Which is best Climb cut or Conventional Cut?

Which is best Climb cut or Conventional Cut?

Climb and Conventional cutting merely describe the way in which the cutter moves around the part in respect to its direction of rotation.

In regards to a right-hand rotation spindle (the most common type), moving around a finished part counter-clockwise would be considered Conventional Cutting while a clockwise part path would be Climb Cutting. The terminology will be reversed if the spindle is of left-hand rotation or a pocket or hole is being cut out of the finished part.

The main difference between climb and conventional cutting is how the cutter bites into the material.

A conventional cut deflects the bit towards the cut and a climb cut pushes the bit away. Climb cutting can be dangerous on a non-CNC router, as the piece may he hard to control by hand and may ‘walkaway’.

On CNC routers, the harder materials such as Aluminium, Solid Wood and Hard Plastics (Acrylic, Polycarbonate, Nylon)) generally leave the best finish with a climb cut set up. However on softer materials and Laminates like Soft plastics (HDPE, UHMW, Polypropylene, etc.), Plywood and Laminated boards, a conventional cut is recommended.

Typically Climb Cutting will only show an improved performance in the smaller diameters (less than 10mm), but of course there are always exceptions.

A quick rule of thumb is to check your offcut. If your offcut has a nicer finish than the part, rotate around the other way and the better finish will be on your part.

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