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Forum topic by wookie posted 02-09-2011 08:10 PM 1851 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View wookie's profile


154 posts in 3253 days

02-09-2011 08:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I just set up a router and router table. I want to do edge proflies and picture frames. Router is 2 hp varlable speed and accepts 1/4” and 1/2” colletts. My question is, what bits can’t you do without? I am on a limited budget and would like to start out with 4 or 5 bits. Which bits are made best and perform best for someone on a budget? Should I use 1/2 or 1/4 shank? Looking at Grizzley and seen some 1” face profiling bit for picture frames, can that be an option for dressing up my frames? Thanks Jocks looking forward to your feedback. Jack

-- Wookie=Wood Rookie

11 replies so far

View nikko18's profile


15 posts in 2861 days

#1 posted 02-09-2011 08:31 PM

In general you want to go with 1/2” shank bits, more surface area to grip. But that said, if you are beginning I would suggest buying a cheap set with a wide array of bits, Then for the ones you use a lot replace them with good quality bits. Just my 2c

-- Time flys like an arrow, fruit flies like a bannana

View CharlieM1958's profile


16277 posts in 4388 days

#2 posted 02-09-2011 08:49 PM

I agree with the 1/2” shanks. The bits I would recommend : rabbet, two different size cove, two different size roundover, a chamfering bit, a couple different size straight bits, and a roman ogee for decorative edges.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3020 days

#3 posted 02-09-2011 09:07 PM

I like Charlie’s list—well thought out. Half shank bits cut better—less wobble. I don’t agree with cheap bits. They’re no bargain, they’ll dull quicker, the bearings will fail sooner and—heartbreak ahead—burn your valuable wood.

The problem is that anyone can say “carbide” but there’s carbide and then there’s carbide and we consumers can’t tell one from another.

All the quality bit manufacturers will have the profiles that Charlie suggested. Personally I rely on Whitesides, DML and Infinity.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3440 days

#4 posted 02-09-2011 09:13 PM

I’ll add my vote for the 1/2” shanks….they don’t break or bend as easy as 1/4” and tend to be much more sturdy…Also, usually it is about the same price for either size. I also agree that a good assorted set will give you an idea of what bits you will find most useful….you can find alot of these on Amazon. Charlie also gives a great list of commonly needed bits…but it really depends on what type of projects you will be doing…..There are several types that are usefull for different purposes….such as joinery bits, pattern bits, flush cut bits and profile bits (and that is not an entire list).

There are several premium bit manufacturers that you can purchase the bits you find that you use most frequently – Whiteside being one of the best…followed very closely by Freund, MLSC/Katana, Amana…etc. Keep an eye out for sales as you can get bits at great discounts now and then.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16277 posts in 4388 days

#5 posted 02-10-2011 02:57 AM

Reggie mentioned a flush trim bit. I actually meant to include that in my list… I use one of those a lot.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3180 days

#6 posted 02-10-2011 03:11 AM

Yeah, my flushtrim is probably my most used bit actually…at least recently…

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View bigike's profile


4054 posts in 3458 days

#7 posted 02-10-2011 03:20 AM

these are the only ones I can say

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View tommyt654's profile


122 posts in 3618 days

#8 posted 02-10-2011 05:53 AM

These guys are having a 25% off sale on Freud and CMT. I have the CMT set and its awesome but I paid more than these prices 2 yrs ago and mine are still in great shape,

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 3006 days

#9 posted 02-10-2011 06:08 AM

Yes – 1/2 inch are better for all the reasons mentioned, but Nikko 18 is the advise worth most for you right now. I started with a good set of 1/4 Hickory bits and still use them 10 years later. But this post is about you, not me. You’re on a budget and just feeling your way around the router world. Sounds like you got a decent machine and a good set will do you fine for now. As you get more experience you’ll discover what bits you use the most and you’ll want to replace those with good bits.

As for your picture frame question, a 1” bit will be a lot of facing for frames. I do picture frames and use small profile bits from my set. A quick picture frame lesson… rout a long piece of wood and then cut the pieces from it. This is not a router advise, but when cutting your pieces, you need 2 things. The angle needs to be a perfect 45 degree angle and the opposite sides (2 sides) or (top + bottom) need to be exactly the same length. a 1/64 inch difference will throw you off.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 3305 days

#10 posted 02-10-2011 08:21 AM

I wanted to buy a Multi-Form bit but the price was just to high for me to justify. One night surfin the web I found it for 32.00 shipped to my door on sale 2-1/4” D x 1-7/8” CL x 1/2” BD x 5/16” R x 3-3/4” OL, Classic Multi-Form, Whiteside #3342 I wanted the smaller one also but they wanted $69 for it. I just checked & it’s on Clearance! $88. ??? Where I come from clearence was alot cheaper than on sale

The smaller one is on sale for $76.00 1-3/8” D x 1” CL x 1/4” BD x 3/16” R x 2-3/4” OL, Classic Multi-Form, Whiteside #3340

Bigger bit #3342 sale 32.00 Clearence $88 ???

Small bit #3340 sale 69. now 79.

What ever you do shop around…..

-- Rick

View Myles Standridge's profile

Myles Standridge

72 posts in 3112 days

#11 posted 02-12-2011 12:01 AM

If budget is an issue then you really need to try these, they’re the same Taiwan bits Eagle used to sell years ago, really decent quality for a really good price.

Magnate bits,

-- Average people have wishes and dreams. Confident people have plans and goals.

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