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John, Any type of machine work done to very dense hard wood seems to turn out better at high speed. This holds true for drilling and routering. Softer woods will have a tendancy to tear out at high speeds. These observations are from my own experience using my drill press and router with soft maple and African Padauk, which is so hard it rings if you hit it with your fingernail. The only advantage to high speed steel bits over carbide is the fact that they are cheaper. I have a few of these I have aquired in package deals. Save them for use on pine and they will last a while, if you are buying bits you are far better off to buy carbide. It lasts much longer, especially if you are using your bits on oak or other hard woods. For the month of January, 2005, Woodcraft has their 10 most common 1/2" shank anti kickback bits on sale for $5 each. These are decent quality bits that I have had very good results with. Woodcraft also has a 100% satisfaction money back guarantee.
 

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based on 1/2" dia.shank bits. The average RPM. (carbide face) set at minimum of 3/4 of the cutter shank being used to be in the collet are.

1"------------24.000rpms
1 1/4"-2"-----18.000
2 1/4"-2 1/2"-16.000
3" - 3 1/2"----12.000

The advantages of a good carbide far go beyond a high speed cutter. think about when you want to work with hard woods?
 
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