Buying a complete spindle setup for the Shapeoko Pro

I’m planning on buying the Shapeoko Pro and I’d like to have a spindle on it. Figuring out which spindle to buy, which VFD and how to set everything up seems like a jungle to me, so I’d very much like to buy a set of some sort.

It looks to me like there are companies out there who are selling complete sets:

They’re more expensive than if you’d figure everything out yourself, but I guess you’ll save a lot of time and hassle.

Has anyone tried any of the sets out and can give some advice or tips?

An air-cooled spindle with 1.5kw should be fine for my needs. The most important thing for me is that the speed is controlled by the VFD and the tool change is easier than the Makita router.

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I wonder if Carbide3D would build you a custom Pro to your spec?

I can’t speak to those, but the spindle kits from China (I bought one from Amazon) are pretty easy to setup. I wouldn’t quite call it a lot of time and hassle since there’s already a lot of documentation on this forum/internet for getting things running.

The hardest part was creating the spindle cable out of shielded 16/4 and getting it to fit in the H17 connector that came with the spindle. That’s one thing to note, most kits don’t come with a power cable for the spindle. You can purchase them preassembled on ebay though, I have a good guy if you’d like a contact.

I don’t like the pond pump setup, so I went with a CW-3000 chiller.

I’d really look into those before jumping to a $4k solution. It’s really not that hard.



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I’d be surprised if they have time for that with all they’re doing?! It seems to me that a lot of people want to use a spindle so if it was easy for them to make a setup for that I guess they’d already have done it?

Maybe you’re right. Can you link me to the set that you bought? Would it work with a Shapeoko Pro?

@Julien what setup did you have? It seems to me that it’s different what people buy depending on whether they’re in the US, Europe or UK?

I’ve been looking into the same thing and from what I’ve gathered around this forum and what people like @Julien and @Luke have responded I’ve come to this conclusion:

1 - if you need it now and do not want to mess around with customizing spindle mounts and so on your basically limited to the (Edit: 65mm) mount that comes stock with the Shapeoko Pro. So if you’re looking for water cooled you have some options in the 800W space including the G-Penny and I’ve spotted a few in the 1.5kW range but ratings/reviews seem to not be as good. If you looking for an air cooled spindle then plenty of options in the (Edit: 65mm) mount size as well with better reviews/ratings.

2 - if you need it now and are ready to mess around with customizing spindle mounts then you can move into the 80mm spindle sizes and plenty of options in the 1.5kW to 2.2kW range that are water or air cooled. However in other forum posts I’ve also seen people caution about going with bigger spindles combined with the Shapeoko Pro stock Z-Plus as it may lead to premature wear on the lead screw or other components

3 - I think most people that end up going with the bigger spindles on the Shapeoko 3 have went the route of the HDZ but unfortunately this option is not compatible with a stock Shapeoko Pro although I’ve seen some do some tinkering to get some adapter plate to make it work.

4 - In the end some will say that the 800W spindle is plenty of power and will push the limits of your machine but I think that is true for the Shapeoko 3 and not sure if the Pro could change this opinion as can be pushed harder. Personally I imagine that eventually they will come out with an option for an HDZ or HDZ like option adapted for those of us that got the Pro machine. I’m going to allow some time for them to figure that part out as I grow with my current setup and exercise some patience before pulling the trigger on a spindle upgrade. I think for me the sweet spot will end up being in the 1.5kW range and water cooled with an HDZ built for the pro.


I went with the MYSWEETY 1.5kw 110v water cooled kit:

Part of this was because I only have 120v in my shop area.

A lot of the accessories are junk, but it comes with the standard HY VFD. You could buy the spindle + vfd separately if you want.

I have a pro, and you’ll want to stick with a 65mm spindle unless you want to make your own mounting plate or wait for the HDZ from Carbide3d.

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A 65mm spindle will fit in the stock mount (which is 65mm not 60mm)

We’re working on a HDZ option for the Pro/4 - TBD on what this looks like at this stage.


Thanks for pointing that out fixed my post as such (edit: 65mm not 60mm)

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@Caffein8ted Thanks a lot for your thoughts. It sounds like water cooling is important to you, but it’s less important for me, so going with a 1.5kw spindle sounds like a route I could take?

@mingle Seems like a nice kit. I live in Denmark where the standard is 230V. I’m kind of looking for the European equivalent of that. Either air or water-cooled.

