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:confused: Could someone perhaps address, for those of us who are new and on limited budgets, the cost of router bits. When buying are the more expensive bits, less expensive bits and maybe even “cheap” bits the best way to go at first. Or should one conceder bit sets vs. an individual bit. I have seen bit sets that end up costing from about 2.50 on and up per bit on average, compared to individual bits costing 10.00 to 35.00 dollars and up each. I am sure in some sets there might be some you will not use but does the cost difference justify getting the set? I have bought both ways I ask as a novas just getting started with the router in woodworking. Now that I am into it I find the router to be the inexpensive part, much to my wife’s chagrin.

I had a friend say get the “cheap” bits, like at HF to learn with. I know that sometimes using “cheap” is not good because of bad experiences one might have using the "cheap" bits that might have someone think this is not fun.

I know I borrowed a friends Sears router and after using it I concluded that if the was what a router was all about no thank you! Now before I get “flamed” this was, I now realize, an older and not well maintained router. But it did affect my choice of routers when I bought mine. After hearing some of the Fellas talk about their Sears routers, well I would now seriously consider the Sears routers.

It may be that this has been addressed some time in the past but I could not find it and If it has been discussed, or just cussed for that matter, just direct me to that place.

Well I don’t know about any one else but I am sufficiently confused:confused:.
 

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Hi,

I personally don't much care for sets unless they are something like a rail & style, T&G, etc. (The exception I have is, I do have a bullnose & straight bit set from Whiteside, to make wooden hinges). The reason is, some sets will have bits that you will never use. I like individual bits due to the fact, I know what I need or want to get. For a beginner, you don't really want a "cheap" bit but, yet, a "decent" bit to work with. I'd say, look for the mid priced bits to start with. Whiteside and Katana are one of the higher end bits. CMT & Freud come in next on my list. The Grizzly, Pricecutter, and the rest on down. I do believe that many like to purchase from Ebay. Check with Bj, he gets a lot of his bits from there. I'm sure he can give you a link to the site. :)
 

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HI xplorx4

This is just my cents :)

This is always a hard one..I don't recommend any one to buy cheap bits (Oham /HF for just two of them ) but I do recommend them to buy the middle of the road bits..
MLCS and Grizzly both sell the middle and the high end bits,,:) unlike Freud and CMT / Whiteside only sell high end bits but you pay for that when you don't always need the high end bits..and it's just a hobbie for most..

I always suggest to buy a set ( like below ) to start off with, it will not have many of the bits you will need down the road but many that you will need all the time, many of them can do more than one job..just need to think out side the box most of the time..

You can drop 1000's of dollars in router bits just like any hobby...
Most are weekend woodworkers and don't need a bit to last for ever.

bit sets, this seller has great feed back on eBay
http://stores.ebay.com/Super-Carbid..._W0QQcolZ4QQdirZ1QQfsubZ5441634QQftidZ2QQtZkm


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:confused: Could someone perhaps address, for those of us who are new and on limited budgets, the cost of router bits. When buying are the more expensive bits, less expensive bits and maybe even “cheap” bits the best way to go at first. Or should one conceder bit sets vs. an individual bit. I have seen bit sets that end up costing from about 2.50 on and up per bit on average, compared to individual bits costing 10.00 to 35.00 dollars and up each. I am sure in some sets there might be some you will not use but does the cost difference justify getting the set? I have bought both ways I ask as a novas just getting started with the router in woodworking. Now that I am into it I find the router to be the inexpensive part, much to my wife’s chagrin.

I had a friend say get the “cheap” bits, like at HF to learn with. I know that sometimes using “cheap” is not good because of bad experiences one might have using the "cheap" bits that might have someone think this is not fun.

I know I borrowed a friends Sears router and after using it I concluded that if the was what a router was all about no thank you! Now before I get “flamed” this was, I now realize, an older and not well maintained router. But it did affect my choice of routers when I bought mine. After hearing some of the Fellas talk about their Sears routers, well I would now seriously consider the Sears routers.

It may be that this has been addressed some time in the past but I could not find it and If it has been discussed, or just cussed for that matter, just direct me to that place.

Well I don’t know about any one else but I am sufficiently confused:confused:.
 

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I bought one of those 66 piece sets from E-bay when I started. They are good to learn on. When one breaks or gets so dull it's useless, or I need a certain profile, I run up to the toy store (Marsh power tools) and get Freud bits.
I have also bought a few at wood working shows.
 

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I agree with the others - buying at least mid-range bits will avoid a lot of headaches. And, while some sets are handy, it's best to study what is included in the set, and think about whether you're likely to use them all. Having a series of sizes in each major type (e.g. roundover, cove, etc.) is really handy, though. But, you can build up your own sets over time. That's what I'm doing as I migrate from 1/4" to 1/2" shafts.
 

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I agree with the others - buying at least mid-range bits will avoid a lot of headaches. And, while some sets are handy, it's best to study what is included in the set, and think about whether you're likely to use them all. Having a series of sizes in each major type (e.g. roundover, cove, etc.) is really handy, though. But, you can build up your own sets over time. That's what I'm doing as I migrate from 1/4" to 1/2" shafts.
I'm 100% with Ralph on this. The possible exception is I went with 1/2" shank bits from the start. Oh, and don't bother with HHS, go carbide right from the start.
 

