ZPlus with 2.2 kw spindle

I am curious if anyone has mounted a water cooled 2.2kw spindle on the ZPlus and what were the results. Also curious if the 2.2kw if not a good fit then the 1.5kw. I have searched and have not found a direct answer to this question. I also contacted Carbide and the suggestion was to upgrade to a HDZ which is out of my price range. Wish I had done the upgrade to the HDZ a 250.00 upgrade when I purchased my XXL with the Zplus option in April. I think I have the same things driving my interest as I have read here, quieter, more power and if I understand it right easier to control.
Appreciate any input

1 Like

Hi @Neal1,

The first constraint is the mount diameter, as the 80mm mount is not compatible with the Z-plus, so you need to shop in the “65mm spindles” alley. I’m not sure 65mm 2.2kW spindles exist (but I did not look for them either), so that would steer the decision towards a 1.5kW or 800W spindle. Which are also significantly lighter than the 2.2kW monsters (I have one…), so this will help the Z-plus as it won’t have to move 10lbs up and down with its ballscrew.

What are you cutting? I know the appeal of “more power” is strong (guilty as charged, I really didn’t need a 2.2kW spindle myself), but if I had to fit a spindle on a Z-plus myself today, I would probably consider an 800W water-cooled model: they’re not too heavy, very quiet (the main reason I got a spindle), and you will have automatic RPM control (which I could not live without now). You will not get “more power”, but maxing out power on an 800W spindle already requires pretty aggressive cuts. This thread might be of interest:

Mounting a 1.5kW spindle on a Z-plus may work, but I guess you will be putting extra load on the leadscrew nut, so it may wear-out faster (which I guess is why support did not recommend it)

Just food for thought, actual Z-plus+Spindle owners may have better insights!

1 Like

My $0.02 for what it’s worth. I have been slowly upgrading my XXL. First the bitsetter, then the probe. most recently the Z-Plus. I just ordered and received my 800w water cooled spindle so over the next week or so I will be getting it set up and running. I’m not as interested in the power, although that is important, as I am the quietness. I think my neighbors are getting tired of hearing the scream of the XXL and shopvac. :hear_no_evil:


1 Like

Unless you are wanting to really push your feeds or go slow with big cutters go for a 65mm 800w water cooled. 2.2kw spindles are crazy heavy and changing the direction of that much weight at high feeds will tax the belts, motors, and the lead screw nut. You will never use 2.2kw of power on a SO3 with V-wheels

Hold a 6lb weight in your hand and swing from left to right then do the same with a 15lb weight and you will see a huge difference.


I know the z-plus is standard equipment now but this is a case of penny wise and pound foolish. I upgraded to the HDZ 3.3 in March 2020. Best upgrade you can put on Shapeoko. I have BitRunner, BitZero and BitSetter and all are great but HDZ is best of all upgrades. You can run big spindles and I have never got loss of zero. So I would recommend HDZ if you are going to upgrade from standard Z-Belt and skip Z-Plus. For Z-Plus users the Z-Plus is very sellable. My opinion is Z-Plus is best with router, but opinions vary.

1 Like

IMO putting more than a properly rated 800W HF spindle on a Shapeoko is pointless because machine rigidity doesn’t support the additional resulting cutting forces. Maybe @LiamN will weigh in on this. Since the 65mm Z-plus mounts support 800W HF spindles, upgrading to one seems like a good move to me.


I’ve not seen the Z-plus in the metal so can’t really comment on that unit, it seems well designed though, linear rails instead of V Wheels etc.

