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post #1 of 13 Old 09-21-2020, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Router bits

I do freehand router inlays into maple and oak. I've been using Freud bits because for years I used their blades and was impressed by how long the edge would last. I'm finding the bits don't last for long. Which brand of router bit holds it's edge for the longest?
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-21-2020, 04:14 PM
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welcome to the forum, Mark.
when you get time, please introduce yourself in the New Member Introduction section.
can you share some photos of your past inlay projects so we have an idea of what kind of bits you use ?

.

there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks.
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-21-2020, 04:40 PM
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for router bits, the reality is.....


any of the made in China stuff is very probably from the same vendor.
different color paint, same box, same inserts, same clasps, same product, different label.


multiple USA vendors. I personally cannot vouch for longevity "quality" from any of them - I'm just a bumbling hobby wood hacker who will likely never "wear out" a carbide router bit.....
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-21-2020, 07:20 PM
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First and foremost, do you clean your router bits? Router bits get gunky just like table saw blades; a cleaning can make a big difference. Remember to remove the bearing before you clean the bit.

With care, you can re-sharpen router bits to extend the useful life of the bit. Use a diamond stone on the flat side of the carbide only. If the router bit has more than one cutter (most do), be careful to sharpen each one the same amount to maintain the match between them. Re-sharpening may not be as good as new bits, but it may get you a little more use from them.

Rockler has an unconditional guarantee on their router bits. They will say that it doesn't mean buy one and they will replace the router bit for life, but "unconditional" means "no conditions" to me. If you feel that it does not deliver a satisfactory amount of useful life, they should replace it, right? (In my opinion, Rockler-branded router bits are better than the average cheap bit, but slightly inferior to Freud.)

I met the Freud representative when I was shopping at a woodworking store one day. Of course he was enthusiastic about his company's products over the competition. One claim I heard is that Freud makes its own carbide. He said that Freud's carbide is superior to the third-party carbide that others buy and use. My own experience with Freud bits is that they are neither worse nor better than other common brands.

Whiteside and Amana router bits have a reputation for being better quality and more durable. Certainly they are priced higher than the competition. I admit it, I buy Whiteside bits when I am working on a "special" project and want the best, or for common bits that get a lot of use.

Some things to think about, anyway. I hope it helps.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-21-2020, 10:18 PM
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I've used Amana router bits for a long time, I like them personally. Frued is fine, I'll state I've not used too many of them before but what I have used worked well.



I'd suggest looking into getting them sharpened rather than just getting a new bit. Oak and maple can dull a bit pretty well and pretty fast.



T-
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-22-2020, 01:33 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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It's the grade of carbide!

https://www.precisionbits.com/beginn...guide-old.html

The cheaper bits use a lower grade of carbide, C2. The better ones use C3 or even C4, a more durable grade of carbide and more expensive.
http://blog.carbideprocessors.com/sa...ss-of-carbide/


Scroll down to find How to Buy Best Router Bit Sets:
https://woodworkingtoolkit.com/best-router-bit/


I use Freud, Whiteside and Yonico most often in my shop, but never have used any to the point where a clean up with a diamond hone wouldn't bring back a sharp edge. HSS steel bits can be made sharper, but carbide tips will last longer before it dulls. I may have an Amana bit or two and they are very well regarded:
https://www.amanatool.com/products/router-bits.html

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 09-22-2020 at 01:35 AM.
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-22-2020, 08:35 AM
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Adding to my post above, the Freud representative told me that Freud uses their own C4 carbide.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-22-2020, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeebyWoodWorker View Post
I've used Amana router bits for a long time, I like them personally. Frued is fine, I'll state I've not used too many of them before but what I have used worked well.



I'd suggest looking into getting them sharpened rather than just getting a new bit. Oak and maple can dull a bit pretty well and pretty fast.



T-
Agree... Freud is okay at best...

The thing to remember is router bits cost to sharpen. Getting the most between sharpening is the key...

Last edited by Rebelwork; 09-22-2020 at 10:58 AM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-22-2020, 11:02 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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Manufacturers are notalways forthcoming ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Adding to my post above, the Freud representative told me that Freud uses their own C4 carbide.
I tried to determine what grade of carbide the different manufacturers use and it wasn't always available on their sites. Freud uses some proprietary blend as stated here:

https://www.google.com/search?q=What..._AUoAHoECAEQAA

Amana states:
https://www.amanatool.com/products/router-bits.html

Whiteside says they use a "micro grain carbide" :
http://carbideprocessors.com/by-manufacture/whiteside/

Yonico says:
https://www.google.com/search?client...RwXD0EQ4dUDCAw


Rockler has some special stuff:
https://www.google.com/search?client...4dUDCAw&uact=5

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 09-22-2020 at 11:06 AM.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-22-2020, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I tried to determine what grade of carbide the different manufacturers use and it wasn't always available on their sites. [...]
Rockler has some special stuff:
https://www.google.com/search?client...4dUDCAw&uact=5
Great stuff! Thanks. Your Rockler link says:

"K20 carbide
Rockler router bits are made using high quality ISO K10 and K20 carbide, are finish sharpened with 600-800 diamond abrasives, and are precision balanced and are geometrically designed for superior chip ejection."

According to this chart, K10 and K20 are ISO codes for U.S. Industry Code "C2" carbide.
https://www.federalcarbide.com/tungs...son_chart.html

Before looking at that chart, I thought that C2 was inferior to C3, which was inferior to C4. In other words, the higher the digit, the better the carbide. Now I am no longer sure. It may more subtle than that, where you must balance hardness, brittleness, etc.
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post #11 of 13 Old 09-22-2020, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post

Before looking at that chart, I thought that C2 was inferior to C3, which was inferior to C4. In other words, the higher the digit, the better the carbide. Now I am no longer sure. It may more subtle than that, where you must balance hardness, brittleness, etc.
Exactly, ^^^

Working in a custom tool and die shop for 40 years and have seen the progression of carbide and carbide choices over the years. In an industrial setting minor details in carbide makeup, can and will, have dramatic effects on production,,,,,,, when in an extremely controlled environment.

This means day in and day out the material being cut remains the same, the depth of cut remains the same the feed rate remains the same, etc. Unless those variables remain the same, the difference in carbide performance will be difficult to quantify.

When viewed under a high power microscope, all cutting edges will show a cutting edge which is made up of many many small teeth. The size and depth of the gaps in those teeth, is a result of both the sharpening method and the grain structure of the material which makes up that edge, in this case, carbide.

We could purchase carbide, either a "ground and lapped" or just a "ground" edge. This of course addresses the sharpening method.

Or we could purchase a lower priced carbide, verses a "submicron" grain structure at a higher cost. This address the affect of grain structure in regards to the "teeth" produced when grinding a cutting edge.

For the hobbyist wood worker, I would suggest looking for a product with claims of "sub-micron" grain structure within the carbide. A router bit company, using a "better" (sub-micron) grade of carbide, most likely may use a "better" sharpening process as well. (who knows for sure?)

Take care,
Dave McCann
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-24-2020, 07:22 PM
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Anyone familiar with Bit and Bits? They have a proprietary coating on some of their bits that's supposed to give longer life amongst other benefits.
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-24-2020, 08:26 PM
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Most of my bits now are either CMT or Whiteside.

I got away from Freud b/c I didnít feel the longevity was there.

Robert
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