LumberJocks

Router Bits: 1/4" VS. 1/2" Shanks.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Micahm posted 229 days ago 800 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Micahm's profile

Micahm

131 posts in 328 days


229 days ago

When it comes to router bits, there are 1/4” and 1/2” shank sizes. What are the pro’s and con’s of each size? Are the 1/2” better in anyway than the 1/4” or vise versa?

-- The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me. - Tony Konovaloff


10 replies so far

View Timmer's profile

Timmer

1 post in 229 days


#1 posted 229 days ago

The 1/2 shank will vibrate or chatter less at high speeds for a cleaner cut

-- Tim

View Pete_Jud's profile

Pete_Jud

423 posts in 2348 days


#2 posted 229 days ago

Only use 1/2 inch shanks in my shop, unless the bit is less than 1/8 inch. Just my rule.

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11038 posts in 1701 days


#3 posted 229 days ago

The 1/2” can have a larger max cutter on them. You can use a the 1/4” router bits in a 1/2” router with a split collet. Some real small cutters don’t come with the 1/2” shank, too. It is good to have a 1/2” router so you can use all of them. I really don’t notice any difference in using either of them. You just buy what need to get the job done. I started buying only 1/4” ones because that was all my craftsman router would take.

I have seen router bit extensions but I am really afraid to ever try one. If they are not perfectly concentric you will get some bad vibrations with a bit hanging out that far and spinning at 25,000 RPM. I would not think it is very good for the spindle bearing in the router either. I have never had a job that would need a bit sticking our farther than they normally do.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Loren's profile

Loren

7222 posts in 2243 days


#4 posted 229 days ago

Some nimble small routers only take 1/4” shanks and for
that they are useful. For handheld use a lighter,
more compact router is nice to work with if the
cuts aren’t too heavy. For router table work 1/2” shanks
are going to perform better.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

13198 posts in 933 days


#5 posted 229 days ago

Like any tool, both very useful for different projects. I use the 1/4” shafts with my compact router for doing signs, edging and small projects. I use the 1/2” shanks for heavy duty jobs. For instance the oak poker table I consider to heavy of job for small router tools. I am also lazy. I have 5 routers set up so that I have minimal time changing bits.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5364 posts in 1971 days


#6 posted 229 days ago

1/4” breaks easier. The only 1/2” bits I’ve ever broken were those they to taper to 1/4” or less near the cutter end, but I’ve broken 1/4” bits right at the shank.

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

View teejk's profile

teejk

1206 posts in 1280 days


#7 posted 229 days ago

I notice longer life on 1/2” which I think is due to heat.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2436 posts in 947 days


#8 posted 229 days ago

The half inch bits ,are definitely better and I use them whenever I can. I still have an old router that only takes 1/4” shank bits and for that reason I still keep a few 1/4” bits around.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1746 posts in 1159 days


#9 posted 229 days ago

my bosch colt router only takes 1/4” my hitatchi 3 1/4” hp only takes 1/2” my craftsman will take both sizes so i guess it really depends on what I’m trying to do.

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

View laketrout36's profile

laketrout36

134 posts in 622 days


#10 posted 228 days ago

I’ve started using Whiteside 1/2” bits. From my recent experience I’ve got no complaints. The 1/4” bits I’ve used (Not Whiteside) I’ve had to keep a good eye on my work, not too fast, not too slow, no more than 1/8” cut for each pass of the router. Smaller bit, more care is needed in my experience. Just an observation.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase