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Which bullnose router bit? CMT, MLCS, Katana?

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Forum topic by jtm posted 184 days ago 819 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jtm

117 posts in 239 days


184 days ago

I need a 1” bullnose router bit to make the round front to a stair tread.

I have a Freud Quadra cut 1/2” roundover, but no matter what I do, I can’t get an absolutely perfect bullnose profile by flipping the board after each pass.

Plus, this gives me an excuse to buy more stuff.

So which 1” bullnose bit would you recommend?

MLCS ($25), CMT ($56), or Katana by MLCS ($45)?

I think Whiteside makes one, but it’s around $80 shipped IIRC. I’d rather not spend that on one bit.


16 replies so far

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laketrout36

134 posts in 629 days


#1 posted 184 days ago

The only time I don’t buy Whiteside is if they don’t make the profile I need. The whole you get what you pay for argument. I know. But I have had nothing but great results from them.

My first router I bought a couple of sets and lived with their results. When I bought better equipment I wanted better bits and got them only when I needed a specific bit.

My two cents. The process and effort is part of the enjoyment.

View tefinn's profile

tefinn

1199 posts in 1039 days


#2 posted 183 days ago

How much will you use it? Whiteside is IMO by far the required choice if you’ll be using it a lot. If this is only a one time deal any of the other three should do the job perfectly, but the $25 MLCS will save you some cash. If you’ll be using it occasionally, go with the CMT or Katana.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View Skippy906's profile

Skippy906

100 posts in 589 days


#3 posted 183 days ago

I have never used a Whiteside, I may have to in the future, but I have always has good luck with CMT. I have the cabinet makers set, plywood set, drawer lock bit and will be ordering the edge banding bit set soon. One thing that I have learned, you get what you pay for.

-- Making progress

View jtm's profile

jtm

117 posts in 239 days


#4 posted 183 days ago

I have no problem spending the money on good router bits. In fact, most of my bits are Freud Quadra Cuts.

I just figured now might be the time to try something new.

I really like the color of the Katana bits. The CMT orange is pretty cool too. I have some MLCS bits, but they’re a boring gray color. Unfortunately, the Whiteside bits are also a similarly dull silver/gray color. I guess that’s what’s holding me back.

In all seriousness, this is probably a one time use. I’d hate to have a very expensive bit collecting dust instead of making it.

Also, I can’t remember where I saw the Whiteside bit, but Woodpeckers does not have the size I need (1” bullnose). Where else can I get these?

View waho6o9's profile (online now)

waho6o9

4752 posts in 1179 days


#5 posted 183 days ago

View tefinn's profile

tefinn

1199 posts in 1039 days


#6 posted 183 days ago

View ksSlim's profile

ksSlim

956 posts in 1492 days


#7 posted 183 days ago

Whiteside for us folks, Onsrud for the pros.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View jtm's profile

jtm

117 posts in 239 days


#8 posted 183 days ago

Thanks for the links.

Are either of those stores reputable?

Never heard of Carbide Processors.

The Amazon one is from a 3rd party reseller (routerbitworld).

I’ve never had good luck with Amazon resellers. The last purchase I made took over three weeks to arrive.

Thanks again

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tefinn

1199 posts in 1039 days


#9 posted 183 days ago

My father used to live in Canfield OH and I would go to Baird Bros. whenever I visited him. Good company. Hartville Tool is outside of Canton OH. Never went there, but ordered from them a couple of times with good results. Haven’t dealt with Carbide Processors, but heard good stuff. The Amazon was just because everybody buys from Amazon anymore.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5369 posts in 1978 days


#10 posted 183 days ago

As mentioned, buy a good one if you’ll use it a lot or if the cut is critical….otherwise, MLCS should be fine. Routerbit world and Carbide Processors are both reputable. So are Holbren and Infinity….Infinity's got an excellent stairtread bullnose bit for < $50.

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

View jtm's profile

jtm

117 posts in 239 days


#11 posted 181 days ago

I have some MLCS bits and the Freud Quadra Cuts.

Honestly, I don’t find all that much difference in the final product, especially after finish sanding.

Actually, I stand corrected; there is considerably less tearout with the Freuds. Also, the Freuds are ridiculously sharp. I can hold an MLCS bit without any worry of slitting my hand open. The Freud on the other hand, is an adventure in safety just trying to mount the bit in the router.

This will probably be the only time I’ll use a 1” bullnose, so I don’t see the need to spend $60/$70 on a premium bit.

View wbrisett's profile

wbrisett

133 posts in 951 days


#12 posted 181 days ago

Since you’re talking about a one-time use, MLCS is what I would go for. I splurged and went with the Eagle America bit for my crown moulding, but I was going to do two houses, so it made sense to spend the extra money in the bit.

View jtm's profile

jtm

117 posts in 239 days


#13 posted 176 days ago

Ok, so I’ve made up my mind.

I’m probably going to be making tabletops, window stools, molding, etc… in the near future, so I figure a better quality bit won’t be a waste of money.

Even more so, now is one of those opportunities to buy American made, rather than Chinese. Even though the Whiteside bit is triple the price of the MLCS, I feel like the Whiteside is the better option.

So my question is, which place is the best to buy Whiteside from? I’d prefer to have the bit by this weekend without paying for 2nd day/1st day shipping.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7264 posts in 2250 days


#14 posted 176 days ago

I have bits by all those makers.

If you’re a pro and intend to use the cutter a lot,
go with the one with more mass. Otherwise,
MLCS bits work well. Some costly bits can save
some sanding labor on cross-grain cuts.

Magnate.net has some good bits. I think they
are USA made but not sure. Unusual profiles
are available for sure and they do ship quick.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5369 posts in 1978 days


#15 posted 176 days ago

Holbren.com sells Whiteside, and is a great supplier…..type “BT310” in the discount code for 10%.

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

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