Think & Tinker, Ltd.
CNC router bits and carbide cutting tools with tutorials and technical guides

Tools for CNC Machining of Composites

If you ask anyone who has had the dubious pleasure of working with them, composite substrates are some of the most challenging materials to machine. It is not so much that the individual components (binders and fillers) are necessarily hard to machine, it is more that the cutting properties of the components are often so different that it is impossible to design a tool that will cut the composite with anything near optimum results. The best that you can do is engineer a compromise that provides acceptable cosmetic results with reasonalbe tool life. Fortunately, our use of premium grade submicrograin tungsten carbides and vacuum deposited coatings have shifted the equation enough that it is now possible to get very good cosmetic perfrormance coupled with an extended life.

Most of our 1/8" shank tools are available with and without depth setting rings added at no charge. Try them out. They are worth their weight in gold..
Carbide 2-flute drill bits for composites, PCB copperclad, plastics and thermoplastics
For all composites
Tool families: DC208, DC2M8

Our drill bits are available in sizes ranging from 0.005 in. (0.125mm) to 0.250 in. (6.35mm) are available from stock. Diameters down to 0.001 in. (25 micron) are available upon request. Slotting drills and high aspect ratio tools are available on a special order basis.

Solid carbide V-tip carving, engraving and chamfering tool
For all composites
Tool Families: EM2D8, EM2E8 & EM2E4

Designed specifically for the dimensional signage and engraving markets, 2-flute solid-carbide "V" cutters feature polished, high-rake cutting edges capable of producing a surface finish suitable for edge-lit transparent signs and plaques. Edge finishes are typically smooth and free of chatter.
High flute volume and precisely shaped ejection paths support high chiploads in a wide variety of sign making substrates. Precise "V" angle formation (±0.2°) permits either single-pass or multi-pass cutting without fear of steps or streaks.

Diamondcut Router Bits - 1/8 in. Shank Carbide diamond-cut router bits for PCB contouring, PCB depaneling, G10, FR4 & carbon fiber composite contouring and cutting
For fiberglass (FR4, G10) and carbon fiber
Tool families: RCD08

Our 6-flute diamondcut routers feature a cross-ground configuation that features a primary grind that creates a down cutting action on the tooth face to minimize lifiting forces. The secondary cross grind creates an up-shearing path for the removal of cutting debris. Cross grinding significantly increases the amount of cutting edge, extending the life of the tool while creating a smooth sidewall finish.

These cutters are our most popular and durable tools for cutting carbon fiber.

Product Page
3-flute, Zero Helix Channel Cutters - 1/8 in. shank 3-flute, zero helix carbide router bits for phenolic, G10, FR4 & carbon fiber composite contouring and cutting
For all paper and linen filled phenolics
Tool family: RC3D8

3-flute tools that have been otptimized for cutting very clean channels and pockets into thin phenolic and phenolic composite sheets. The zero-helix flutes (cutting edges are parallel to the axis of the bit) generate no lifting forces that might defeat vacuum fixturing of small parts.

They have also become very popular for cutting balsa wood sheet stock.

Product Page
Chip Breaker Router Bits - 1/8 in. Shank Carbide chipbreaker router bits for PCB contouring, PCB depaneling, carbon fiber contouring and composite cutting
For all composites
Tool families: RCC08

Our 6-flute chip breaker routers are cross ground at different depths to create well defined up shear debris removal channels (flutes) topped with down cutting serrations. This geometry provides significant overlap between the "teeth" resulting in smoother sidewall cutting although at a slightly lower chipload than a diamond cut routers.

Product Page
4-flute Countersinks - 1/8 in. shank, 1/4 in. head 4-flute carbide countersink for PCB substrates and all composites
For all composites
Tool family: EM4E8

4-flute tools designed to produce chatter-free counter sunk holes with no edge fraying in G10, carbon fiber and phenolic substrates. The cutting edge geometry generates virtually zero lifting forces making the tools compatible with thin sheet goods.

Product Page
ME Lube® Mechanical Etching Coolant / Lubricant Water based coolant and lubricant for PCB and composite contouring, machining and pocketing

ME Lube significantly reduces the formation of potentially hazardous micron and sub-micron sized airborne particulates common when cutting features in PCBs or machining G-10, FR4, carbon fiber or phenolic substrates. The lubricants and surfactants provide cooling and reduce cutting resistance, yielding extended cutter life, reduced burr formation and the minimization of chips and shorts.

Product Page