Router bit brand selection

Doug Sinjem

Member
Messages
400
Location
La Habra Hts. CA
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.


Doug
 
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Messages
415
Location
Seguin, TX
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. :D
 
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2,369
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.
 

tod evans

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4,993
Location
ozarks
doug,
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....
 

Nancy Laird

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1,417
Location
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)
 

glenn bradley

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9,595
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No, not all of SoCal is Hollywood.
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.
 

scott spencer

Member
Messages
903
Location
Rochester, NY
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.
 

Sean Wright

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Messages
902
Location
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.
 

Kerry Burton

Member
Messages
1,152
Location
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.
 

Tom Williams

Member
Messages
57
Location
Grove City, Ohio
For heavy use bits I buy Whiteside, Eagle America and Freud. For the "cheap" or one project bits I buy PriceCutter, Woodcraft and Rockler bits. Some the bits at the box stores are OK but it seems they are priced closer to the premium bits without the same quality.
 

jim capozzi

Member
Messages
280
Location
oswego county , upstate n.y.
hi doug

i use a few diffrent brands right now and i like them all so far. i am not an all day everyday user, so my original set is still going strong. they are hickory brand from the borg. i have a few rockler bits that have been fine also. just recently i scored the deal of the century on 33 amana bits (about $3.00 each) so this is what it looks like now...
 

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Mike Pung

Member
Messages
20
Location
Midwest City OK
Sharpening bits

I use a lot of plunge bits from Magnate http://www.magnate.net/ These types of bits are easy to re-sharpen yourself. If there is a bearing on the bit it can be removed and sharpened as well using the duo fold diamond wet stone http://legacywoodworking.com/products.cfm?product=22 I touch up all the bits I am useing to eliminate burning and reduce sanding. If you are willing to sharpen them yourself, the cheaper ones will work longer for you.

Mike
 

Frank Pellow

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Messages
2,332
Location
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
After experimenting with about 5 different brands, I settled upon the bits from Lee Valley and they now make up about 95% of the bits that I own. I can certainlt recommend them.

Also, I see that they are the third highest rated brand in the test refered to by Jim Bergstrom in post #4 in this thread. I have not tried the brands rated 1 and 2.
 
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tod evans

Member
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4,993
Location
ozarks
doug, here`s a coupla pics of one of the disposa-bits that i run, this one finally got a small chip in one flute after cutting 20-25 radiuses. the cuts where made in a single pass in 3/4" mdf....the bit still cuts fine.

MVC-621S.JPG

MVC-622S.JPG

MVC-623S.JPG
 

Frank Fusco

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Messages
12,221
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Most of my bits came from the close-out/scratch and dent room of....here I go again....Grizzly. ;) It was a discounted, already inexpensive, set that came to about $1.00 each. After buying them, I read one of those reports and learned mine should tear rough edges. Well, they did a little. But now, before using one for the first time, I smooth the flat to the cutting edge first with a diamond stone. They cut just fine and smooth. For specialty bits, I have had good luck with MLCS. They now carry some four-wing bits that are really nice and catch-free (that doesn't mean you can get careless).
 
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34
They now carry some four-wing bits that are really nice and catch-free (that doesn't mean you can get careless).
More cutting wings is not necessarily a benefit (in the same way that more teeth on a saw blade is not always better). The key to cutter design and selection is chip load, or how thick is the chip that is produced. If the chip is too thick the cut will be rough and if it is too thin burning and shorter cutter life result. If you double the number of cutting wings you effectively would have to double the feed rate or reduce the rotational speed by half to maintain the same chip load. So, unless you are power feeding, the extra wings are not effective. Also, it is more difficult to grind all of the wings precisely. Add in some runout and you end up with only one wing doing most of the work anyway. This design achieves a smoother cut without affecting the chip load because the two smaller wings cut a different part of the profile from the larger wings:

Quadra-Cut Bits:
 

tod evans

Member
Messages
4,993
Location
ozarks
charles,
chip load is a science unto itself and it`s really the one relevent factor that affects all cutters whether it`s a routerbit, shaper cutter or drill bit....
how about expanding on the subject?
thanks! tod
 
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