Bit recommendations please

So I’m making a lot of small signs and plaques etc on my XCARVE. I use Easel for everything and don’t have any issues there.
I’m using mostly 1/4 downcut for the roughing and 1/8 downcut for the detail pass. Also using a few V bits from time to time.
I would like to know what y’all use BRAND types, even links.
I’m trying to find out ALSO, how to eliminate a lot of my sanding/finish work I’m having to do by hand. It might just be the way it has to be though.
Should I slow down my carving speed? Use smaller bits and just accept that a carve is going to take 4 hours?

I am also interested in seeing the replies to this post. I am still new to this whole cnc thing, and I have two very different machines. I find that some bits work well in one machine and not the other, and I know that I have a lot more work (experimenting) to do in order to give valuable advise.

For my personal experience, I have mostly been using a straight 1/8 two-flute endmill, and a 1/4 60 degree v-bit. I have broken a couple of Freud 1/8 straight bits, but the Freud v-bit has been solid. I have a Bosch 1/8 straight that I have used a lot, and I would buy another. I have some custom made compression bits that are okay, but not as awesome as I was led to believe they would be. I also have some 1/16 and 1/32 SPE straight bits that have been great so far, but I haven’t used them much yet. I have been recommended Onsrud bits, but they are pretty pricey. An old experienced pro told me that they are worth the price, but I haven’t jumped in yet.

For the little table machine, I bought a set of 20/30/45/60/90 degree engraving bits from FoxAlien (through Amazon, had 'em the next day), and they are decent. Great for smaller details, but the time to output a project does get longer.

I find myself constantly adjusting feeds and speeds, and these do make a big difference on how clean your cuts are and how much post-processing you need to do. Myself, I watch the carve when it starts and pay attention to whether it is producing chips or dust. Ultimately, it should be making a powder-like dust with tiny fine particles. If the dust is floating, the bit is too fast. If it is little bits or little chunks, the bit is too slow. If the feed speed is too fast, you will see tear-out on the top. If the feed speed is too slow, you will see burn marks.

So in summary, I have been happy with Bosch and SPE bits. If you want quality without a lot of after-work, then do spend the money on better bits, and slowing things down a bit does help too. Just in my experience so far. I’m sure someone with a lot more experience will chime in.

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