Which router bits? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 05-26-2017, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Which router bits?

Just got myself a Bosch router and was wondering what type of bit / brand I should go with as a beginner for general purpose?
Cabinet door/ window sill etc.

Bosch and Freud is what I have in mind
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post #2 of 24 Old 05-26-2017, 04:26 PM
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As a beginner with a new router, I recommend you buy a set of bits. These sets will give you all the basic bits and you will learn which bits you like. The sets are sold at all the Big Box stores like THD, Lowes, Sears and Harbor Freight. The sets are usually much less expensive than buying individual bits.
I think you will really enjoy your new Bosch router.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #3 of 24 Old 05-26-2017, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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It is a better deal for sure on the set but selection is very limited on big box stores.

I am trying to stay away from no name brands.

Are IRWIN bits any good? I read some review on lowes that they are made in China and is identical to Skil


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post #4 of 24 Old 05-26-2017, 09:04 PM
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I would not be too concerned with generic bits. The majority of brand names are now imported.
Your not running a high production shop where a router bit is used almost 8 hours a day. A cheap bit will most likely serve you well. A carbide tipped blade trump high speed steel but keep in mind that only a generation high speed steel was as good as it gets.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #5 of 24 Old 05-26-2017, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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My only concern with generic bits is that it will not get a nice clean cut on the wood and or ruin it


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post #6 of 24 Old 05-26-2017, 10:05 PM
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I'm in the same boat as you. From all my research, I've heard it's best to find out what kind of edge you're trying to make and then to buy a good specifically for that purpose. I've heard that if you buy a set, you're most likely to only use 20% of them. The rest will just sit in the box. That's anecdotal evidence though.

http://www.precisionbits.com

- Wil
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post #7 of 24 Old 05-26-2017, 10:54 PM
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I've been in the same conundrum. After much research and advice from those more experienced than I, my solution is to buy the 70 piece Yonico set along with a couple 1/4" up-cut and down cut bits. If I find a particular bit I use often I will probably replace it with a higher quality bit.

I bought two Yonico bits from Amazon to test the quality and they cut cleanly and smoothly.

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post #8 of 24 Old 05-26-2017, 11:08 PM
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I run a production shop so we use good bits. Onsurd is my bit of choice. Very good bits are made by Whiteside in the US. You can Google them. Whiteside has small sets available. For production use we use solid carbide, not brazed. Bosch bits were OK, may be made in China now? So much depends on what you are trying to do. There are many different grades of carbide. Designated C1, C2 etc. As they get harder they also get more brittle. Crushed and recycled carbide is used in very cheap bits. Grain structure will be more variable and they don't sort by grade. A fast way to ruin the edge on the bit is by moving too slow and over heating the edge. Buy some cheap ones to get started. As you learn how to use your new toy, you may want to move up to the better bits.
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post #9 of 24 Old 05-27-2017, 07:09 AM
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Strategies for Buying Router Bits

Router bits are not the place to buy the lowest end of the market. Buy well proven quality bits....their safer, perform better for longer, and are better value in the long run. I'd get a small set of the very basic profiles (6-15 pc) of good quality bits ....you're likely to use every single one, and from there you can add specialty profiles as needed. Buying large sets means spending more money, usually for cheaper grade bits that don't perform well for as long, and many of which will be near duplicate profiles that you many not use. Also worth noting is that cheap beats are more dangerous and can actually hurt you if they come apart (I've seen it!). Whiteside and Infinity both make really good sets for around $100. Get 1/2" shank whenever possible.


