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Splinters
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I only have two router bits on hand. I am looking at some sets. I "was" only going to buy what I needed, but I don't even have the basics right now. Can someone recommend a decent set that won't break the bank..?
 

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crosseyed & dyslexic
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The basics for what? edge profiling, mortising, flush cutting, dove tails, dados? I'm not big on buying "sets" unless say it's a set of radius bits. or something of that nature. Buying for what you need as you need it in my opinion alleviates buying bits you'll never use and bits of less than desirable quality. I like to use Amana, Whiteside bits, yes they are more expensive, but the quality of the carbide is ten fold, They stay sharp longer, can be resharpened several times and if the bit has a bearing I don't have to worry about some cheap bearing failing on me and ruining my work.
There are sets out there and I'm sure someone will be along shortly to point you in that direction.
http://www.woodpeck.com/whitesidemain.html
 

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I agree with Crusader about sets. If you buy a 10 pc set you will most likely get 2-4 useful bits and the rest you may never use. Buy good quality bits as you need them and they will last a long time. Also locate the best sharpening service in your area, they are not all created equal. Ask a local millwork shop or countertop shop who they use.
 

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I only have two router bits on hand. I am looking at some sets. I "was" only going to buy what I needed, but I don't even have the basics right now. Can someone recommend a decent set that won't break the bank..?
First off if you have a choice and your router will accept either 1/4" or 1/2" shank use the 1/2" shanks. MLCS has a few good sets, so far most of the bits I have gotten from them are pretty good and they come with a box. For just general all around set, get the 15 bit set, covers most of what you might need for general work.

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/set15piece.html

General idea is to get a good set then buy better bits like Whiteside, Amana and Freud since they are very expensive, but worth it for bits you use the most, because there isn't much point in paying high dollar for real good bits you may only use once or never. Won't take long to notice which bits you use the most, then just replace it with the high dollar bit. Then still have the other bits for one time use or seldom used, they will work fine and you will have them on hand.
 

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Wait for black friday, I have a set of Skil router bits that my wife bought me on black friday special last year for dirt cheap. They're not as nice as my Freud bits but it gives me a nice selection of bits that I don't use often enough to need nicer ones.
 

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Thanks guys. I think it'll be the MLCS 15 PC set for a basic starter set....
That is a nice starter set IMO. Good quality, useful profiles, low price, free s/h.

Another option is the basic Whiteside 7 pc set for ~ $100....top shelf quality and performance, American made, useful profiles.


Whichever you choose, go for the 1/2" shank whenever possible.
 

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Sawdust Wrangler
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Another option is the basic Whiteside 7 pc set for ~ $100....top shelf quality and performance, American made, useful profiles.

Whichever you choose, go for the 1/2" shank whenever possible.
I second the Whiteside bits. They are top-notch. All of mine are Whiteside with the exception of a few Freud. I also second the 1/2" shanks where ever possible.
 

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I agree with Crusader about sets. If you buy a 10 pc set you will most likely get 2-4 useful bits and the rest you may never use. Buy good quality bits as you need them and they will last a long time. Also locate the best sharpening service in your area, they are not all created equal. Ask a local millwork shop or countertop shop who they use.
The quality of many cheap sets leaves a lot to be desired, I have seen straight bits where one cutter edge is contoured enough to to be obvious just by looking at it.

The welds of the tips are often suspect, do you want a chunk of carbide flying at you at over 100 MPH?

Save your money and protect your safety, buy quality as needed.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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That is a nice starter set IMO. Good quality, useful profiles, low price, free s/h.

Another option is the basic Whiteside 7 pc set for ~ $100....top shelf quality and performance, American made, useful profiles.


Whichever you choose, go for the 1/2" shank whenever possible.
This set swill probably do 95% of your routing tasks.

Need a wider dado? Do it in several passes.

A variety of round over sizes are nice but remember that you're working with edge treatments on 3/4" stock. The same is true with cove bits.

The rabbet bit is good but you'll find that using a table saw might be easier. You'll use the chamfer bit on mission style furniture especially when making "Lamb's Tongue edges". (a.k.a. A stopped chamfer.)

The flush trim bit can also be used with a template.

These bits will probably cover all of your needs for a year or two.
 
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I was just going to create a new thread for this very issue .. but here it is already here for me to drink in.

THANK YOU Pauley and ALL who have responded thus far - subscribing/bookmarking for future reference.


:thumbup1:
 

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I have a 30(?) piece set of MLCS that I got a while ago and add to as I need different bits. I think they are a great value. I'm sure they aren't the same quality as Whiteside but they are a fraction of the price. For a hobbyist like me, they're great.
 

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Whiteside is the only bit I buy, unless there is some unusual reason, like the ones LV offers that match Stanley 55 cutters if I need one. Whiteside makes the better quality bits that Eagle America sells, as well as some other companies, but I don't remember all the names right off.

The only MLCS bit I ever had didn't last any time.

I also recommend only buying one when you have the need for it.
 
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