When clearing chips is important, does direction of path (clockwise vs CCW) matter?

Being from Florida I am pretty familiar with dealing with hurricanes. Everybody knows that you would rather be to the west of the storm than the east. I am guessing that this might apply to CNC’ing when doing metals or plastics where running material you already cut free is a concern.

Would there be any benefit to doing a counterclockwise path, versus clockwise, with a clockwise turning cutter when chip clearing is a concern?

There is some discussion on this at:


(which represents each view well enough to seem pretty contradictory)

For climb milling it does note:

The chips are disposed behind the cutter, leading to easier swarf removal.


Thanks for the response. Now I have a concrete name to go with the concept I had in my head. Since the context here is milling metal, climb carving puts extra stress on the machine, and we are talking Shapeoko and not an industrial machine…I would say climb cutting is out for that use case. It may be an option, but probably of no benefit when cutting wood.

we’ve been having lots of discussions about this here in the past, I tried to come up with a summary here

I’m part of team “mostly climb” now.


I presume CC defaults to conventional. Is there way to have it do climb or is that a feature I need to look to a different CAM program for?

At the moment CC indeed only supports conventional (which is fine for many, many usecases).
Fusion360 or VCarve (and several others) allow one to choose the cut direction when generating the toolpaths.


doesn’t this depend on if you pick inside or outside for the contour toolpath?

Yes, one can control path direction if one is willing to arrange geometry so that one can then do a contour toolpath which will be in the desired direction, so if:

doesn’t suit, one can reverse by:

(modulo the corners which are more rounded for the second path)

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