Then one day I was ordering some steel tubing from McMaster-Carr and checked out their carving burs. The price was more than I would have liked. But, McMaster does not sell cheap crap. So, I tried a couple of them and I was HOOKED.
I highly recommend the McMaster burs shown below. They are awesome. They run absolutely dead true at high speed and they do not create a lot of tear out.
The burs come in plastic tubes with a label that says “McMaster-Carr”. See photos below. Thus they are “McMaster-Carr” brand? I have never seen this before. The burs appear to be made and sold by McMaster-Carr.
Note: In the past I have ordered some smaller 1/8″ shank burs from McMaster and I was not impressed. They were ok. But, nothing special.
1/4″ Shank, 1/4″ Diameter Head Burs
1/4" Shank, 1/4" Diameter Head Burs (Sx-1 Size) 4292A32 - Ball Head, Trade Number SD-1, Double Cut 4292A88 - Inverted Cone Head, Trade Number SN-1, Double Cut 4292A41 - Rounded Tree Head, Trade Number Sf-1, Double Cut 4292A21 - Rounded Cylinder Head, Trade Number SC-1, Double Cut 4292A.. is www.mcmaster.com part number.
1/4″ Shank, 3/8″ Diameter Head Burs
1/4" Shank, 3/8" Diameter Head Burs (Sx-2 Size) 4292A34 - Ball Head, Trade Number SD-3, Double Cut 4292A89 - Inverted Cone Head, Trade Number SN-2, Double Cut 4292A42 - Rounded Tree Head, Trade Number Sf-3, Double Cut 4292A23 - Rounded Cylinder Head, Trade Number SC-3, Double Cut 4292A.. is www.mcmaster.com part number.
1/4″ Shank, 1/2″ Diameter Head Burs
1/4" Shank, 1/2" Diameter Head Burs (Sx-5 Size) 4292A35 - Ball Head, Trade Number SD-5, Double Cut 4292A99 - Inverted Cone Head, Trade Number SN-5, Double Cut 4292A43 - Rounded Tree Head, Trade Number Sf-5, Double Cut 4292A24 - Rounded Cylinder Head, Trade Number SC-5, Double Cut 4292A.. is www.mcmaster.com part number.
Up to 1″ Diameter Head Burs
McMaster has Burs up to 1″ in diameter. I have ONLY tried and recommend the burs in this blog entry. In the past I have ordered some smaller 1/8″ shank burs from McMaster and I was not impressed. They were ok. But, nothing special.
1/4″ Shank ToolsAll of the above BIG burs require a 1/4″ shank on the bur. Thus they will not fit in a Dremel style tool with a 1/8″ collet chuck. I recommend one of the following tools. But, in a pinch you could use them in a hand held drill.
Note: You may be able to run the above BIG burs in a flex shaft tool with a drill chuck hand piece. However, you will probably break the shaft.
Small 1/4″ Die GrinderGoogle “Votoer 260w Die Grinder”
The 1/4″ shank, 1/4″ diameter head burs run ok in this tool. The 3/8″ diameter head burs are sort of ok. But, you are pushing it. The 1/2″ diameter head burs are to big. This tool does not have enough power to really drive a BIG 1/2″ diameter head bur.
The Votoer 260w … is basically a Chinese knock off of a Dremel with a little drill chuck, rather than a 1/8″ collet chuck. I like it. Works good. It may die any time. Like any cheap tool. See my New Power Carving Burs 2021 blog entry for more info.
Big 1/4″ Die GrinderGoogle “Makita GD0601 1/4″ Die Grinder”
All of the big burs run great in this tool. The 1/2″ diameter head burs are no problem.
I avoided getting one of these tools for a long time. I did not like the price and it looked to big and bulky. Hard to handle.
I finally decided, I could live with out the variable speed. The fixed speed versions of this tool are a lot cheaper than the variable speed one. I almost always run my Dremel like tools at full speed. I only slow them down when burs vibrate and do not run true. Thus, no variable speed is not a problem if the burs run true.
I have found this tool is not to bulky. If I tuck the cord end of the tool under my arm and use hand on the same arm to grab and control the front of the tool. i.e. the tool runs along my forearm.
I like “Makita” brand tools. All the poplar tool brands make a similar tool in the same price range.
Hang Them Up
I like to hang up carving tools. See photo
You can purchase some fancy hooks like in the photo. Or make your own out of “RG45 Gas Welding Rod“.
- The orange tool is a “RoMech RM-105 Hot Knife”. It is an awesome wood burner for STRAIGHT lines ONLY.
- The light grey tool is an “Automach Power Carver”. See my Power Carving Textures blog entry for more info.
- The blue tool is a “Wen Model 2307 Rotatry Tool”. A good (but not great) cheap alternative to a good Dremel tool.
- The black tool is a “Dremel 200”.
- The green tool is a “Votoer 260W Die Grinder”. See above.
- The turquoise tool is a “Mikita GD0601 Die Grinder”. See above.
It seems like I spend all my time writing about power carving burs. Click here to check out ALL of my other Power Carving and Bur blog entires.