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View joshtank's profile

router bits.. and lowes..

by joshtank
posted 10-22-2011 08:12 PM


24 replies so far

View Don's profile

Don

514 posts in 1759 days


#1 posted 10-22-2011 08:26 PM

Bosch and woodcraft bits are fine. Higher end bits will cut cleaner and stay sharp longer but for me that’s not always worth the higher cost. For things like roundovers I generally buy cheaper bits because it’s easy to sand. For things like raised panel sets and ogees I buy high end bits because those profiles are much harder to sand.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3496 posts in 2647 days


#2 posted 10-22-2011 08:50 PM

Don’t rule out Grizzly for value in bits. Look ‘em up, it’ll be worth your while.
I don’t suggest you buy sets. Just buy what you want/need. There will be a lot of duplication in sets.
CMT bits are good, and Rockler often offers deals. Bosch bits are good, just pricey at a Borg.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4524 posts in 1761 days


#3 posted 10-22-2011 10:47 PM

At the Lowes near me, almost all the router bits have a 1/4” shank. I really try to avoid 1/4” shank bits. They break too easily.

As Don says, Bosch and Woodcraft bits are okay, but stay away from the 1/4” shank.

If it were me, I would use the gift certificate for the disposable items you are always using up (e.g. sandpaper) and/or their Kobalt line. In general, I think the Kobalt brand is pretty good stuff at a reasonable price.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5512 posts in 2062 days


#4 posted 10-23-2011 01:16 AM

Bosch bits are pretty good though usually too expensive to bother with, but I’m definitely skeptical about the Skil bits. One possibility is to sell your Lowe’s card and use the cash towards bits that make the most sense without being limited to Lowes.

The basic 7 pc Whiteside set of the most commonly used profiles is ~ $80 shipped…top shelf American made cutters. The 15 pc MLCS set is $40 shipped, and are decent import bits. I would not buy a large set because the total cash outlay is still high, and you end up with a bunch of cheap near duplicate bits. Get 1/2” shank whenever feasible, assuming your router accepts 1/2” shank.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Jacob Lucas's profile

Jacob Lucas

100 posts in 1118 days


#5 posted 10-23-2011 01:26 AM

One thing to watch out for is if you are gonna be using them in a trim router, be sure the shank size is right. Most trim routers only accept a 1/4 inch shank. Personally I do most of my routing with a trim router, its just easier for me.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1684 days


#6 posted 10-23-2011 03:56 AM

I would say get one of the $100 30 piece sets of the Skil bits.

The rationale:

The bit difference between cheap bits and high quality bits is really the grade of carbide. The Skill bits are not bad bits, they are just not GREAT bits. There are a lot of profiles you won’t use often. Having them is nice to pull out once in a while. For occasional use, they are fine. As you replace them, replace the ones you use often with high quality bits. They will last and stay sharp longer.

I have a mix of bits myself. Some are the bargain bin from Harbor Freight. Some are pricey. Some outright painful to buy. If I am just going to use one for one piece, I get a cheap one. If I intend to use it often, I go ahead and get a good one.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3235 posts in 1248 days


#7 posted 10-23-2011 05:00 AM

What David said. I got similar advice when I first started. I also got told (and mostly followed) was to keep track of the bits you use and how often you use a bit by making a pencil mark on the shaft when the shaft is all marked up go by a high quality bit of that profile as you know it will be worth it. If you are like most you will buy a straight bit, an ogee a round over and a trim bit

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View RibsBrisket4me's profile

RibsBrisket4me

1376 posts in 1192 days


#8 posted 10-23-2011 05:52 AM

I bought a 50 bit set for $50 from a now defunct company called Blade-N-Bits. They are okay and prolly in line with Skill bits. Over the years I wait for the Woodcraft $5 sale and stock up on my most used profiles. I’ve looked at the Bosch bits in Lowes, but never used them. I think they look fine and I would buy one in a pinch.

The Whiteside 7pc set is a nice way to go too.

-- http://www.PictureTrail.com/gid6255915

View grantlairdjr's profile

grantlairdjr

31 posts in 1276 days


#9 posted 10-26-2011 01:51 PM

Try Harbor Freight Tools store…

-- Grant Laird Jr - Garland, Texas

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1885 posts in 1179 days


#10 posted 10-26-2011 06:21 PM

I’ve never used Skil bits, but I have tried a couple of Bosch and thought they were pretty good. I might not rate them with Whiteside, but higher probably than MLCS. Remember, Bosch now owns Freud bits/blades (since ‘08)...they have some knowledge on this stuff somewhere in the corporate archives. BTW, I’ve also used quite a few of the Woodcraft bits, bought mostly when they have the $5/ea. sale. They are actually quite good, though again, I wouldn’t rate them with a Whiteside. But when you can buy 3-4 other bits for the price of one Whiteside what can you lose?

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Guss's profile

Guss

94 posts in 1127 days


#11 posted 10-27-2011 03:40 AM

I really like wood line usa bits and there on the lower side of the router bits cut really clean. i have used some woodcraft bits there not to bad. I would not go for the harbor freight bits I have a set of 4 i picked up and they dont cut near as nice as any of the other bits that i have

View Rxmpo's profile

Rxmpo

250 posts in 2432 days


#12 posted 10-27-2011 04:04 AM

Woodworkersworld.net

Saw a great review from another jock harrywho about this site so I ordered a dovetail bit for my Leigh jig and I was very happy with the product, speed of delivery, and price. Not only that, the owner Alan personally sends emails and responds. Even followed up with an email a few weeks after to make sure all was well. I won’t buy a bit from anywhere else now.

