CNC Bits Amana VS Whiteside Vs Freud

Hi Everyone while waiting for my machine im starting to research CNC bits and have three main options. Im in Canada so that makes the cost and availability more difficult.

  1. Amana
  2. Whiteside
  3. Freud

Seems like Amana is regarded as the best, but most expensive. Whiteside seems to be a really good middle ground. Freud is the cheapest but is available from my local wood working stores and easily on amazon.

Im going to be using Solidworks so I will need to create all tools manually so having tool database is not an issue, but having good documentation of their specs is a requirement.

Does anyone have any suggestions on which way to go?

Thanks

1 Like

That’s a good question I’ve been considering as well. I also have my eye on these and wonder if anyone has tried them?

As a newbie with CNC, what I like about Amana (despite the cost) is that they have a very good tool database, which easily imports into Vectric VCarve Pro (or Desktop or Aspire). It helps a lot with feeds and speeds settings. Whiteside also has an importable tools file but the info is a little sketchy, in my experience. That said, when I contacted Whiteside for more info on a particular bit and recommendations, they were really helpful. I prefer great support over cheap prices any day. Maybe once I’ve broken a few dozen pricey bits I will shop the bargain bins - not there yet.

4 Likes

I have been using Spe and I think they are not bad and good value. I also have a few Amana bits that are clearly made better. the Spe bits I would say are good for profile cuts and rough cutting. I might rater use an Amana for 3D finish passes.

Another brand is Eagle America. Any feed back on those?

I use SpeTool bits and found them to be a good value and cut they well. I’ve used the tapered ball nose bits and they have done a great job for me. I even drove it into my t track once which didn’t seem to phase it. It’s still cutting well. Another time I crashed and broke my 1/4 inch upcut bit and was so glad that it was so cheap to replace.

2 Likes

@Brandon - when you are just starting out, I recommend less expensive bits from E-Bay. They might not be perfect, but I’ve been using them for 6+ years (same bits) without any problems. I do have some of the more expensive bits, and with my conservative speeds, I don’t see any difference in performance. With the OF, I do plan on pushing the machine more, so maybe things will change. But in the end, I just want reasonable milling times and repeatability - I don’t need full depth cuts at 200ipm when 50% DOC at 60ipm works.

@RonHoppus - I have some of their V-cutters. They are “OK”. I got a combination of the super inexpensive ones and the “regular” priced ones. Let’s just say you get what you pay for. The regular ones do fine, but I did break the tip off just about all of my bits at some point - no clue when it happened. They still cut, but the finer details are lacking. It is time for me to upgrade my V-Cutting arsenal.

I have also purchased from https://www.the-carbide-end-mill-store.com before. The have a wide assortments of bits at reasonable prices. Good ‘middle of the road’ prices and bits.

Here’s a list from my bits video:

Budget Bits ($):
Small Diameter Bit Set - http://ebay.us/mEIb0O
1/32", 2 Flute, Up Cut End Mills - http://ebay.us/JRtiqw
1/16", 2 Flute, Up Cut End Mills - http://ebay.us/P47Jl1
1/8", 2 Flute, Up Cut End Mills - http://ebay.us/KwKIKi
1/8", 2 Flute, Down Cut End Mills - http://ebay.us/Pb0Sq3
1/8", 1 Flute Up Cut End Mill2 - http://ebay.us/XgHC2G
1/4", 2 Flute, Up Cut End Mill - http://ebay.us/efGr3b
1/4", 2 Flute, Down Cut End Mill - http://ebay.us/P3aPfy

