800 Watt Spindle Upgrade Review - 1st Impressions

I recently upgraded to the 800 Watt, water cooled, VFD Controlled spindle kit that’s readily available on Amazon or Ebay. It’s the Chinese Huanyang 1.5 Kw VFD with 800 W 110 Vac version. I chose to go with the 800 W which is within 10% of the HP of the Dewalt router that I had been running on the Shapeoko for the 2 years. The biggest reason I didn’t go larger was I didn’t want the hassle of upgrading my X axis carriage to handle the additional size & weight of a much bigger motor. I recently upgraded the Z axis to a slider, and firmed up the axis sufficiently to improve the quality of my work, but this also made me aware of how hard you can push the X & Y axis before the next level of issues start to show. Also I’m using my Shapeoko to create 3D carvings in hardwood. Most of the time I’m using 0.5mm round nose bits so more HP isn’t needed by me.

Overall it took me an afternoon to upgrade the system, most of the time was spent playing with the VFD & Motor on my bench before installing on the Shapeoko.

Here are the steps & my thoughts about each:

  1. Previous Completed Upgrades - I previously added the wiring to the controller card and bought an external solid state relay to turn my router & dust control system on & off automatically. (plenty of info in the forum & Wiki pages already on this subject) Overall this made integrating the VFD control very easy vs starting and stopping the motor from the faceplate of the VFD.

    Z Axis Slider installation - previously completed, but not required for this upgrade. The OEM Z axis will work fine with the spindle motor, weight is very similar and spindle will fit into OEM mouting system with the Makita shim that comes with the Shapeoko.

  2. Additional equipment required:

  • You need to purchase a cable to run from the VFD to the Spindle motor. I used a 4 wire overall shielded 18 awg contol cable rated for 300V. The terminals can handle a 16 awg, but I went smaller so the cable would be more flexable. 18 Awg will handle 10 amps, when the system is running under the heaviest load with a 1/4" endmill it draws 1.0 amps

  • you need to buy some sort of bucket or tub to hold the water for the cooling system. There is much discussion that you can purchase better pump or proper chiller unit with proper cooling fluid. I’m running with the pump from the kit and using distilled water. I also a solids meter that measures the ppm of material in your water (had for my RO systems) they sell for $20. My though was start out simple and upgrade this stuff later if needed.

  • I needed 1 110VAC relay to start & stop the VFD automatically. I just wired the 110 coil of the relay to a standard 110 plug and connected it to my existing solid state relay that I was using to run my dust control & original Dewalt Router. I looped the 10 VDC from the control terminals on the VFD through the contact on the relay. There are plenty available on Ebay or Amazon for $3 to $5.

  • Need the Makita insert from Carbide 3D. Mine came with the unit. This allows you to use a 65mm diameter spindle in the standard mount on the Z axis.

  1. Instructions & Manual:
  • Basically it’s “Chinglish” so You Tube is your best friend. Plenty of videos out there, not on the 800 Watt, but the larger ones wire up the same. The manual is accurate, and my unit came pre programmed so didn’t have to do much. I will also state my viewpoint is I’m a retired controls guy who worked in a Japanese Auto Factory for 30 years so bad documentation is normal to me.
  1. Grounding:
  • In the manual and the online comments they don’t use grounding of the spindle motor. This is normal in the Asian Control Market. However, the Spindle is a 4 pin connection. 3 pins are for the control voltage. the 4th pin is connected to the ground of the spindle chassis. I followed North American standards and connected my 4th wire to this and connected the other end along with the cable shield to ground terminals in the VFD.
  1. Parameter Set Up.

Here are my final settings for the Parameters on the VFD.

001 - Source of Run 1 (terminal strip)
002 - Source of Frequency 1 (Knob on VFD)
004 - Base Frequency 400 (Hz)
005 - Max Frequency 400 (Hz)
008 - Input Voltage 120 (Cnd Std)
014 - Accel Time 0.5 (sec)
015 - Decl Time 0.5 (sec)
070 - Analog I/P 1 (0~5 vdc)
072 - High Analog Freq 400 (Hz)
144 - Frequence Display 3000 (used to calibrate rpms)

Overall Impressions of the upgrade.

Top Benefit: Quiet, Quiet, Quiet - wish I had done sooner. Cant say enough.
Speed Adjustment: You can properly tune from 100 to 24000 rpm’s you will improve your chip loading and also can adjust for the best cutting quality.
Excellent torque and speed consistency. - I’ve checked with my non contact tach meter. Rpm’s are deadly accurate to what the display says on the vfd.

