1/32" tapered bit question

Working on a project and need a 1/32" bit. These tiny downcut are fragile as can be and searching here I’ve seen some mention tapered bits due to the increased strength. Obviously you wouldn’t be able to carve very deep before the taper starts to affect your cut, but I’m cutting .003-.004" deep where I need the 1/32" bit. Maybe not even that deep.

found this but, wondering if anyone knows of any cheaper options to start out with. If a tapered bit does what I need then I wouldn’t mind spending more $ for a very good bit. But hate to spend that much right now.


This is the test for the project that was done with a 1/16" downcut. Some letters didn’t even start to cut, which I figured they wouldn’t.

These are used by quite a few people around here for 3D carving. You can calculate the max DOC to not exceed your intended width. I’d caution that having the ball end will leave those areas with a different finish than everything else and it might be noticeable or you wouldn’t be able to notice.

I’d find a good 1/32" end mill and try that. I’ve cut 1/16" deep (1/48" doc) at 60-80 ipm with no issues with my 1/32" bits (Kodiak 129578). I’ve broken three of them by being an idiot and mishandling them but only one carving when I was pushing it way too hard and had a misaligned two stage carve.

1 Like

these are what i use]

I’ve used both the 1/4 and 1/8 tapers listed above and have no issue with them. If you cut to the same depth as the ball end radius you should get a line that’s as wide as the diameter. I usually cut 2-4x that deep and the line does get a little wider but it’s only noticeable in the finer details.

I do think the 1/4" Jerray cuts better than the 1/8" Chinese ones, but there isn’t a large difference. I mill band logos on oak that’s about 60x48mm and get reasonable detail with the .5mm Jerray.

This is an extreme close up and the limit of what I can carve with the .5mm bit. I’ve managed a little finer detail with a .25mm bit but I’m at the mercy of the wood grain as to how much detail survives. This was carved at .7mm depth one pass. Post-carve the wood is barely sanded, brushed, and painted. When the paint dries I sand off about .25mm to reveal the detail, then finish with mineral oil.

Have you tried the engraving bits? They may work for this application and they are supper cheap https://www.inventables.com/technologies/solid-carbide-single-flute-engraving-bit--2

Or even a v bit? V carves are fantastic for letters

I’ll definitely check out those bits everyone has listed. Thank you everyone.

Phantomm I’ve thought about it but still need to figure out f engrave. Just haven’t had time to really dig in to it. To me the brief bit I’ve looked at it a little confusing with all the gcode and zeroing and whatnot. I just need to sit down and figure it out more.

1 Like

I second Phantomm’s endorsement of VBits for text. You can carve pretty much any sized text with a VBit, and you also end up with sharp corners too. But as you said, you need different software to generate the cutting paths. I’m using VCarve desktop and if you’re just doing text, it’s pretty easy to lay it out and generate the gcode.


This is a good price shipped from China

4 Tungsten Carbide 1/4 inch shank tapered tools with .25mm, .5mm, .75mm and 1mm tips for a little over $17 ($4.25 each including shipping)

1 Like

I use these http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-0-80mm-0315-CARBIDE-2-FLUTE-ENDMILLS-SOFT-PLASTIC-DOWNCUT/150806917473?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

I haven’t had any issues with them breaking and they cut nice and clean.

I’m going to do a little testing with the 1/32" bits I have now. Bought them off drillman1 on eBay. Ordering the inventables v bits when I get back from vacation. Hope to have f engrave and ugs figured out by the time the bits arrive.

1 Like

Ended up changing the outline of the trophies which changed the size of the wording. Even smaller lol. Did a test run and was nervous the entire time. 30ipm, 3in/min plunge, and .007 depth per pass. Worked perfectly. Cut the poplar like it was nothing. I can now relax a bit, kick back and eat a steak and watch some tv lol. Still can’t wait to see what the v bits will do with f engrave…and now I’ve seen half tone…dangit.


On those 1/32" endmills that I use from drillman, I am running at 40ipm feed, 40ipm plunge and 0.015 DoC. You should be able to step your numbers up some, the plunge alone will speed up your cut time a fair bit.

1 Like

Thanks! I’m going to speed it up a bit in the next test when I get the next round of extra bits. I’ve got a decent sized order so I want extras just in case lol

1 Like

Mark me if I’m wrong, but whenever I work with relatively soft material I always set the plunge to match the feed. I feel like plunge is less “destructive” than lateral forces on a bit. I’m always open to new info.
When dealing with aluminum or higher I kinda chicken out on the plunge unless I’m ramping or spiraling. Since I’m not completely done with upgrades I’m going easy.

I purchased this set and I am very pleased with results. Just expect to quadruple your carving time.

1 Like