Higher End Bits ($$$):
1/4", 2 Flute, Up Cut End Mill - https://www.toolstoday.com/v-13780-46315-k.html
1/4", 2 Flute, Down Cut End Mill - https://www.toolstoday.com/v-13781-46415-k.html
1/4", 1 Flute, Up Cut End Mill - https://www.toolstoday.com/v-13351-51404-k.html
1/4", 1 Flute, Down Cut End Mill - https://www.toolstoday.com/v-13979-51504-k.html
1/8", 1 Flute Up Cut End Mill - https://www.toolstoday.com/v-13375-51410-k.html
1/8", 1 Flute Down Cut End Mill - https://www.toolstoday.com/v-13977-51510-k.html
1/8", 2 Flute, Up Cut End Mill - https://www.toolstoday.com/v-14140-46127-k.html
1/8", 2 Flute, Down Cut End Mill - https://www.toolstoday.com/v-14107-46227-k.html
60 Degree V-Bit - https://www.toolstoday.com/v-5705-45705.html
90 Degree V-Bit - https://www.toolstoday.com/v-5704-45704.html

-Tom

9 Likes

I guess that the same rule applies to pretty much all other tools: get the best quality you can / want to afford.

If you’re hobbying about once a month with old pinewood you found at the scrapheap, the cheapest Chinese bits will probably do alright. If you’re regularly working on e.g. client orders or gifts for family and friends, and you use nice materials, I’d feel safer to use bits from a top established company such as Amana Tool. I have a selection of 12 Amana bits coming my way as we speak… Can’t wait to get started with them!

Thank you everyone I appreciate the feedback.

I am going to go with Whiteside as they are middle ground but also have very good documentation so I can start designing projects and see what bits I need.

@cyberreefguru It looks like those tools you linked are 1/8" shank (admittedly I didn’t look at all of them). Do you use a collet adapter (or spindle) or do you have a source for an 1/8" collet for the makita?

Nick - some are 1/8" and some are 1/4". I’m in the process of switching over to all 1/4" but it will take some time.

I have the 1/8" collet from Elaire - starts using it with my SO2 and got another one when I got the OF.

Hope this helps.

-Tom

Thanks Tom. Have you noticed any significant difference in cuts with the different shank sizes? I would assume a little more potential for chatter with the smaller shank, but they are also cheaper tools!

I have the Elaire collet on my shopping list but I could probably be convinced to just buy 1/4" shank tools.

As a newbie to CNC routing but not woodworking, in my reading the consensus seems to be you’ll break bits before they go dull especially in the beginning and doubly so with the smaller bits.

I’m buying inexpensive bits to start and will retire them in favor of better bits when they no longer perform adequately and/or I’m over the ‘oops’ stage.

Curious about the user that said he was converting to all 1/4” shanks - why?

-Mark

I would suppose it is because he won’t have to change collets when switching from 1/4 to 1/8 inch bits.

@ConvenientWoodwork - I have not seen any significant difference in wood. But when I’m running a 0.03125 bit, I get just a little comfort with that 1/8" shank rather than a 1/4" - it’s alike a warm blanket on a snowy morning :wink:

@YXYJack - only to avoid changing collets during a project. Purely convenience and nothing more.

-Tom

1 Like

As usual the CRG comes through with sound and trialed advice. Thanks for sharing and your involvement on this board!

I would have to add Bits&Bits also has a very good selection, comparable pricing and I have had good run time on the few I have. Also Jay Bates has a code for a discount if you are so inclined.

For me I have locked into Toolstoday. The service is amazing. I have a had zero issues with the quality. An example of going above and beyond. I was using a surfacing bit and bent bent the 1/4” shaft. Totally my fault. I called toolstoday and told them what and how it happened and that it was my fault. They told me that I will be given credit for the bit if I return it . I returned the bit and ordered another. Full credit on the bit I bent. :star_struck:

3 Likes

I generally get all my Amana bits from them, but they are also available on Amazon. If you have prime, you might save some shipping $$.

2 Likes

Tom,
I typically get free shipping from Toolstoday . I have gotten such wonderful service that I try to stick with Toolstoday. Easier bookkeeping as well.
I treat OF the same way,if they carry something I need they are my go to. Again due to the fantastic service after the sale.
Dave

Yeah, I totally get that and agree.

-Tom