Best Endmill and settings for Chipboard/Greyboard

me : Shapeko 5 Pro with VFD using Carbide Create and Carbide Motion

Trying to find the right endmill for 52pt chipboard. This is quality composite, not corrugated - the quality you would find more for a new cellphone packaging, not a cereal box.

I need nice clean cuts and can’t seem to get them.

I started with the MC Etcher 90 degree and it works great, but it’s not mean to cut.
If the #102 works, I need to change my F&S
Tried smaller bits but they make smelly smoke, again, perhaps my settings need improvement

I know what I really need is an oscillating tangential knife, but that’s not happening with this CNC.

Anyways, if you have any ideas, I’m keen to listen, and I will report back here with any future successes so the thread will do its job once we figure out this issue. Have a nice weekend.

edit : I will try to fine tune some settings but im beginning to be convinced a laser is the way. Keep the Shapeoko running the heavier loads.

Try downcut end mills to avoid rough edges.

Ive cut foam for tool boxes and found changing climb/convential makes a difference. May also make a difference to you.


Sorry to rain on our parade but cheap bits result in cheap results. Some material you can never get a completely clean cut. The down cut bit like a #251 is a really good bit but not perfect.

You must have sharp bits to get good results. I use several Whiteside 1/4" up/down cut bits and they cut very cleanly. Even though t he Whiteside bits are good they wear out.

The easiest way to tell if a bit is sharp is to run your finger across the cutting edge and see if it feels sharp. Also the flutes on the side of the bit must feel sharp. The C3D bits are good bits and are competitively priced. Freud bits are quite good as well. is a good place for bits and if you sign up for email you will get 20% discounts all the time. Amazon carries some good names but also a lot of garbage as well. If you cannot pronounce the company name you might better steer clear.

A good bit will last for quite a while but they all wear out over time. Materials like chip board and MDF wear a bit out quickly. You are cutting saw dust and a lot of glue. Solid wood will cut better than man made materials in my experience.

Thanks for the sage advice.

I’m torn between blowing through cheap bits when I’m learning and employing the fancy bits before I know what I’m doing.

I honestly think the solution is laser. Faster, and no mess. A 1/4” end mill seems like the opposite of what I need
Now I could be wrong and I often am, but I believe the purpose of this Shapeoko is to drill out heavier jobs than 52pt cardboard.

Even if I get the end mill right, I need a vacuum table to hold the workpiece.

I need one anyway, but I literally went to my laser after I posted this thread and knocked out perfect batches from the get go.

I imagine there’s a reason I couldn’t find the speeds and feeds for using a VFD to cut .05” composite.

But still learning a lot about what this machine is built for.

Thanks for the time.

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