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Rough Sawn Lumber
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The carbide tipped set you listed should be adequate for the weekend warrior. But in general the box sets for cheap are not high quality and can lead to more burning and poor performance. One can sharpen router bits but that requires having sharpening tools that will fit the profiles, which for straight and chamfer bits is not a big deal.
 

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It seems router bit sets always get a bad name. Are they really that bad? Would they work for a weekend woodshop guy like myself ? Example: MLCS 8377 15-Piece Router Bit Set with Carbide-Tipped 1/2-Inch Shanks:Amazon:Home Improvement. This set gets really good reviews, are all these people wrong?

I have one bit and need more, but at $20-40 a pop individually, that's a lot of coin.
sometimes the set's are ok, but lot's of time you only use a couple and the rest never get used, what i would do is figure out which bit's you are going to use , some of those bits have a curtian use, i guess buy the set and than you will see that sometime is isn't a good deal, my self i never buy a set, about 4 bit's are those one's i use like round over and than you can raise the bit up and get the probile, the streight bit, i like a spiral bit, eather the down or up cut, is better, the 45degree bit?? the dovetail ? you need a pin bit and a few more item's, good luck sometime's a good bit cost a little but it will be the one you use and it last and last ,better than have maybe 1/2 never get's used ?
 

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John
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It seems router bit sets always get a bad name. Are they really that bad? Would they work for a weekend woodshop guy like myself ? Example: MLCS 8377 15-Piece Router Bit Set with Carbide-Tipped 1/2-Inch Shanks:Amazon:Home Improvement. This set gets really good reviews, are all these people wrong?

I have one bit and need more, but at $20-40 a pop individually, that's a lot of coin.
Hi - That bit set is one I usually recommend as a starter set. Has all the basics plus a couple and the quality is fair. You can upgrade the quality as they wear out and it doesn't hurt as much. There may be a couple you might never use but if you figure the per-bit cost, you will likely be better off.
I still buy some mid range bit sets on sale, like a set of roundovers with everything from 1/8" to 3/4" radius gives a lot of flexibility in finishing your projects without going shopping. I also have 5 and 6 bit sets of coves and chamfers for the same reason and haven't got a ton of money tied up. Flush trim, straight bits and the more commonly used roundovers I have upgraded to CMT, Amana or Whiteside. :smile:
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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A difficult question to answer.

As has been said previously, some sets are of lesser quality. However a bit set from a known manufacturer may be a different case.

For example, a manufacturer offers a bit set and specifies bit numbers in the set. The quality of the bits in the set is of the same quality as what you would find if you purchased them individually. The bad news is that the cost savings is probably not much more that 10% or 15%.

That is only part of the issue.

A more important question to ask yourself, is "How often do you expect to use the bits from the set?" Are you buying router bits that will serve as dust catchers?

There is a router bit set floating about containing of over 60 bits for about $200. Let's work that price backward. On average that is $3 per bit. (Round numbers) The retailer buys the bits at about $1.50. There are some shipping costs, distributor to retailer. The distributor buys the bits at $1 and there are shipping costs from manufacturer to distributor.

Forgetting about shipping costs, the manufacturer's sale price is close to $1. The questions are:
Where in the world can a router bit be manufactured profitably for a buck?
What kind of quality can you expect in a $1 router bit?

Finally, think of the physical position of the router bit relative to your body when you are using the bit.

Now, do you want a router bit, that the manufacturer sold for about a dollar while making a profit, spinning at 20,000 to 30,000 RPM, in that physical position?
 
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The only "kit" I have purchased from MLCS is a spiral cut bit in the 3 sizes offered and a raised panel matched set....I have purchase several other bits from them, and while they are adequate for my hobby, when I replace a bit, I do it with Whiteside.....much better quality.....I have thought many times about the large sets, but, as said previously, I probably would not use most of them.....
 

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I agree with John. It's a good starter set. I'm a hobbiest and I got the MLCS 30 piece set a couple years ago and have been surprised at how many of the bits I've used. On several occasions I added to the set with MLCS bits I bought individually as I needed them.

The quality seems to be good. I haven't had to replace any bits yet because I dulled them. I broke a couple straight bits and replaced them with the higher quality Katana's.

I have the advantage of living 30 minutes from the MLCS/Penn State Industries factory store, so I get to visit. I've sometimes gotten good deals on discontinued and 'tested' sets and bits.

