Hahahah,,, are you looking to start up the age ol battle again ? .... Just kiddin,, but it comes down to how much you want to spend,,,, do you want a lot of bits for a little money,,, or a few big name bits for a lot of money ?
I am on the cheap side and have not been disapointed yet with them and have used them a lot !!,,,, got tons of profiles to choose from and have completed quite a few projects that every one seems to like,,,
But you will find people from the other camp that beleives just as strongly that you should stick with the expensive bits for their high quality,,, they are good,, no question about that,,, but you will not have a lot of profiles to play with,, and if you do screw up and run a peice of metal accidently into your bit for some reason,,, you will have a LOT bigger frown on your face if you live in that camp,,,
But If you are new to routering,,,, its just my opinion,, but I think it just makes more sense to start out with the cheapo's first to get some experience with all the profiles and see what ones you use more often and then after a while,,, you can decide which camp you want to pitch your tent..
Just one example that I will give in favor of the cheapo's,, I needed to make a 1/2 inch radius on some thing I was building at work last week,,,, in 1/2 inch aluminum plate stock,,, we did not have any radius cutters handy at the time and since it was for myself anyway,, I took in a 1/2 round over bit,,, from one of the cheap sets ya buy on ebay,,,,, I figured if it runined it,, so what,, I got several of them,,, So I chucked it up in a bridgeport and spun it up as fast as the bridgeport would turn and cut across 4 inches of aluminum and it did the job ,,,, after it was done I looked at the bit and expected it to be pretty worthless,, but I could see almost no wear on it and it went back into the box with the others,,,,
So ya can say what you want about the expensive bits,,, I have a few of them also,, but I bet there are not too many people out there willing to intentionally put their nice brand new, top of the line, bits into metal any day soon.
I have a very eclectic router bit collection, you name the color of the coating, the manufacturer, I probably have them. I received a 30 bit cheapo set for a gift, and 95% of them have actually done fairly well. I try to buy midrange bits, but cannot pass up a bargain. A couple of months ago I got some woodcraft bits for $5 a piece, and they have been quite good.
If I'm shopping in a store, I get Oldham Viper bits. For the money I think they are one of the best values. Online, I pick up Price Cutter budget bits or Grizzly purple bits. Those bits are just too cheap to pass up.
My Panel raisers are Woodline USA brand, and they have been worth every bit I paid for them.
The only suggestion is to buy 1/2 inch shank bits. I have had a 1/4 inch shank bit break on me, and that can be quite exciting. Also, stay away from HSS bits if you can.
Only buy a super everthing bit collection if it is a deal you cannot pass up. Pick up bits as you need them and you can save a little money. I have bits in a set that still have the shipping wax on them, and others that I have replaced a couple of times already.
As Terry said, bit brands are a personal choice. Everyone could have a different correct answer.
Doug,Terry and Shawn said it quite well. My only additional suggestion is to check out the hyperlinks on this site. Why not patronize the companies that support this site? Mark and the rest of the Administrators here work hard to enhance our hobby. I know that Bob and Rick's sponsors would appreciate our business.
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