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Last edited by notskot; 05-27-2017 at 07:36 AM.
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post #10 of 24 Old 05-27-2017, 09:29 AM
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Great advice from previous posts! Buying (& using) router bits can become costly and confusing, but IMO the top first five bits to consider are a 1/2" straight bit, flush trim bit, 1/4" round over bit, a chamfer bit, and a rabbeting bit. Five more are a dovetail bit, a pattern bit, cove bit, ogee bit, and a slot-cutting bit. A bit with a 1/4" shank is less $, but a 1/2" shank gives a stronger steadier cut especially in heavy or deep cuts. Buy "name brands" where possible, but trying a "lesser quality" for a few special cuts is better than investing in a big box of bits - most of which you may never use. Be safe.
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post #11 of 24 Old 05-27-2017, 09:35 AM
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I have a different approch

For a home shop, where the bits will only see occasional use, I recoomend a "starter" set with many of the common bits and profiles for moldings like this:


This set and many other are available on Amazon. This one sells for $65.00 and received 4.5 stars:
https://www.amazon.com/CARBIDE-ROUTE...ds=router+bits

When you get to a point where you are making longer runs, then it's time to buy either specific bits in 1/2" or a set like mentioned above. I use my "starter" set bits for small projects but I don't make a whole lot of moldings. I use the rabbet bits for mortising small hinges in a palm router where a 1/2" bit would just not work.
My set from years ago was made by Masterforce, and may not be available any longer.

I also have the Whiteside 1/2" bits in many flavors, some Freuds, and some MCLS. I just don't do enough moldings to warrant more expensive profile bits. I just made a display cabinet for fishing lure and reels for a friend and used the 1/4" bits for the moldings:
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post #12 of 24 Old 05-27-2017, 10:16 AM
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I don't have any experience with the bits mentioned above, but I bought these offer 5 years ago and have no complaints.
MLCS 8369 1/2-Inch shank Carbide-tipped Router Bit Set, 30-Piece https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001NXC6ZA..._AFykzbTR6Y901
If you use certain bits a lot or burn them out replace them with better bits. I have yet to replace any of mine.

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post #13 of 24 Old 05-27-2017, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notskot View Post
Strategies for Buying Router Bits

Router bits are not the place to buy the lowest end of the market. Buy well proven quality bits....their safer, perform better for longer, and are better value in the long run. I'd get a small set of the very basic profiles (6-15 pc) of good quality bits ....you're likely to use every single one, and from there you can add specialty profiles as needed. Buying large sets means spending more money, usually for cheaper grade bits that don't perform well for as long, and many of which will be near duplicate profiles that you many not use. Also worth noting is that cheap beats are more dangerous and can actually hurt you if they come apart (I've seen it!). Whiteside and Infinity both make really good sets for around $100. Get 1/2" shank whenever possible.




I agree safety should always be first. It would be helpful if whiteside provide a diagram on each bit like their competitors.
Yeah I don't want to spend like $80 on a big set where I only use like 5 bits, I much rather spend $100 on a premium set of 5, where it get use all the time. At the end of the day it's only $20 more and I think it's worth it.

Which tongue & groove bit would you recommend for cabinet doors? There are too many to choose
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post #14 of 24 Old 05-27-2017, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
For a home shop, where the bits will only see occasional use, I recoomend a "starter" set with many of the common bits and profiles for moldings like this:


This set and many other are available on Amazon. This one sells for $65.00 and received 4.5 stars:
https://www.amazon.com/CARBIDE-ROUTE...ds=router+bits

When you get to a point where you are making longer runs, then it's time to buy either specific bits in 1/2" or a set like mentioned above. I use my "starter" set bits for small projects but I don't make a whole lot of moldings. I use the rabbet bits for mortising small hinges in a palm router where a 1/2" bit would just not work.
My set from years ago was made by Masterforce, and may not be available any longer.

I also have the Whiteside 1/2" bits in many flavors, some Freuds, and some MCLS. I just don't do enough moldings to warrant more expensive profile bits. I just made a display cabinet for fishing lure and reels for a friend and used the 1/4" bits for the moldings:
Good post and good advise.

A beginner has no idea of what bits he/she is going to use and neither do any of us posting on here.

George
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post #15 of 24 Old 05-27-2017, 11:48 PM
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It seems some expect more expensive bits will be safer. Not sure that is true. You rarely find documentstion of any router bit coming apart that is verifiable. With my 11 years and my wife's 30 years in the health insurance business we have never heard an injury caused by such a failure. A few injuries from various tool failures but never a bit or blade flying apart. Most tool relayed injury are operator errors. Also, even a small number of injuries would put most router bit companies out of business in pretty short order. Bottom line... I would not be afraid of Yonico, MCLS Diablo or son of the other less expensive router bit companies that have been in business for a while.

