the box store if you just want one or two to get started.

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Yup the spoil bit was the first one I got . Thanks for the info. This site has a great community , I post something and less then 30 mins I have responses wow!!
Thanks everyone

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There’s enough resources out there to get a good place to start with feed and speed rates for bits. I don’t buy into “buy cheap bits at first” to learn with. You’re just as likely to break a bit on your first day as you are a year later. It just takes one mistake (which you are more likely to do when you feel confident in what you are doing and not double checking).

For me the best argument for buying cheap bits is how much cheaper they are. For example if you want a 1/16" bit you’ll find top quality ones can go for upwards of $40. Where you can buy a 5 pack off ebay for $20 or less that work just fine. In that case it just doesn’t make sense not to buy the 5 pack.

I have only broke one bit when I forgot to check “multiple depths” with a 1/4" down cut bit. The 1F went right to a depth of 3/4". i could easily have stopped or paused the job but I was curious how well it would work. It lasted almost 13 minutes before it snapped. I dulled another bit when it hit a sheet rock screw that I thought was out of the way holding down the project.

If you are new I suggest downloading the 1F test program that makes the logo they send with the 1F. It’ll let you skip the design and creating G-code phase. You’ll still have to find a way to hold the wood down and zero the machine correctly. You’ll also have to load the code and run it. But you’ll get an idea on how fast the 1F will go. Since 1F has chosen the feed rate and you’ll be using a 1/4" bit when 18k is a good speed there’s little risk.


Best advice I got about cheap versus expensive, is buy cheap packs to figure out what I would really use, and buy the one or two bits I really use in high quality versions. The key as pointed out by Alex is to make sure the inexpensive bits are actually inexpensive. Buying a single lower quality bit for $20 when a Whiteside bit is $24 and a Amana coated bit is $34 is not comparatively inexpensive. 5 bits for $20 is.

Theory aside, I started with 1/4” up-cut, 1/8” up-cut, 60° V bit, and a surfacing bit to get started. I prefer down cuts for much of what I do so I doubled down on the 1/4” & 1/8” in downcuts. To play with 3D I picked up a couple of ball nose bits. I am partial to tapered ball nose bits. I added 22° for wood inlays after doing a bunch of epoxy inlays with the 60°. While it adds up over time, it’s one $30-ish Amazon purchase every week or two after the first handful of bits. :wink:

In general, Spetools have been thoroughly adequate. Every time I started with one of those and later got a coated Amana, I could appreciate the difference immediately — 0 flute aluminum bit, I am looking at you! These days I generally buy Whiteside or Amana unless I need something in particular they don’t have readily available.


True enough. But for more than adequate, Amana & Whiteside are excellent as you noted.

The other things to get are either a toothbrush or brass bristle brush and a bottle of Trend Tool Cleaner. Clean bits cut better, run cooler and last longer. It’s definitely worth it to add bit cleaning to your normal maintenance routine.

Or Boeshield’s version.

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Thanks everyone for the helpful tips and info!!