Edit: Maybe something like this could be an opinion:

@Luke If I go with a 1.5kw air-cooled spindle it should fit in the standard Shapeoko Pro mount, right? Would you suggest that I wait for the HDZ option if I want to go with a 1.5kw spindle or should the standard Shapeoko Pro be able to handle that? Is the HDZ mostly aimed at the 2.2kw spindle?

I’m not familiar with that particular VFD, but the spindle looks like a normal Chinese spindle that most of us have.

As long as the VFD can take a PWM signal, you should be good to go.

There may be some difficulty programming the VFD since a lot of us have HY VFDs, but it’s not super complicated and we can help.

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You might consider Mechatron, they’re the ones I went for with my Nomad (I’m in Switzerland) and I’m happy.

If you send them an email, they’ll send you a quote for a full package with everything you need. You can also buy from their shop or from Sorotec. I went with the quote from them directly because I wanted the “professional” HFP spindle.

They sell both air and water cooled spindles. One nice feature is that at least when you order directly, the VFD comes preconfigured, so all you need to do is wire it (which is a bit of a pain but you have to do it for any spindle).

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Mechatron looks really good. I just wrote them. Doesn’t seem like they have a 1.5kw 65mm air-cooled spindle though. Maybe I should just go for a water-cooled one?

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That Avid set looks amazing!

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I would go water cooled. You can run with a pretty small water cooling setup and upgrade if you find you’re running hot. A small setup could be a pond pump in a bucket, or a small PC cooling setup.

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I’m late to the party sorry, but pretty much everything has been said.

I bought a G-Penny kit (story around that here, and about programming it here. Don’t be afraid by the pages of params, I just wanted to be super thorough, but in reality you’ll only have to tune a couple of parameters and off you go).

Runout on those chinese spindles is supposedly hit and miss, but either I got lucky or the runout is statistically small enough to not have to care about it. Mine was as advertised.

Water-cooled vs air-cooled: I would go water-cooled again, no doubt, but that is down to personal preference. The quietness is what I was after, but I found that water-cooled has a second interesting side effect: you can run the spindle arbitrarily slow, e.g. 100 RPM if you want to. Granted, there are not many situations that call for sub-5000 RPM, but it’s still useful to have this capability. With an air-cooled spindle you need to set a minimal RPM to ensure a proper cooling airflow. I also like the absence of downdraft from the spindle onto the piece.

Power: 2.2kW is definitely overkill, 800W appears to be nice and plenty enough for wood, and 1.5kW is probably the sweet spot that covers everything. On a regular Shapeoko3 I would have said go 800W, on a Pro with the extra rigidity I think 1.5kW makes sense.

I wish there was an option for a water-cooled spindle with a quick tool change mechanism like on @WillAdams’s Mafell

If you can afford a Mechatron, then that defnitely looks like a good choice to remove the randomness of the “shopping on Ali” experience.


@Julien I’ve just written Mechatron. I’m hoping they’re not going to be as expensive as CNCDepot and Stepcraft. We’ll see.

I’ve just looked at some videos of how tool changing works on a spindle - - and it looks like it’s the same mechanism as on the Makita Router where you use 2 tools to tighten or loosen the nut. Changing tools that way is kind of cumbersome. I know of the Mafell spindle, but that seems like a solution that’s kind of hacked together and you don’t get the automatic speed change. Is there any way to speed up tool change on a normal spindle?

Yeh, the pro mount is the same as our HD mounts for the 65mm spindles.

A 65mm spindle on the pro would not be an issue. With the larger spindles they do weigh more and can increase wear on lead screw hence why we recommend using the HDZ. It transfers power more efficiently meaning greater lifting force and less wear.

The Mechatron stuff is pretty nice. I would say I doubt you’d see any benefits of it over a spindle from China or similar.


I don’t believe CNCDepot sells a spindle compatible with a Shapeoko and nor does Stepcraft…

A 1.5kW Mechatron spindle kit is 1526 EUR from Mechatron, with German VAT.

Support and quality control are the winning points for me:

  • There’s someone I can write to and get useful information from. When I crashed my spindle, they were also able to repair it.
  • If the datasheet specifies something (like runout), you know that the spindle actually meets that specification.
  • You know that the spindle is put together properly (e.g. grounded housing).

It is much more expensive than a China spindle though.