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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just scored my Porter Cable 690lrvs with additional plunge base in new condition!

Now is there a nice beginner set of routing bits that would be suggested?

Thanks!


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large sets seem to be too much...
individual bought bits for the project at hand generally works out better for you can buy better grade bits w/ less impact to your wallet...
better bits like Freud, CMT, and Whiteside... USA and European made bits will preform better and last a lot longer than the bargain chinese bits...
study this PDF... it may give you insight...
remember ... you get what you pay for...

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all the info, it’s interesting that you can get all those profiles with only 3 bits.

Also,

Rpm guide is very useful.

I shall do more research.. more tips welcomed. What did you wish someone told you about routers or bits at the beginning of your journey?


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Bit sets are really a waste of money.
first off, they are always cheap quality and will burn out pretty quick while youre learning.
Second, you wont ever use most of them.
I got one set with a new router, I got another set from someone else. About half the cutters of both sets are still unused, 4 years on. Its nice to think that you will have a particular cutter when you want it, but in reality, when youre starting out you just wont use them.

Buy maybe 6 good cutters, then get the rest as you decide what youre doing with them.
Definitely a bearing guided pattern bit. A couple different sized round over bits, and maybe splurge on a slotting set. After that, its up to you to decide what you are going to make.
 

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What did you wish someone told you about routers or bits at the beginning of your journey?
brand quality differences..
 

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I disagree with the previous comments. You can just as easily buy quality bits when you are just starting out that you might not use also and that is way more costly. Here is a set on Amazon of 12 bits for $22 which is about $1.90 per bit and they have decent reviews. https://www.amazon.com/KSEIBI-10311...6&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=router+bit+sets&psc=1 You can't buy a Freud, CMT, or Amana for $22 and I'm talking about a single bit as opposed to 12 bits. So what if you don't use a couple of them? And you have them to try and maybe you will eventually find a use for all of them. The set has a good assortment of bits that you should eventually use most of. I regularly use all but the V groove and dovetail. This is a great way to get started and won't hurt your wallet. If you read the responses of who recommends buying a set and who doesn't, almost without exception the people who don't recommend buying a set never have and those who do recommend a set have purchased one.
 

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Charles, did you read my post? I have two sets, not one. The bits I didnt use in one set are the same bits i didnt use in the second set.
I've since spent quite a bit of money on single cutters as I need (or want) them, but will never again buy a set.

Admittedly, sets are cheap. but theres a reason they are cheap. Starting out routing is a hard thing to do, using tools that will go blunt in minutes doesnt help because you blame your lack of knowledge when things go bad.. And thats my personal experience, because I was a total newbie to ALL woodworking and routing only 4 years ago.
 

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I bought a nice Bosch 1/4" set for around $80.00, so it's not a cheap set nor a dear set either, I have used most of them and they definitely don't go blunt first time, you can buy sets for $20.00 but its the old adage you get what you pay for. But then again its also horses for courses, you don't need to spend a lot on one bit you will only use a few times, so depending on your usage buy the best you can comfortably afford.

Bosch 15 piece set:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000P4IS9G/ref=psdc_1939248031_t1_B000P4IS0K
 

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Charles, did you read my post? I have two sets, not one. The bits I didnt use in one set are the same bits i didnt use in the second set.
I've since spent quite a bit of money on single cutters as I need (or want) them, but will never again buy a set.

Admittedly, sets are cheap. but theres a reason they are cheap. Starting out routing is a hard thing to do, using tools that will go blunt in minutes doesnt help because you blame your lack of knowledge when things go bad.. And thats my personal experience, because I was a total newbie to ALL woodworking and routing only 4 years ago.
From my previous post: "almost without exception". There are different grades of starter sets too Bob. I'm still using the bits in mine after about 15 years. They still do a decent job. Two of them I've used a fair bit and they are still okay. I also don't need another set and have a couple that I haven't used but I certainly don't regret buying the first set. The cost of it was approximately equal to a single good bit of similar usage. I have certainly gotten my money's worth out of it.
 

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The bits you'll use depend a LOT on what you plan on making. The only set I suggest is three roundover bits, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, preferably on half inch shanks, although Freud makes a set with a 1/4 shank. To me, after that, I'd rather have purchased good bits as I needed them. It's pretty easy to find Freud bits, and they're very good. As you start doing projects, you might ask questions here and then choose bits that will work for you. I'm not much for bit sets, especially with the 1/4 shanks. For door making sets, I have Marc Sommerfeld's bit sets because the lengths of the shanks are all the same throughout the sets so you don't have to readjust bit height for each new bit. Freud also makes matched door sets.

Before you do much routing, I suggest that you look up Marc Sommerfeld on YouTube. He was a cabinet maker before turning manufactureer, and his videos show excellent technique for router use. Nearly all work can be done with greater safety with the router in the table. Sommerfeld's videos are among the most helpful I've seen.

