Harbour frieght router bits.

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Forum topic by Alexandre posted 06-17-2012 05:37 PM 5104 views 0 times favorited 60 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1417 posts in 2395 days

06-17-2012 05:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question router harbour frieght router bit

How are harbour frieght router bits?
They look like the one’s at my local canadian tire store for like half the price.

-- My terrible signature...

60 replies so far

View PineChopper's profile


188 posts in 2400 days

#1 posted 06-17-2012 05:45 PM

I’ve only tried them once.
They are cheap junk from China.
I’ll pay more and get the better quality stuff.
I buy according to ABC which is Anywhere But China.

View MrRon's profile


5202 posts in 3447 days

#2 posted 06-17-2012 05:47 PM

Most likely half the quality too. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would probably place them at a 3. That would be taking into account quality, price and value for the price.

View knotscott's profile


8150 posts in 3579 days

#3 posted 06-17-2012 05:48 PM

Unless they’re the only option available to you, they’re not worth risking life and limb for IMO. Router bits spin at greater than 20K rpms, and can shed carbide projectiles that can seriously injure you. Therefore router bits are an item that I don’t like to see people skimping on with the absolute lowest cost supplier if there are other reasonable choices. In the US, bargain bits like MLCS, Woodline, Stone Mountain, and Grizzly offer better quality alternatives at reasonable prices….they may not be as cheap as HF or may not be the absolute cheapest, but are a better and safer option. I’d check other places like , or Busy Bee first.

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

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 2395 days

#4 posted 06-17-2012 05:50 PM

Yeah, Those canadian tire ones seem better then the harbour frieght ones..
I still prefer freud though :O

-- My terrible signature...

View TheOldTimer's profile


226 posts in 3290 days

#5 posted 06-17-2012 05:54 PM

I have had good results from clamps and other non cutting tools from HF but as I said in a early post, I never buy cutting tools from HF.

-- TheOldTimer,Chandler Arizona

View a1Jim's profile


117340 posts in 3781 days

#6 posted 06-17-2012 05:59 PM

I’ve never bought any Hf router bits but my students and I have bought this set for a $1 each the can’t be beat. I’ve use mine for 3 years no problems.

You can also get them in 1/2” shank for close to the same price that’s what I have.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3202 days

#7 posted 06-17-2012 07:40 PM

They are fine for a profile you are only going to use occasionally. They will not be sharpened as well as a quality bit. They are not going to hold an edge nearly as long as a high quality bit. I use the same approach as with drill bits. Get the cheap assortment and replace the ones you use often with quality. It gives you a variety to choose from and doesn’t break the bank. Most of the assortments have profiles you might use once or twice. The ones that Jim pointed to are a great bargain.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View DonnyD's profile


49 posts in 2378 days

#8 posted 06-17-2012 09:06 PM

I would buy if your not going to use them alot or ask alot of them. Imo MLCS has the best deals and good bits . things to never buy from Hf 1. parachute 2. birth control

View bent's profile


311 posts in 3873 days

#9 posted 06-17-2012 11:24 PM

i have the same 1/2” set that jim linked to. i’ve used them for about 4 yrs, no problems at all. if you’re looking for a nice cheap set, they’re great.

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3190 days

#10 posted 06-18-2012 01:37 AM

I have a set of HF bits… nice to play around with profiles and see what you like, what you hate, what looks good.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2840 days

#11 posted 06-18-2012 04:18 AM

I bought a set for the first router bit set, and I still use them from time to time. Are they the best, no..but they work and are nice for profiles you rarely ever use.

View JarodMorris's profile


167 posts in 2579 days

#12 posted 06-18-2012 04:34 AM

I find it interesting that some of these responses have “most likely” or admit to not ever buying HF router bits. How then are you able to have an opinion to even respond? Would a woman ask a man what child birth is like?

HF is what it is. Seems there is a lot of hate in woodworking forums directed towards HF. We can’t all afford $200 for a hand plane and $30 for an ogee bit.

Everyone knows that HF quality across the board is not going to be as good as most (if not all) other companies. I agree, don’t plan on sharpening them when they get dull. If you don’t use them often, then they’ll probably be just fine for whatever your purpose is. As for those that warn about them coming apart and becoming projectiles, isn’t that a risk of anything spinning so fast? I’ve never heard of HF bits coming apart. Has anyone else here heard of this happening?

As I have said before, If you have a Motel 6 budget, don’t complain that its not the Ritz.

I’ll admit that when I went to buy a good set of raised panel door bits, I bought Freud from Woodcraft. Would the ones at HF been okay? Maybe. HF only had the style without a back cutter and I wanted the back cutter. Plus, I like the guys at my local Woodcraft and wanted to support them. I’m sure I could have found a Freud set online for cheaper. Maybe a lot cheaper. I don’t want the big box stores to become our only option for local woodworking purchases.

-- Dad: Someone was supposed to pick up his toys! Son: My name isn't "Someone".

View Woodknack's profile


12431 posts in 2584 days

#13 posted 06-18-2012 07:26 AM

Holy cow Jim! What a deal.

-- Rick M,

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2452 days

#14 posted 06-18-2012 12:23 PM

The ones Jim posted are available on Amazon for the same price. I have to agree with knotscott on this one. Go have a look at a decent quality router bit, like the freud ones at home depot, then compare them to what the HF looks like. To me, the HF ones look downright dangerous. I am not a “Harbor Freight sucks!” kind of guy, but I would steer clear from their router bits. If you look closely, you can actually see how poorly the carbide was brazed to the steel, and in some spots there will be no brazing at all. You can also see how incredibly thin the carbide is. For a super cheap set, these look ok. If you don’t need a big set and are just looking for a few bits, I’ve had really good luck with the wood river brand that woodcraft sells for cheap-o single use or rare use bits.


View EdwardR's profile


66 posts in 2458 days

#15 posted 06-18-2012 12:37 PM

I am not a Harbor Freight fan but do stop in from time to time. WHY a brick and Motor store employing my fellow residents keeping my local economy going. That said router bits are not on my purchase list when there .
We are only as good as our tools. the quality will show in the end.

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