Which cutter diameter?


I am cutting a box that is 200mmx200mm by 45mm deep.
It is a shell with a thin wall.

I need tight corners on the inside (both cuts) which my 1/8" diameter bit accomplishes.

All of my cuts are 2D contours. I cut out the inner opening, then the lip, then the outside.
I am cutting a lot of material.
My question:

Should I use my 1/4" diameter bit to rough cut the inner two contours, then the 1/8" diameter to get the tight corners (or)
Am I better just cutting everything (except outside) with the 1/8" bit?



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If I understand the question correctly, I think you’d be better off hogging out the majority of the stock with a larger diameter bit and a relatively small overlap - just to speed up the process of eliminating the stock. Then run a more refined pass with a bigger step over and finally get those corners with your smaller bit. I think that will be the fastest course with the best result.

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Also…watch your cutter height. 45mm down is a fairly deep cut…particularly if you have the original belted “Z”. Before I upgraded to the HDZ, I’ve had straight bits bind on withdrawal from pockets that are deeper than the cutting height of the bit - even though it was a straight bit.

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Why convert a convenient rectangle of stock into chips?

Why not just make a cut which allows extracting the central area as a solid piece and using it for something else?

(Yes, I’m cheap, waste not, want not).


Thanks all,

I am using a 2D Contour which means I am cutting out the center as opposed to clearing the center as in a pocket or adaptive clearing.

All of the cuts are 2D Contours. No hogging and I don’t think the resale value for sawdust is that high these days.
I do find the sawdust, mixed with wood glue, an excellent filler though.

I thought perhaps doing the 1/4 and then the 1/8 a better solution, if cutting multiple pieces.

However, if cutting a single piece, I think the time to tool change is longer than just cutting it all with the 1/8 bit.

Remember, it is a Contour.

I do think the roughing at 1/4, then the cleaning with 1/8 would produce a better result.

I am exclusively using Fusion 360, thus there are lots of options.

thanks again,