Color-Coated Bits Make the Cut

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This article is from Issue 91 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Amana Spektra Router Bits

Router bit manufacturers have color coated carbide-tipped bits for decades. Aside from easy brand recognition, the non-stick coatings resist resin that contributes to heat build-up affecting bit performance. But these coatings are too thick to be applied to carbide cutters.

Amana has devised a way to protect the complete bit. The company’s Spektra-line features a proprietary nanocomposite (nACo) coating that completely covers the carbide in a micro-thin ceramic skin. In addition to setting up a slick surface that prevents resin build-up, the nACo coating increases the hardness of the carbide. According to manufacturer tests, Spektra bits last up to 2-1/2× longer than comparable uncoated bits.

The Spektra line is aimed at the CNC market, but I’ve found them equally suited for hand-held and table-mounted routers. And they hold up against most bit-eating materials, like MDF and wet, pressure-treated lumber. The bits cost more than other premium bits, but they’re worth it if you work with a lot of abrasive materials. The multi-colored hue is a result of the application process and will dissipate with use, though the coating remains effective.

—Tester, Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk

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