CNC Spindles: Air-Cooled Versus Liquid-Cooled

Liquid-cooled spindles are a little more complicated. Is it worth it? January 14, 2008

We are a residential custom cabinet company about to pull the trigger on buying our first CNC machine. We expect our machine to run 6 to 8 hours per day 5 days per week. Primary use of the machine will be nested based panel processing. I would like to hear opinions from users about air cooled or liquid cooled spindles.

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor K:
We have 11 top of the line CNCs and 3 are liquid cooled. The air cooled spindles have outlasted the liquid twofold. I'm not sure why they have lasted longer, but I do believe that air speed from the dust collection may be the key.

From contributor M:
I have purchased a few and worked on dozens of the machines. My humble opinion is if the liquid cooled spindles cost you any extra money, go with the air cooled. I have never seen a clear cut advantage to liquid cooled, but I do know it's extra maintenance and something else on the machine that can go wrong without adding any obvious value. Again, my opinion based on my experience.

From contributor A:
I work with both types. Never had issues with our liquid cooled spindles. I have rebuilt a few of our air/fan cooled spindles at $2600 each. A few times the cooling fan needed replacement as well. If you feed your router bits at the correct feeds, they should be cool to the touch. If you under feed them, then you will cause the heat to transfer into your spindle, causing premature wear.

From contributor T:
We have air cooled spindles. About the only time they overheat and shut themselves off is if we are running a lot of slotwall. The entire spindle gets about 1/2" of dust caked onto it after only a few sheets and it doesn't get cooled properly. Just need to blow off the dust, then no problem. Any other routing is no problem.