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what bit should I use in my Dremel for carving/cutting wood/plastic? Answered

edit: eeek! I forgot to say, it is for use in a milling machine I am working on...so the dremel is pointing vertically, not horizontilly


For highest speed material removal and lowest temperature cutting on plastics and wood, you should try the 1/8" tungsten carbide grout removal bit, or similar tungsten carbide cutter with huge diamond points on it. (You can snap the grout removal bit in half, to make it shorter). It's really, really fast, but it leaves big grooves in the surface where the points line up. I call this bit the lightsaber. It'll rip through ABS and plexiglass like a hot knife through butter, without melting the plastic.

For smoother finish, move on to a milling bit. Try Proxxon or micro mark. They have milling bits that will fit with the right collet or chuck.

In lieu of a proper milling bit, the Dremel high speed steel "material removal" bits are pretty good for finishing/edge work.

Router bits are also available, but they heat up very quickly, so you have to go really slow.

Hmm, I think this is the bit I have. It looks like they relabeled it as a tile-cutting bit. W/e you call it, it's fabulous.

I am pretty sure I have some of those lying around...basically a metal shaft that is rough at one end?

yes. it's called a contour router bit...looks like a cylindrical rotary file. You want one with coarse teeth so it doesn't get gummed up with the plastic.

thanks all, I have like 15 contour router bits lying around. lol

For your purpose as a vertical tool, rather than horizontal, I'd use what's known as a "contour router bit" for cutting plastic or wood.

Remember to keep your feed speed (horizontal place) modest, as mills (contour or otherwise) tend to snap if too much side pressure is exerted while they're cutting. (like snapping a twig), and also to prevent overheating of the material (which can deform your target and also contribute to the side forces and a frictional component.)

Dremel and others also sell a special grinding tool for plastics and other soft materials made from what looks like scintered (sp) aluminum (I think it's aluminum) that's supposed to take large amounts of material without gumming up.

best wishes


8 years ago

Actually, it depends on what you are doing. The steel cutting  bits in various shapes are good for roughing in, then switch to the diamond impregnated bits and of course there are the sanding disks and drums of various grits. Occasionally, you may want use the wire brushes to give wood and plastic a textured effect.
One of the main things to remember is speed control and keep the bits from overheating. The plastic will melt and wood will burn and scorch. It is always best to practice on a scrap piece before beginning on your actual project.

Wood and plastic are different. Having done some plastic today, I like a steel-saw wheel on PP. Abrasive bits are not too good, they tend to get clogged. What wood & plastic have you got how thick etc?