As for the spindle, the only upside to the 80mm spindles is the larger ER20 collet going up to 13mm tool shanks. This lets you use a whole range of edge finders, probing tools, bigger cutters etc. many of which are quite a bit cheaper because they’re made in volume, 1/2" cutters for carpentry for example. It would take a lot to pry my ER20 collet out of my hands now…

You’re right, I’ve never used more than a few hundred Watts of my 2.2kW and if I could have bought an 800W or 1.5kW with an ER20 collet I’d have done that, but I couldn’t find one and we have 230V AC standard in Europe in every outlet so no special wiring for me :wink:


That seems to be a limitation from the Chinese manufacturers that’s not imposed by some others. HSD makes an 1000W 72mm square HF spindle with an ER20 collet and electric fan cooling, Techomotor makes a 730W 63 X 80 mm rectangular HF Spindle with an ER20 collet and electric fan cooling. Although they cost more, they are likely much higher quality, have “real specs”, have higher power at lower speeds, don’t require the hassle and expense of water cooling to achieve quiet operation, and probably don’t require a HDZ. IMO that’s both “penny and pound wise”. It’s especially true for those concerned with quality and long term reliability.

There are plenty of “carpentry” router bits with 1/4" shanks that are suitable for CNC use, like these from Amana.

1 Like

That’s good to know, when my cheap Chinese spindle stops working I may look at one of those as a replacement, I do not need the 2.2kW. The Chinese vendors are obviously targeting a high volume standard config as they’re virtually all the same specs.

As for the cutters, that’s a good price but not this cheap;
and those are, shall we say “longer flute” than others :wink:

It’s the ability to run the 10mm and 12mm multi flute aluminium cutters, edge finder and things that I really appreciate.


Yup - larger cutters that support high cutting speeds can reduce cutting forces without sacrificing MRR. They also facilitate improved chip evacuation.

1 Like

Thank you all for the suggestions and thoughts, I now will move on to looking at a G-Penny 800W. I probably overstated the need for more power and actually want the noise reduction and the ability to control spindle speed.
Really wished I had of spent the additional 250.00 for the HDZ and surprised I didn’t. Normally I go as big as possible but with the purchase of the machine and the essentials as I saw it, I had for me a big chunk of cash spent.

I wish I bought the HDZ, What are used Z-Plus selling for I bought it in April. Have cut about thirty flags and several small projects so it has not been abused.

I wouldn’t worry that much.

The Z+ seems to have the key part of the HDZ which is the linear rail suspension and better-than-belts Z axis movement. The weight of the spindle assembly naturally preloads the leadscrew.

As for the spindle, I wouldn’t want to stand very close to a Shapeoko that was really doing 2.2kW of spindle output power into the workpiece. The main benefits are

  • quiet, oh, thank all the deities, no more router whine, it’s quiet, I was starting to understand Vincent Van Gogh
  • proper collets (you can go to 8mm which is big enough for edge finders and some serious cutters)
  • useful speed control, mine drills at 2,000RPM happily and runs at 1,000RPM for the edge finder without complaint

Your 2200W spindle should have 22/8 times the torque of the 800W spindle. But, it might be possible for @Neal1 to cheat some by telling his VFD that the speed of the spindle is less than it’s rated 24000 RPM. I.E. 12000 RPM should provide twice the torque if his VFD and spindle can handle it (i.e. twice the current), right? But, unlike torque, speed is our friend. So drilling at high speeds and reduced torques seems prudent.

1 Like

I ran a lower drilling speed based on the required Z descent per rev of the spindle (feed per tooth for drills) so that I got an overall slower, easier to deal with, drilling operation. I was running a solid carbide stubby drill which could have gone a lot faster, but I didn’t as I was manually squirting Isopropanol into the hole during the retracts to keep it lubricated.

I would be very careful telling the VFD porkies about the spindle. There are various options in the VFD setup about the voltage / frequency curve which allow you to ramp in slighly higher voltages for more torque at low speed. There are also a bunch of setting about what to do when a stall is detected.

TBH, I would make sure I had a sensible option selected for “what to do when I stall?” on the VFD like “Stop and alarm” and then wait until I acutally stalled it to decide it was enough of a problem to mess with. A VFD with vector control mode might help a little.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.