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"Professional" Woodworker Router Bit Set

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Review by rivox1 posted 05-08-2013 05:02 AM 4568 views 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Hello Jocks,

As a beginner woodworker I needed a set of router bits, but didn’t want to take on a second mortgage to be able to afford a premium set, so I decided to buy this bit set in order to try out different bits. My line of thinking was to see which ones I used the most so that I could buy one by one the most indispensable ones of a better quality.

I picked up this set for a little over $100. It contains 75 pieces and at first glance looks really nice.

On my daily vocabulary the phrase “piece of crap” is not one that I use often… but in this case I must say it fits perfectly to the situation!

I installed the brand new bit into the router and prepared to test in on a piece of scrap wood. After less than 2 seconds of contact the first bit broke in half. I thought it was bad luck of the draw and perhaps I just got one defective piece.

The second one: BAM! Also broke in half!

The third one: the bearing flew off pushing the bit into the wood and POW! Also broke in half…

At this point I was starting to fear for my safety, so I decided not to try my luck with a fourth bit.

I suppose that to some of the more experienced woodworkers in here my results will seem obvious and may even say something like: “But off course, just look at them… they’re crap”, but I suppose that as a beginner woodworker I’m expected to make this kind of mistakes.

If you are a newbie such as myself and happen to be reading this, use my near death experience as a cautionary tale and stay away from these “Professional” bits.

I will continue my search for an affordable yet decent set of bits and will keep you posted!

Cheers and safe woodworking!

-- Cheers and Safe Woodworking!




View rivox1's profile

rivox1

30 posts in 608 days



27 comments so far

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1221 posts in 1376 days


#1 posted 05-08-2013 05:47 AM

I dont know how much of a beginner you are, so if you take offence, I have not intended to do so.
The bits i use most often are 1/4,1/2” and 3/4” straight bits. Second most used are top and bottom bearing pattern bits. Third most used are a set of round over bits. you can pick these up as sets for less than $150. i also have several cabinet door profile sets, but unless you are building cabinet doors you wont need them. Get my top three and you can get individual bits as needed.
Glad you were not hurt.

j

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

1242 posts in 777 days


#2 posted 05-08-2013 07:30 AM

I have had only one bit break on me, but as a result I use 1/4” shanks only when unavoidable. Do be sure that the bit is up to speed before engaging with the wood. Otherwise, you can break bits pretty easily.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View ScottStewart's profile

ScottStewart

114 posts in 884 days


#3 posted 05-08-2013 11:24 AM

I feel your pain. When I started I almost bought a set like this. While reading the forums and asking about what I should buy I came across a 7 piece set from whiteside based on a FWWM article. It’s available for about $95 on amazon here, and it is a great beginner set.

Thansk for the review.

View Sailor's profile

Sailor

534 posts in 2017 days


#4 posted 05-08-2013 12:22 PM

Sorry to hear about your experience. Even though it sounds like these bits were horrible, you gave them a 5 star rating any way?

I agree with jumbojack, get a smaller more expensive set. I’d check Amazon maybe or see if the woodworking websites (Rockler, Woodcraft) have any on clearance or closeout.

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! http://woodworkingtrip.blogspot.com/ Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SailingAndSuch

View wbrisett's profile

wbrisett

147 posts in 1100 days


#5 posted 05-08-2013 12:43 PM

Wow, I’ve never had a bit break. If you are looking for an inexpensive set of multi-bits and don’t want to mortgage the farm, check out MLCS and American Eagle. They aren’t in the same league as Whiteside or CMT, but for those occasions when I need a bit that I’m not going to use often, I generally turn to MLCS.

View Jeff in Huntersville's profile

Jeff in Huntersville

402 posts in 1946 days


#6 posted 05-08-2013 12:49 PM

Thanks for the review. Definitely a brand to steer clear of.
A couple of things. First you gave the product a five star rating which means the best. Perhaps a one star rating is better per your review. Second where did you get these bits? It’s a brand I’m not familiar with. For me I go with the brands already mentioned but would add Infinity Tools, Lee Valley and a few others. It’s always true: you get what you pay for.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3991 posts in 2415 days


#7 posted 05-08-2013 12:58 PM

Why 5 stars?

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Marty5965's profile

Marty5965

158 posts in 697 days


#8 posted 05-08-2013 04:44 PM

Hope you returned them. Glad there were no injuries. Where did you get them?

-- Marty, Columbus, OH, learning every day....

View rivox1's profile

rivox1

30 posts in 608 days


#9 posted 05-08-2013 05:05 PM

Hello Jocks,

Sorry for giving this 5 stars. I have already fixed it to the appropriate rating of 1 star.

These particular bits were purchased at Amazon.com, although since I got them two weeks ago they are out of stock… I have, however, seen them at Lowe’s also.

