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First let me say "Happy Thanksgiving" to all who read this. I DO hope you have much to be thankful for. I certainly do. I'm really a beginner to wood working. Since Jr. High I've always wanted to do this, but my father and fate had other ideas. Forty years of radio and television news and some acting on the "boards". But I've been physically challenged and now retired, so I have time to build a shop, install equipment and can spend quality-peaceful time out there making sawdust.

But I have a question: What is wrong with Freud router bits? I've had several. If the cutting heads aren't breaking off, they get dull REAL fast and are totally useless (how do you sharpen carbonized cutting edges on these things?)! Yesterday I purchased a 3/4 X 1-3/4 inch Freud bit for nearly $50.00, took it home installed it in the router, made one pass on a 1X6 piece of pine. Turned the board around, started to make another pass (dado) and it just wouldn't cut! Looked at the bit and the top 3/8's inch of one of the cutting edges had snapped clean off!???!?!!!!

What's a better kind of bit to use. I'm not thrilled with spending tons of money for these "boat anchors" ... to have them fall apart with only one use. This is nuts!
So! Is Wood River better? Or is there another name brand that lasts longer (sharp wise) and doesn't "explode" sending bits and pieces of router bit all over the shop; and also, DOESN'T cost me an arm or a leg to own?
Thanks.
Again, Happy Thanks giving and In case I don't see or hear from you 'Twixt' now and then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
 

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Hi Charlie. Welcome to our little corner of the 'net.

Interesting. You're the first I've heard of that had problems with Freud bits. Maybe they are using a different manufacturer or just had a bad run of production. I know if it was me, I'd be taking them back where I bought them and demanding a refund or replacement. And sending a letter/email to Freud telling them how dissatisfied you are with their product. CharlesM, a Freud rep, is a forum member that used to be quite active, perhaps send him a private message and tell him about the quality problems.

Several here use Whiteside, MCLS, Katana or Amana. Still others do all their bit shopping on Ebay and are quite happy with the results. This might be an option for you to consider as well. There are several bit sets available. Purchase one to get the assortment, and then upgrade the ones you use on a regular basis to better quality ones as they dull.
 

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First let me say "Happy Thanksgiving" to all who read this. I DO hope you have much to be thankful for. I certainly do. I'm really a beginner to wood working. Since Jr. High I've always wanted to do this, but my father and fate had other ideas. Forty years of radio and television news and some acting on the "boards". But I've been physically challenged and now retired, so I have time to build a shop, install equipment and can spend quality-peaceful time out there making sawdust.

But I have a question: What is wrong with Freud router bits? I've had several. If the cutting heads aren't breaking off, they get dull REAL fast and are totally useless (how do you sharpen carbonized cutting edges on these things?)! Yesterday I purchased a 3/4 X 1-3/4 inch Freud bit for nearly $50.00, took it home installed it in the router, made one pass on a 1X6 piece of pine. Turned the board around, started to make another pass (dado) and it just wouldn't cut! Looked at the bit and the top 3/8's inch of one of the cutting edges had snapped clean off!???!?!!!!

What's a better kind of bit to use. I'm not thrilled with spending tons of money for these "boat anchors" ... to have them fall apart with only one use. This is nuts!
So! Is Wood River better? Or is there another name brand that lasts longer (sharp wise) and doesn't "explode" sending bits and pieces of router bit all over the shop; and also, DOESN'T cost me an arm or a leg to own?
Thanks.
Again, Happy Thanks giving and In case I don't see or hear from you 'Twixt' now and then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Hi Charlie - Happy Thanksgiving and welcome to the forum:)
Sorry, and a little disturbed, to hear about your issues with Freud bits. I have several and consider them one of the better names. Porter Cable bits are another issue altogether.
At any rate, I agree with Brian in that I would contact Freud directly. I've had very good experiences with their customer service. As far as other brands, for high end I prefer Amana from toolstoday.com. Whiteside from Holbren.com or Woodworkersworld.net are also top end. Eagle America are also highly regarded. There are obviously other suppliers of name branded bits, these are just a few that I have used and have recieved good service from.
Don't overlook house branded bits as they are often the best value. I have had good luck with the MLCS house brand as well as house brands from Woodcraft (Wood River) and Peachtree (Stone Mountain).

Would be interesting if you could post a picture of the broken bit.
Good Luck and welcome:)
 

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Hi Charlie, Welcome.
Could be a defective bit. I've never experienced your problem with Freud bits. Sometimes when a bit breaks it's because your feed rate is to fast for the amount of material you are trying to remove. The material is being forced faster than it is cutting. It could also break if it hits a knot in the material. A 1/4" shank bit will break easier than a 1/2" shank bit. If the same profile is available in both shank sizes I will buy the 1/2" shank bit as it is stronger & provides a little less vibration. After awhile you will end up with both sizes in your collection. Smaller profiles usually come with 1/4" shanks & I will use in a trim router if not using the table. For bits with bearings check the screw tightness especially when new, they can & will come loose with use.
 

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I am surprised..I have never had anything but good with Freud bits plus the fact they don't burn....I also use Somerfeld bits...they have performed very well..I am sure Freud will replace that bit as would the store you bought it if it wanted to keep your business.
 

