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What Determines the Depth and Rate of a CNC Router Cut?

Publish Date: Sep. 23, 2019 Author: Jackie Publisher: EagleTec CNCModify Date: Sep. 23, 2019

According to our experience in communicating with customers and friends, they often care about the two points below when consider to buy cnc router machines. 

1. What is the Maximum Depth of a router cut?

2. What is the maximum speed?

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In this post, we are going to interpret these two points and what are their determinants. EagleTec CNC will regularly share some high-quality knowledge about CNC machines, practical tutorials, problem diagnosis, if you are interested, please pay attention to our article updates in a timely manner.

Ok, now let’s go back to the two questions above. I would really like to say that, in truth, there aren’t fixed standard answers to those two questions, and their answers are diverse. Due to the fact the answers rely upon 3 factors, we should specifically consider these three factors to answer the two questions (cnc router depth of cut and feed rate).

Three decisive factors are:

1. The workpiece material and it’s hardness.

2. CNC router machine specification including mechanical strength and electronic performance.

3. Router bits type, quality grade, and dimension.

In actual production, the operator takes into account these three factors and gets a suitable depth of cut and feed rate. Of course, the operator's experience is the same important.

What Is the Maximum Depth Of a Router Cut?

If need engraves or cuts thick material, the correct way to do this is to divide the total depth of cut into multiple step-down. In this way, it can prolong the lifespan of cutting tools and make the machining process safe. For example, we need to cut through an MDF sheet with 20mm thickness. We can set a proper step down of 10mm, and the 20mm thick sheet material will be cut through after two times of step down. If you make three times of step down, the total depth of cut will up to 30mm; 4 times, will be 40mm… and so on. From this, we can conclude that the maximum cut depth of the cnc router has no upper limit. However, there is a limit to each step-down. A comprehensive consideration of three factors is required to set a suitable step-down value for your cnc router machine.

How Does Machine Configuration Affect the Depth of Cut and Feed Speed?

All cnc router machines look similar, but the manufacturing technology behind them vary widely. Good production technology gives the machine higher rigidity and better stability. And this type of machine has better machining performance, such as allowing faster feed rates and greater step-down. EagleTec recommends all buyers not only considering the price and configuration when buying a machine but more importantly, what kind of technology the machine is using. Because this is the key to determining the quality of the machine, and it is also easy for most users to ignore.

How Does the Router Bit Size Affect the CNC Router Depth of Cut?

A big shank tool can get a deeper step down than a small shank one. The result is improving the output efficiency and quality greatly. 


It is very important that users select the proper cutters and set appropriate step-down and feed rate after they carefully considered the 3 factors above. 

How Does the Router Bit Size Affect the CNC Router Feed Rate?

For engraving and milling jobs, spindle RPM should be set at the highest. We can set high RPM for general material cutting. It is better to set low spindle RPM and feeding speed when using a milling tool with a big shank or cutting on hard materials. Feeding speed must be average and stable. It will burn the milling tool or shorten its service life largely if there is any stop in the process of cutting. Please note that the heat will damage the tools.

How Workpiece Material Affect the CNC Router Depth of Cut

The hardness of the workpiece is another key factor affecting the depth of cut and the speed of the process. For materials with high hardness, the depth of the cut should be set smaller and the feed rate should be slower. Reasonable step down makes the machining process faster, better, and safer. 


The above is our point of view, I hope it is helpful to everyone. See you next time.

Original Post from EagleTec CNC

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