End Mill cost vs longevity

I almost exclusively cut wood, mostly pine and oak, with some sugar maple and cedar thrown in to the mix. I’ve been using the C3D 201 for my main cuts (leveling, cutouts, pockets) but it’s about time to replace the three I started with. I picked up a couple of 1/4" 2 flute endmills from Drillman1 which are a little bit longer, 1 1/8", to use as backups, but I really want to replace my 3 flute 201s.

My choices are, and the price for 2 delivered to my door
Carbide3D - $86
Drillman1 - $80 (note, only 2 flute)
Amana Tool Spektra - $135
Amana Tool 46149 - $135

Now, given the claim that the spektra lasts 2.5 times longer than standard, it would make sense to get them. Is there any quantitative proof of that, or are the Amana Tools Spektras all just hype? What’s your experience with them?

Additionally… 2 flute vs 3 flute for wood, does it make a difference?


Setting cost aside for a moment, I really like the Amana Spiral ‘O’ Single Flute bits. I am only a hobbyist and therefore are less concerned with cost as it relates to tooling and related cost allocation to projects.

Amana Spiral ‘O’ Single Flute bits, like this as an example definitely on the top of my preferred cutter list.


I use them for wood and plastic(s). I find them the cleanest cutting bits I’ve used.

But as they always say, YMMV. . .


1/4" 2 vs 3 flute : depends on the wood. Really soft wood the 2 flute is preferable to keep linear speed up with enough room for chips, but I use my 3 flute for almost everything and just run slower if things are getting gummed up.

My take: If you’re cutting metals and plastics, the tool makes a critical difference. Plastic you can make do with a “cheaper” tool, but not a “cheap” tool. With Wood, I don’t see much difference no matter what tool I use, so I’ve settled into what I can get from drillman1 in the $20-40 range (per tool). I cut a lot of soft maple, hard maple, some pine, aluminum and brass.

Again, that’s my take, and there are a lot of people here with more experience.


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