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Charlie, while carbide stays sharp much longer than HSS it is brittle. An impact can cause it to shatter. Hitting the bench while routing free hand often causes the bit to shatter, in fact one person in California was killed by doing this with a panel raising bit free hand.(Per Rick Rosendahl) Starting your router with the bit in contact with a fence or the wood will tear off the carbide. This is why we recommend using brass guide bushings, they are softer and will not cause damage to your bits if they hit together during set ups. We also recommend using router bit storage to prevent your bits from hitting each other which can chip or dull them. For a bit to fail on your first board is not an indication that the bit is poor quality. I would bet a nickle that the stock person dropped the bit when putting it on the rack. The brazing would hold the carbide in place until the force of routing caused it to separate. It pays to inspect a new bit carefully before using it. I keep a small lighted magnifying glass with my tools for just this reason. If the bit has an attached bearing make sure the screw is tight and that the bearing turns freely. Return your bit and tell them it was defective and failed on your first cut. I am sure they will not give you a hard time over this, it happens. You didn't mention if the bit was the premium red Freud bit or one of the low cost Freud Avanti bits. It is worth spending the extra money for the red bits since the carbide is thicker and will perform better and last longer. Never use a damaged router bit.
 

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Curious Carbide Failure

I have been using the freud Qaudra-cut bits with great results. I can understand if one bit is defective, but if multiple bits of different shapes are failing there may be another reason. When I started using a router I had no clue and managed to destroy bits and lumber. I am not saying you are the problem, but lack of experience is something worth considering. As with any machining operation it is all about speeds and feeds. Router speed is determined by bit size as often as not. There are two types of feeds: How fast the router is moved through the cut and how much material is being removed.
Routing a dado with a straight bit usually requires multiple passes because of the amount of wood being removed and the tendancy for cuttings to collect in the cut. Would you please let us know the wood you were cutting, the depth of cut, and the router speed setting?
Thank you,
Dave
 

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Greetings and welcome to the router forums, we are glad to have you join us. I have had good results from Freud bits . Take it back .
 

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Dave seems you are also new here so. Greetings and welcome to the router forums, we are glad to have you join us. You might want to go over to the introduction forum and say howdy there.
 

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Hi Charlie,

Welcome to the group. I am sorry to hear of your experience with your Freud router bit. Freud makes the highest quality carbide tooling available and failures are rare but if they do occur the tools are covered by our Limited Lifetime Warranty. Returning the bit for replacement by the dealer is certainly an option for you but I suggest that you contact our Technical Services Department @ (800) 334-4107 and speak with them about obtaining the replacement for your bit and also discussing your application to be sure you are getting the best tool for the job.
 

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Welcome, I have a few Freud bits and they seem to be holding up o.k. Good luck and bring it back for replacement/refund. Also please pay attention to speed/feed rates and direction of cut also depth could be a issue be careful and happy sawdust making
 

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Hopefully Charlie comes back to read all the good advice. I, too, have some Freud bits and they are some of my favorites. I've been running a 3.5" quadra-cut bevel panel raising bit in my old Craftsman 27511 plunge router mounted to a table. The router is a 3.5HP model with 10,000-25,000 RPM. I'm sure this bit would self-destruct at anything higher than about 15,000 RPM. The maximum recommended is 12,000 RPM according to the Freud packaging. And then they suggest at least 2 or even 3 passes because it is removing so much material.

It's probably been mentioned, but other than feed rate, feed direction and depth of cut would be shear router speed. As an example, if a 3/4" bit were only rated to 22,000 RPM and you are spinning it at 30,000 with one of the newer fixed speed routers you might have bit issues. Just a thought.
 

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I have some of the Triple and Quadra head bits... and I just LOVE them all!

They are awesome!!

Like a quad 1/2" straight bit... and a Flush Trim... just awesome...

Never a problem...

I was happy to see their prices drop going on Sale! Gave me a chance to get some!
 

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I have always used another company for my source of router bits, then those that I used often I would go to Freud. I have never had the type of experience described by the opening post. I vaguely remember there being two different web sites, with similar names, that both sell Freud products and one is reliable, the other less so. Do I remember correctly? Is such still the situation?

I must note that I am very pleased to see people back on the Router Forums that had not been seen recently, but then I have not been here much for months myself.
 

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Freud straight bit burned/chipped

Hi Charlie,

Welcome to the group. I am sorry to hear of your experience with your Freud router bit. Freud makes the highest quality carbide tooling available and failures are rare but if they do occur the tools are covered by our Limited Lifetime Warranty. Returning the bit for replacement by the dealer is certainly an option for you but I suggest that you contact our Technical Services Department @ (800) 334-4107 and speak with them about obtaining the replacement for your bit and also discussing your application to be sure you are getting the best tool for the job.
I too have an issue with a 3/4 inch freud straight bit that I've used three times. Once making dados and rabbits in 23/32 sandfly. The next two were dados in 23/32 pine plywood. The blades chipped and the head burned. While routing, the wood burned With lots of smoke.

I had both routers set at highest speed, 22,000 and 23,000 rpm's respectfully, so I should have had plenty of power to cut through this soft wood. Since I haven't found a chart to help me set the correct speed, I've just set for the fastest setting.
 

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Just had a 3/4" x 1" bottom bearing flush trim bit that is faulty.

The top of one of the cutting edges chipped away.

Will call the CS line provided by Charles. Thanks !
 
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