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Harbor Freight router bits?

This is a discussion on Harbor Freight router bits? within the Router Bits - Types and Usage forums, part of the Routers category; Originally Posted by smc Don't get me wrong, Harbor Freight has great tools for cheap. ...


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Old 04-29-2012, 07:26 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by smc View Post
Don't get me wrong, Harbor Freight has great tools for cheap. I've seen some pretty nice carbide bits lately, but I won't buy them. You don't want to get a bargain on something spinning at high speed or used for precision work. The money saved could be used at the hospital, I guess.
Oh, heck, in Canada hospital is free, so we could take the chance on bad bits!

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Old 05-01-2012, 03:05 PM   #22 (permalink)
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There are certain things you want to stay away from at HF. Namely anything made out of metal that you're worried about breaking, or anything sharp. If you're never heard horror stories of router bits shattering, do yourself a favor and dont learn them personally by using bits made of cheap steel.

Not only will you hate life after they dull quickly, but its also risky
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:37 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Brian over at Holbren gives us a 10% of on all purchases and he sells a lot of router bits and in general a great guy to deal with, just use RF10 when ordering from him here , Router Bit Sets - Cutting Sets, Tongue and Groove, Door Sets
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:02 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I just got a catalog from American Eagle. Any thoughts on the value of these bits?
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:42 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Eagle American bits are very good quality made in the USA. We will soon be running a test of different brands of bits to see how they stand up in a average home shop. Eagle American is one of the companies participating. This will be the first time I have used them myself. Keep an eye out for the thread coming soon in this section.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:04 AM   #26 (permalink)
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They use C0 carbide which is the softest. I just had a 1/4 in straight bit break on me! I have a set which I bought some time ago. If I wear one out then I go and buy a good bit to replace it. I usually buy ceap, and if I use a bit enough to wear it out, I figure I need a good one.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:50 AM   #27 (permalink)
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why buy cheep bit's they are a waste of time to me. Now if you are going to make a couple cut's and that's it cheep may still cost more pour cut , bit brake's?? I don't go to HF that is me. I know people that do and they keep going back. I guess they have the time to do so. Weekend Warrior i guess ? Not me buy the best than you will be good that is what i do. To each his own my 2 cents
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:40 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by randyruth View Post
They use C0 carbide which is the softest. I just had a 1/4 in straight bit break on me! I have a set which I bought some time ago. If I wear one out then I go and buy a good bit to replace it. I usually buy ceap, and if I use a bit enough to wear it out, I figure I need a good one.
Read this and-

Had a "Ryobi" branded 1/4" straight carbide bit come apart on me 2 days ago. Piece stuck in a wall. I know what I was doing... Routing aluminum with too high a bit speed for the material. I could have used one of two die grinders with carbide bits... but I wanted the effect.

I'm sorry, but I try not to bash. I had another carpenter that I worked with that with a good sense of humor, used HF tools every day. His philosophy was- it's cheap. If it breaks, buy another. It worked out for him. My boss and mentor at the time, brand name, get what you pay for/pay for quality.

Other experiences since: Sometimes it's hard to get quality work from inferior tooling. Sometimes you can still get that result, but with a lot more effort.

Yet I still have to get real with finances and I have to compromise sometimes. With that, there's still that "expect what may happen." Adjust and modify. May not last as long. May "have" to make it work.

HF bits and blades? Inexpensive. May not last long. Pay attention to what it's made out of and of the "measurements."

As for routing aluminum... I usually keep a few bits to use just for that, instead of thinking they're going to work just as well on wood afterwards. Bits coming apart? About 10 or so in the last 30 years... but that is using a router "allot" almost every day.

Last edited by MAFoElffen; 06-12-2012 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:29 PM   #29 (permalink)
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As for routing aluminum... I usually keep a few bits to use just for that, instead of thinking they're going to work just as well on wood afterwards. Bits coming apart? About 10 or so in the last 30 years... but that is using a router "allot" almost every day.
Hi Mike! Iím interested in routing aluminum and want to know more. Is there more information on this?

I have a 4x5 piece of aluminum. I canít remember at the moment what the thickness is, but I believe itís about a ĹĒ thick. I originally was going to use it to make a router table extension for my Table saw, but then when I discovered that it was worth more than $300 as is, I decided against it. I still donít know what Iím going to do with it, but if I can route it, that will leave me with more possibilities.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:58 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Hi Mike! I’m interested in routing aluminum and want to know more. Is there more information on this?

I have a 4x5 piece of aluminum. I can’t remember at the moment what the thickness is, but I believe it’s about a Ĺ” thick. I originally was going to use it to make a router table extension for my Table saw, but then when I discovered that it was worth more than $300 as is, I decided against it. I still don’t know what I’m going to do with it, but if I can route it, that will leave me with more possibilities.
Tips on routing aluminum? I use carbide bits. I turn the speed down. Seems to go better.

I take my time and make shallow cuts. On router plates, I punch a hole with a drill and cut out from there. Every once in a while, I put a few drops of cutting oil on the bit. I used to put it on the work- but it's gone in a second and makes a mess of the router.

Even at high speed, you'll find it machines really well. At first "I" was worried about bit speed and melting the aluminum onto the bit... But with slow speed, light pressure and fluid movements, that wasn't a problem.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. I have scraps of recycled pieces of steel, aluminum, plastics (pvc, acrylics, poly-carbonates and polyethylene...) that I have and keep finding uses for. What I have (re-used) is cheaper than having to go out and buy...

Last edited by MAFoElffen; 06-12-2012 at 10:02 PM.
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