3 Useful Tips About Spiral and Helical Cutterhead

When woodworking, it’s crucial to have the right cutterheads for your jointer or thickness planer.
There are three main types of cutter heads: straight cutter heads, spiral cutter heads and helical cutter heads.

Obviously, the straight cutter head is easy to identify directly.

As for spiral and helical, it can be difficult to figure out the difference due to their similar appearance and functionality.
Understanding these differences can help us to choose the right cutter heads for our wood project.
So today, we’re going to compare helical cutterheads and spiral cutterheads, hope this article can give you some ideas on which one is best for your woodworking.

What is a spiral cutter head?
A spiral cutterhead consists of a cylindrical shaft and rows of small carbide blades arranged in a spiral around the shaft.
Unlike traditional straight cutter heads, these small blades make continuous contact with the board, reducing tearing and creating a consistent and smooth cutting surface.
Tungsten carbide is the second hardest material in the world, so these blades have a longer lifespan and low maintenance costs. Spiral cutter heads are better suited for low-density wood.

What is a helical cutter head?
The helical cutterheads also includes a cylindrical shaft that has rows of small carbide turning cutters positioned around the shaft in a spiral pattern.
Due to their multiple cutting blades, helical cutter heads produce a better finish on the wood surface than straight cutter heads.
Additionally, the helical cutter head is quieter due to less vibration during cutting. Typically, carbide inserts have four cutting edges. When one edge is damaged or dull, simply replace it with a new one, reducing downtime.

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