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    Difference between Air and Water Cooled Spindle

    The spindle motor is a key component of any CNC machine. Operators use it to drill, engrave, cut, and perform other such operations on materials at high speeds, and it is used in a wide variety of industries. A good spindle will ensure that the CNC machine runs efficiently and produces high-quality workpieces for you.

    When a CNC machine performs engraving and cutting programs, the spindle runs at high speed. Air cooling and water cooling are the two most common cooling systems that work in this situation. As the name suggests, air-cooled spindles use fans to dissipate heat. Similarly, water-cooled CNC spindles use water circulation to cool the spindle. So, when you buy a CNC milling machine, which spindle motor do you prefer? The water-cooled one or the air-cooled one?

    Many people may ask: what factors should I consider when choosing a spindle for my CNC milling machine? Of course, different types of spindle motors have different advantages, so it is very important to choose a more durable spindle for your work according to your actual needs. As a professional CNC manufacturer, ATO will introduce you to the advantages and differences between air-cooled spindles and water-cooled spindles so that you can choose the right spindle motor when choosing a CNC machine.

    Cooling effect

    The water-cooled spindle has better temperature regulation. The water cooling method uses water circulation to cool the spindle, and the temperature of the spindle after water circulation usually does not exceed 40 degrees. Because of this, water cooling is better than air cooling for cutting and engraving projects with long run times.

    If you are using an air cooled spindle CNC machine for long runs, it is best to let the spindle rest for 30 minutes after 4 hours of work and then start working again. Air-cooled spindles working continuously for more than 4 hours can cause damage and affect their service life. Water-cooled spindle can work all the time during the operation of CNC machine tools but one should remember that if the cooling water becomes very hot, it should be replaced in time to ensure that the cooling water is always at a low temperature. Otherwise, the cooling effect will be reduced and the spindle will be damaged.

    water cooled spindle motor


    Water-cooled CNC spindles run silently. Air-cooled spindles produce relatively large noise due to the operation of the cooling fan.

    Service life

    The water-cooled spindle of the CNC milling machine can extend its service life by replacing the cooling water or industrial water chiller. Therefore, the service life of water-cooled spindles is longer than that of air-cooled ones as long as the operator pays attention to maintenance.


    Water-cooled spindles require external equipment such as water tanks, pumps or chillers to be used, while air-cooled spindles can be used directly without any external equipment, so air-cooled spindles are more convenient than water-cooled spindles.

    Operating Environment

    Water-cooled spindles face two major obstacles in the operating environment. First, the water-cooled spindle needs to be connected to other external equipment (such as water tanks and pumps). For this reason, it tends to take up more space. If your workshop cannot provide this, then an air-cooled spindle may be more suitable for you.

    Secondly, water-cooled spindles are not suitable for use in areas with low temperatures. Especially in the cold winter months in the north, when the temperature is below 0°C, the cold water tank and water pipes can easily freeze and cause damage to the spindle. This is the time when air-cooled spindles are very suitable. If your location is cooler most of the time, choosing an air-cooled spindle for your woodworking CNC milling machine is the best choice. It does not require additional external equipment and also has a good cooling effect.

    air cooled spindle motor

    ATO's spindle motors range in power from 800W-7.5kW. Both water-cooled spindles and air-cooled spindles have their advantages. Our sales managers will recommend the best matching configuration for your needs.

    The CNC router comes standard with a 3.2kW water-cooled spindle, ideal for the woodworking industry. The CNC router is selected with a 2.2kW air-cooled spindle with an automatic tool changer, saving more labor costs and time, greatly improving the efficiency of engraving and cutting, and making it the best choice for large-scale machining.

    Every configuration of the CNC router is very important. If you want to get effective advice when buying a spindle motor, you can communicate with us online and we will provide you with a free consulting service. We hope it will be helpful to you.

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