Both spiral cutter head and helical cutter head are important woodworking machines used in planers. In the last article we talked about the concepts of these two cutterheads, but there are several key differences that we should know.
First, the alignment of the insert carbide blades to the cutterhead axis is different.
The blades on a helical cutterhead are aligned at a slight angle to the axis, while the blades on a spiral cutterhead are oriented at a 90-degree angle to the workpiece. Therefore, the cutting edge of the helical cutterhead is angled to the feed direction rather than perpendicular.
If you are on a tight budget, spiral cutterheads are the right choice as they are less expensive as compared to helical cutterheads.
As we mentioned, helical cutterheads have a more complex design and more cutters, which makes them more expensive and have better cutting performance.
Typically, spiral cutterheads produce a pretty smooth and clean cutting surface.
However, when cutting harder, denser wood, the helical cutterhead has better cutting performance, resulting in a more accurate and even cut.
In addition, the helical cutterhead is capable of machining deep holes.
The special design of the helical cutterhead creates shearing action during the cutting process. The carbide blades or flip-up knife mounted on the cutter head plays a vital role in the operation.
As the name suggests, carbide blades are made of tungsten carbide and offer excellent hardness, wear resistance, and longevity.
Most blades have four cutting edges. When one cutting edge becomes dull or damaged, the blades can simply be rotated to a new cutting edge, eliminating significant downtime.
Which one is right for you?
Deciding which type of cutter head is right for your woodworking project can be difficult. Here, we list some factors that you can consider before purchasing for your reference.
As we mentioned earlier, spiral cutter heads are cheaper than helical cutter heads. If you are on a budget, a spiral cutterhead is right for you.
If you primarily work with more difficult woods, such as harder and denser woods, then helical cutter heads are better for you because of their ability to create a smoother finish on these woods.
It is recommended to use a helical cutterhead for smaller and thinner workpieces. The spiral cutterhead is suitable for larger and thicker workpieces.
In short, it all depends on your budget and woodworking project needs.
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