1/4" vs. 1/2" bits - Router Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Default 1/4" vs. 1/2" bits

Can anyone explain the difference between using a half inch or quarter inch bit?

Half inch is stronger, quarter inch has less mass???? What gives.

Assume both bit tips are exactly the same size

Thanks
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 09:30 PM
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The 1/2" shanks are stronger & provide less vibration than the 1/4" shanked bits. They each have their place. For me if same profile cutter is available in both shank sizes I will get the 1/2". The smaller profiles usually have 1/4" shanks. A good collection of bits will have both.

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Last edited by jlord; 05-02-2010 at 02:33 AM.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 11:35 PM
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Generally speaking, bigger is better for rigidity but as usual there will be exceptions. Some that come to mind are:

Small bits, say 1/8th inch plunge bit, will always have the weakest and most flexible portion at the smallest diameter, so there is no real value in going to a 1/2in shank version unless your machine can only handle 1/2in bits.

When using template guides bushes, the shank or cutter generally has to pass through the guide bush. Often not an issue, but with Leigh jigs and bushes it normally limits the user to 8mm (3/8in) or 1/4 in shanks for standard bits and bushes.

Again it's horses for courses.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 12:51 AM
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Hello BBK. Welcome to the RouterForums. A great forum to be a member of.




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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 02:26 AM
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BBK,

Occasionally the 1/4" shanks can come in handy too. I wanted to make a 3/8" deep, 1/2" wide cut in 2" MDF, following around a template made of 3/4" MDF. Using a 1/4" shaft, 1/2" dia, 1/2" cutting length hinge mortising bit with a 1/4" ID x 1/2" OD bearing on the shaft (with bearing retainer) I was able to have the bearing riding against the template before starting the router and plunging to depth.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 04:50 AM
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Don't put all your eggs in one basket. I was buying all 1/2" shank bits for the same reasons. Then I bought a Bosch Colt and only had a couple 1/4" shank bits. But it was a good excuse to buy more.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 08:01 AM
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Hi BBK

For me it's having the right tool for the job, it's like having 1/4",3/8",/1/2",/3/4" drive sockets sets no one tool can do all the jobs..

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj3 View Post
Hi BBK

For me it's having the right tool for the job, it's like having 1/4",3/8",/1/2",/3/4" drive sockets sets no one tool can do all the jobs..

======
BJ.. For me, I use the 1/2", 3/8" & 1/2" sockets. For anything requiring a 3/4", I let my mechanic do it! Your point is well taken, however!

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 02:21 PM
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Hi Jim

Sometimes it takes the 1" drive sockets that's when I get the 1" inpact out (the tank) you just never know sometimes what it will take to get that sucker off..but I do cheat sometimes when the bolts are rusty and get the tank out to just snap the bolts off sure saves a lot of time..can't do that with 1/4" drive sockets but I have in the pass had to use the 4 to 1 multiplier to break the big ones off...right tool for the right job thing ..just like router bits..

=======

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJimAK View Post
BJ.. For me, I use the 1/2", 3/8" & 1/2" sockets. For anything requiring a 3/4", I let my mechanic do it! Your point is well taken, however!



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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj3 View Post
Hi Jim

Sometimes it takes the 1" drive sockets that's when I get the 1" inpact out (the tank) you just never know sometimes what it will take to get that sucker off..but I do cheat sometimes when the bolts are rusty and get the tank out to just snap the bolts off sure saves a lot of time..can't do that with 1/4" drive sockets but I have in the pass had to use the 4 to 1 multiplier to break the big ones off...right tool for the right job thing ..just like router bits..

=======

I've used those 1" "heavy tanks" before. Fun when they break lose what you're working on. Not so fun when they don't. Sometimes, those tractor trailer lug nuts DON'T break free when needed. Fun to hear them "hammer" though.

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