Spindle reccomendations

Can anyone please recommend a more powerful spindle than the Carbide3D router that comes with the Shapeoko Pro?

I am not doing anything I would regard as controversial, max depth on a 1/4 bit is 0.125, but my router is acting up, and won’t start / cuts out randomly.

If the router won’t start, it’s most likely the brushes — have you tried replacing them?

Contact us at support@carbide3d.com and we’ll do our best to sort through this with you.

For spindle options, there’s a list at:


I went w/ a Mafell FM 1000 WS for the nifty tool change, but don’t push it past the stock feeds and speeds.

Thank you. For the Mafell, do I need an adapter, or is it the same size (I think 65 mm?), so it can just drop in?

You mean this one, right? Mafell FM 1000 Milling Motor 9M0023 - Timberwolf Tools

Yes, I have replaced the brushes (incredibly easy on the compact router).

It’s a different one — had to make an adapter:

I believe the FM 1000 is 43mm diameter, so you’d need a custom spindle mount.

Thank you. I would love to be able to just buy an upgrade kit - the plate and spindle mount. Do you know of a person who could create a kit for me?

I initially used one of these (very similar internally to the Mafell) on my Shapeoko

As Will says, these are 43mm clamping ring and need a custom mount, I purchased one on eBay and modified it. The other part of the problem is that they mount very close to the collet so you can’t reach down to the spoilboard with shorter bits, which leads to further mount and Z axis customisation.

However, after listening to it scream through the ear defenders for enough time to make me want to go full Van Gogh I gave up and just bought a water cooled spindle.

I have not felt power limited with a trim router, the Kress or the 2.2kW spindle, the only major difference has been that I can run really low speeds on the big spindle and have enough torque to work, e.g. drilling ops.

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Liam, thanks for the info. Can you recommend a water cooled spindle please?

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I won’t recommend the unit I have on my HDZ on an SO3 as I’ve had to take it apart and syringe grease into it’s bearings…

On the Pro, from what I’ve read your options are

  • Stick to 65mm (800W or 1500W) spindles
  • Wait for the HDZ option for the Pro

The GPenny spindles appear to be of consistent quality, the CW3000 clone chillers are popular for cooling them. I’d order from GPenny direct on AliExpress for price.

Here’s some more discussion


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I take it the default compact router is 800W, right?

Wait, there’s a 1500 watt version? Which router is that? That might be enough for me - it’s certainly worth a try. Please can you tell me more?

That’s a VFD driven spindle.

You can get GPenny in 65mm 800W water cooled, apparently a new 1.2kW water cooled

and 1,500W air cooled

But I don’t think power is the constraint on a Shapeoko machine.

It’s worth bearing in mind that you need to wire these things up yourself, they are not your regular trim router. If you want something that just plugs in and goes, wait for the Carbide spindle kit, use a trim router or buy the Kress / Mafell and put up with the noise.

You shouldn’t be having router failures, most people don’t so a new router is probably the best place to start.


Like @LiamN says, if you want something plug and play, wait for the Carbide 3D spindle upgrade. I have personally upgraded my SO3 with an 800W water cooled spindle from GPenny. I love it but it isn’t plug and play.

The grease in my GPenny unit wasn’t great either. It started making noise so I replaced it with proper high speed spindle grease and it has been great since. I pulled out as much of the original grease as possible when I did this and it was pretty lumpy.

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Thanks for the links.

Do you know when this is coming out? I saw some posts from March saying it was coming “in a month”. I would much rather use something official, but I also need to have a working machine now, not wait. The easiest path to having a working machine is the one I will take.

I am fine with the noise, it is the mounting I’m worried about for the Mafell. I don’t really want to make my own mounting plate.

Thanks again

There is no info on timeline for the Carbide 3D spindle kit. You can email them at sales@carbide3d.com and see if they can give more info.

If you need something now, I would consider getting a Makita RT0701C from your local home improvement store or working with support@carbide3d.com.


The grease in mine had almost completely dried out, there was a white crust on the inside of the bearing seals and basically nothing else so a syringe and super-lube it was. I think I’ve got some runout now but it was a cheap no-name. I’ve got another in the cupboard for when this one finally fails.

I have the Huanyang 800W water cooled spindle (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B077BY11Q3). I went with the CW5200 for cooling as my garage gets quite hot in Texas. I figure if I ever add a laser cutter, I could probably setup a manifold and cool both units off the same chiller… I also used 8mm OD silicone tubing, and I was able to route the power cable (16/4 SOOW) and both tubes through the drag chain without pinching.

I don’t think power becomes is the limiting factor. The cutting forces and power consumption are proportional so you’re limited by whichever is the weakest link. Hint… it’s the cutting forces. You can decrease the cutting forces with larger diameter end mills, but then you need to get a larger collet. An ER20 spindle would be nice, but those are all the larger diameter size.

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I have the ER20 collet which lets me go up to 1/2" and 12mm which is very handy for edge finders, dial gauges etc.


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