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Single or Double Flute Bits

12502 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  dovetail_65

I have done some Internet research but I am still not entirely sure of the pros and cons of single vs double fluter bits.

If I wanted to route a 1/4" channel 3/8 deep in mahogany on my router table - what bit would be best for the job?

This is not a repetitive task, only once every three months, channel length is about 12"


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I would use a 3 or 4 flute spiral bit...
and it'd be a Freud or Whiteside...

FWIW.. more flutes last longer, cut cleaner, cut cooler, less burning and have better balance...
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Single flutes can cut faster but finish is usually rougher. And it may run rougher in the router. An up it spiral will clear chips better but may leve rough edges at the top of the channel. If you are covering the channel then it doesn't matter.
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I'll echo the others. Single flute bits vibrate and do not produce good smooth cuts. Get bits with 2 or three cutting edges. They do a much better job. Most of what I have are 2 flute bits, but I have a few with three or more flutes and prefer them when I need the smoothest cuts. The Freud Quadra Cut bits are great.

If Whiteside or Freud make it you don't have to worry about the rest. :wink:
In my experience the only time a single flute can be used on smaller hand held router with little to no vibration is the O flute design in the 1/8" size(1/4" is pushing it) and used on soft wood or plastic.

I have some 1/2" single flute combination bits and boy they act weird, The only router I can use them on is my huge Festool OF 2200, all the other router just vibrate too much using the larger single flute bits. I won't buy anymore 1/2" regular single flute ever again though, but they do work nice enough with the big router(still feel weird and sound even worse).

Now on a CNC it doesn't matter the single flute work great, but for hand, held especially for newbs, I would never suggest a single flute larger than 1/4"(try to stick to 1/8"). Even then try to stick to those O flute versions. With CNC the single O flute work great in almost any size on many materials, even on aluminum.
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