SO3: Max Spindle Weight / Japanese VFD / Spindle

I ordered my SO3 XXL with the DeWalt router from Carbide. I also ordered a SuperPID which is currently wending its way from Australia. But I have never been a big fan of Dewalt, and have my (possibly unfounded) doubts that the 611 is going to be super accurate. I’ve been reading the “Spindle Earthing” thread and that inspired me to go shopping for spindle alternatives.

I found one that interests me ( ) but it weighs about twice what the DeWalt weighs - 9.37 pounds.

Is that too much weight for my machine?

Any thoughts or comments on this choice? I noticed on the other thread it appeared the spindle was water cooled - would I be making a mistake to go with an air cooled unit? I hoped to avoid the extra complications of maintaing a water cooled setup.

Incidentally, for you VFD spindle guys, I have the manual for this unit if you want a copy, just let me know.

The DeWalt 611 is plenty accurate, especially if you replace the collet. I have no accuracy concerns with mine.

9+ lbs is a lot to hang on the Z plate.


Thanks, glad to hear your 611 is accurate. I already have a precision collet waiting for it. However, I have hopes of doing some pretty demanding stuff, accuracy wise (fine pitch PCB work), so I’m a little obsessed about ways to tune things. In any case, I have a 611 coming with the XXL, so I’ll probably give it a shot.

I believe the Z axis uses helper springs? Perhaps I could beef them up? Of course, I could still be creating other issues with the extra weight. No value in an accurate spindle if I screw up the carriage travel. Still, I’m tempted to order this spindle/vfd and try to make a go of it. Hopefully I’ll learn what weight spindles others have had success with.

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I run that spindle myself,its fine and significantly quieter than the De Walt.

@rwizard Thanks for opening up this topic, I’ve been trying to find a similar answer without much luck. There are a number of threads in the other forum: Shapeoko CNC Router, Rigid, Accurate, Reliable, and Affordable, but most appear to relate to Shapeoko < 3 builds.

I did email Carbide Support about this and received the following reply from @robgrz:

We have some users that have added one of the VFD spindles but I think most of them have been the 800W version. That’s what I’d use if it were me.

Of course, I had already jumped the gun on ordering a 1.5kW from UgraCNC:

1.5kW, 80mm, ?kg, ER16,

The Shapeoko XL just arrived at my doorstep and the spindle is shipping and slated to arrive tomorrow. I figure this will be my first adventure to see what’s possible or not with this machine =)

Others have used 1.5KW spindles:

Please let us know how things work out.

Thanks to all for the great responses. I’m still mulling over whether to go ahead and order the spindle/VFD now, or wait until I have my XXL up and running. Prudence says wait, build fever says order. We’ll see. I am pretty sure I will go with this combo sooner rather than later, however. Thanks again for the great input.

As Tim stated, the 611 is indeed plenty accurate. I’m all for upgrading when and where possible, however, I think you would be better served assembling with the 611, get the unit tuned in, and machine some stuff to get a feel for what it and your CNC can handle. There is plenty of time to upgrade once you’ve got the CNC running and better understand its capabilities! That’s my $0.02…



Well said. Thanks.

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