All that said, what you need depends on the kinds of projects you make. I do a lot of picture frames for my wife's art. I use the kinds of bits that let me shape the frame material.

How about letting us know what kinds of thing you think you'll like making? We can give you more specific recommendations that way.
 

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I’m in the “buy an inexpensive set” camp.

For example, with a $100 investment in a set you might get thirty or more router bits, vs getting five $20 bits.

Having the bits on hand will give you a chance to learn what they all do without having to spend $20 on a single bit only to discover you won’t use it often.

Having a bunch of inexpensive bits allow you to make five or six feet of trim for a project without having to run to the store (or wait for an online order to arrive) and spend $20 for one bit, or decide to do without and loose a chance to learn something. Having the bits on hand allows for creativity.

When one of the cheap bits wears out, you should replace it with a quality bit since you use the bit often.

I bought a set of about thirty bits when I first started out and I can guarantee you that I’ve used every one at least once. I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work. For instance, plywood bits are a poor second to an exact fit jig, or using a dado blade on a table saw, but I had to learn for myself. It only cost $8 to get the three common size plywood bits instead of spending $20 to get one bit. I’ve also learned how to burn up bits by taking too deep of cuts, but they were inexpensive lessons.

I’m also realistic enough to know that the inexpensive sets are inexpensive because the bits are small, cut small profiles, and have little carbide, therefore, they are perfect for use with trim routers. You should buy your starter set with 1/4 shanks so you CAN use them with a trim router.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
 

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Thanks for all the info, it’s interesting that you can get all those profiles with only 3 bits.

Also,

Rpm guide is very useful.

I shall do more research.. more tips welcomed. What did you wish someone told you about routers or bits at the beginning of your journey?


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When I first got into routing I read lots of reviews and even contacted Pat Warner who provided me with a list of his top 10 router bit brands. Infinity is another premium brand to add to your list. As most of the others have said when you buy a set you may never use some of the bits in it......but if you can buy a set at a good price then it may be worthwhile. If you have to buy online sometimes the shipping cost is a killer on small orders.
 

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I am also in the camp of buying a cheap set of bits. First, I have always considered bits as a consumable item, like a table saw blade. They will eventually will go dull. You can sharpen some, but even those will ultimately need replacing.

Most people who just bought a router are probably still trying to determine what it is they want out of the router, and what it can do. Having a wide range of bits, even if they are cheap, will help with that. As the bits wear out and go dull, this will also help identify bits that are frequently used, and allows the new woodworker to better focus where to spend their money on higher quality bits that will last much longer.

Finally, it is handy having a set around when you need that one bit for one project, and likely not to use it again. A good example, for me anyway, is the ogee bits. I almost never use them. However, if I have that one project that someone requested an ogee profile, I have it ready to go.

I got a Yonico 50 bit set well over 10 years ago, and my most used bits have long been replaced with much higher quality bits. However, I still have the set in a dedicated drawer in my router table, and every once in awhile, it has the bit I need ready to go.

Finally if there was a choice between getting a cheap router and a few expensive bits vs a nicer router and a cheap bit set, my advice is go with the latter. I would much rather see a beginning woodworker get a quality router and start working with it.
 

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Well said Mike.
 

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When I joined this forum, I was getting into expanding my projects with some cabinet making. At that time, I read many threads on what router and bits to buy. On the recommendations of folks in the forum, I bought a "starter" set of Infinity bits. The kit I bought has the ten most used bits posted by Fine Woodworking magazine. At about $200, they were not cheap but have proved to be a bargain. I have used 9 of the 10 bits in the kit. I have purchased other bits as needed as my projects continued, but still go to that 10-bit kit often. The bits are sharp and have stayed that way for years.

I like them well enough that I just purchased a similar set for my son's birthday, which is next week. I'm optimistic that they will last him a very long time, as well!
 

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When I joined this forum, I was getting into expanding my projects with some cabinet making. At that time, I read many threads on what router and bits to buy. On the recommendations of folks in the forum, I bought a "starter" set of Infinity bits. The kit I bought has the ten most used bits posted by Fine Woodworking magazine. At about $200, they were not cheap but have proved to be a bargain. I have used 9 of the 10 bits in the kit. I have purchased other bits as needed as my projects continued, but still go to that 10-bit kit often. The bits are sharp and have stayed that way for years.

I like them well enough that I just purchased a similar set for my son's birthday, which is next week. I'm optimistic that they will last him a very long time, as well!
Dan the Infinity set is not a cheap quality bit like some of the others. Infinity's bits score very high on router bit tests so it's no wonder you are happy with them. That's still a pretty decent savings because I would say individual prices would add up to between $300 and $400 without checking them out.
 
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