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1/4 vs 1/2

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Forum topic by silverdog posted 1230 days ago 995 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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silverdog

20 posts in 1259 days


1230 days ago

iam going to order a 15pc router bet set from mcls on sale for 39.95. from what i have read and advise its a good starter set. what is the advanage of 1/2 in vs 1/4 in bits. they are both the same price.


20 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1282 posts in 1405 days


#1 posted 1230 days ago

smoother operation. More beef

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5376 posts in 2025 days


#2 posted 1230 days ago

Depends on the bit. “Most” straight bits are OK with 1/4” shanks. I prefer 1/2” shanks on winged bits, even round overs. Also, 1/2” shanks are heaver and dampen the shock to the bit as it hits the wood. I’ve bent and/or broken a few 1/4” shanks, so I’m leery of them.
Consequently, nearly all of mine are 1/2”. I hate changing collets and those 1/4” inserts are also a pain and, if you don’t get the good ones, the bit often slips.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View bigike's profile

bigike

4031 posts in 1884 days


#3 posted 1230 days ago

1/4” bits sometimes can chatter across the wood and leave a rough finish it’s always better to get the 1/2” bits if at all possible. This was my experience with a 1/4 flush cutting bit just before the shank bent still in the router collet.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 1866 days


#4 posted 1230 days ago

Less chance that a bit will bend or break on the 1/2 inch…..more beef as Cabmaker says….they stay better in the collet….easier to tighten…...I always buy 1/2 inch if they are available. I get the 1/4 when I can’t get the 1/2.

There are only a few drawbacks to the 1/2 inch…..one is they take more space in your drawer or bit case….the other is that some mfg’s charge a few bucks more for them.

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

View Pete_Jud's profile

Pete_Jud

423 posts in 2349 days


#5 posted 1230 days ago

I only order 1/2 inch bits. They are stronger, and less chatter.

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

View silverdog's profile

silverdog

20 posts in 1259 days


#6 posted 1230 days ago

sounds like the decision is clear, 1/2 in. thanks everyone. LJ is once again is saving me money.

View Resurrected's profile

Resurrected

671 posts in 1288 days


#7 posted 1230 days ago

Chatter is the main reason usually cost is not any different or negligible.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View therookie's profile

therookie

887 posts in 1423 days


#8 posted 1230 days ago

I can agree with the 1/2” but if you only have a 1/4” router, then it is pointless

-- http://aewoodworks.webs.com

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1671 days


#9 posted 1230 days ago

Real simple question and answer. Push a 1/4” shaft a little too hard and you get a broken shaft. That is never a problem with a 1/2” shaft. I’ve learned this the hard way.

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

View surfin2's profile

surfin2

51278 posts in 1732 days


#10 posted 1230 days ago

Depends on the bit. “Most” straight bits are OK with 1/4” shanks. I prefer 1/2” shanks on winged bits 1/2” shanks are heaver and dampen the shock to the bit as it hits the wood.

I always buy 1/2 inch if they are available. I get the 1/4 when I can’t get the 1/2.

Go for the 1/2 _

-- Rick

View silverdog's profile

silverdog

20 posts in 1259 days


#11 posted 1230 days ago

ok now you got me scared, I just asumed all routers took 1/4 and 1/2 in bits. the model numbers I have are craftsmans 315175304 and 315175130. do they take both? sorry about this guys, I am new at this. I have already ordered the 1/2 in.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7223 posts in 2244 days


#12 posted 1230 days ago

When I was starting out I bought a big 1/2” router and
always bought the 1/2” cutters. I figured beafier was
better… then I discovered the laminate trimmer and later
the Festool OF 1000 -

.... and of course 1/2” bits don’t fit these little go-anywhere
routers.

If I were buying bits in sets I’d get 1/4” ones but only small
cutters. I’m a detail-oriented guy and I like light, maneuverable
routers for smaller details.

The 1/2” bits I’ve always bought one at a time on an as-needed
basis. I reckon I’d never use about half the 1/2” bits in a given
set. The 1/4” ones are more versatile for me.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 1866 days


#13 posted 1229 days ago

The majority of routers on the market will have a 1/2 and 1/4 collet set (in the USA). Trim Routers, two models of Festool and most European routers do not accept 1/2 (some have add on accessories for them though). If you have a standard router….then the 1/2 are fine…...if you don’t…then you will need to get the 1/4 or the metrics. I have a trim router and several 1/4 that I only use in it…...with the higher amp (or higher Hp) routers…..always get the bigger bits when available.

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

View BreakingBoardom's profile

BreakingBoardom

615 posts in 1677 days


#14 posted 1229 days ago

Do you have the owners manual for your router? It should say whether it takes both 1/2” & 1/4” or not. From trying to find that router online, I came across parts for the 315175340 (not the 315175304) and it only shows a part for 1/4” collet. Not sure if it’ll take 1/2” bits. Can anyone confirm? Anyone else that router?

-- Matt - http://breakingboardom.wordpress.com/

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5377 posts in 1828 days


#15 posted 1229 days ago

Always buy 1/2” shank bits unless the profile you need isn’t available in 1/2”. They are more stable, and MUCH stronger. I have broken more than a few 1/4” shank bits out of slight lapses in judgement that would not have even phased a 1/2” bit…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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