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Thread: Router bit brand selection

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    La Habra Hts. CA

    Router bit brand selection

    Looking to purchase some misc. router bits and was wondering what the majority of you guys were using. There are so many companies out there and several choices. I'm looking to purchase quality bits that will last.
    Some of the brands I've looked at include Freud, Amana, Whiteside, Infinity, CMT, Lee Valley, Jesada to name a few. Looking for pros and cons of these and any others worth noting.

    Last edited by Doug Sinjem; 10-25-2007 at 05:27 AM.

  2. #2
    I've not used a LeeValley bit, but have used the rest... and from that list, I think you could go strictly on price. Who's having the sale this week?

    I'm also a big believer in the $5 sale at Woodcraft.

  3. #3
    My suggestion is based on what you already have for inventory.

    If don't have many router bits I suggest you go out and buy one of those cheap sets that has 30 router bits or whatever for under a fifty bucks. Go ahead and use it, and soon you will see that some router bits you use all the time, some you never use. The great thing is, for little money you have those odd-ball bits on hand when you really need them. For the ones that get worn out quick, well when you replace them buy top notch carbide bits since you obviously will be getting your money's worth out of them.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Nanaimo B.C. Canada
    Doug here is a a chart of the router bit test done by fww mag this last year ->
    Cheers! - Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    router bits are a disposable item, like sandpaper....but if you just want to spend money for braggin` rights i think that whiteside, amanna and freud in that order are the longest lasting...
    that said i buy and use the import stuff from woodline.....5 bucks(ish) for a 1/2"diameter 1/2" shank straight.....i don`t cry when i plow through nails, and i don`t even think about getting it sharpened when they get dull, afterall new is the same price as one sharpening....
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Travis and Tod both have good advice. But if you look at the chart from FWW that Jim referenced, yoiu'll see that Woodtek also scored in the "Excellent" range, and their bits are usually priced in the same range as Lee Valley, Infinity, and Whiteside. They are just as long-lasting as any other (we have some that we've had for years that haven't ever been sharpened), and are a good value.

    Just my .02.

    Nancy (57 days)
    Nancy Laird
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!

    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    For bits that I'll resharpen. I use Whiteside but so far they have outlasted everything else with Freud and Amana bits being a close second; none of which I've sharpened yet. I take advantage of the $5 bit sales and those I just toss when their done or sharpen for $15 and consider that I've gotten two uses for $20.

    I think Holbren ships free in the USA and carries a number of Whiteside profiles.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    For bits that get heavy use or that I need "best" performance from, I look to Whiteside, Infinity, or Freud. CMT, Price Cutter's black, and Katana are also very good. For lesser used or less critical bits, Holbren's house brand is about as good a bargain bit as you'll find, and he ships for free. The Woodcraft and MLCS bits are ok too.
    Got Wood?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    WNY, Buffalo Area
    As some one who does woodworking as a hoby, I use mostly the Rockler store brand in the 1/2in shanks. I have been happy with them to date. I also have a few assorted Porter-Cable bits, but they don't get much use.

    Rockler is always running sales, so I can usually pick up whatever I need without spending too much.

    I started with a cheap set from Sears, that had an assortment of 10 1/4in shank bits. It was a good way to start, without dropping alot of money.
    We create with our hands in wood what our mind sees in thought.
    Disclosure: Formerly was a part-time sales person & instructor at WoodCraft in Buffalo, NY.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Orem, Utah
    Speaking of Rockler, I got a letter in the mail yesterday saying that shipping on ALL orders is FREE until the end of the year ... to members of their (free) Rockler Rewards program. You need to enter a Coupon Code when you place your order, which looks it might be unique to each member.

    Hmmm ... I don't see any mention of the free shipping offer on the Rockler website. Maybe it's a "stealth" offer? If anyone is interested in more details, I can look at the letter again tonight.

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