How to use multiple bits in a project

I’m creating my very first project.
How do I change the bit for different parts of my project?

Two-Stage Carves (Roughing and Detail Carves) – Inventables (

Well, the link you provided shows how to use a large bit for roughing, and then a smaller detail bit for cleanup.

I’m thinking more in the lines of using a 2 flute downcut bit, to make some pockets, and then switch to a V-bit, to engrave some words, and then switch to a 3rd bit to drill some holes.

Is there no way to have Easel ask for a bit change?

I myself would make 3 separate programs and then edit them in a text editor like Notepad or Wordpad into one gcode program. You can add a M0 ( M zero) between sections to stop the machine., unplug the router, change bit, set z zero for the new bit, resume. and repeat as needed.

Grbl V1.1 Quick Reference –

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Are you serious?
So if I’m making a cribbage board, with words carved into it, and a decorative edge, there’s no way to make the holes with a straight bit, the carved words with a V-Bit, and the decorative edge with some other bit…and have Easel pause for bit changes? Are you serious?

I guess I’m serious, because I’ve been doing this for about 20 years. Easel is a limited program and is good at what it does, but there are limitations to what it can do. Maybe somebody else will chime in with some other answer that you’ll like better.

3 or 4 stage carving - Easel / Feature Requests - Inventables Community Forum


Sadly, as of now, you can only use two bits, and worse, you cnt choose which bit does what. It is a known ‘flaw’ because nearly all of us at one point have requested that A) we be allowed to use multiple bits, and B) designate which bit carves what, and in which order. In speaking with Tec Support over the past year, I’ve been told that they have gotten MANY such requests, so hopefully it will come someday.

Meanwhile, MartinW.Mcclary’s suggestion may work, but I am too much of a newbee to know. What the folks at Tec Support told me to do - and it works - is to just duplicate your project as many times as you need, one for each bit. Then you can do each carve separately. You will want to delete anything from that particular carve/bit that you do not want to carve.

for a little clarification, you design your cribbage board. Then make multiple copies. For the first one, you would do the roughing cut (the 2 flute bit that you mentioned), so you would delete (or reduce cut depth to 0") anything that you do not want to cut on that first pass. Then on the second you would do the detail with the mentioned v-bit. Then on the third cut drill the holes, and the cutout (or if the holes are using a very small bit, do a fourth cut with a 1/4" bit to cut it out)

It adds a little bit of time, and no, it is not close to ideal, but it gets you there, and no, you do not need separate software. It is actually more simple than it sounds. Once you get good at it, it’s less frustrating, but in truth, every time that I do a multi-bit carve, I shake my head at the fact that the good folks at Inventables didn’t think of this back in the beginning - but again, it’s not bad.

I’m hoping that one day Santa will put that solution under my tree (into Easel actually)

good luck,


BTW, as I learned the hard way, ALWAYS keep a main copy of your project that you do not carve from. This way if you accidently delete a feature that you did not want to, you still have an unedited version to fall back on. By this I mean, if you are using three bits for the carve. Make your design, KEEP that one unaltered, make three copies, and do as described above.

I am new and far from an expert, but this is what has worked for me.

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Ok, Gang. I get it. That should work.

BTW, this suggestion of making project copies…is there no “undo” function in Easel?

Been out of the shop for a few days. If you haven’t found the answer, it this; It depends upon what you are trying to ‘undo’, but unlike a lot of programs, there is no specific button, you have to go to “edit”, and you can find it there.