Bowl bits vs cove bits?

What the difference is between a bowl bit and a cove bit (the ones without a bearing, of course)? I thought it might be the flat bottom on some bowl bits, but I’ve seen listings of bowl bits that look just like a cove bit to me.

What am I missing?

Cove (radius) bits are the opposite, see:

Usually bowl bits have a rounded edge and flat bottom, but not sure if that’s a strict criteria for inclusion.

D’oh! I was thinking of the profile, not the tool…


A cove bit is usually like a finger pull and is semi round. A bowl bit is square on the bottom but has rounded edges. The bowl bit is usually used to give a flat bottom but a rounded edge around the bottom of a bowl.

Both can be used but is not supported as @WillAdams pointed out. The cove should be entered as the widest part of the bit and a bowl bit should also be entered as the total width of the bit. You still want to slowly cut away and not plunge full depth in a single go. Obviously the simulation view will not be correct because C3D does not support these bits and CC does not know what they are.

The bowl and cove bit can be used for a pocket. For the cove you would likely use it as a pocket and/or as a contour with no offset. The cove for example would be used a juice groove on a cutting board. The Bowl bit would give you a rounded edge at the bottom of a pocket.

This is what I am describing as a cove bit.


This is what I am describing as a bowl bit.

Do not use bits with bearings for a cnc. If the bearing is above the cutting part and you are not cutting as deep as the bearing you could get away with it but you are flirting with disaster. The bearing can cause you to lose steps because it does not cut and could cause the CNC to move off the intended tool path.


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