How to maintain your CNC router's bit

January 28, 2020

Your CNC router bit has several flutes. The more work you do on the machine, the faster the bit wears out.

But with proper and consistent maintenance, you can reduce your maintenance costs, and keep your routing quality high. Here’s what to do:

Remove Resin

Your router bit will likely have accumulated dust. Blow it off and remove built-up resin with resin remover. You can usually get it anywhere you buy woodworking products. Resin left on your CNC router bit eventually hardens, which reduces the bit’s cutting efficiency. Use alcohol and a toothbrush to clean the bit further. Resin will also build up on the inside of the collet and spindle and tool holder. Use a felt brush to clean it off. The outside taper of the collet and tool holder should also be cleaned, and brass brushes work best for this purpose.

Check Shanks and Nuts for Burrs

Shanks left unclean may prevent you from properly tightening the bit in the collet. And if that’s not tight, it’s easy to see how that could lead to big damage to your CNC router eventually. Use a brass brush to clean the shanks and insides of nuts.

Sharpen Your Router Bit

Use a diamond honing file on the flat face of each flute of your routing bit only. Focus on using the same pressure on each face so you uniform sharpening across the whole bit.

No Need to Oil

Do not oil your router bits to prevent rust. You only need to dry them well following the cleaning you’ve just done.

Store Your Router Bits Right

Don’t store your router bits in a drawer or box. They can get tossed around, which could lead to damage to their cutting edges. Make sure they can’t move about, wherever you choose to store them.

Change Router Bits Immediately

The moment you notice deterioration of the cutting edge, change your router’s bits. There’s no need to risk any degradation to your cut quality.

Always Use Coolant When Routing

Heat build-up resulting from the friction of your CNC router against the materials causes faster wear. Don’t feel tempted to save a few bucks by avoiding the use of coolant.


When you care for your router’s bit, you get much longer bit life, better cut quality, and a steady stream of customers. It’s just one more thing every smart CNC shop does not overlook.

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