The best keyhole bit money can buy!

Thought I would share a high end keyhole bit that I had to buy for a job its not super high end but its Italian made so its got to be good lol

I noticed that you were talking with your hands!! LOL…
Seriously, I’m also looking for a good keyhole bit.

you have a part number?

oh yeah lol that tool is solid carbide (well most of it)

they do make a 1/4 shank version for the x-carve also as that one is a 1/2" shank

but just make sure that you pre-mill the entry hole and the slot with a properly sized endmill

so for that tool you also need to buy a 3/16" end mill sdo you can do all your roughing work before that tool is used

Not a great bit, but I have been using this one:

yeah see I was using carbide tips like that and I just kept breaking them at the small diameter due them being steal

so far with this solid carbide one I have been able to slot at over 80ipm with no issues (big machine speeds but I am sure that with pre mill the x-carve could do the same)

I don’t mill a hole first…I just plunge and wiggle the bit bit up…lol

teach me your ways lol cause I have broken 8 of those tipped ones so far doing that

I wish I didnt have to pre mill everything

I plunge very slowly…usually at 8 ipm…then I only cut at 20 ipm with this bit…move 0.125", then back 0.125, move 0.25 then back 0.125…I go a total of 0.75"

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I’ve done a few dozen with this bit in maple, cherry, oak and MDF.

I took the one from here on the forum and edited it by hand…so I just load the code and run it when I need it.

That one has a nice price, no doubt. I hate when I break an expensive bit, but it still happens, and I’ve been doing this for a while…I built my first machine in 2009 and I still break things.

I’ve been switching over to CMT entirely. I’ve been really impressed with everything I have used of theres compared with Amana and Onsrud. I just used my CMT keyhole bit this morning in hard maple. I’ve never pre-drilled and never had a problem. I plunged at 40 and cut at 30, or there abouts- no problem. I love the keyhole tool in VCarve. I just need to find a way to repeat with my controller so that it doesn’t keep measuring the bit between pieces.

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That’s why I just use a set g-code file for keyholes. I position the x-y over my mark and probe the z-axis and hit go. Nice and quick.

And that is a nice clean keyhole.


hmm see maybe that was my problem

see it started out at around 8 or 10 ipm but I was trying to power all the way through I never hand edited gcode to take it in steps

what rpm are you guys turning these things at?

I just can not find chipload info anywhere for these all I have gotten so far was .005" at 12000rpm but I am assuming you are running them at 16000 with the dewalt?

I am running with the dewalt on 1, so about 16k rpm.

so when I was trying to run this on my bigger machine with those bits I kept breaking them and it was because of chatter

now granite I have never cut a keyhole on the x-carve but do you think that the x-carve being less rigid is why you are able to do it and I can’t

just curious cause I got to tell you this whole keyhole slot adventure has been quite frustrating to say the least


when it is pecking does it clear all of the chips in between every peck?


hmm yeah maybe I need to try that cause I even tried air cooling the tool with 90 psi of air and the tools where still breaking after 6-7 keyhole slots

I am working in red oak

This is my machine

@ErikJenkins it’s not the code it’s the automatic tool measuring device on my machine. It measures the bit before each cut. I’m sure there’s an easy solution but I haven’t looked into very seriously yet.

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