MLCS Router Bit Sets

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Forum topic by steve223 posted 01-17-2012 01:53 PM 8692 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 3064 days

01-17-2012 01:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router

Does anyone know anything about these 30, 45, and 66 piece router bit sets offered by MLCS? I’m about to pull the trigger on the 45 piece set but the price almost seems to good to be true? Any input would be appreciated.

-- steve223

19 replies so far

View nardir's profile


17 posts in 2420 days

#1 posted 01-17-2012 03:04 PM


I asked this same question not to long ago on here and the general opinion was that buying a set is not really that great an idea. Most of the bits you will most likely never use. I as well as a large portion of the people on here recommend avoiding the sets and only buying the bits you actually need, and maybe instead of buying a lower quality set of 45 you can get top end bits for exactly what you need.

-- If she asks to help, give her a piece of scrap and a sanding block:)

View KnickKnack's profile


1088 posts in 3560 days

#2 posted 01-17-2012 03:18 PM

I’d agree with what’s said above, if you know what you need.
I started with the multi-piece set that came with my ultra-cheapo router. Then I bought a medium quality multi-bit set. Sure, some of them I haven’t used (yet), but I have used some bits that I would never have ordered on their own – it was nice to just be able to go and “try a bit”.
Now I buy only good, individual bits – they do cut a lot better, but I don’t regret having a choice of bits when I was starting out, and even now I sometimes uses the “less-used” bits from the multi-set.
My situation may be slightly different to yours, in that I have to order my bits mail order from another country – I can’t just “pop down the shop” to get that 12mm (or whatever) bit when I need it for a project.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View Alan Robertson's profile

Alan Robertson

66 posts in 3912 days

#3 posted 01-17-2012 04:33 PM

And I agree with EVERYTHING said above. I bought the 66-piece set 10/15 yrs ago. Never regretted the purchase. High-end bits definately cut better but unless you are shapeing a lot of wood to a particular cut, they may not be cost effective. I have both and can tell the differance. Some of the set (50% or better) are still in wax. But they are there instantly if yiou need them. Nice to have a choice, too. Get a diamond lapping stone to polish the carbide. Makes a big differance and only takes a minute. I’ve used mine in my shaper as well as the routers for that odd cut when needed. Saved quite a bit over cutters.
May not work for you but it works for me.
Just saw the price—think it’s doubled since I purchased. Still think you would have no regrets. Would recommend 1/2” shanks. Good luck.

-- MrAl

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

375 posts in 3076 days

#4 posted 01-17-2012 10:03 PM

I have the 66 piece set and it is convenient to have a good selection, but like everyone else says, “most of the bits will never be used”.

The bits in the set trend towards the small size. Just last week I needed a 5/8” roundover, but the set only includes up to 1/2”. I ended up buying a single MLCS brand roundover bit for around $17 and the quality appears to be much better than the ones in the set. And this was just for the MLCS brand. They also have a premium line for about double the price that should be another step up in quality.

I recommend just getting a small set, or possibly a few bits that you know you are likely to use. A few straight bits, a few roundover bits, and some flush cutting bits would satisfy about 90% of my needs. In my opinion, MLCS is a descent enough brand at a great price. And they have free shipping so it is easy to buy the pieces you need if you can plan about a week ahead of when you will need it. Buy the premium brands if you know you will be using one bit for a lot of cutting.

-- Steve

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3168 days

#5 posted 01-17-2012 10:22 PM

If you’re truly just starting out with a router, I think it can be a good idea to buy a pretty complete set of rather inexpensive bits.

That gives you the chance to figure out which ones YOU will use most often, and then—as those wear out—invest in very high quality bits of those profiles.

But I can’t see buying a very complete set of very high quality bits, if it’s likely that you’ll only use a fraction of them.


-- -- Neil

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 2587 days

#6 posted 01-17-2012 10:24 PM

I like my 66 piece set the quality is decent and knowing when I start a project I will have every bit I need 90% of the time is cool.I was buying the bits add-hok but it got expensive because I wasn’t willing to wait a week to order bits I needed for a particular project and I ended buying Bosh bits at HD witch I think are over priced.But that’s just my two BITS.

