Harbor Freight router bits? - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 10:11 PM
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I bought a couple of sets early on from Canadian Tire, but I have mostly gone to HD and bought bits one at a time as I needed them. This works well for me, and the Freud bits are high quality, but I think I may switch to Lee Valley as their selection is better than the local HD. The LV store is 65 km away, though, so I need another reason to go to Burlington, as SWMBO doesn't like me to spend money on tools.

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Isaiah 44:13 Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line, he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass...

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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 07:09 PM
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I usually buy my bits in small sets when Grizzly has a sale on the purple ones...

I've got the roundover set in 1/2 and 1/4"- H5572 Roundover 6 pc. Set, 1/2" Shank six bits for $25

As well as the very useful "Plywood bit set" for "undersized" plywood mortises.- H5559 Straight Plywood 3 pc. Set 1/2" three bits for $14

and their Rabbeting Bit Set- H5547 Deluxe Rabbeting Set 2 for $32

I also got my flush trim bit from them and my cabinet door set. I think the purple bits from Grizzly are an unbeatable price-quality ratio especially if you time your purchases right!

ebay is a great resource for bits, I buy only high quality bits at deep discount there. I got a massive Amana drawer pull bit for $5 brand new!

When I needed a cheap starter set for my Colt I decided on a new Acceptable Grade Chinese brand that's trying to build a reputation. They are called Neiko. I've read mostly good reviews on their products. They are my new, Step Up From Harbor Freight brand, lol!

Amazon.com: Used and New: Tungsten Carbide Router Bit Set - 1/4" Shank - 8 Piece eight bits for under $20
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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..............
As well as the very useful "Plywood bit set" for "undersized" plywood mortises.- H5559 Straight Plywood 3 pc. Set 1/2" three bits for $14........
Oh wow I didn’t know that there was a set especially for plywood.

I bought a set maybe 15 years ago at a traveling tool show held in a local hotel banquet room. The place was packed with contractors and cabinet makers. Everyone was buy this router bit set and I figured that I better buy one before they were sold out. It looked nice with the wood case and all, but I still haven’t used it or know what they are used for.

I also came across a huge clearance sale at Lowe's one time and bought a bunch of bits that i still don't know what to use them for.

My router bit drawer needs some organizing and there is some stuff like drill stuff that should not even be in there, but this is what I got.


I've been thinking about buying a set with everything already in it, but i just don't know what i want
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 08:18 PM
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Lol! Yeah the plywood bits are indispensable for routing mortise slots to accept nominally sized plywood. The set fits commercial 1/4" 1/2" and 3/4" plywood nicely!
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 02:28 AM
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The biggest difference in carbide router bits is the better ones make clean cuts for a much longer time.

If you need one that you only intend to use once like I did with a garage door rail even high speed steel will suffice for one or two cuts.

The best advice I can give someone just starting out (besides stay away from HF bits) is buy the 1/2" 66 piece set from MCLS then as they wear out replace them with quality bits like Whiteside, Lee Valley, Freud, Amana, CMT etc. (yes in that order) you get the picture.

MCLS are OK bits. Not great, just OK. They are allot better than Harbor Freight and better than Grizzly but still a long way from the best. Their large sets have a very cheap pr. bit price ($2.87 per bit with the 66 piece set) and they will cut fine for a while.

A large MCLS bit set is great as a starter set and if you replace the ones you use on a regular basis with quality bits you will have a very nice intermediate set.

Last edited by Idonno; 04-04-2012 at 02:46 AM.
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post #16 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 05:10 AM Thread Starter
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The biggest difference in carbide router bits is the better ones make clean cuts for a much longer time.

If you need one that you only intend to use once like I did with a garage door rail even high speed steel will suffice for one or two cuts.

The best advice I can give someone just starting out (besides stay away from HF bits) is buy the 1/2" 66 piece set from MCLS then as they wear out replace them with quality bits like Whiteside, Lee Valley, Freud, Amana, CMT etc. (yes in that order) you get the picture.

MCLS are OK bits. Not great, just OK. They are allot better than Harbor Freight and better than Grizzly but still a long way from the best. Their large sets have a very cheap pr. bit price ($2.87 per bit with the 66 piece set) and they will cut fine for a while.

A large MCLS bit set is great as a starter set and if you replace the ones you use on a regular basis with quality bits you will have a very nice intermediate set.
Thanks Idonno, I will keep that in mind. I need to go through my bits and organize them so I can see what good or not. I did find a ½” bit the other day that was so badly burned up that it would not cut anything.
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post #17 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 10:27 AM
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i would suggest not to leave any Harbor Freight tools plugged in when not in use. a while back i went into the basement to get something and smelled fresh toast. it took a while to sniff it out, but i found it.

it was the 8" belt sander i got from them, i wouldn't have found the source of the toasty smell if i hadn't put my hand on the motor to bend down and look at the plug socket. i got a good size blister on my palm. the sawdust in the sander next to the motor was toast colored and smelled like toast.

i don't leave anything plugged in now, and I'm a better house keeper..
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post #18 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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i would suggest not to leave any Harbor Freight tools plugged in when not in use. a while back i went into the basement to get something and smelled fresh toast. it took a while to sniff it out, but i found it.

it was the 8" belt sander i got from them, i wouldn't have found the source of the toasty smell if i hadn't put my hand on the motor to bend down and look at the plug socket. i got a good size blister on my palm. the sawdust in the sander next to the motor was toast colored and smelled like toast.

i don't leave anything plugged in now, and I'm a better house keeper..
Hi, I’m glad you brought this up.

I bought a grinder years ago and I was really concerned about a warning in the manual to “inspect the wiring once a year”. I just thought this was so odd and those words destroyed my confidence any of Harbor Freight motors.

I only have one other motor beside the grinder and that is a 6” belt sander. I do not leave either of them plugged in and I worry about them each time I use them.
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post #19 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 02:16 PM
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Johhny, why not make your next project that bit drawer? You can do this in an afternoon and for very little money. There are lots of free plans for bit storage but the simple methods shown below gets everything organized and keeps your bits safe. I am adding another section for 1/2" bit storage this afternoon since I ran out of space. I am also building a stand for the bits we will be testing at the ISS event.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bit storage.jpg (84.5 KB, 67 views)
File Type: jpg Quarter storage03.JPG (42.9 KB, 68 views)

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Last edited by Mike; 04-29-2012 at 02:23 PM.
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post #20 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 03:01 PM
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For my money I buy WhiteSide router bits. I try to plan ahrad and have time to order on-line. But my local Woodcraft store carries a good supply of Whiteside bits.

Just my 2 cents.
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