While a bit fan is not essential, it is helpful because it will help clear some of the debris, also called swarf, that the milling machine creates when it’s cutting your board. When a bit fan is not used, more debris remains on the board while the board is being milled. As a result, the cutting tool is constantly impacting this debris while it continues to cut the board. This constant friction can dull the cutting tool, cause the motors to work harder than they need to, and create rough edges on the PCB.
When the bit fan is put on the cutting tool, typically tools will stay sharper longer, the milling machine will have an easier time, and the finish should be superior. So while you don’t need to use a bit fan, they’re often a good idea!
Be careful not to cut your fingers when putting on the Bit Fan. We suggest putting the flat end of the cutting tool on the table and holding the fan by the blades, with some distance away from the sharp part of the cutting tool. You can then slide the bit fan over the sharp end of the cutting tool.
The bit fan should look like this on your end mill.
Things to note:
- Be careful of the sharp cutting edges as you put the bit fan on the end mill. It's possible to cut yourself!
- When inserting the end mill into the milling machine's toolholder, push the fan all the way up against the collet nut.
- Before starting a milling job, check to make sure that the fan isn't going to collide with your material.
We hope you enjoy using the Bit Fan as much as we do! As always, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments. We're always happy to hear from you!