Spindle or router for a new user

I guess my question is as a new user, should I just drop in a makita router or spen some extra $ and get a spindle. I like the idea of water keeping the spindle cool for longer carves. I see so many Chinese spindles on Amazon. Was wondering if Carbide would sell the hdm spindle for use on pro machines. I can’t be the only one wondering this.

Yes, we are planning on offering the HDM spindle as an optional accessory once we have the HDM fully launched. Please write in to sales@carbide3d.com for any information which we can offer.

That said, the Carbide Compact Router or Makita are quite capable:

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There’s very few users who are power or cooling limited by the router on their machine.

A router is fine for most uses, it’s certainly a good way to get started and figure out what you really want for your workflows.

You might want to sort out some decent dust extraction first as you’d keep this even with a spindle.

The Chinese spindles (GPenny get good feedback) need you to do a load of wiring yourself to set up the VFD and the spindle, sort out a water cooling system, do all the plumbing etc. There’s also choices about what size (0.8, 1.5 or 2.2kW) with what size collet to buy. You can do good stuff with a spindle, run slower, use real edge finders, fit proper probing tools in an ER20 size collet but none of these are things you need to get started.

When the C3D spindle becomes available it’s likely to save a whole load of work wiring up the power and figuring out connections to the controllers to manage speed etc.


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If you are new start by crawling and not running. The cost and complexity of a spindle for a new user can be overwhelming.

Get a router to start crawling. If you outgrow it updrade then. You may never outgrow I.

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I got more Festool than I care to admit :green_heart: so the dust extraction thing I have under control. True I may just start with a router and wait to see if c3d offers a spindle upgrade for the pro in the next couple months. That would save me all the wiring and tubing headaches like you mentioned. Yes I should crawl before I walk. I just always want the best. That’s why I chose shapeoko.

Looks like Makita or C3D is my only option to start out then. I’ve looked at other options with the same diameter (65mm I think) and there’s not much for a “plug and play” router

The Makita is a good router. The C3D router is a clone of the Makita. The Makita is supeeior in my opinion. There is not much cost difference if you average out the price over 5 years.

With either Makita or C3D router,
Put a sock on it©®™(@RichCournoyer)


Spot on . I’m leaning towards the makita then. And since the hdm is going to take a couple more months to release, it will give me a chance to push the shapeoko pro and really see if I need a spindle. I’m assuming if I choose to dwindle wit a spindle, I’ll need the hdz + c3d spindle. A 1000$ upgrade at least.

Insider tip:

  1. If you are purchasing the XXL Pro and using the Makita router, order a Black extension cord, as you will need it. If you went with the Cabide router the cord is longer and therefore you won’t need it.

  2. If you do plan on purchasing the HDM spindle after it is released, you will have a spare makita router, so you probably want to keep the extra parts in the box that you don’t use with the shapeoko for when that happens

My situation- just FYI. I have the router and don’t need a spindle, but keep toying with the idea. The one thing that has stopped me is that the installation of spindles you buy on AliExpress are troublesome for some (not all) and for me it’s not worth the headache. That being said, once I can use a fully supported solution I will probably upgrade, however I am not looking forward to retramming my machine with the new spindle.

Just Wish there was a tramming/maintenance service in the North Chicago suburbs

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