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Good router bits that won't cost a fortune?

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Forum topic by Micah Muzny posted 01-11-2014 08:56 PM 1000 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Micah Muzny

183 posts in 483 days


01-11-2014 08:56 PM

Looking for some router bits, I have been using my grandpas for a bit on a project and about to return them and want to get some of my own. What would be a good kind to get? I know Whiteside is good but I don’t know if I want to pay that much. What are some other good brands that are not as expensive?


19 replies so far

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1214 posts in 1610 days


#1 posted 01-11-2014 09:00 PM

I like MLCS bits…

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5604 posts in 2126 days


#2 posted 01-11-2014 09:31 PM

MLCS and Woodline are both solid entry price choices….MLCS’ 15 pc set for $42 shipped is a good bang for the buck. Grizzly green are ok too, but s/h tends to kill the value. Katana, Price Cutter, and Grizzly purple are the next step up.

Whiteside does have a nice 7 pc kit for ~ $95.

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

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1505 posts in 1383 days


#3 posted 01-11-2014 09:36 PM

I see NIB Craftsman ‘Professional’ bits on ebay fairly often. These are re-badged Freud bits with .5” shanks. Look for the yellow packages. Of course, like anything on ebay, the prices are all over the place. But I commonly see them for $10 or less.

View dawsonbob's profile

dawsonbob

389 posts in 506 days


#4 posted 01-11-2014 09:38 PM

What do you think of Yonico ( http://www.precisionbits.com/ )┬ábits? I know that they’re not made in the USA, but they seem to be pretty good bits, for substantially less money. I bought a tongue and groove set that works pretty well for me (not that I actually know what I’m doing, most of the time).

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View Loren's profile

Loren

7825 posts in 2398 days


#5 posted 01-11-2014 10:05 PM

MLCS is fine. I have bits by a lot of makers and most of
the time an MLCS type bit will do the job just as well
and at a lower cost. One thing about them is they
have less mass in the larger diameter bits because they
are machined out of flat stock. For things like panel
raising I think the Freud style panel raising bits will
give a cleaner cut (less sanding).

Lee Valley bits are good too and they have some
unusual ones for solving joinery problems and
things like that.

I never bought bits in sets because when I was
starting out 1/2” shank carbide bits were so
spendy I could only afford to buy them as I
needed them.

I think sets of straight bits and a set of round
over bits are worth investing in these days
as you’ll use them all in common furniture
type things.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View BArnold's profile

BArnold

174 posts in 583 days


#6 posted 01-11-2014 10:26 PM

Another vote for MLCS. I’ve been buying from them for 15 years and have never been disappointed.

-- Bill, Thomasville, GA

View alohafromberkeley's profile

alohafromberkeley

250 posts in 1155 days


#7 posted 01-11-2014 10:38 PM

MCLS is a great site. Good return policy, customer service and free shipping on all orders….If your router has the capacity- then 1/2 ” shank bits are the best way to go.

-- "After a year of doing general farmwork, it was quite clear to me that chickens and I were not compatible"-George Nakashima

View Loren's profile

Loren

7825 posts in 2398 days


#8 posted 01-11-2014 10:42 PM

I’d recommend taking a look at the 8mm format as
some smaller and very nimble routers are becoming
available with 8mm capacities in addition to 1/4”.

... of course a 1/2” router can take bits with a
1/2” shank too, using a collet adaptor.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

287 posts in 1818 days


#9 posted 01-11-2014 11:33 PM

Well, if you are going to use them once and throw them away woodcraft brand puts a sale on their bits 5bucks a piece a lot. They are throw away. I’m going to say that you can buy good tooling once or cheap often. I’ve got some white side bits I’ve had for years and still cut great. So you take that into consideration. There is a huge difference in quality of cut and life of bit too. If whiteside makes it, I’ll go there first. Big bonus it’s still made in America. Thats important too. I’ve got some Lonnie Bird’s line of bits from Amana that are good.

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

869 posts in 796 days


#10 posted 01-12-2014 12:41 AM

MLCS FTW. I got the 15 piece starter set 1/2” shank and have been very happy. I’d probably consider Whiteside or Eagle America (is MLCS affiliated with Eagle America?) over their Katana line.

-- paxorion

View DKV's profile

DKV

3194 posts in 1255 days


#11 posted 01-12-2014 12:44 AM

Whiteside

-- Have fun and laugh alot. Life can end at any moment. You old guys out there know what I mean...

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

979 posts in 1067 days


#12 posted 01-12-2014 04:43 AM

For spiral upcut bits, you can use 2-flute, center-cutting aluminum-cutting end mills. Make sure they are in fact 2-flute, center-cutting aluminum-cutting end mills and not something else. Those bits are usually a little cheaper than the spiral bits sold by woodworking outlets.

That being said, if you’re ever after quality, Onsrud makes some terrific (but expensive) spiral bits. A few days ago I made a mistake on a CNC program and sent one of those bits into the head of a 1/4”-20 zinc-plated bolt at 16,000RPM and 80IPM. The router barely slowed down and the bolt head was neatly trimmed in half. The bit will have to be replaced due to minor chips on the edges of the flutes but other than that it survived and is still sharp.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

455 posts in 2115 days


#13 posted 01-12-2014 05:30 AM

MLCS is good for most applications. I fill in with Whitesides for specialty bits (like plywood bits etc). Paxorion, Eagle America is owned by MLCS. So you have the option of Eagle America (USA made), MLCS (Taiwan) or Price Cutter (China).

View lepelerin's profile

lepelerin

334 posts in 1076 days


#14 posted 01-12-2014 05:42 AM

Blue Tornado makes good bits. Mine are still in excellent “cutting” shape after a lot of use for some of them. they are cheap too. As good as the one from lee valley for a fraction of the price.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3869 posts in 2118 days


#15 posted 01-12-2014 06:24 AM

I used to use Eagle America but since MLCS bought them I have not bought any more.

I now buy Niagara, Onsrud, and others as I buy end mills either HSS or carbide and typically, but not always, a lower price.

The Onrud super “O” is one of my favorite carbide cutters that work well in all types of material. Most of the HSS cutters I use are “upcut” and a minimum of two flutes and there are four flute ones available too.

I also buy some conical end mills that are available in almost any angle and depth of cut.

eBay and Amazon both list quite a variety of these cutters but you have to check on the manufacturer as some are off shore cutters. And watch the shank size as there are many more than just 1/4” and 1/2” shank sizes on end mills!

Roger Clark, a fellow lumberjock, put me on to end mills as he uses them for routing long before I did.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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