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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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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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Hello BBK. Welcome to the RouterForums. A great forum to be a member of.
 

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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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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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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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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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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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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..

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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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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..

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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. :laugh:
 

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HI Ken

That's when the 4 to 1 multiplier come in to play :), I know I have said this b/4 but at one time I sold use tools, we had guys come in that work on the BIG stuff (hvy.equipment ) and they were always looking for the multipliers, the big ones to remove the 4" and 6" nuts, I ask one of them for a pair of the 6" nuts and had them chrom.plated for book ends, still have them somewhere in the garage...so to say the multiplier will take off the nuts/bolts, I just recalled we had one come in for train wheel nuts that took two guys to hold and operate , big elec.mother on a kart :)


http://www.vannattabros.com/saw48.html

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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. :laugh:
 

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HI Ken

That's when the 4 to 1 multiplier come in to play :), I know I have said this b/4 but at one time I sold use tools, we had guys come in that work on the BIG stuff (hvy.equipment ) and they were always looking for the multipliers, the big ones to remove the 4" and 6" nuts, I ask one of them for a pair of the 6" nuts and had them chrom.plated for book ends, still have them somewhere in the garage...so to say the multiplier will take off the nuts/bolts, I just recalled we had one come in for train wheel nuts that took two guys to hold and operate , big elec.mother on a kart :)


X4 torque multiplier

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Hey Bj,,, if your interested in your 4x's big brother ----
Classified Ad Details

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sorry if I brought in the idiots of the world to the website. I figured that the smaller 1/4 inch bits have more area behind the blade to allow for better cleanout than the same size 1/2 inch ones. Any other theories other than unbolting truck wheels.
 

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Sorry if I brought in the idiots of the world to the website. I figured that the smaller 1/4 inch bits have more area behind the blade to allow for better cleanout than the same size 1/2 inch ones. Any other theories other than unbolting truck wheels.

They each have their uses and needs. In a way, you answered your own question with your question. The key for using both bit sizes is, feed speed and router bit speed.
 

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Hi Ho: Good answers. I normally use 1/2 inch bits in the table and plunge routers, but recently got a palm (laminate trimmer) router. Good thing I still have the 1/4 inch bits. By the way, I love the palm router because it is quick and easy and leaves one hand free to hold the work or whatever. For stuff like roundovers and chamfers it's the way to go.
Dirk
 

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1/4 vs 1/2

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.
1/2 inch for rigidity and better heat dispersion when possible

with leigh dovetail jig I use mainly 8mm (.315 inch) dia bits.

1617 and 1619 come with 1/4 and 1/2 collets, but I will not
use collet reducers. I bought 8mm and 3/8 specific collets for
the Bosch. I feel much safer - using a reducer means you have to tighten
2 collets. I had an 8mm slip using 1/2 to 8mm reducer.

regarding 1/8 straight bits - when possible use a slot cutter if possible for
grooves. I broke one mounted in a table making a slot. Either 1/4 or 1/2 should be ok for plunging.

slowly learning
 

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The real question you should be asking yourself is "what sort of router do I need" I have a collection I have bought from various rummage sales and off ebay and they all come in handy for the right job. The 1/2" router lives in the router table full time. The 1/4" plunge gets used for most small jobs that don't either can't be done on the table, or don't require the extra power of the 1/2". The two fixed head routers get used for rounding over (the bit spends all its time in the router and i have a protective plate to save it geting damaged) and for dovetailing.

As a consequence I have a selection of bits, most 1/2" but a small box of 1/4" as well.

Most specialist bits only really work in 1.2", especially if they are large or complex cutters. My 2 favourites are a lock mitre cutter and a drawer mitre, both only avaliable in 1/2" due to their size.

For those who think I have loads of money I have never paid more than £15 for a router and never had any problems.
 
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