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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve come across this forum a few times looking for answers to stuff I couldn’t find googling and here I am again. Looking around online it’s hard to find a recommendation for a bit set to get. I’ve seen it suggested to get a cheaper set of bits to start with and then upgrade what you use as the ones you use more often wear out. I plan on following this suggestion but reviews on cheaper sets are all over the place. I know these bits aren’t going to be the best but I still don’t want to throw my money away on something that will only last a few uses.

Im hoping to get some suggestions for a beginner set that is still work worth getting?
Thanks
 

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Theo
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I wouldn't buy a bit set, for any price. What I do is buy a cheap bit off of ebay when I want a different type of bit. Then if the bit does what I want, I will buy a decent bit of the same type. This has worked out well for me.
 
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John
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Hello and welcome to the router forum
first thing what do you consider cheap? Can you handle 1/2” and 1/4” shanks
Next what kind projects are going to be doing ( really do not over think it buy a 10 pc set after that buy them as you need them)
Start cutting and enjoy
 
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Ben I believe most will say buy the bit you need as you need it. In an attempt to organize my router bits and accessories I finally did away with the 15 bit set I got from MLCS when I got my router eleven years ago. What I did was emptied out the wooden box so I could store some of my Dovetail jig stuff in it. Of course I sanded off the MLCS logo and clear coated it. Out of the 15 bits that came with the set I used about half of them.

I would plan a project and order the bit or bits I would need in advance and go from there. If you are set on a starter set there's HF's that I believe you would actually use most of them Starter Set
 

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Doug
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Grab a flush trim bit, a 1/4" roundover, and a 3/8" or 1/2" straight bit. These will help you play around with standard 3/4 inch stock and experiment until you find what bits fit your projects. If you want "cheap" bits that you can learn with, but won't frustrate you, try Yonico (yellow, Chinese bits, cut well for a while).

Don't buy a big set of cheap bits because you probably won't use half of them. Also crappy bits make bad cuts.

Keep an eye on Woodcraft, sometimes their green bits go on sale and are pretty decent for the price.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don’t have an exact project yet, waiting for my router to come in. It will fit 1/2 and 1/4. I was just thinking if I could get a set of bits that covers general use cases it would be a good starting point for learning and figuring out what else I’d need. I’m brand new to routers and trying to learn as much as I can before I start.
 

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Welcome to the forum. There are some very good bits and there are some that are just plain trash and won't last. MCLS is just outside of Philadelphia and has a showroom if you live nearby it may be worth a trip. While my best go to bits are either Whiteside or Freud they do have some decent sets that you can get at a decent discount for such things as dinged doors, loose hinges. etc... The boxes aren't high quality but that's OK. They will hang on the wall and display the bits just fine. Out of the set I've used maybe 5 or 6 and the set has 66 bits. I got it at a steal of a price for defective return (case) but don't remember the actual price but way less then 50% off. In person lets you see the actual set and then you kind of decide if it's worth it. If there are say 10 bits you would use but not so often then it's a decent deal but then again you need to decide. I don't regret getting mine as some are more seldom used but get enough use to justify.

Whiteside and Freud do have some basic sets but again you need to decide what you will be doing and if it's all handheld then that narrows the choice. Some bits should only be used in a router table, one of the things you may want to give some thought to building or buying.
 

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Welcome to the forum here is a small set of 1/4" at Home Depot that would get you started. Yonico Multi Profile 1/4 in. Shank Carbide Tipped Router Bit Set (15-Piece)-17150q - The Home Depot it really depends on what you want to do but that set won't brake the bank and they are rated well. I use straight bits and round overs a lot. Here is a 1/2" set Yonico Multi Profile 1/2 in. Shank Carbide Tipped Router Bit Set (15-Piece)-17150 - The Home Depot. I would probably opt for the 1/4" set because the will also fit a trim router if you decide to get one later. Just my thoughts and a way to get started. The best way to learn is to go and make some saw dust.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the suggestions and tips. Roxanne those sets look nice and it seems like multiple people are suggesting Yonico as a good brand for affordable but still quality bits.
 

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I've had OK results with Yonoco, but only individual bits. I have a strong preference for half inch shank bits, but roundover and mortising bits I use most are 1/4 inch shanks, almost always in a smaller trim router that only holds 1/4 bits. For larger bits, half inch shanks are preferable. Aside from specialty door making bit sets, the only set I have is a1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 roundover set, made by Freud. For good bits, I almost always wind up with Freud bits, easy to find at Home Depot, high quality, last a long time and can be sharpened if needed.

I do have my eye on a Yonoco set of bits for milling picture frame materials.

What makes really cheapo bits inferior is the poor brazing of the cutters to the body of the bit. Big sets, cheap are likely to include poor quality bits.
 

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Doug
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"Yonico as a good brand for affordable but still quality bits."


I would say Yonico is good for a budget bit. They are great for starting off. They will cut well, but when you find out which bits you use the most you should buy a better quality bit.

Nothing worse than trying to sand burn marks because the profile bit just wasn't up to the task.
 

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A couple of different straight cutters, some round overs and a couple of top bearing bits to help with templates will get you started.
The big question here is, what router are you getting?
 
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Discussion Starter #16
A couple of different straight cutters, some round overs and a couple of top bearing bits to help with templates will get you started.
The big question here is, what router are you getting?
I ordered the Masterforce 2 1/2hp plunge and fixed base kit from Menards. Hopefully a good choice, it was hard to find reviews on it but one poster on this forum said they liked it.
 
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