CR1 just had a great experience as well. If you are looking for bits this is the site to go with IMHO.

http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/2429

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2121 days


#13 posted 10-27-2011 04:28 AM

I have quite a few router bits, some are mid range for occasional needs and the rest are higher end bits. MLCS bits are good and fulfill the need for bits you don’t have any punishing daily long term usage. Bosch are good, as are Freud and Milwaukee (Freud’s). Whiteside are very good heavy duty bits. Amana, for me are the Rolls Royce of router bits, superb long lasting heavy duty precision bits – the best.

HF bits, I wouldn’t touch with a 10’ pole.

Probably the best deal around is Milwaukee, as they are the very same Freud bits with a different logo, made by Freud, and are cheaper than Freud.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5512 posts in 2062 days


#14 posted 10-27-2011 05:03 AM

Roger – I’d almost forgotten that Freud made several of the Milwaukee bits. About a year ago I bought a 3-1/2” horizontal panel raiser that has the Freud 2+2 “quadra cut” technology for $10 from Amazon! Haven’t tried it yet, but it was a whole lot cheaper than the red one!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View spamfilterman's profile

spamfilterman

147 posts in 1708 days


#15 posted 10-27-2011 05:21 AM

Me too with picking up the Milwaukee/Freud bits when they were on heavy sale at Amazon… I think I got that same panel raiser, and a few other high quality bits. I with I would’ve picked up more.

View Pete_Jud's profile

Pete_Jud

424 posts in 2439 days


#16 posted 10-27-2011 05:36 AM

If you have to spend that money at the big box store, then bosch and Porter cable bits are to be considered, I do have a couple. I am mostly Whiteside, and Freud, that the big box does not carry. I don’t buy sets, and buy my bits as needed. Might be inclined to upgrade your router using that money as well. I also don’t buy many 1/4 inch shanks as well. 1/2 inch shanks have less chatter, and are stronger. The big box stores around here have very few 1/2 inch shank bits.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View thiel's profile

thiel

359 posts in 1978 days


#17 posted 10-28-2011 02:39 AM

Like a couple people above, I’d recommend buying a whole set. Since you’re not doing production work, the variety/availablity will be more important than durability, and if you learn which bits you use the most, you’ll be able to buy better versions of those. 10 years ago I bought a cheap set on ebay ($30 or so…) and even now I occasionally go back and grab one of those bits because it’s a profile I haven’t ever used or upgraded.

Most of the cheaper bits are made at pretty much the same quality level anyway.

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

View AKDuctTape's profile

AKDuctTape

3 posts in 1095 days


#18 posted 10-28-2011 11:57 PM

I bought one of the skil sets from lowes. I like it and have used the straight bits and roundover bits alot. There are some bits in the set I don’t think I will ever use. When I bought my router I had one project in mind with just a straight bit. Having the set has helped me be creative with projects and using my router.

Often I find it’s hard to know what specific tools you need for a project. I find myself having to buy new tools as I work. My point is it’s nice to have a selection of router bits when you don’t Know what you will need. I always hate having to run to the store to buy one tool or wait for the one tool I need to finish a project.

Anyway I’ve had good luck with the bit set. I will upgrade the bits I know I will use.

-- http://ducttape-alaska.blogspot.com/

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1684 days


#19 posted 10-29-2011 03:01 AM

For a straight, try a spiral bit. They are nice.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1379 days


#20 posted 10-29-2011 03:28 AM

Knot, Am I hearing you correctly? You got a Freud panel raiser for $10? KnotScot for the friggin win. I’m smelling what Rex is cooking. If the wallet’s fat, Amana all day; if not, MLCS. With 100 Lowes bucks to shed, I’d stay out of the router bit aisle.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View jim C's profile

jim C

1455 posts in 1785 days


#21 posted 10-29-2011 03:41 AM

I just bought my first Whiteside ogee bit to recut some cabinet doors I had to narrow down. I can see why everyone likes them. What a great bit. Cuts are smooth as silk, no burns 1/2” shank.
I’m sold. With what I do, these will last a lifetime. Quality +

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2121 days


#22 posted 10-29-2011 04:13 AM

Come on Al, I’m a poor old dude – I’m married aren’t I?, you are just a single playboy.
Besides that I have Scottish blood in me (Bruce), remember? I am so tight they say my ass squeaks when I walk.
The Amana bits I have were a bargain, I’m really good at finding bargains, and I purchase about 200 brand new Amana router bits for $100. Some of them are large, all of them are expensive bits. They were being adverised at $5 each, so I talked them into $100 the lot – cash right now. They took it and really really really happy. The bits I have used are superb and I looked up the bits in an Amana catalog to see the cost and was really really really really happy.
Most of the Freud and Milwaukee bits I purchased from Amazon – best price anywhere.

I stay away from bits made by such makers as: Happy Sun bits, Great Wall bits, Dragon bits, Wing bits and Wong bits etc.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1379 days


#23 posted 10-29-2011 04:20 AM

We’re all poor, Rex, or working on it. I thought that squeak was a rusty spur. I might not know my Wing from my Wong but I know you scored on that Amana buy;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2121 days


#24 posted 10-29-2011 04:22 AM

Al, What else would you expect from a REX

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

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