Best Router Bits!?

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Forum topic by pikas posted 02-24-2009 07:31 AM 20799 views 1 time favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 3551 days

02-24-2009 07:31 AM

Hey guys. I’m relatively new to woodworking. I’m remodeling my kitchen cabinet doors and I was curious what brand I should go with when it comes to router bits? Which type of wood do you guys recommend I use for this porject: Poplar? or maple? I’m was thinking of doing Cathedral style doors. I hope to read some of your comments soon. Thanks.


33 replies so far

View lew's profile


12380 posts in 3927 days

#1 posted 02-24-2009 04:51 PM

Someone here recently posted a similar question, maybe try a search of the site. I think I remember CMT and Whiteside were both popular.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View bendisplays's profile


40 posts in 3572 days

#2 posted 02-24-2009 07:18 PM


If you are using router bits for flush trimming laminate, you can use Woodcraft, Rockler, Freud, etc.

If you are looking for a step up from there, you have bits like Amana, and CMT.

Your high end bits are brands such as Onsrud, and Leitz.

If you are routering into wood and not laminates, your basic $15 router bit will be fine. Your profile bits may cost up to around $30 to $35.

I have Leitz bits that are over $200 each. I run them in my cncs. There are many different ranges of router bits available and most of your basic bits will do a good job. If you want the best in the class for non cnc bits, then I would go with CMT, or Amana. You will have to be own judge and see if their quality justifies the extra expense. CMT bits seem to be around 50% to a little over 100% more expensive than a basic bit and Amana cutters are a little more expensive yet.

From past experience, I can dull a CMT or an Amana in one day after cutting many parts. The place where I see more quality is in the bearings of the brands like Amanas and CMTs. I will still spin the bearings on Amanas and CMTS. If you want really good bits, then I would go with Onsrud bits. However, I dont beleive Onsrud offers flush trim bits. I would get the less expensive bits unless you are going to make a lot of cuts or unless you are making specialized cuts. That is just my 2 cents.



View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4064 days

#3 posted 02-24-2009 07:29 PM

I am partial to Freud, Onsrud, and CMT. I agree with bendisplays, I have had bearings fly apart during use. When they get hot, the raceways will expand and bearings will fly everywhere. Occasional use is ok, but if you are doing production runs, look out. I only use Onsrud for all my straight spiral bits. They tend to last forever. Cheap bits just won’t stay sharp long and will start burning the wood.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3565 days

#4 posted 02-24-2009 07:49 PM

CMT, FREUD or WHITESIDE have sets especifically for Cabinetmaking(Doors), can give you an idea about it.
If you are considering stained doors, then poplar would be a good choice. Otherwise you can use any NICE hardwood according the budget you have.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Emily Whitman's profile

Emily Whitman

19 posts in 3575 days

#5 posted 02-24-2009 08:18 PM

First of all, Welcome to Lumberjocks! It’s a great place with lots of great people. I hope you enjoy it here.
If you don’t want to spend a lot, Whiteside Router Bits are a great bit for the price. They are ranked number in in value and sometimes get ranked number one in overall performance. Another great router bit is Southeast. They are much less expensive than Freud, Amana, and even Whiteside, but are a great router bit. We were sent two router bits for an analysis the other day. One was Whiteside, and the other was Southeast. The southeast router bit was actually better in some ways. We didn’t perform any performance tests, but the Southeast bit had a much better brazed joint which will prevent the carbide from breaking, and had fewer rips and imperfections on the shank. When compared:
Steel body -  both appear to be cast with Whiteside bit having a rougher grain
Brazing  – The brazing on the Whiteside bit drew back into the gap which question if the steel and carbide were prepared properly.  The brazing on the Southeast flowed out onto the steel which suggests properly prepared steel. 
Grinding – the Whiteside bit was ground with a coarser wheel.  The Southeast bit has vertical, very fine grind marks.    
The Whiteside blade has a straight top while the other has a rounded top.  The rounded top is sometimes called a “waterfall” grind and is generally considered superior as it allows for better control of fiber spring back.  
Like everyone else said, just depends on how much you want to spend. If you don’t want to spend a lot, Southeast is a good alternative. Whiteside is also still a very good Router Bit for it’s cost. Amana and CMT are really great, but will cost you. There are more pictures and comparisons if you want to see them. Whiteside vs Southeast

-- Thanks- Emily, Washington,

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4471 days

#6 posted 02-24-2009 08:34 PM

I have had good results with MLCS. also free shipping.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Sean's profile


18 posts in 3870 days

#7 posted 02-24-2009 08:43 PM

I’ll second MLCS. Times are tough economically, and I’m stingy to begin with. Plus, being a beginner you won’t have a heart attack the first time you set the router down wrong or hit a nail and shatter that $50-$200 bit!

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4057 days

#8 posted 02-24-2009 08:45 PM

Ditto to what Dick & Barb said. MLCS

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Rogue's profile


260 posts in 3642 days

#9 posted 02-24-2009 09:09 PM

Frued is the way to go. Their stile and rail sets are excellent! Their panel bits esspecially. They have a two stage cutter that gives them the cleanest cut of the many I have used. And they are a little more avalible than some of the others.

Maple is one of the best shaping woods there is. Oak and other big grain woods can split out on you if you aren’t experienced with climb routing and other techniques. Popluar is fine too but its no real durable.

See the chests in my projects i just put up. The panels were cut with a frued set with maple.

-- Rogue

View goochs's profile


60 posts in 1401 days

#10 posted 03-20-2015 10:48 PM

just sent my MCLS incra kit back—way out of tolerance. Replace with FREUD and they cut like a hot knife through butter. Freud will be my choice from now on

View RockyTopScott's profile


1186 posts in 3650 days

#11 posted 03-20-2015 11:25 PM

I just ordered Whiteside 6003 set. Like their stuff alot.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2820 posts in 3610 days

#12 posted 03-20-2015 11:34 PM

I use Frued bits. I’ve done dozens of doors in three kitchens. I have their rail and stile bits and three of their different inner panel bits. They are well made and work well. It won’t be inexpensive though but if you’re making a kitchen you have to get the tools. As Scotty from Star Trek once said, “The right tool for the right job.” (in a scottish accent.)

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Rayne's profile


1091 posts in 1711 days

#13 posted 03-20-2015 11:49 PM

My freud bit went dull pretty quickly while my Whitesides are still going through wood like butter. I just wait for sales on Whiteside and pick up the ones I need / want.

View bonesbr549's profile


1576 posts in 3239 days

#14 posted 03-21-2015 12:00 AM

To me, Whiteside first, and summerfield, then cmt, eagle america

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View RogerM's profile


798 posts in 2571 days

#15 posted 03-21-2015 12:01 AM

Whiteside, Freud, and Sommerfeld Tools make the best ones in that order.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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