Surfacing bit for aluminum?

What are you guys using or what would you suggest for a surfacing bit for aluminum? Also, any recommended speeds and feeds would be great. @Vince.Fab

The 1" triple and .750 double seem to work well for the cost and durability, need 3/8s collet.

Now that you mention it…those dovetail cutters could come in handy for fixturing purposes.

I have reached out to the owner in the past to make a custom batch of 1/2 single insert 3/8 shank but it’s a decent investment.

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Can you fit a 3/8in collet in the Makita? If so where did you get it?

Sorry I did a quick search on Google and found that Makita offered them.

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Yes. Also, Elaire is supposed to offer a 3/8" precision collet as a special order, see:

EDIT/CORRECTION: but apparently 8mm is as large as they go.


Thanks, I just sent them an e-mail to inquire about their availability. I will report with the answer. The Makita brand collet looks more like a bushing so maybe the Elaire version offers more precision.

I never considered 3/8 bits since I was not aware that they could fit in the Makita. Maybe others would consider them if people knew this and provide access to more choices of endmills.

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One of the major benefits to going to 3/8s is a huge difference in tool ridgidity which lowers deflection and that is great for long stickout jobs and aggressive roughing.

Word about feeds speeds and large tooling SFM.

Do not try to wind these things up to 30k! I recommend a Makita (or variant like Carbide3D) due to lower rpm capabilities. Imo the 0.750 and 1" have sweets spots between 10-14k and in aluminum I tend to only take a 5thou doc due to standard insert not chip breaking and it flings long strings everywhere. You can buy material specific inserts and also play around with removing inserts to effectively change chipload.

3/8s - most people arent going to need to wind these up past 24k, especially for a 3 flute. I spin Datron 8mm single flutes are 30k all day but that’s a different style compared to most. A Lakeshore carbide TAS will decimate all aluminum put in front of it used properly.

Chipload chipload chipload! Do the math, its worth learning how this stuff actually works

A few people have measured runnout on the 3/8s split rings and they do well. I don’t do finish work with mine so I never really checked. However I do have an Elaire metric set and the 8mm is very very nice, worth the money.


I was just on the phone with Elaire and they do not have a 3/8 collet available. I was told that there was no much “meat” to fit a collet.

I guess there are two solutions: use the 8mm collet somewhat over extended or use the Makita 3/8 collet that looks more like a bushing/adaptor.

I’m having difficulty to source it and get a price. I’ve made a few calls to Makita dealers and I’m waiting for answers.

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Ordered mine from

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That’s good, I just found a source and ordered mine locally, of course I paid a bit more but no shipping required.

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