I did return them ona account of ear extremely poor quality!

Thank you all for your recommendations! I will definitely look into them to pick a better set!

JUMBOJACK: I would never take offense from a recommendation that comes from a person trying to help, so thank you!

I do not plan to make cabinet doors just yet, but I will look at the other recommendations.

I’m not an absolute newbie since I’ve done a few things here and there, but I am definitely new to techniques such as routing.

Thanks again for your comments!

-- Cheers and Safe Woodworking!

View Mike67's profile

Mike67

96 posts in 2088 days


#10 posted 05-08-2013 05:12 PM

Curious. Which bits broke and what were you doing with them – how deep were you cutting, what kind of wood, etc?

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1800 days


#11 posted 05-08-2013 05:17 PM

I have used a cheap 60 or so pieces set from Harbor Freight for years and it served me well so far.
I just look for it, it seems to be no longer available.

This the brand of this set, so that we can stay away?

-- Bert

View rivox1's profile

rivox1

30 posts in 608 days


#12 posted 05-08-2013 05:30 PM

MIKE67: I wasn’t cutting anything exotic, just a standard piece of 2×4 pine from Home Depot. The bits that broke were: 1st, 1/4” straight bit . 2nd, 3/8” Round nose, and 3rd, a 1-1/4” slot cutter with bottom bearing. All of the cuts were at about 12,000 RPM and 1/2” depth.

B2RTCH: Yes, the brand name is just “Professional Woodworker”. They come in a wooden briefcase-style box that has a clear top.

I have in fact seen the ones from harbor freight, I never would have thought they were any good. On your recommendation, I’ll go buy a set and see how they do!

Thank you!

-- Cheers and Safe Woodworking!

View sixstring's profile

sixstring

296 posts in 995 days


#13 posted 05-08-2013 05:44 PM

Yikes. I have the same set which I bought along with my Bosch 2.5hp router over a year ago at Home Depot and my experience has been completely different. I’m a newbie myself, especially using routers. I first started using the flush trim bit (is that what it’s called?) to trim the edgebanding on TS outfeed table and aside from being a little sloppy with guiding the router along, the bit and the router did a good job. I’ve gotten more used to handling the router now and have also used the straight bits to make dados, and the roman ogee and other trim bits for some projects.

I can tell that these bits will not be staying sharp for very long and they overall look shoddy in terms of quality… I’d give it 3 stars for just getting the job done at such a low price while also letting me try out different bits. But I havent had any break on me and I’ve cut oak, walnut and old growth doug fir so far without any real trouble.

So… I either got lucky or you got real unlucky. Just saying…

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View Mike67's profile

Mike67

96 posts in 2088 days


#14 posted 05-08-2013 05:46 PM

Rivox,
It could be that your depth of cut was a little much. A good rule of thumb is to cut no deeper than the shank of the bit. So for these bits, you’d never want to go deeper than 1/4. I’ve broken a few 1/4 straight bits by ignoring this rule and you can break even a top of the line bit doing it. When using straight bits for mortising and such, try taking several passes at 1/8 inch each to work to the depth needed. I’d especially follow the rule when using your profile bits because they have to remove so much material. Also, because 1/4 inch shank bits can flex when cutting, the less strain you put on them, the less they’ll flex, and you’ll get a cleaner cut.
Hope that helps.
Mike

View MrFid's profile

MrFid

569 posts in 656 days


#15 posted 05-08-2013 05:50 PM

Hi there,

Thanks for the review. Negative reviews are often more helpful for the rest of us than the positive ones.

First: Any bit that breaks is dangerous and should be returned from where it came. The only excuse for breaking a bit in my book is that it has gotten so well used and worn that from stresses it cracks. Ideally, inspect bits before chucking them up. Not to sound like the safety police but I am a firm believer that next time you might not be so lucky.

When you route, I consider even half an inch to be a deep cut, especially for a slot cut (fully half the bit in contact with the wood). Maybe not bit-breakingly deep, but deeper than I’d be comfortable with. Maybe others disagree with me, but I’d start with a 1/4” pass, then flush it out with a second pass. Better to take your time than force something. I nearly always take multiple passes with the router.
It’s possible that cheap, crappy 2×4s could have caused angst with your bits if they were full of knots (like all the ones I seem to find are).
ROUTE SLOWLY!! There’s no rush. I know that when I started routing I felt that I needed pressure on the cut, and I needed to route fast. Not saying you did this, but let the bit do the work. You should be able to feed stock into the router with one finger (don’t feed your finger to the router! :)) if you’re setting it up correctly.

Please don’t take any of these comments as criticisms, just sharing some lessons that I learned (some the hard way!) Thanks again for the review, I’ll definitely stay away from these bits.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

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