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post #16 of 24 Old 05-28-2017, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regesullivan View Post
It seems some expect more expensive bits will be safer. Not sure that is true. You rarely find documentstion of any router bit coming apart that is verifiable. With my 11 years and my wife's 30 years in the health insurance business we have never heard an injury caused by such a failure. A few injuries from various tool failures but never a bit or blade flying apart. Most tool relayed injury are operator errors. Also, even a small number of injuries would put most router bit companies out of business in pretty short order. Bottom line... I would not be afraid of Yonico, MCLS Diablo or son of the other less expensive router bit companies that have been in business for a while.

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I have witnessed a cheap bit that shed a carbide cutter, and imbedded itself in a wall. We were very fortunate that it didn't hit either of us. I have read of a couple of other people posting of similar mishaps, but it isn't common. It could happen with any bit, but is more likely with poorly made bits. Yonico, MLCS, etc., are reasonably popular and are pretty well proven as acceptable low cost bits, but I'd definitely avoid the lowest end of the market of no name bits.

Between the cost of the router setup, the material, and the bits, then add in the personal risk, its just not worth trying to save a small amount of money over....excellent performance and safety costs a little more, but is worth it in the long run.
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post #17 of 24 Old 05-28-2017, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notskot View Post
Strategies for Buying Router Bits

Router bits are not the place to buy the lowest end of the market. Buy well proven quality bits....their safer, perform better for longer, and are better value in the long run. I'd get a small set of the very basic profiles (6-15 pc) of good quality bits ....you're likely to use every single one, and from there you can add specialty profiles as needed. Buying large sets means spending more money, usually for cheaper grade bits that don't perform well for as long, and many of which will be near duplicate profiles that you many not use. Also worth noting is that cheap beats are more dangerous and can actually hurt you if they come apart (I've seen it!). Whiteside and Infinity both make really good sets for around $100. Get 1/2" shank whenever possible.


In my opinion a quality smaller set such as this is the route to go for anyone starting out, there is enough of a selection to get the feel of things and gain some experience.

Get the rest of your bits one at a time as you need them, there is no point in paying for a bunch of bits you will likely never use.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #18 of 24 Old 05-28-2017, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Schweitzer View Post
I run a production shop so we use good bits. Onsurd is my bit of choice. Very good bits are made by Whiteside in the US. You can Google them. Whiteside has small sets available. For production use we use solid carbide, not brazed. Bosch bits were OK, may be made in China now? So much depends on what you are trying to do. There are many different grades of carbide. Designated C1, C2 etc. As they get harder they also get more brittle. Crushed and recycled carbide is used in very cheap bits. Grain structure will be more variable and they don't sort by grade. A fast way to ruin the edge on the bit is by moving too slow and over heating the edge. Buy some cheap ones to get started. As you learn how to use your new toy, you may want to move up to the better bits.
I don't even bother with other name brand bits besides Whiteside now. I've bought a lot of bits and some are good and others are OK. The Whitesides have proven to be high quality bits for whatever shape I've purchased. The only reason I'd buy a different brand is if they didn't have the profile or I was in a jam and needed it now.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
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post #19 of 24 Old 05-28-2017, 05:05 PM
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Leo G, If you do production work Onsrud bits are worth a try. We only run solid carbide on the CNC, the carbide is longer lasting on solid bits. We've also gone to using a "Marathon" coating sold on the Onsrud bits. We probably average a 30% longer run time with the coating. Life is greatly affected by the material being cut. HPL is the worst material to cut. Melamine coated will run about 100 sheets. A 3/8" compression bit will cost about $8 more coated, that's on a $70+- bit. A bit will last 2 to 3 days of production work. We don't have bits sharpened, not worth it.
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post #20 of 24 Old 05-28-2017, 05:43 PM
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Yup, I bet. I do custom work so no real production. I only have a few solid carbides and they are usually straight spirals for cutting MDF and other non wood materials.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
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