Drill bit included in the Kit? End mill recommendation for 1st cut in plywood?

Greetings again,

I have finally completed my 1000 mm X-Carve build and successfully performed a first “air carve” (router off; no end mill). Yay!! I’m getting ready to perform my first cut. I have a couple of questions and am also looking for an end mill recommendation for this first cut.

Regarding 1st attachment:
• The first picture below shows my current selection of router bits/end mills, The bit on the top left corner looks very much like a regular drill bit. It measures .173" (4.39 mm) in diameter. I can’t remember which box it came from, but it was included with my X-Carve kit. Was I supposed to drill a hole at some point during the build with it? Is this bit meant for routing or just plain drilling?
• Is the shown 1/4" HSS 2 Flute Upcut end mill a good choice for cutting plywood and all woods in general?

Regarding 2nd attachment:
• My first project is very simple. I am looking to cut the shown flower-like shape out of a piece of 1/8" Thk plywood that I’ve had laying around for a while. I made the smallest radius .065" so that I can use one of the 1/8" diameter end mills shown from the starter set. The question is, which one of the 3 available 1/8" end mills would you recommend for this plywood cut?

Notes: I can post close-up pictures of the end mills if needed. I plan on using the Dewalt 611 router in setting 1 or 2.

I would appreciate any feedback.


1st Attached Picture:

2nd Attached Picture:

The drill bit is for use before putting self-tapping screws into the Makerslide.

Up-cut mills have top, tear-out issues (pulling the material up).

Try the single, straight flute for ply.

Thank you Tony.

Well, I ended up installing the self-tapping screws without the aid of the drill bit. They went in cleanly with a little bit of tri-flow lubricant and some muscle. Thank you for confirming it is a regular drill bit (i.e. not for routing).

Are you recommending the use of the end mill in the center of the picture below? It has straight flutes, but 2 of them. The one on the right has 1 flute, but it is not straight. The one on the left looks like a ball end, which is probably a waste to use in this through cut.


of the bits you have in your picture, the middle one will be best for plywood. A spiral downcut will be a good investment if you plan to cut a lot of wood.

How about MDF? Which bits best for that?

as a general rule, I use downcut with wood products and upcuts with plastics and metal. MDF cuts like butter in most cases.

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make sure whatever you do with your cnc you are using 100% carbide bits these will work much better than high speed steel bits mdf is extremely hard on carbide and high speed steel is essentially worthless because you are basically cutting glue when cutting mdf so make sure that you get end mills that are for either natural wood or wood composites I would recommend ONSRUD line of endmills they make good ones for the typical .125" and .25" bits for smaller and much greater selection check out McMaster Carr ONSRUD bits may be available local where you live

It worked! My first successful cut is shown in the pictures below! Very cool and exciting! So it looks like all that work was not in vain… :grinning: :joy:. Thank you Inventables!

I appreciate the valuable feedback guys. The piece shown below was done with the straight flute end mill as recommended. I am very happy with the quality of the cut piece of plywood. Very clean. Only removal of the tabs and some minor sanding was required to finish it off. I will look into getting some down cut wood composite specific end mills, as recommended, to continue with the upcoming wood projects me and my wife have in mind. Eventually I will start cutting plastic, polycarbonate (or acrylic) and even carbon fiber (after I design a dust shoe). But that’s a little ways away. Right now I just want to get a better feel for the machine and its capabilities with some wood projects.

How do you know when the end mill has become dull and needs replacement? Can you tell because the cuts are not so clean anymore? Or by feeling the cutting edges with your fingers?


So I stopped by a local Ace Hardware store earlier today and saw the attached 1/8" diameter Dremel Multipurpose Bit. On the back of the packaging it reads:

“Use with wood, plastics, laminates, aluminum or vinyl siding, ceiling tile and fiberglass.”

I couldn’t help myself, so I purchased it for $6 and some change. Do you guys think this “multipurpose bit” will work too on the X-Carve with plywood? It should, right? At least with thin plywood like I’m currently using. If it’s HSS, then it will likely become dull quickly too. I’m planning on giving it a shot this coming week just to see how it compares (unless you guys see potential problems). At the same time I will be looking for and ordering composite wood specific end mills.


Is it just me or am i the only one that uses router bits for wood. The cheap ebay ones i use have lasted way longer than any of my higher priced mills.

that type of bit is made for hogging through material like a spiral cutter. It’s not a bad purchase, but not something you want to use for plywood. It’s not going to give you a good edge.

not just you. I use el cheapos from home depot for wood.

Been using a old set from the 60’s that are high speed steel for face milling aluminum. Dove tail .5 inch works really good and speeds things up. Also have a .125 router bit that looks like a crescent moon it is the best bit i have for aluminum.