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Home > Spindles, VFD's, and our Spindle Systems > Spindle System, Which One?
Spindle System, Which One?
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Traditional Spindle


So, you've decided you want to purchase a spindle system for your CNC, now the question is which one do I want, pros and cons, anything extra I will need/regret not having? These are all situation dependent, and we will not be able to tell you which one to choose. We'll start at the basics. 110v vs 220v



What power do you have available? Are you able to dedicate a 15a 110v circuit, do you have a 20a 110v circuit, or do you have a 20a 220v circuit available? The rule according to the NEC is motors can take no more than 80% of a circuit's available amperage. Our 1.5kw motor needs 12a which is 80% of a 15a circuit just like a common vacuum cleaner. We still recommend a 20a circuit, but it's not a deal breaker if you only have 15a circuits available. 



Choosing between Air- or Water-cooled is a matter of preference.  While water-cooled spindle motors are slightly more work to setup the coolant lines, reservoir, and such, they are incredibly quiet compared to the air-cooled option.  Air-cooled spindle motors are a very good choice as a super simple drop-in replacement for an existing palm router setup.


Most people assume that water-cooled spindles need more maintenance but that’s simply not the case.  Once setup, there is little to no maintenance to be done other than the yearly recommended coolant refresh/change.


Pro Con
No hoses/liquid coolant

Reliant on ambient air temperature

Faster setup Fans can blow dust around if not using adequate dust collection.



Pro Con
Better control of cooling temperature Additional setup time and considerations for hoses/coolant
No fan, therefore, chips fall  
PwnCNC ATC Ready  


If opting for the Air Cooled option, we recommend the Air Body Extender and is available in both 65mm and 80mm sizes. The use case for this would be not only to focus the fan direction to straight down opposed to a broader fanning, but also use our Z Dependent Boot. 




If opting for the Water-cooled option, there are several water-based accessories that we provide.

Kool ConnectorsIt cannot be recommended enough. They are mounting points for your hose to spindle. If you ever have to disconnect one of these items, you will, at worst, only get a few droplets of water. That cannot be said if you opt to skip them as there is nothing keeping the water from flowing out of both the unit, and the hose. If you purchase them at the time of your spindle order, we will install them for you.

Pond pump and hose: There are 3 options. We do not recommend the cheap option, nor do we recommend the expensive option. We strongly recommend the middle-priced option. The cheapest option's hoses are incredibly stiff and hard to manipulate. The most expensive option is the opposite, where it is incredibly flexible with the potential to collapse due to weak walls. They all come with 1x 30' piece unless you choose, you're going to handle it yourself. If you need more, we sell them by the foot here and any quantity purchased will be in addition to your 30' length. The cheap option is Poly Urethane, the expensive option is Silicone and Super thane Ether is what we recommend. You will need a bucket of some sort. We do not recommend Lowes buckets as their buckets do not handle even lukewarm water well. Home Depot has a better-quality bucket. 

Chiller:  The Chiller is a CW3000. The difference between the pond pump and the chiller is that this has a passive cooling system and container in one package. Passive meaning it uses a fan to cool the water enroute. Its big brother the CW5000 has active cooling and is commonly used on CO2 lasers and uses refrigerant to keep the water cool. A fan is enough for CNC.


ER20 vs ER11 / 65mm vs 80mm

ER20 is capable of holding up to a 1/2" shank. Our ER20 systems come with a 1/8", 1/4" and 1/2" collet and 1 ER20 Nut. Additional nuts can be purchased here: 

ER11 is capable of holding up to a 1/4" shank. Our ER11 systems come with a 1/16", 1/8" and 1/4" collet and 1 ER11 Nut. Additional nuts can be purchased here: 


If purchasing a 110v, 1.5kw, ER20/80mm spindle keep in mind that just because it can fit, doesn't mean it'll work. It's possible to find a large surfacing bit in a 1/2" size. Exercise caution if doing this, and understand you may have to take an even more shallow pass. Also make sure you wear proper PPE




ATC/MTC Spindle

The Automatic Tool Changer (ATC) is our flagship product and bringing this feature to the hobby market as a whole which has largely ignored. In order to have ATC functionality you will need to have an ATC capable controller, which overall the feature has been ignored in hobby grade CNCs. We are currently established with Masso and have a prototype for UCCNC and are working on AVID. All other controllers would be limited to MTC or if it is an ATC capable controller require a lot of technical and specific information.


There is an upgrade path for our current spindle system owners. Most of the components of the Spindle System can be reused, and the only thing that can't is the Spindle Motor which is also the most expensive component of the system, and the H17 Spindle Cable (65mm spindle frame), if applicable. More information can be found in the ATC Section 




See our various bit change options in action here: The 2-Wrench Method - 0:00, MTC - 2:00, ATC - 2:25 



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