Router Bit Sets - Ryobi, Ebay, American Vermont? Hobbyist

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Forum topic by PatrickIrish posted 01-14-2013 07:00 AM 4744 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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120 posts in 2067 days

01-14-2013 07:00 AM

Picked up a Bosch 1617 pluge and fixed kit. Lowes took the 20% Harbor Freight coupon, couldnt say no.

Now I need bits. I didnt know router bits were gold!

I’m a tinkerer hobyist looking to make gun racks, coffee tables and stuff like that.

How are these Ryobi bit sets? Or the MLCS sets on Amazon?

17 replies so far

View shelly_b's profile


850 posts in 2139 days

#1 posted 01-14-2013 07:35 AM

i have good luck with bosch. try amazon also, they have better deals on the better brands. i have never tried ryobi, but skill is junk and i beleive ryobi would be the equivalent. i would just get what bit you need when you need. it. you will eventually have a nice collection that will last a long time. it is VERY frustrating when you are putting the finishing touches on a project and get tearout b/c of a cheap bit!i have never tried mlcs. obviously frued is always good, and cmt seems good. and keep your eye out for sales! i got a few for half off at lowes even though i didnt need them at the time:)

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850 posts in 2139 days

#2 posted 01-14-2013 07:35 AM

they have more carbide so stay sharper for way longer too!

View runswithscissors's profile


2762 posts in 2047 days

#3 posted 01-14-2013 07:49 AM

What I don’t like about most sets is they have 1/4” shanks. Ever since one shattered on me (years ago, admittedly) I’ve avoided them whenever possible. I doubt if Ryobi even makes 1/2” shanks, as most (if not all) their routers are 1/4” collets.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2598 days

#4 posted 01-14-2013 08:13 AM

MLCS bits are ok for a starter set; if you go that route, replace your most used bits with quality bits.

My brand preference is whiteside. I get them most often from hartville tool. Freud and cmt are also great quality bits.

What I would do in your shoes is get the 15 piece mlcs set, and replace the most used bits with whitesides.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View knotscott's profile


8055 posts in 3397 days

#5 posted 01-14-2013 10:33 AM

A small MLCS set is a good starter set for not a lot of money….bigger sets have many duplicates and still end up costing as much as better bits. Woodline and Grizzly green are other decent low cost brands…watch s/h though. I’d avoid Ryobi, Vermont Amerian, HF, Hickory, Skil, and other no names. High speed bits can shed carbide…don’t buy junk. Get 1/2” shank.

Whiteside, Eagle America, Infinity, Freud, are excellent premium bits. Katana, Grizzly purple, and Price Cutter are a step up from MLCS and Woodline.

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

View fuigb's profile


491 posts in 2979 days

#6 posted 01-15-2013 02:48 AM

Junk bits really are junk, but you won’t realize that until you can compare it to something better.

I concur with the advice to go cheap at first and then replace the most-used bits with better quality. Get a set of the cheapies and have fun! A few options for stepping into better bits when you’re ready: Menards carries Bosch bits and they’ll go on sale from time to time; not awesome, but still pretty good. Woodcraft has a running program where one Whiteside bit each month is put on sale.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

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1782 posts in 2586 days

#7 posted 01-15-2013 03:08 AM

mlcs from amazon are usually a pretty popular around here

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2706 days

#8 posted 01-15-2013 03:16 AM

dunno…I picked up a big box set from HD years ago (Old Hickory or something like that) in the 1/2” (all I use if I can help it…they dissipate heat better…heat is fatal to any sharp edge IMHO). I’ll say that out of 24, 12 have never been used and probably never will be but for $100 I have no complaints (I figure $8/pop on the ones I do use and the others are free).

For the reasons stated above, I’d stick to 1/2 shanks if you can.

View bbasiaga's profile


1234 posts in 2017 days

#9 posted 01-15-2013 03:26 AM

The cheap bits are great for ones that are rarely used, and for learning how to use the different types. I would definitely start with the kit with as many shapes as you can get. You’ll find quickly that they wear out fast. Replace them with the good bits and they;ll last a long time. Also, clean them. They get black tar/pitch on them and that will wear them even faster.

I have a set of Ryobi round overs that is holding up pretty well. Its a pretty light duty cut. I wore out some Ryobi straight cut bits, and have since replaced them with Diablos (home depot’s better line) that have outlasted them by 5x so far in terms of board feet cut. Don’t buy anything at Harbor Freight…I tried and had some of the bits wear out in just a few feet of soft lumber.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View bullhead1's profile


228 posts in 2271 days

#10 posted 01-15-2013 03:36 AM

Just starting out I would buy a good roundover bit and not a cheap set (you will never use most of them for a long time). Amana or CMT are good bits for the money and will last you a long time and give you good results. Find a good woodworking store in your area and avoid big box stores to buy your bits. On line there is toolstoday that sells Amana. I have bought from them with excellent results in quality, service and shipment. I have them in 3 days and live in the midwest.

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3205 days

#11 posted 01-15-2013 03:47 AM

You get what you pay for. Quality costs money. Don’t scrimp on router bits or saw blades. Find the quality manufactures and then compare prices through distributors. Whiteside, CMT, Amana, Frued make quality bits. As Brian states don’t waist your money on HF bits they wear out and due to the quality of the brazing of the carbide makes for a piece of junk.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View shelly_b's profile


850 posts in 2139 days

#12 posted 01-17-2013 12:37 PM

i go to lowes quite a bit. i just went a couple days ago and they had a $36 bosch ogee bit on sale for $16. i have gotten like 5 different bosch bits for half price now. everytime i go i check out their bits to see if any are on sale. the $2 off doesn’t cut it for me…i want atleast 30%-50% off lol. if you see a good deal on a good brand grab it if you think you will ever need it, even if you don’t at the time!

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2132 days

#13 posted 01-17-2013 01:08 PM

I have used CMT, Whiteside, Sommerfeld, Woodline, and various others. When I need a new bit my first choice is Woodline. Admittedly they are not the highest precision bits but they always produce good results for me and their cost is reasonable.
As others have suggested whenever possible use a 1/2” shank.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2391 days

#14 posted 01-17-2013 02:21 PM

I have a mixture of cheap and nice ones. My nice ones are Freud. I went to HD a few months back and they were closing out most of their 1/2” shank bits so I bought a dozen or so different bits that I knew I would use. The difference is definitely noticeable. I was using a undersized 3/4 plywood dado bit the other day in the same router you have (building a kitchen island) and it cut with ease and left a very clean dado. I still keep the cheap ones for occasional use, though.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Rob's profile


316 posts in 3008 days

#15 posted 01-17-2013 08:19 PM

I was given the 80 Pc Neiko Tungsten Carbide Router Bit 1/2in. Set for Christmas (found on Amazon for $139.99) and they seem to be just fine for my uses. Not expensive either. I also have some nice Freud router bits too but I can’t afford 80 Freud bits at the prices they sell for.

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