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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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I'm quite new to routers so I was wondering is it better to buy a router bit set or to buy individual bits as I go?. Are there any reputable router bit sets? U.K. what is the best material for bits to be made of?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 05:16 AM
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sets give you bits that you'll likely never use...
at a minimum C3 carbide... C4 is better and C5 or higher is often impractical for the hobbyist.....
C1 is soft and C8 is some next level hard...
harder carbide give you more mileage, stay sharper longer but is harder to sharpen.. harder = brittle too...
lower numbers dull quickly and are more shock resistant...
Asian bits are often C2 and the really cheap ones are C1.......
HSS is a total waste of money...

I really like my Freud bits....
they are some real performers and their carbide gives a best feature balance...
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 05:35 AM
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Default Get a SMALL starter set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weh2k9 View Post
I'm quite new to routers so I was wondering is it better to buy a router bit set or to buy individual bits as I go?. Are there any reputable router bit sets? U.K. what is the best material for bits to be made of?
See for example:-
http://www.trend-uk.com/en/CZ/produc...rter_sets.html
If you are a hobbyist, a small 6 or 12 pcs (Max) starter set will get you started.
THEN
BUY QUALITY BIT one at a time the bit you use most or just one that you specially need for your projects.
DO NOT BUY a big set..
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 08:19 AM
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I would go with a set and don't worry about them wearing out. After you have been using the router for a year or so you'll know which ones you usually use and for those you can buy better quality ones. I have been using a set of Asian ones that I bought off Ebay over twenty years ago and they are still going strong. Unless absolutely necessary don't use the router without a table. If you do you'll be making things more difficult and in some cases more dangerous. Others will disagree but the main purpose of the router is to put an edge on something and for that it's easier to bring the wood to the tool. You can use the router for all sorts of other things that look useful but you'll soon discover that it takes longer to build a jig or set it up then it does to make the cut.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 09:08 AM
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I'm with Stick on sets giving you bits you'll never use. I say buy what you need, when you need it.

I have I think 5 styles of bits, and use just one. I do have a project coming up that will require an entirely different bit, so bought a cheap Chinese bit, don't care if it lasts or not, just want to see it it does what I want. If it does, then I'll get a better bit after it dies.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 09:28 AM
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I'm with Stick on sets giving you bits you'll never use. I say buy what you need, when you need it.

I have I think 5 styles of bits, and use just one. I do have a project coming up that will require an entirely different bit, so bought a cheap Chinese bit, don't care if it lasts or not, just want to see it it does what I want. If it does, then I'll get a better bit after it dies.
I,m with Theo and Stick. A set will give you several bits that you will never use and duplicates of the same bit. I buy them as I need them.

David
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 09:36 AM
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I recommend buying an inexpensive set of router bits. A set of 30 bits will cost about $100.

Starting up you will have no idea which bits you will need until you try them. Not having a bit to try something out, then going out and buying a $20 bit, only to find you won’t use it again is silly. Not having a bit on hand to try out something new is just as silly, how are you going to learn what you need?

Furthermore, I suggest getting your bargain bit set in 1/4 inch shank. The bits are inexpensive because they are small and have little carbide. Most are a suitable size for use with trim routers which can only use 1/4 inch shanks.

Once you learn about router bits and what you use on a regular basis, go out a buy a quality bit. Lean toward buying your expensive bits in 1/2 inch shank unless you know it’s a bit you will most likely use with a trim router, but by then you’ll know what you need.


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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 10:24 AM
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Art loves his table, but in my opinion, waaay overstates the "danger'' of using a router freehand.
How else are you supposed to use a plunge base? Almost everything I use a router for is done freehand.
I'm careful and so far I haven't had any untoward excitement (loss of blood being the generally accepted benchmark...).

Some small sets are very specific and are excellent value; roundover bits being a perfect example.
If you saw a good quality set of 4 or 5 roundovers at a good price, well, grab them. Just keep your eye open for clearance sales and manufacturers' promotions.
Try not to pay full retail if you're not desperate for any particular bit. Eventually you'll spot them on sale and/or free shipping.
I have both 1/4" and 1/2" routers. I like the small 1/4" trim router for doing very light edgework; for example 1/8" and 1/4" roundovers, ansd laminate trimming.
For dados and rebates I use the 1/2" router and bits exclusively; more horsepower and stronger bit shanks.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 11:32 AM
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I like all the advice that has been posted. And like the OP, I have been there, done that...bought a set or two of bits and only used one or two out of the 3-5 bits (from more than one set). Then 5 yers later, I needed one I hadn't used. VOILA! a brand new router bit!

But mostly, I use roundover bits in several different sizes. A set of these with bearings would be a good option to consider. Others include several sizes and lengths of flush trim bits (top and bottom bearings are good).

A pattern bit can be really handy when you make a template and need to duplicate a part.

Whiteside, Freud and bits from MLCS have worked well for me. I also have a couple of others from Amana and Yonico I use in the CNC.

Another purchase I made was a rabbeting bit that came with a set of bearings. That is very handy. Just change the bearing and you are ready to cut a rabbet in another size. No need for a second bit. A quick search on Amazon turns up several brands to choose from. https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...=rabbeting+bit Mine are Freud.

Also, since I have several routers that accept different size shanks, some of my bits are duplicates I have acquired from years past. That is because I started with a 1/4 inch shank Craftsman back in the 80's and now have the compact DeWAlt in 1/4 inch shank as well as Bosch and Triton routers that have collets for both sizes.

Good luck.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaninVan View Post
Art loves his table, but in my opinion, waaay overstates the "danger'' of using a router freehand.
.
free hand was around long before the RT's were...
at one time you violated your warrenty if used your router mounted in a table the mfgrs staded they weren't intended for such use...
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If only new layers hadn't been added....

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Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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