Straight bit vs. spiral bit - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Default Straight bit vs. spiral bit

I am just getting into using the router and using it more all the time. I do not own any spiral bits just some straight ones. What is the purpose of a spiral bit? Any advantages and/or disadvantages of the two?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 08:11 AM
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I am just getting into using the router and using it more all the time. I do not own any spiral bits just some straight ones. What is the purpose of a spiral bit? Any advantages and/or disadvantages of the two?

Jim
Spiral Bits

ADVANTAGES
• Very clean cut
• More cutter in wood means less vibration
• Better plunge-cutting
• Less wear and tear on router
• Direct chips up or down

DISADVANTAGES
• Limited lengths and diameters
• Can be somewhat risky to use Straight Bits

Straight Bits

ADVANTAGES
• Wide variety of lengths and diameters
•Guide bearings on tip or shank mean better template routing
•Less expensive
•Greater ability to resharpen

DISADVANTAGE
• Plunge-cutting requires more effort and skill -

http://www.routerforums.com/router-b...ut-spiral.html
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...TM25spiral.pdf
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 09:29 AM
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Down cut spiral cut bits are great for laminates. Use a down cut and it will not chip out like a straight bit would.

Upcuts are great to remove material from the slot quickly so you can see what you are doing. Not as useful, but it can be for some.


Just remember what my father always said, " Half the people in this world are below average!", and everything in life will make a hellova lot more sense.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 11:28 AM
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Sprirals are the prima donnas of the router bit world - they give great performance but are expensive and temperamental. I love upcut spirals for plunging because they clear out the cut and leave a very clean finish. Down cuts leave a very clean edge. Compression spirals are great for through slots where clean edges are important. Unfortunately, they are pricey - solid carbide which also means they are brittle and easy to break. I broke one the other day when I pushed too hard on it. c'est la vie...

By the way, if a clean edge cut is super important, you can get shear bits that do about the same.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 11:50 AM
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Jim, since you are just starting out you should check out these threads. I think they will be a great help to you.

http://www.routerforums.com/router-b...tml#post505441

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks All. Very helpful information!!

Jim
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 04:46 PM
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A perfect answer, Herb, the things that does not get said is this, Straight bits that are kept sharp cut perfectly fine, keep you cutters sharp and they work properly, spiral bits are normally solid tungsten so they stay sharp longer, still when they do go off, and they do, then they also need to be made sharp again. N
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 06:50 PM
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I never realize how good they were still I bought one to trim my solid surface tops with. I will not be using regular straight cutters anymore. It just cuts so much smoother I used to get a little chatter with regular bits the solid carbide spiral bit eliminated that.
Not sure how many more feet it will be able to cut, but I am betting it will be a lot.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 04:44 PM
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Clay, all bits have their uses. The low cost of straight bits allows you to buy a larger selection of sizes and they are easy to touch up with a diamond credit card sharpener. A couple light passes over the diamond and the edge is restored.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 08:53 PM
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Clay, all bits have their uses. The low cost of straight bits allows you to buy a larger selection of sizes and they are easy to touch up with a diamond credit card sharpener. A couple light passes over the diamond and the edge is restored.
I realize all bits have their uses. I have many bits, this was about the difference in straight bits and spiral bits.
Take time to correct what is needed, this thread was about the difference, nothing to do with sharpening, which I know how to do.

I use them both, do you? If so, what is the difference and is it worth the cost, which is what this thread is about.

Last edited by fire65; 06-28-2015 at 09:02 PM.
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