What is a spindle in a CNC router?

CNC spindle often refers to the shaft at the center of the rotating axis of the machine tools, sometimes spindle is used to refer to the entire rotary unit, including not only the shaft itself but its bearings and anything attached to it.

In a CNC engraving machine, the spindle is an important part that supports and drives the cutting tool. It is responsible for controlling the speed and movement of the tool, which determines the accuracy and efficiency of the CNC machine tool. In this article, I will introduce the components of a spindle and its function in a CNC machine.

Spindle Parts

  • The spindle housing is the part that surrounds the spindle and its components. It is usually made of cast iron or steel and has a tapered or threaded end for mounting cutting tools.
  • The spindle bearings support the spindle and allow it to rotate smoothly. There are generally two types of bearings - angular contact bearings and ball bearings. Angular contact bearings can accommodate high axial loads and are suitable for high-speed applications, while ball bearings are suitable for low-speed applications.
  • The spindle motor is responsible for rotating the spindle at the desired speed. It can be a belt driven, gear-driven or direct drive motor. The type of motor used depends on the requirements of the CNC router.

The functions of the spindle in a CNC router

  • The spindle holds the cutting tool in place and rotates at the desired speed.
  • The spindle and the motor together control the cutting tool to move along the designed path.
  • The accuracy of CNC machine tools is affected by the performance of the spindle. A high-precision spindle ensures that the cutting tool follows the programmed path exactly, resulting in accurate and consistent parts.


The spindle in the CNC router is mainly used to fix and rotate the cutting tool, control the movement of the cutting tool, and maintain the machining accuracy. It is an important part of the CNC router.

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