What bits for new Router

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Dannnyh posted 08-26-2014 01:35 PM 1004 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dannnyh's profile


27 posts in 805 days

08-26-2014 01:35 PM

Hi All

I’m planning on getting my first Router, the one below.

I am looking to get a set of bits of decent quality but not stupid prices, can anyone recommend a decent brand ?

Thanks Dan

18 replies so far

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2096 days

#1 posted 08-26-2014 01:44 PM

CMT – buy what you need and not a kit of everything. those are seldom used bits

View Dannnyh's profile


27 posts in 805 days

#2 posted 08-26-2014 01:47 PM

Thanks Grandpa, CMT is a brand ?

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2263 posts in 1791 days

#3 posted 08-26-2014 01:48 PM

I think you should buy the bits you need, as you find a need for them. Likely you will not find a quality set of bits that is going to suit all of your needs, and if you do, you’ll probably end up with a bunch you don’t need.

I think some of the common ones that I find myself using frequently are :

Flush trim bit
Pattern bit
Spiral upcut bit
Rabbeting Bit
Undersized dado bits
Bowl&Tray bit occasionally

Edit : I like whiteside, Freud, CMT

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

View Dannnyh's profile


27 posts in 805 days

#4 posted 08-26-2014 01:51 PM

Thanks Ed, because I haven’t used a router before, I will need to research what bits do what jobs !

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1275 posts in 1356 days

#5 posted 08-26-2014 01:54 PM

I agree with the other on buying bits one by one as you need them. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bunch of bits you don’t need. I have had a lot of luck with Whiteside brand bits. They are USA made and are great quality. Looks like you might be across the pond, so I don’t know about availability to you.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Dannnyh's profile


27 posts in 805 days

#6 posted 08-26-2014 01:57 PM

Hi WO, yes I am in the UK, it seams that a lot of the guys on here are in the US, I will have a search and see if that brand is stocked over here.

View Fish22's profile


83 posts in 2534 days

#7 posted 08-26-2014 01:58 PM

I will take a slightly different approach. I would buy a full set of bits from a company like MLCS woodworking. Then as you get more comfortable with your router and what bits you use most often, then you can buy those bits in higher quality. The others in the set may not be used often, but if you ever need, you have them, plus you can try different profiles on scrap to see if it works with your project.

-- Bryan, South River, NJ

View timbertailor's profile


1591 posts in 845 days

#8 posted 08-26-2014 03:38 PM

I agree with Ed. Get them as you need them.

And try to stick with 1/2” shank bits for long life and better wear.

3/4” straight bit and double bearing trim bit.
1/2” ” ”
1/4” upcut and downcut spiral bit for shelf pin holes, cutting circles, and the like.

After these, buy them as you need them. I use Freud bits. Cost effective, keep an edge, and make very clean cuts.

-- Brad, Texas,

View bigblockyeti's profile


3573 posts in 1142 days

#9 posted 08-26-2014 03:44 PM

+1 to getting what you need as you need it, a good set of quality bits can not only be very expensive up front, but may include bits you might not ever need. If you have a specific project in mind, get what you need for that project. If you’re looking for projects, woodworking magazines can offer many idea, more often than not, project details will specify what bits are used during construction.

View Dannnyh's profile


27 posts in 805 days

#10 posted 08-26-2014 03:56 PM

Thanks guys for all the replies, my first planned use for it was to create small recessed holes so the coach bolt heads I am using on my garden bench sit flush.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2263 posts in 1791 days

#11 posted 08-26-2014 04:20 PM

If you’re plunging the bit in to make the holes, you’ll need something like a spiral up-cut bit. For what you’re doing though, it sounds like a forstner or spade bit and a drill would be easier/faster.

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

View Dannnyh's profile


27 posts in 805 days

#12 posted 08-26-2014 04:34 PM

Thx Ed, I was looking at forstner bits last week actually. That may well be easier as you say.

View MT_Stringer's profile


2820 posts in 2652 days

#13 posted 08-26-2014 04:48 PM

Several years ago, I bought a small set of router bits from MLCS. In fact, I bought two small sets at different time intervals. Out of those 12-14 bits, I think I have used maybe five. The rest are just sitting in the box waiting for me to dream up a project for them. :-)

But, I do use the following on a more frequent basis:
  • 3/8 and 1/2 inch roundover
  • Pattern bit
  • Flush trim bit.
  • Chamfer bit
  • Rabbet bit (comes with a separate bearing set to allow the bit to cut several different rabbets.)
    Currently, I have the rabbet bit set up in a router table to cut the recess for 1/2 inch plywood backs on the cabinets I am building (1/2 inch x 1/4 inch)

Good luck. Don’t go crazy. Buy them as you have the need and get a good one each. Skip the cheapies.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View KnickKnack's profile


1062 posts in 2987 days

#14 posted 08-26-2014 06:50 PM

I’m opposed to the “buy them as you need them” school of thought at the beginning.

I started with a crappy chinese set – 1000 bits for 10 quid sort of thing – do not do that – really – that’s 10 quid for things that will do nothing.

But I really do think getting a set of decent quality bits to start out with is the way to go – I bought this set…
Trend Cutter Set
(though, if you search around, you can find exactly the same set from third parties for considerably less)

Have I used all the bits in this set?
Not yet.
But almost all of them.
Many times I’ve looked in there and thought, “yeah, cool, there it is” in a situation where I wouldn’t have wanted to specifically order that bit.
Now – if you can buy quality bits over a counter within a 10 minute drive – excellent – ignore everything I just said – otherwise I think it’s great to have “something of everything” sitting in the corner ready to go.

After you’ve done some work (and, with the set, you’ll be able to do just about anything you’ll likely want to do when starting out) – then you’ll know what to stock up on.

I’m no professional, of course, but just about everything I do I do on my router.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3069 days

#15 posted 08-26-2014 07:56 PM

In the UK I’m sure available brands are different.

Trend and Elu seem like decent ones available there.

I’m interested in the 8mm shank format. Lee Valley
is a Canadian dealer that sells good quality bits in
8mm and the other formats. Good value bits.

I have CMT, Freud, and many other brands.

I would not recommend fussing about brand too much.
Real cheap bits from China can be bought and they
do work but you don’t have to buy premium brands
to get good performance from smaller diameter
cutters. Larger cutters requiring more refined
balancing or whatever they do is something companies
like Freud and CMT do well. There bits from those
makers are usually made from thicker steel so they
are heavier, while lower priced bits may be machined
from flat bar stock. Both styles work and are safe,
but the higher end bits have more mass and are often
nicely painted.

Some larger sets definitely will include cutter you’ll
never use.

The ones I find most useful are:

- straight cutters
- flush trim bits
- chamfer
- rabbet bit with different sized bearings
- set of roundover bits in different sizes
- dovetail bits only if you want to make sliding dovetails or use a dovetail jig

if you want to make mouldings or raised panels
you may do well to consider the available profiles
and buy the bits that appeal to you as you need

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

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