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What's your 2 bits on router bits?

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Forum topic by Jeff posted 2583 days ago 3851 views 2 times favorited 44 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jeff

1011 posts in 2593 days


2583 days ago

What are your thoughts on router bit manufacturers? Dick Cain has a good thread going on about http://lumberjocks.com/topics/104 but I’m curious what people’s thoughts are on the bit manufacturers. Specifically, what one company do you prefer or swear by? Do you think it matters if you take care of them and don’t burn them up and keep them tuned? This topic fascinates me because there seems to be really tight competition in this market segment.

I’m curious about:
Amana
Freud
CMT
MLCS
Whiteside
Eagle America
Price Cutter
Rockler
Woodcraft
Any others you prefer

(Can you tell I’ve been inundated with catalogs in the mail? I’m sure you all have too.)

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN


44 replies so far

View Drew1House's profile

Drew1House

425 posts in 2587 days


#1 posted 2583 days ago

I think if I am going to spend th money I am going to go with Amana and Freud…. (Interesting you have those first… I am just really experimenting with my Router and bought a set of 60 for about $30 on eBay… they are junk but it is giving me an opportunity to try out many different bits that I would never have sprung for at $20 ish plus each…

Drew

-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View Bill Cowan's profile

Bill Cowan

110 posts in 2605 days


#2 posted 2583 days ago

All I can say is, I’ve had very good results with CMT. Now the bits area normally 50 each that I use, and my only PIA is that I usually cut my darn finger taken the stupid thing from its holder.

Keep’em clean and they tend to cut well and last. I make a lot of boxes, where they come in handy.

-- ICN, Bill, (http://www.coachbillcowan.com)

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18613 posts in 2659 days


#3 posted 2583 days ago

that’s a really good idea Drew.
The bits can break while you are checking them out and that’s ok.. all you really want to know is if you’ll use it on a regular basis—then you can buy the “real” one.
Good idea

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View cabinetman's profile

cabinetman

144 posts in 2642 days


#4 posted 2582 days ago

Here’s my .02. I will not buy a HSS (steel) bits, only carbide tipped. I’ve found the solid carbide bits are brittle and tend to break. As for buying sets of bits, I still have brand new bits that came in sets I bought 30 years ago, and have never used. I would rather spend the money on what I’ll use. As for brands, I have no real preference except for a sale item from a top brand that is appreciably less than another top brand.

DEBBIE - Don’t think it’s OK for a bit to break. It’s not pretty what pieces of steel traveling 10,000 – 25,000 RPM’s can do, or go through.

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18613 posts in 2659 days


#5 posted 2582 days ago

good point re: breaking.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 2673 days


#6 posted 2582 days ago

I have a nice set of Freud bits I bought when I picked up my first router. Love them and wouldn’t give them up for anything.

I also have a ton of the WoodCraft anti-kickback bits, and they’re just as good, as far as my experience goes. I once read somewhere that most anti-kickback bits on the market (Woodcraft, Rockler, Dewalt, etc.) are all from the same manufacturer, just colored and labeled for the different brands. I don’t find that difficult to believe… And if you do believe that, just wait until WoodCraft has their $5 router bit sale and pick up 20 better-than-average bits for $100.

Oh, and try to buy 1/2” bits when possible – smoother cuts and safer to use. Well… stick with the 1/2” bits to some extent. If you have a palm router, you need to have some 1/4” bits if you want to use it! I made that mistake, buying 1/2” bits for the first two years, and then picked up a Bosch palm router for $40 when a woodworker was shutting down shop, and quickly realized I could only use the two carbide bits he’d thrown in with it because the rest of my bits were 1/2”.

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2798 days


#7 posted 2582 days ago

I’m like cabinetman, I have a 30 piece set, & have only used about half of them, but when you first start out, you really don’t know what you’ll be using.
I have the same experience with my carving chisels, some I hardly ever use.
I have full sets of both 1/4” & 1/2”, but rarelly use my 1/4” anymore. I have not broken an 1/2” bit yet.
I’ve been buying my bits from MLCS, for years now, & have gotten good service out of them. One nice thing about them is the free shipping.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View BassBully's profile

BassBully

259 posts in 2596 days


#8 posted 2582 days ago

Caliper,

I heard a seminar person state that the there’s not much difference between the higher end bits because everything is made to such high standards these days that it’s really difficult to tell them apart. That’s why there’s strong competition. These larger companies pay high dollar for quality manufacturing machines to stay competitive. Most carbide materials are made the same and most of the steel is made the same. I would suggest using the different manufacturers to find your preference.

I’ve use Freud bits and haven’t had a problem. I’ve used cheap champion carbide bits and haven’t had a problem.

The thing I consider when looking at bits are the number of blades (the more the merrier) and whether I want a straight cut or a shear cut and the direction of the shear cut. Also, flute cut and direction of the flute. Direction is important depending on whether the router is mounted in the table or hand held during operation.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2736 days


#9 posted 2582 days ago

Well I have four different sets from CMT and the carbide tips somehow broke off of my Stile/Rail bit set and now is no good at all. I’m not happy because as a set, this is the most important set i have because if one dosen’t work then the “matched” part is no good either.

View Bill Cowan's profile

Bill Cowan

110 posts in 2605 days


#10 posted 2582 days ago

Obi, ,my abreviation was an expletive everytime I cut myself from trying to pull one of those CMT’s out of it’s holder. Although, I’ll keep the cut there evertime, then when using the router.. ;-)

-- ICN, Bill, (http://www.coachbillcowan.com)

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

11987 posts in 2596 days


#11 posted 2582 days ago

Obi are you able to get a single bit to replace the broken one?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 2593 days


#12 posted 2582 days ago

All, thanks for your feedback. It’s quite helpful.

Sorry I have appeared to be absent from the conversation. The day job is keeping me a little busy (I monitor the emails at work but didn’t have the time to add any replies…)

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View tooljunky's profile

tooljunky

34 posts in 2609 days


#13 posted 2581 days ago

If you get a chance try these bits, I have owned and still use most of the bits you have listed above. But these Magenate bits seem to stay sharpe longer and are made of better carbide. www.magnate.net. I started using them about 4 years ago, but they are worth the extra $

-- vlee2@ford.com

View JJackson's profile

JJackson

104 posts in 2581 days


#14 posted 2580 days ago

Morning guys,
When it comes to your basic bits, I try to buy the Woodcraft bits when they are on sale. When it come to specialized bits, I want to buy them only once, so I buy Whiteside. Although when it comes to Whiteside, CMT, Freud and other top brands, I don’t believe it really matters.

-- Jeff, Indiana

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2660 days


#15 posted 2579 days ago

I have bought Woodcraft and MCLS bits, both of which seem fine. Like Ethan said, I try to buy most of my bits with the 1/2” shank, which provides a more stable bit.

One of the woodworking magazines had an article recently on router bits. They tested both expensive and inexpensive router bits. They noted a few items to look for on the more expensive bits. They concluded the inexpensive bits do have their place. While they may keep sharp as long as the other bits, the use you get from them may justify the cost. If you use a bit just a few times, the inexpensive one may be the way to go. If it is a constant use, the expensive will win out.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

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