Any reviews on the McFly surface cutters

Can some give me some opinions on using McFly surface cutter? I know it a bit more expensive than other surfacing cutters but I do like the indexing carbide bit and I can see myself using a surface cutter a lot. Does it cut smooth and would a Pro 5 handle it with ease? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Would you buy a backup of carbide inserts or would the ones supplied last for many cuts?

The McFly is a great cutter. Many other cutters out there are non indexable - the last thing you want on surfacing mill is to damage it and have to replace the whole tool (I’ve personally done this) and it gets expensive. The cheap solid surfacing bits from China don’t last long at all.

The other great bit is you can drop 2 inserts depending on the material you are surfacing. Inserts can also be rotated when (if) worn out - I’m still on my first McFly and first set of inserts. I’ve done a bunch of hardwoods and chopping boards. Assuming the machine is setup for it you can move right onto a medium grit/fine right off the machine.

Absolutely no issues running it on a 5 Pro.

Winston did a video a while back which is worth a watch too.


To add to @Luke 's comment, I will note that if you are wiling to get an 8mm collet, that version is markedly more rigid and well-worth the effort.

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Correct me if I am wrong but I would need the 8mm version if I am running a Shapeoko Spindle right?
I have a lot of end pieces of lumber that really are not flat and I am so hoping that this cutter can be used to flatten them, it sounds like it will be a welcomed addition to my starting collection of end mills.

You can use either the 6.35mm or 8mm version on either a Standard Carbide Compact Router, ER-11 Carbide Compact Router, a VFD Spindle, or the HDM spindle — it’s just a matter of sourcing an 8mm collet if you don’t have one already.

We don’t mention using the 8mm version on a Standard Carbide Compact Router because that requires purchasing an 8mm collet from a 3rd party, Elaire Corp.:

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I am confused in the VFD description it states the maximum size is 7mm are you saying if I purchase an 8mm collect the VFD can handle the increased shank diameter? Does the Mikita and VFD use the same collects ER-11 if so, it would be a no brainer to use a beefier shank if the VFD can handle it.

I’m confused here as well. I have the VFD spindle and it is an ER11. But the specs say
ER Collet Length Diameter Clamping Range
ER-11 18 mm (0.71") 11.5 mm (0.45") 0.5—7 mm (0.020—0.276")

there are ER11 8mm collets

there’s not a lot of collet at that size obviously :slight_smile:


Generally speaking ER11 collects run up to 7mm, however 8mm versions are available from some vendors. I will look into this…


Here’s one from Maritool
Here’s one from Haas


I bought the 8mm (5/16") collet from Maritool and it has worked very well — use it for the McFly, and some larger tooling where appropriate.

I would think the most important information to have is what can the Spindle opening handle, since I have a cutter in the machine presently I will have to wait to measure the actual bore of the spindle.

what clamp was used in the video? never saw that before!

Those are our Tiger Claw clamps:

Another question about the McFly cutter. Will the Bitsetter function with it. It is so much larger than the button on the Bitsetter.

I was able to use the Bitsetter on my S4 but had to trim the MDF a bit in that area to make room for the surfacing bit. I also offset the touch location so the cutter blade always touched the sensor pad.

Another thing I learned when using a surfacing bit was that the head needed to be properly aligned. I used the SST-04 twin dial caliper system that worked a lot better than my previous efforts. It made a huge difference to the quality of the surface.



TY!!! Really helpful!

I have used the McFly as well as the standard, one piece one like Amana sells. Both work, but if you plan on doing any hardwood, the McFly is better. I still use the standard one I have for MDF, but just so I wear it out since I already had it. I don’t plan on buying another standard style.

I did slightly “tune” my McFly to make sure the outside carbide inserts sit below the inside ones. When I first got it, one of the inside ones (on the bottom) sat below the sides, so I got some lines. But 5 minutes later that was fixed.

The McFly has inserts in the middle, so you should be able to use it with the BitSetter…but I haven’t tried it.

The McFly goes thru hardwood like it’s not even there.

The McFly’s inserts being replaceable means it likely costs less in the long run. They have 4 cutting surfaces, so can last 4x as long before buying another set.


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