View knotscott's profile


8006 posts in 3370 days

#7 posted 01-17-2012 10:35 PM

The MLCS bits themselves are decent Asian imports…not the best, but dependable and do a good job. But a large set means higher cash outlay for many near duplicates and oddball bits you aren’t likely to use, meaning in the end you get quantity over quality for the price of quality. The 15 piece MLCS set for $40 shipped makes more sense to me if you want to keep cost in check. If you’re going to spend over $100 for bits, I’d get a small top shelf set of the primary bits that you’ll use most from Whiteside, Infinity, Freud, CMT, Eagle America or Amana….they’ll last longer, cut better, vibrate less, can be resharpened, have better bearings, better carbide, more carbide, etc. Then buy specialty bits as you need them. Get 1/2” bits whenever feasible.

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

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2946 days

#8 posted 01-18-2012 01:36 AM

I bought a smaller set of the MLCS bits and they worked fine. Never had any issues with them and they did a good job. I have since parted ways with the router, but if I were to buy another set, I would definitely buy from them again.

-- Mike

View knotscott's profile


8006 posts in 3370 days

#9 posted 01-21-2012 03:03 PM

There’s been some good responses here from several folks, but none by the OP. It’s your post Steve, what’s the scoop?

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

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3657 days

#10 posted 01-21-2012 03:29 PM

I bought the 45-piece set from MLCS about 4 years ago. I think I have only used about 5 or 6 of the bits out of that set.

Hindsight being what it is, I think I might have been better off just buying higher quality bits (e.g. Whiteside) as I needed them.


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

View JohnnyM's profile


39 posts in 2327 days

#11 posted 01-22-2012 12:55 AM

Picked up the bowl making router setup from MLCS before the holidays to make some bowls as gifts for a few friends. While I was using the router bit on the 4th bowl the guide bearing came apart and sent the ball bearings everywhere. I’ve been at this a while and have had tool failures over time but never after the 4th use of something. I emailed them with the situation and they do offer a 3 year satisfaction policy. I boxed everything up and sent it back to them and did get a refund for everything but the return shipping. My suggestion would be get better quality bits as suggested above.

-- ~~ John . . . . . . . . . Against the Grain Woodworking & Design, LLC

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10477 posts in 3423 days

#12 posted 01-22-2012 02:19 AM

I have the same set up. Along with the collet extender. So far mine has performed well enough to complete 12 chip ‘n’ dip bowls. I will surely keep an ear open for any malfunction of the bearings. Thanks for the heads up.
I’ve purchased quite a few bits from MLCS and have had no problems….knock on wood. Until the spiral I just got. It dulled in 5/8 oak after 8 cuts of about 6” in length. I stepped the cuts three times. (5/8 divided by three) and the bit is trashed.
I’m going back to Whiteside.

-- 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 cracknpop's profile


294 posts in 2343 days

#13 posted 01-22-2012 04:00 AM

When I decided to add the router to my woodshop toolbox, I bought a 15 piece set from Woodline (for $39 I think) while at a Woodworking Show with the personal commitment, when one of the ‘cheaper’ bits wore out, I would replace it with a higher quality bit. Having a set allowed me to experiment and learn how to combine profiles to make a new look. The bits I use the most are now Whiteside bits. Oh, and I bought a good spiral upcut flush trim bit. I did something similar with buying a 6 pc cabinet set, have since bought a better quality rail and stile set.

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

View Bobsboxes's profile


1367 posts in 2658 days

#14 posted 01-22-2012 05:32 AM

I have bought sets, they help you have a startting point. I have bits from most all, eagle,mlcs, cmt, freud, porter cable, rockler, grizzly and several other. I try to watch sales, buy as I need and for each job. I also try to add in cost of speciality bits in the job I have to buy them for. That said get some good cleaner and bearing lube. Bits will last if clean and dont put bearing in cleaner, they dont last long if bearing is to clean. I have much better luck with 1/2” shank bits, also.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View steve223's profile


20 posts in 3064 days

#15 posted 01-22-2012 02:49 PM

Thanks to everyone for thier input. I decided against the set. I opted for a single frued 1/2 shank classic cove and bead bit for the profile I want to put on edge of a small shelf my wife wants me to build. I’ve always bought quality tools and I see no reason to stray from that now. I’ve decided that buying bits for the project that I’m doing at the moment and buying quality is the way to go. Thanks again, it’s always good to talk to experienced people first.

-- steve223

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