Need to save my hearing - Spindle time

Amazed as I am with my S3XL and Dewalt router, the noise from the router is killing me. I can feel that this is going to damage the toy budget… time for a quiet running spindle.

Reading the various threads here, and trying to choose the best path forwards, I have concluded that I won’t use a 2.2kw monster and the 800w is likely to be more capable than me. I noticed that aliexpress is pre-offering Black Friday deals at -17% discount

This is the ‘all in one’ package my reading has steered me towards. Given the budget constraints, I have concluded that air-cooled spindles that run silently and with 4-bearings will be too expensive. Unless I have missed something - are there air-cooled (simpler installation), quiet, 800w spindles in the sub-$200 bracket?

Collet size is also a conundrum. Will I ever need 1/2" shank bits? The ER11 on the above link won’t, but again are there sub-$200/800w spindles that offer larger?

Finally, the eternal Z upgrade. The Z-Plus will easily take the 800w mass, but there are various reports of movement range limitations versus the HDZ - which is circa $200 more. Is the HDZ tempting because I want one, or because it is the best choice…

Before I go crashing into the candy store, any pointers/advice/errors in my thinking would be welcomed.


one thing to pay attention to is the diameter… there’s 65 and 80 as common ones.

I had to send back a 80mm one (it was rusted and used, not new and wrong voltage) but that made me realize 80mm is a problem… HUGE and also hard to get dust boots for. 65mm is much more convenient in all ways that matter… but not 1/2inch capable

Don’t assume you can use the holder that comes with these kits; they’re generally poor and worse than what Cabride3D already shipped you… and a bad one makes your cut quality way worse.
Also for the water side of things… if you go with a “aquarium pump in a tub” solution, assume you;re going to replace that over time with either something out of the PC watercooling world or a CW3000.

And none of the kits I have seen come with an actual cable to connect the VFD to the spindle. If you’re comfortable soldering stuff, you can make your own (see ) or you can order them premade (from the guy who made that video for example) but a premade cable can run $100 to $150 easily.


Quietness was my top reason to upgrade to a spindle.

My take on this in addition to @fenrus excellent pointers:

  • 800W: definitely a good move, 2.2kW is overkill on a stock machine (as @gmack repeatedly proved), and it’s heavy. The lack of ER20 collets…that’s a good question and your choice to make. I must say I enjoy having that capability, but is it worth the 10 pounds…not sure. I think I remember @gmack mentioning 800W spindle with ER20 collets, but not in the “sub 200$” ballpark.
  • air-cooled vs watercooled: I think the overhead of installing watercooling is not so bad, and I really like being able to run my spindle at very low RPM when required. I think (but I could be wrong) that air-cooled models require a min RPM in the several thousands to keep a minimal airflow. That said, the waterpumps that come in the kits are Not Very Good, good enough to get you started but prepare to replace them (closed-loop circuit or chiller or decent high-reliability pump)
  • Z-plus will be fine but come on, you know you want that sweet HDZ, give in to temptation :slight_smile:
  • VFD to spindle cabling: I soldered it myself, and I’m not good at soldering. I would definitely not put $150 in a cable.

things I learned during making the cable:

  1. first watch and
  2. Use extra flux in addition to what is in your tin
  3. Use shrink wrap. shrink wrap each lead and then shrink wrap the whole
  4. Think the whole process through, and then backwards. there’s many places where you need to think ahead so that later you have the right shrink wrap or connector in the right place, and you need to put it there earlier
  5. take your time

Does the HDZ have a 65mm (or 69mm) mount option? I’ve only seen 80mm ‘beefy clamps’, or is the idea to re-use the standard Z clamp?

hdz reuses by default the standard clamp. But there is a 65mm HDZ clamp that is VERY nice and beefy… the C3D one is very very well made and I dont regret buying it


The HDZ HD spindle mounts are listed at:

I have a Carbide Compact Router in my 65mm HD Spindle Mount, and it’s awesome (and eases my longing for a Mafell Quick Change Spindle a bit — of course, if we were to offer a suitable mounting plate for that, I’d have to be first to volunteer to test).


OK, will soon be the proud owner of HDZ, HD-65 clamp, 800w/65mm/water-cooled/220v spindle with ‘good enough for now’ water system. The low-RPM thing coupled with being able to use anti-freeze coolant, plus the ‘overhead is not so bad’ comment persuaded me.
Toy budget hammered, candy store duly raided. Fence no longer being sat upon.
No problems with wiring the cable/connector/heat-shrink, just need to find a UK/EU stockist of the appropriate wire. Tonight’s task.


I just bought one. Thanks for the heads up!


Did you end up ordering the kit you referenced in the first post ?
I think most of the kits now ship with the newer Huanyang H100 VFD, so figuring out the settings will be in your next steps too. It seems to be “similar but subtly different” from the older Huanyang VFD params.

I’m outside of Tampa, Florida and we live outside a lot - have a TV in the garage. My wife was getting frustrated with the noise while she is watching reruns of NCIS for the 20th time. I recently upgraded to a 800w on a Z-plus and we both love it. It’s quiet. Now I just have to worry about the buzzing of the bit cutting the wood.

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I’ve read that these VFD settings need thought - but that a number of people have found the right setup. An area yet to enjoy (or at least explore). The VFD is the H100-1.5S2-1B.


once you have a table of “setting 17 means XYZ” they’re usually quite obvious.

the translation able is what needs hunting


I need to locate the PWM control pin(s) on my controller PCB (v2.4e). I presume it is the following;
Right towards the upper-right corner (with the USB to the left).
These look like standard 0.1" pitch holes, so 1x4 by 0.1" header should fit, then a Molex style connector on the PWM cable.
Also presume the GND is the appropriate pin to take across to the VFD along with PWM?
The pin D13, if I have read correctly, is spindle control. Is this a soft on/off also destined for the VFD?

Questions…question… Got a new toy coming and want to be prepared :slight_smile:

you can also use the 6 pin thing that is used for the bitrunner (which is not by default populated) which also has gnd and pwm exposed which is on the right side of the board

My PCB has this 6-pin location populated. Anyone know what make/model the mating connector part is?

there was a part number in another thread in the forum.
I do have the pinout (at least enough)

the right bottom pin is ground (brown in my cable)
the left middle is PWM (red in my cable)
(the top left is 24V)

this is from the angle of looking straight at the connector on the board with the board assembled on the Y rail, so from the front of the machine looking towards the back to the board

Please see:

that and other potentially useful links are at:

When describing the ISP header pins to the left of the board, I presume it is this connector:

EDIT: (almost) complete board map here: