Need starter tools

Going to order HDM very soon and I’m completely new to CNC. Can I get a list of starter cutting tools - ie collets, bits etc to start me off learning. I plan on starting with cutting wood then allum. Would like to buy on amazon if possible?
Again, I’m totally new and need a complete list of tools and bits.

thanks alot.

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The C3D tools are good tools and they are already entered into their database. Here is what I would suggest as a starting point. Buying the start sets can be a waste of money. They have a good price for the set but if you never use some of them it is not such a good deal.

#201 1/4" 3 Flute Upcut
#251 1/4" 2 Flute Downcut
#301 90 Degree Vee
#302 60 Degree Vee
#102 1/8" Upcut

These bits will take you far.

I have some of the c3d bits but I also use several 3rd Party

Whiteside 6210 1" Fly Bit
Whiteside 1/4" downcut
Whiteside 1/4" upcut
Groovee Jenny 60 degree downcut vee (Works fantastic)

My suggestion is buy the basics and get anything else you need as you go.

Some of the Amazon bits are cheap junk. Mass produced in China and will not last till the water gets hot. Stick with name brands. Some folks buy from particular sellers on ebay.

The HDM uses ER20 collets. Again buy quality collets and not Amazon Chinese collets. Not sure what collets come with the HDM maybe ask the ER type collets are better than router collets due to the fact of how they are made. However cheap collets can be out of round.

In the long run buying quality accessories will make your machining happier. The difference in a cheap tool and a better quality tool averaged out over 5 years comes out close. Cry once buying a good tool instead of every time you use a bad tool.

Awesome, thanks alot. Should I get the fixture plate from SMW - its 1200 plus the vise etc it’s $1900 ?

I’d not start with that. You don’t need a machined bed to get going and the hybrid table is awesome.

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What @Luke said and when You need a tooling plate, You have the machine to make it yourself out of ATP-5 or MIC-6.

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I use mostly Spetools bits but do have a couple Amana bits.

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Ok, glad to know this as the SMW is a bit pricey.

Wow, that’s a lot of bits. What should I use to machine down alum and face it ?

While I don’t have an HDM, my go-to endmills are:

  • #201 — general roughing/clearing — I’ll often use it to surface the MDF filler strips if I don’t feel like doing a tool change
  • #282Z — I do almost all my aluminum work w/ this (or one of the other coated endmills), and also abuse it to do dogbones for joinery in wood and bamboo
  • #251 — my go-to any work in wood for any largish part which needs clean edges at the surface
  • Amana #46200-K — this gets used on smaller parts which need a clean edge at the surface

Not sold by Carbide 3D, but I use 1/8" 90 degree V endmills for joinery on smaller projects.

That said, which tools you use depends not just on which material you are cutting, but what sort of parts you are making and what sort of cuts you need to make.

For wood the cutters you will use the most are 1/4” and 1/8” 2 flute endmills. It’s not a bad idea to get both upcut and downcut cutters for both sizes so you can see the differences. For signs and other general purpose v-carving it’s good to start with a 60 and 90 degree 1/4” cutters. Those 4 are the basics and will be a good starting point. You’ll need a 1/4” and 1/8” ER20 collet for all and these will be the ones you will use the most. At some point you’ll want a spoil board surfacing cutter if you plan on using a MDF spoilboard, but even if you do you don’t have to surface it right away, but you’ll want to eventually.
All the C3D cutters I’ve bought are excellent. I also like the Spetool cutters, but the import ones I like the best are made in Taiwan by Speed Tiger. Naturally Amana and Whiteside make great stuff, but are more expensive.
If you can find similar tooling in the Carbide Create tool library, you can use them as a starting point for setting feeds/speeds. Amana lists feeds and speeds for everything they sell, so I will use those as a starting point as well if I can find a similar cutter.

Awesome info. Damn there’s a lot to learn that I honestly didn’t realize. Yikes

We have a bit to get you started on this at:

If you have further questions, please let us know, either here, or at

If you want help on a specific project, write in to and we’ll do our best to assist.

Awesome. I already watched this and have about 6 bits in my cart along with HDM ready to go.

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