Overall if your tired of the noise, and replacing the burned out brushes on your router, but don’t want to be bothered with a major upgrade for the 2.2 Kw spindles this unit is great. As for longevity I’ll update if any issues arise. Currently have 300 Hours on it with no issues.

Here are some picture of the upgrade, (I’ve included a picture of the bag of brushes I went through in the last year needless to say happy not to be ordering them anymore)


Wow! Awesome write up and documentation. I really appreciate it since I plan to do this same upgrade sometime later this year. Plus, this is one of the cleanest and detailed posts I’ve seen on the forum about this.

I didn’t even know an 800W version existed. I’d just heard about the 1.5kW and the 2.2kW version.

great docs on this where did you get the kit? I saw a couple on ebay that were air cooled and some were 80 mm body, what would be the difference with water cooled over air if you know? I may look at doing this on my machine in the future.

Looks like the spindle is available on Amazon:

Huanyang Water Cooled CNC Spindle Milling Motor 110V 800W 24000RPM 400hz ER11 Collet

A complete set too:

I bought my kit on Amazon.ca as I’m in Canada. From what research I did the water cooled is quieter than air cooled because your not pushing air through the turbine. It is very quiet, if running and not cutting the wood you don’t even know its on. When cutting its only the tool noise you hear.


thank you for the info best of luck with your new setup

Thanks for the info. If I decide to return to cutting with my SO3 instead of just using it for diamond drag engraving, I’m definitely going to go with this setup. I think that the 1.5kw spindle on my XXL is a bit overkill.

Your 800 W spindle is likely significantly more powerful than the “standard” “1.25 HP max/peak” trim routers. It should be capable of more power than standard Shapeokos can support. IMO you made a wise choice.

For others considering these spindles, [This Delta inverter might be worth considering (https://www.wolfautomation.com/ac-drive-1hp-115v-single-phase-vfd-el-series/)]. If has a 2 year warranty and much better documentation than the Chinese version. Also, It’s maximum output frequency is 600 Hz (for 36 kRPM) whereas the Chinese version is only 400 Hz with 50 Hz input power (for 24 kRPM) (apparently only 333 Hz [for 20 kRPM] with 60 Hz). Higher speeds reduce cutting forces and usually improve performance.

OOPS - I just noticed that the spindle in this post is 110V, so it’s not compatible with the referenced Delta inverter - which has a 220 V output. This spindle is though.

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So if I buy this and a Chinese spindle, I can run the spindle to 36k RPMs? What’s the upper limit of the spindle itself?

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The inverter should be able to drive the spindle that fast, but there’s no guarantee that the spindle can handle those speeds since its only rated for 24000 RPM at 400 Hz. Has anyone even run one at 24000 RPM?

Hmmmmmm, 36k? @gmack, you’ve piqued my interest.

Bare spindle about the same cost as a brushless Makita. Be interesting to see if the spindle is comfortable at 36k.

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It’s likely considerably more powerful too.

If you (and/or others) are interested, I can provide info on how to relatively easily and inexpensively measure real AC input power to your Brushless Makita power supply and/or AC routers. That should provide a pretty good estimate of cutting power and enable calculation of both cutting forces and unit horsepower.

The VFD inverters apparently provide motor currents, so that may not be necessary for them (but it might prove useful as a “sanity check” anyway.)

I’m intrigued then. I need to dig into spindles and see if any can handle that speed. It seemed like any results online we’re spotty.

If you have deep pockets, you might want to consider the liquid cooled version of this spindle that ShopBot sells. Both have ER20 collets - which support 1/2" endmills (less force for high MRRs). But the liquid cooled version is specified for operation at 30 kRPM (vs 24 kRPM for the air cooled version.)

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Ouch! My kidney I just sold for that spindle! :slight_smile:


Yikes! I don’t have deep of pockets. That cost more than my entire CNC did. That’s really cool that’s available though. I figure a 1.5kW to 2.2kW spindle would be more than enough for what I want to do. I just need to save up for it.

While not quiet, a more affordable spindle option (which is also 110V) is the AMB (formerly Kress) spindle: https://mctinfo.net/amb-spindle/800-fme

Huh, what are the benefits of this then over a trim router? A little more precision? I also didn’t see a price on their site.

Narrower body, so reduced lever effects; longer cord (though that is equaled or exceeded by the new Carbide Compact Router); only precision collets available and lower runout — one model offers an interface for direct control, but no idea on what would be involved in integrating with the Carbide Motion board.

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Maybe the Carbide folks should get a few 120V versions in and offer them for sale along with collets and a mount.

I think they’re not inexpensive, though, right?

And doesn’t Bosch make something nearly identical or re-badge this model?