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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2005, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Default Need help deciding on bits.

I just recently purchased my first router a PC 969LR, and desperately need help deciding on some bits. I want to start off with a straight bit set to do some basic joints for some storage cabinets I'm making. It seems like the more I research which brand of bits to buy the harder it is to decide. I'm a firm believer in buying quality products that will last but then again I don't want to dump tons on money on the high end stuff which won't make too much of difference in what I'm planning to do. I'm looking for bits that are good enough quality where it will provide consistent cuts without chipping especially for plywood applications. From what I've read it seem like Freud and Whiteside are top notch brands but are on the expensive side. I was looking at some Hickory Woodworking bits which is the low end model made by Oldham but not sure of the quality. Bosch and Woodcraft seem like good bits at a reasonable price. I know a lot of guys on here from what I've read recommend buying the best bits that the budget allows. I just need some direction I guess on where to start. Something middle of the line with reliability. Thanks in advance for the help.

Edit - What do you guys think of Holbren bits?

Also for rabbet joints do I need a specific rabbetting bit or could I acheive good rabbets with straight bits and a router table?

Thanks again.

Last edited by ryan.s; 03-18-2005 at 05:14 PM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2005, 12:19 AM
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Well without get in to big a discussion I might point you to

These are on the lower end of the scale of what I use but they do OK. They have a "better" line called katana and they have free postage in the US.

If I could afford it I would have more CMT bits they are the best I've used overall. Most people have a favorite, that's mine.

I ordered several bits from Holbren and have yet to use them..... been to cold to do much in the unheated garage shop in IL. If you decide to order before the end of the month check this (25% off deal)

Woodcraft has sales on whiteside all the time, at least they will have a bit of the month at some % off so check them out.

As far as rabbet bits / straight bits I do both. I think if you have a table start with that and see how you like it and how well it works for you, at least on the straight pieces.......

Hope this helps,

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2005, 12:24 AM
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Ryan, you can buy a 10 piece starter set at Woodcraft for $60 this month. This is the 10 most commonly used bits. They are decent quality. I have a set in both 1/4" and 1/2" shanks. They come with the usual Woodcraft 100% satisfaction guarantee. How can you go wrong? If you prefer Craftsman products, they have a similar 10 piece starter set for $69, but only in 1/4" shanks. The 1/2" shanks are stronger and generate less vibration.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2005, 08:32 AM
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I have several brands of bits. Including some Hickory Woodworking bits. These lower end bits work fairly well for infrequent use. If you plan on doing alot of routing I recogmend going for the best. I use CMT. They are high but well worth the money. I have found some on Ebay for a steal. New in the box for about half the MSRP. I agree with Ed about the rabbetting question.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2005, 09:26 AM
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Most sets i've seen have some bits that will see very little,if any,use. Get a few bits to get started and then purchase as you need them. I would suggest a 1/2 or 3/4 flush trim bit, a roman ogee bit(can be used to round over and cut small coves), instead of straight bits get a 1/4,3/8&1/2 spiral solid carbide end mills, they cost about the same but cut cleaner and last longer.
Good Luck
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 03:52 PM
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if u are doing long rabbets on narrow pieces use the table, if you are doing cross rabbets set a straight edge, and use the portable router. use carbide bits they last longer and will take abuse
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 10:03 PM
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Over the years I have bought a few boxed sets of cutters.
These are good to start with as the high volume production makes them much cheaper than buying the same bits singly.
I recently had one of the international discount supermarkets selling a 12 piece boxed set for 5 (approx $10)
Not top quality but good as standbyes so I bought a few sets.
From what jerrymayfield said about milling cutters I use some HSS spiral milling cutters which give a much better finish than TC.
Unfortunately I only have a 1/4" router so am limited to 1/4" cutters apart from a few 1/8" & 3/16" I have with 1/4" shanks.
HHS will give a much better finish and are the cutters used in the woodrat for the same reason.
I worked on a mill for 30 years cutting 5% chrome steel with HSS cutters and have found they keep their edge on wood very well.
The spiral clears the swarf away and is even better in a router table.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 05:44 PM
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cant argue with HSS cut quality against carbide as "me learn'ed" friend dewy says. my reference to abuse was the odd nail/screw in old timber.

Dont forget your safety glasses, I ended up at the eye hospital AGAIN! painful or what?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 09:35 PM
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I've had good success with bits from blades n I've got their 30 piece multi profile set and their six piece raised panel door set. They have cut well so far, and seem well balanced. I've only made a few doors with the RP set but am quite happy with it so far.
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