Business ServicesBusiness Services section icon

A smoother finish with a longer life, less noise and more efficiency

Here’s why we believe spiral cutter blocks will be worth your extra spend.

Spiral cutters have been something of a phenomenon of late in the world of woodworking. Starting off as an idea that many mocked, they are now an established viable alternative to standard HSS and TCT planer knives.

How a spiral cutter achieves a smoother, consistent finish

The spiral cutter block from Axminster has four rows of TCT cutters, machined to a radius of 102mm. This, coupled with how they are set on the block, means that a shear cut is achieved. Woodworkers all know that a shear cut is better than a straight cut. Especially when using hardwoods as the action provides virtually no tear out. In turn this reduces the extra time and money spent on further work.

Far longer blade life

Saving time and money is a recurring theme with the spiral cutters. Each four sided TCT tip lasts up to 20 times longer than a normal HSS planer knife. No problem if you hit a nail or a hard knot in the wood. Simply rotate one or two of the inexpensive tips to a fresh edge and you are ready to go again. Once you have used the whole tip, replace it, no need to reset them like normal knives!

More efficiency

Spiral cutter blocks will also significantly improve the extraction. Not only does the large chip space mean there’s an excellent removal of waste, but the smaller cutters create smaller chips. Therefore you fill your waste sack up more efficiently, saving you from having to empty it as often.

Another economical point comes from the shear type action of the new cutters. This action creates far less friction on the workpiece, minimising the effort needed by the machine to push the workpiece through. In addition, when cutting, lower stress is placed on the cutter block. This gives you a power saving of up to 30% and greatly reducing running costs.

A quieter cut

The ‘pièce de résistance’ of arranging the knives in a spiral configuration is the considerable noise reduction. With the unique geometry of the block, the perceived noise exposure is lowered by up to 50%, increasing safety standards in your workshop. If you’re one of the many people using your planer thicknesser in your garage or home workshop, that means less disturbance to the neighbours.

A no brainer for the professional workshop

The spiral cutter blocks would be a welcome addition to any workshop. Despite a greater initial outlay, you’ll achieve greater productivity due to time savings on knife set up and replacement and money savings due to a reduction in need to buy new ones.

The tungsten carbide tips can be perceived to offer a poorer quality cut than a fresh set of HSS knives, with ‘fresh set’ being the optimum phrase. After a few cuts, the finish will be more or less the same with the tungsten carbide cutters maintaining the same finish for a very long time rather than the reduced quality from the HSS set.

Certainly, for the professional woodworker or those involved in large batch production, these are a no brainer.

Get in touch

To arrange a visit with your regional Technical Consultant phone 0800 371822, email or complete this form. Find out more about our Business Services team at

Leave a Reply

2 Comment threads
5 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
6 Comment authors
Craig HastiedobboMark SmaleMark NaylorJosh Ledger Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Matt Black
Matt Black

I have a 168 planer thicknesseser which I bought in Jan 15, will the spiral cutter head be available as a retro upgrade

Josh Ledger
Josh Ledger

Hi Matt,

Sorry for the late reply this comment has slipped through the net. Unfortunately the spiral cutter block cannot be retrofitted to any previous models as these are from a different manufacturer. If you would like any information on our current models please do not hesitate to contact us. Thanks, Josh

Mark Naylor
Mark Naylor

Does the previous model list include the AW106PT2 as well?

Mark Smale
Mark Smale

Hi Mark,

The AW106PT2 was made at the same manufacturer as the AW168PT, and therefore (unfortunately) is included in the list of models that can’t be retrofitted with the spiral cutter block. The spiral cutter is new to us and we are looking to develop further but for the foreseeable future it won’t be available for any of our older models.

Sorry I can’t be of anymore help. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thanks, Mark

Craig Hastie
Craig Hastie

Hi Mark

Any news on if you will be making an upgrade kit for AW106PT2 or do we just have to look to 3rd parties. Seems a real shame as I’m sure there would be a few of us that cannot justify the price of a new machine, given we’re home users, but would stump up for an upgrade kit.

Thanks, hopefully

Craig Hastie
Craig Hastie

I’d be very interested to find that out the same about the 106 bought about the same time.


There are a couple of companies in the USA that manufacture Spiral cutter blocks for hundreds of different makes and models of Planners and Thicknessers . They can even manufacture to order if your machine is not one of the current models they make. Not sure if you have to send them you old knife block or just give them the specifications. Tigra is a German company that manufacture the knives and other cutting tools however they don’t seem to make the blocks themselves. Many of the cutter blocks are manufactured in China but are fitted with the Tigra cutters.

One company is Bryd who manufacture their Shelix brand ( Shear/ Helix ) The Shelix cutter start from about $475 to over $1,500
depending on the size, no of wings and cutters. Of course you will have to pay Duties and Vat on top.

Privacy Policy & Cookies

We use cookies to improve and personalise our services, for marketing and for social activity. Please see our privacy policy for more information on how and why we use your data. You can change your cookie settings at any time. By continuing, you agree to our use of cookies.