Help drilling 1/8” holes

Just took an order for cribbage boards so need to start drilling ALOT of 1/8” dia holes.
Anyone have bit recommendations?
Short drill bits or end mills?

I’d go drill bits vs EM. Drill bits clear holes more efficiently, unless you need the holes flat bottomed. And even then I’d probably opt to drill first, then EM bottom.

Check out Winston Moy’s video on you tube.
Lots of info there to answer your question.

How Bad is it to Drill on a CNC Router?

Merry Christmas


I have made about 15 boards, I start with a 1/8 end mill and go down .1 inch. I then turn down the router to its lowest speed and use a 1/8 drill. I have had great success doing it this way.

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Just asking here because it works for you but isn’t your router’s lowest speed about 10k which is probably about 10x the normal speed for a twist or brad point bit of that diameter?

Apparently, I’m not alone in my position on this.

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The speed may be a bit high, but I haven’t had any issues doing it this way. I first tried to use just the end mill and ended up with the end mill starting to burn the wood because it got to hot. I then tried with just the drill and it chipped out the top of the hole.


Hey, if it works I guess go with it. Just watch out if the bit breaks. Because of its length if its even a little out of balance it might get crazy on you and at those speeds a 1/8" bit fragment will be deeply embedded in something.

I buy the cheapest 1/8 endmills off ebay and and peck drill using fusion 360. It sounds horrible, but in wood it works ok. I wouldn’t do this in metals. If you added an air blast you could probably get decent tool life. I haven’t done as many holes in a row as you are looking to do, so you may burn them up fast if the tool doesn’t cool between holes.

If you want to do it right you could get a smaller endmill and bore/pocket the hole. Feeds and speeds would be correct that way, but it would take longer.

If you drill a lot of holes with an end mill be sure to use an upcut bit not a downcut. The downcut bit can get hot enough to start a fire.

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I made a few holes in one project with a 1/16" endmill for circuit boards. It worked well with fusion 360. Don’t have any pictures though.

I was actually thinking 1/16 end mill should work for this using an area clear tool path. You’d get clean cuts and it shouldn’t burn up. It would take a really long time, but those sorts of CNC runs are where I do most of my shop cleaning. I have no experience using actual drill bits on the CNC but kudos if it works for someone. Personally, I’ll stick to up-cut EMs.

The Ultimate Drill Bit for Making DIY Cribbage Board for CNC Routers [w. Free Files] - YouTube

You either need to use like a 1/16th end mill with a ramped spiral, or buy a 1/8 drill mill. A drill mill is a mill that has a pointed tip. They are designed for CNC use, unlike low speed drill bits.

Here is a good read on them:


Have you considered getting a solid carbide drill? Much better than a high speed steel twist drill. Lasts much longer as well.

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Thank you all try our input.
I am going to run some tests with the bit recommendations and will update this topic then.

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