Bill
 

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Haven't been to the MLCS store, are you refering to the one on philmount ave in hv, thx
 

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Walleye,
I have bought a couple of the cheap sets when at a tool sale and they were too cheap to pass up. If I remember right they were a 40 piece set for $39, or something close to that. I normally don't buy stuff like that, but for a dollar a bit, I figured I would throw them out after each use. I have to say they have worked fine for the occasion radiused edge, flute, flush cuts, etc. About half the bits are bearing guided, they are all 1/4" shanks. For small project type stuff, they are fine. When I need to make some raised panel doors, or the like, I pull out the freuds, whites, etc.
Mike Hawkins;)
 

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RJ said <<Haven't been to the MLCS store, are you refering to the one on philmount ave in hv, thx >>

That's the one. I had to think about what you meant when you wrote "hv" (Huntingdon Valley) as I just think of it as being in NE Philly (which it is not, it turns out).

If you go there they have a bargain bin of router, drill and Forstner bits. They also have some scratch, dent and returned stuff in the back of the store that's marked down. Most of the stuff they have on the web site they have at the store. What they don't have there is in their main warehouse about a mile away.

Bill
 

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dodgeboy77,
thx, I pass there at least once a week, will have to stop in and check it out
 

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It seems router bit sets always get a bad name. Are they really that bad? Would they work for a weekend woodshop guy like myself ? Example: MLCS 8377 15-Piece Router Bit Set with Carbide-Tipped 1/2-Inch Shanks:Amazon:Home Improvement. This set gets really good reviews, are all these people wrong?

I have one bit and need more, but at $20-40 a pop individually, that's a lot of coin.
In general the MLCS bits are a good buy for the money. I have bought them individually and at least one time in a set.

I do not know why you think sets always get a bad name. Probably more often than not the person bitching does not know how to use what he/she has.

George
 

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Sets don't always get a bad rap....that 15 pc set has all the most commonly used profiles, and the quality is decent. $43 shipped makes it a good buy for a starting hobbyist IMHO. It's the cheap mega sets that still set you back $100-$200 that aren't overly well thought of....they can still cost a lot of money, and you end up with lots of cheap bits of questionable quality that are either near duplicates or oddball profiles that you're less likely to use, as opposed to fewer bits of better quality that you will use.

Whiteside and Infinity offer 7 and 6 pc sets of the most basic profiles for ~ $100. More expensive that MLCS, but better quality too. I think those sets can be a good buy also....they're the same quality as their individual bits. Then you can add other profiles as needed.
 

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I bought a decent set 12 years ago when I set up shop. I'm not a professional but I am a serious hobbyist or family craftsman. I still use some of the bits - a few I never touched (maybe some day), and a few I used up. Those few I used mostdid not last but I replaced them with good quality single bits.
 

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I purchased the 20 pc Ryobi Carbide router bit set a few weeks ago. It retails for 49.97. Just purchased my first router and wanted a popular selection of bits to start off. I have heard woodworkers say to walk the other way on some of those 60 pc.
sets .

Anyone else have the Ryobi set ?

I realize they aren't professional or top quality, but would you consider them decent for an entry level router user ?

When I get more experience with the tool and learn what bits I use the most, I will likely buy more professional quality as I add to my bit selection.
 

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I purchased the 20 pc Ryobi Carbide router bit set a few weeks ago. It retails for 49.97. Just purchased my first router and wanted a popular selection of bits to start off. I have heard woodworkers say to walk the other way on some of those 60 pc.
sets .

Anyone else have the Ryobi set ?

I realize they aren't professional or top quality, but would you consider them decent for an entry level router user ?

When I get more experience with the tool and learn what bits I use the most, I will likely buy more professional quality as I add to my bit selection.
I think you made a good approach.

George
 

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I purchased the 20 pc Ryobi Carbide router bit set a few weeks ago. It retails for 49.97. Just purchased my first router and wanted a popular selection of bits to start off. I have heard woodworkers say to walk the other way on some of those 60 pc.
sets .

Anyone else have the Ryobi set ?

I realize they aren't professional or top quality, but would you consider them decent for an entry level router user ?

When I get more experience with the tool and learn what bits I use the most, I will likely buy more professional quality as I add to my bit selection.
$50 for a decent set seems reasonable. I've never done a side by side comparison, but based on what I know of the Ryobi saw blades, I'd speculate that a set like the MLCS is a little better quality...although it has to be mailed ordered, so you can't carry it home with you. If your Ryobi set is still cutting well, sounds like it was a decent investment.
 

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John
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One thing about MLCS that hasn't been mentioned is that they do offer free shipping on all orders. Not a big deal if you live in a reasonably populated area but where I live, becomes a major consideration.
eBay is also a reasonably good source if you are careful. There are 3 eBay vendors I have found to have reasonably good quality and value. Super Carbide tools, LMT Onsrud Router bits and blades and Precision Bits.
One major brand I have found to be less than desirable are under the Porter Cable flag. :smile:
 
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