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choosing what is right for you #4: How many router bits do You really need- for newbies

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Blog entry by kenthemadcarpenter posted 12-12-2015 12:33 PM 974 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Kreg pocket hole jig R3 Part 4 of choosing what is right for you series Part 5: Cross Cut Sled »

This is probably one of the most asked questions for those just getting into wood working. Obviously there is no real right answer. My self getting and choosing router bits is a simple enough decision to make. While in some some sense buying a 150 – 172 would over all have cost benefits in overall savings, other ways it would be a huge waste of money because my chances of using all of them would be slim. The best way at least for me when choosing a bit is I ask myself the following questions. 1. Why do I need it, 2. How often will I be using it during the building of my projects. 3 Is there an alternate way to do this besides a router bit. 4. Do I really need it.
Then the other questions is what bits should I get. My suggestions is every one should have at least the following when getting started.

1. 1/4- 1/2 and 3/4 inch Dado bits.
2. Roman ogee bit
3. cove bit.
4. Bead bit.
5 upward spiral bit
6. downward spiral bit.
7 rabbet bit
This is by no means all of the bits that one should have but it is good place to start.
also having a router template guide and insert bushing is an absolute must at some point.
As you venture further into wood working and depending on what you are doing, and the scale in which you are doing it is going to affect what bits you need. my self I have 15 router bits and I know that I am going to need some new bits with in the next year for a couple projects that will be coming up, but right now I don’t need them so there is no rush to go out and buy them right away. It all basically comes down to YOU!!! have fun be safe and router away.



6 comments so far

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2143 posts in 1636 days


#1 posted 12-12-2015 02:56 PM

I went just the opposite. There is a site on ebay selling a kit of 80 or 90 carbide bits for $90 about $1 per bit. I have used enough of the bits that I didn’t already have to pay for the whole kit at least once. I figured this would give me all the bits I needed and I could replace the ones I broke with a better quality bit and I would have bits for that one time use. Surprisingly the quality is better than I thought it would be. I have only broken the 1/4” straight bit and I have broken 2 or 3 of the replacements also. My fault getting them too hot and pushing too hard.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1177 days


#2 posted 12-12-2015 03:36 PM

Bought a set similar to this one about 12 years ago and have used it intensively. Only addition is a 6mm up spiral bit

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3041 days


#3 posted 12-12-2015 03:45 PM

I was going to suggest the same thing as Bruce ,I have been using this set for a number of years and so have my students.The Router bits have held up surprisingly well.The original idea for new woodworkers was to buy this set see what they use the most and upgrade the bits they use the most with a quality bit like Whiteside.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-80pc-1-2-Shank-Tungsten-Carbide-Router-Bit-Set-w-CASE-2-Blade-3-Blade-/172010280627?hash=item280c9c96b3:g:FD0AAOSwwE5WXMXN

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View fatman51's profile

fatman51

335 posts in 1301 days


#4 posted 12-13-2015 06:10 PM

I have purchased a lot of router bits individually as needed, but about fifteen years ago, I purchased this Skil set from Lowes in the 1/4 inch shank to use with my portable router table and i have done a lot of work with it.

About four years ago I purchased the same set that A1Jim posted in the 1/2 inch shank and I have been surprised to find they have held up well. I don’t have a picture but my first carbide router bit set was a ten piece set from Sears back in the 1980s. It serve me well for a long time.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View Richard's profile

Richard

1898 posts in 2154 days


#5 posted 12-14-2015 08:05 PM



I was going to suggest the same thing as Bruce ,I have been using this set for a number of years and so have my students.The Router bits have held up surprisingly well.The original idea for new woodworkers was to buy this set see what they use the most and upgrade the bits they use the most with a quality bit like Whiteside.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-80pc-1-2-Shank-Tungsten-Carbide-Router-Bit-Set-w-CASE-2-Blade-3-Blade-/172010280627?hash=item280c9c96b3:g:FD0AAOSwwE5WXMXN

- a1Jim


I got just about the same set only 50 pieces and I think I got from Elite Tools in Canada and have really only Used about 6 of them other than trying out about 20 total just to see what the profile looked like. I don’t do a lot of router work but so far these are holding up fine and when they dull I will get better quality replacements.

View Ted Ewen's profile

Ted Ewen

187 posts in 530 days


#6 posted 12-16-2015 06:54 AM

Being a total noob this was a question that has niggled at me since I got my router. I did a lot of reading around it, and Carol (The Router Lady) Reed’s suggested list was echoed nearly everywhere. I ended up purchasing a Trend 15 piece kit (http://www.trenddirectuk.com/set-ss9x1-2tc.html) because I found the options, even limited by Carols’ list, a tad overwhelming. I do plan to replace them with high quality industrial bits in the future though.

Here’s Carol’s list, from her book Router Joinery Workshop: Common Joints, Simple Setups & Clever Jigs (pdf: http://libgen.io/get_new.php?md5=01707FB79FD98950BE96D25478ED38C7)

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

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