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Forum topic by Teaza posted 06-18-2009 01:56 AM 2216 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Teaza's profile


19 posts in 3267 days

06-18-2009 01:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: router

I recently purchased a Bosch 1617 combo kit and would like some feedback.

I am wondering what router bit manufacturers folks have had good luck with and what you suggest as best value for the money.

I nearly purchased one of those 60 piece kits for $80 bucks and stopped before clicking the “add to cart” button with the thought, Teaz…. you get exactly what you pay for.. or less.

-- Honey... I need to buy a tool to build you a present!

22 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3821 days

#1 posted 06-18-2009 04:40 AM

I think you made the right decision on the kit. Generally these kits contain a few bits that are useful but the majority are bits that bundled in to move bits that do not sell well. You are better off to focus on bits that you will routinely use. I have had good luck with bits from Woodcraft, Razor Tools, Freud and Rockler.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 3992 days

#2 posted 06-18-2009 04:59 AM

i use rockler bit simply because thier easy for me to get my hands on but i think it was white side that FWW gave top marks to in their review of bits. a few bits you really should have a 1/4 and 1/2 ” round over a patern cuter i burn thru ogee bits and not knowing what all other tools you have before i had a stacked dado i used the heck out of my adjutable rabitting bit others will have some must haves i remember their are like 6 must haves but i ofcorse cant remember them

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4218 days

#3 posted 06-18-2009 05:09 AM

Whiteside bits have an excellent reputation.

If your budget is tight, I’ve had perfectly acceptable results with Woodcraft bits. They go on sale for $5 each in the most common sizes.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Teaza's profile


19 posts in 3267 days

#4 posted 06-18-2009 05:44 AM

Ohh… $5 is an easy sell to the wife. lol…

-- Honey... I need to buy a tool to build you a present!

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3269 days

#5 posted 06-18-2009 06:44 AM

For folks that want to try different bits and see what they can do, the cheapo sets are great – Ryobi makes some great cheapo sets….they will barely stand up to much usage, but they can give you an idea of which types of bits you will use most offten.

Once you are sure of the type of work you want to do, you can accumulate premium bits or at least “contractor grade” bits. Amana is an excellent bit…a bit pricey…but made to take the punishment given by commercial shops. They can even withstand a few sharpenings (don’t attempt unless you are very patient and are skilled at sharpening carbide)....they also have a tech line that lets you change the cutters (not only for sharpness – but thay have different grade of blades that are great for times you are working in MDF or Plywoods.

Whiteside, freud, rockler are all good bits also….and if you watch for sales you can get some nice deals. Right now, the rockler guy in my town is selling bits at 20% off to clear out some overstock….I got some great deals on flush trim bits (I cant tell you how much I use them)....and very nice 2 bit rail and stile set (ogee). It seems like almost every project has a portion – with the right bits I could use a router to perform….and there are so many bits available it is hard to keep up…...but alot of the shaping bits need to be used on a router table…do not use these without a table if your bit mfg recommends table use only…

I also have an amana dial tech slot cutter bit that hardly ever gets back into its holder….it is so useful for cutting quick mortise/tenons and slots for shelves and panels and for even doing some biscuit slots.

One thing for sure, stay away from High Speed Steel bits….they are cheap…and can’t withstand much use. They also have a tendency to burn your work….even worse then by the bits with the cheap bearings that seize up from the heat that causes those nice burn marks in your work. They also get brittle from overheating and can break easily.

Anyway thats my two cents.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View herg1's profile


42 posts in 3712 days

#6 posted 06-18-2009 01:43 PM

As CharlieM stated, Woodcraft periodically has their brand of bits on sale for $5 each and occasionally will include a pretty decent box to house them. MLCS will also have some good sales and include a box for the more common sets.

-- Roger1

View Renfield's profile


8 posts in 3268 days

#7 posted 06-18-2009 01:46 PM

I’m surprised that no one has mentioned MLCS yet, because when I first started reading the comments on this site that company usually came up in router discussions.

They have an less expensive line, and a higher quality line (called Katana). I have purchased two bits from them in the cheaper line and I find that they are good quality bits.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2791 posts in 3437 days

#8 posted 06-18-2009 02:05 PM

I have a few freud bits and have been happy with them. Their price and quality is probably mid to upper mid range.

I also look at Sears sometimes. i.e. I needed a carbide upspiral bit to do some mortises. I went to Sears as they carry Freud. I had the salesman pull out a craftsman bit to find out where it was made. The case said. “tool made in USA, box made in China”. the cost was half the Frued one. If it’s made in the USA I tend to give it the benefit of the doubt. I wouldn’t buy a Chinese one unless I knew I was going to beat and burn it up for one job and throw it away.

Then again, my usage is modest so average bits will probably go a long way for me.

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

View knotscott's profile


8015 posts in 3375 days

#9 posted 06-18-2009 02:08 PM

I have two approaches…premium bits for the ones I use the most, and decent quality discount bits for special profiles that see less action. Don’t buy cheapie no-name bits.

Infinity and Whiteside are some of the best I’ve used. Whiteside makes a 7 piece set of the most commonly used profiles for ~ $80 shipped from with the “woodnet10” discount. WS is American made, premium grade cutters that will cut better and last longer than the discount imports. Freud, Amana, American Eagle or other premium brands.

Holbren, MLCS, Grizzly, Price Cutter, Woodcraft, and Woodline are known decent quality imports. I don’t suggest the really large sets b/c they contain many duplicates/near duplicates. You’ll still end up only using 7 to 10 bits most of the time.

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

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3962 days

#10 posted 06-18-2009 02:10 PM

I had a 1617 mounted in my table. I found that Freud bits held up the best, followed by Whiteside. I had some de-lam of carbide on a Whiteside. I had one set of MLCS Shaker stick and cope bits. They seemed to dull a little faster than the Freuds. By the way, blow out the switch on the router every so often. My 1617 quit and I took it to the repair shop. Felt like a fool when they just blew out the switch with an air hose. It held up to some pretty rough usage for 3 years.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2791 posts in 3437 days

#11 posted 06-18-2009 02:17 PM

Thos… The later model bosch’s have fixed the switch thing. Before I bought mine recently it is what was holding me back until I found out that they had enough complaints that they altered the design. But, I do love this router.

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

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3885 days

#12 posted 06-18-2009 05:05 PM
I buy mine mostly from MLCS and have had good luck with them however if I was a production shop they probably have to look at Freud and Whiteside.

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

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3286 days

#13 posted 06-18-2009 09:37 PM

Freud, Whiteside, and Amana come to mind first. I’ve also had good luck with Bosch router bits.

That said, reggiek had some really good input, so I’ll save my typing and just agree with him


View Teaza's profile


19 posts in 3267 days

#14 posted 06-18-2009 09:54 PM

Thanks for the feedback all :)

-- Honey... I need to buy a tool to build you a present!

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3526 days

#15 posted 06-18-2009 10:11 PM

I Like most of the ones listed above but also have some chep bits from HF and some other outfit and use them on projects that don’t have to be perfect. Now with that said, This last weekend I almost wore two of the HF bits as they snapped in half at 15K rpm on my router table. The table is above my waist and the bits shot under the table… I will be buying more of the better bits in the future!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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