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I'm the odd man out on this subject. Sorry for another long post.

I spent weeks researching which router to buy and bought one of the top two recommended routers. Then I spent weeks agonizing which router bits to buy. After the smoke cleared, I said to myself, "Self, why buy one of the best routers and put cheap bits on it? It might be better to buy a lower end router and put the best bits on it.”

The analogy I thought of was a stereo system. One can buy the best, hi-fidelity receiver with flat frequency response but put cheap speakers on it and it will sound cheap. Or one can buy a lesser receiver and put the best speakers on it and it will sound amazing.

Everything I've read online says that Whiteside bits are number 1 in any comparative review. Even the upcut spiral bits leave less fuzz on the edges than lower brands. So I bit the bullet and am buying Whiteside bits for the bits I think I will use the most and for where clean cutting will affect the appearance of the product. Midrange bits for where the cut will be seen less or not at all like dados and slot cutters.

Though I will be buying some MLCS bits, one thing raised a flag regarding them. In the tech support section on the MLCS website, there is the recommendation that MLCS bits not be run at higher speeds than this:

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ROUTER BITS
Large Diameter Sizes ----------- Maximum Recommended RPM
1/4" to 2" -------------------------- 18,000
2-1/8" to 2-1/2" ------------------- 16,000
2-5/8" to 3-1/2" ------------------- 12,000

Please note that for router bits with a carbide height greater than 1-1/2", the bits should be run at 16,000 RPM or less, and the cut should be made in several passes. To reduce Router speed, use a variable speed router or a Speed Control device.

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/techfaq.htm
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The lower speed recommendation for the smaller bits seem to indicate (to me) that the balance of the MLCS standard bits might be somewhat compromised. This is compared to more expensive smaller bits that can be run at the full speed of the router like 24,000 rpm. Please correct me if my evaluation is not correct.

If I don't burn or break any of the Whiteside bits, I'll never have to buy them again with my amount of expected usage, and they can be sharpened if I do more routing than expected. I believe what others have said about starting off with mid-range bits has a lot of merit. I just went with the stereo analogy for my bits.

Skyglider
 

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I'm the odd man out on this subject. Sorry for another long post.

I spent weeks researching which router to buy and bought one of the top two recommended routers. Then I spent weeks agonizing which router bits to buy. After the smoke cleared, I said to myself, "Self, why buy one of the best routers and put cheap bits on it? It might be better to buy a lower end router and put the best bits on it.”

The analogy I thought of was a stereo system. One can buy the best, hi-fidelity receiver with flat frequency response but put cheap speakers on it and it will sound cheap. Or one can buy a lesser receiver and put the best speakers on it and it will sound amazing.

Everything I've read online says that Whiteside bits are number 1 in any comparative review. Even the upcut spiral bits leave less fuzz on the edges than lower brands. So I bit the bullet and am buying Whiteside bits for the bits I think I will use the most and for where clean cutting will affect the appearance of the product. Midrange bits for where the cut will be seen less or not at all like dados and slot cutters.

Though I will be buying some MLCS bits, one thing raised a flag regarding them. In the tech support section on the MLCS website, there is the recommendation that MLCS bits not be run at higher speeds than this:

==========
ROUTER BITS
Large Diameter Sizes ----------- Maximum Recommended RPM
1/4" to 2" -------------------------- 18,000
2-1/8" to 2-1/2" ------------------- 16,000
2-5/8" to 3-1/2" ------------------- 12,000

Please note that for router bits with a carbide height greater than 1-1/2", the bits should be run at 16,000 RPM or less, and the cut should be made in several passes. To reduce Router speed, use a variable speed router or a Speed Control device.

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/techfaq.htm
==========

The lower speed recommendation for the smaller bits seem to indicate (to me) that the balance of the MLCS standard bits might be somewhat compromised. This is compared to more expensive smaller bits that can be run at the full speed of the router like 24,000 rpm. Please correct me if my evaluation is not correct.

If I don't burn or break any of the Whiteside bits, I'll never have to buy them again with my amount of expected usage, and they can be sharpened if I do more routing than expected. I believe what others have said about starting off with mid-range bits has a lot of merit. I just went with the stereo analogy for my bits.

Skyglider

I hadn't seen that table... and being just about to buy the MLCS stacked slot cutter set, I'll be interested in the answers from our veterans.

I would think that the cautions are more to do with heat than vibration... though both edge speed and vibration potential increase with the width of the bit.

That said, I'll sit back and watch the answer flow... :)

Bob
 

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Skyglider, methinks you are "over analyzing" this a tad. Bob hit it right when he said it was more about heat than vibration. With any bit, as the size (diameter) of the bit increases, the recommended speed decreases. Look at it this way... If the center of a 2" diameter bit is turning at 6000 rpm, what do you think the outer edges are doing?
 

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Skyglider, methinks you are "over analyzing" this a tad. Bob hit it right when he said it was more about heat than vibration. With any bit, as the size (diameter) of the bit increases, the recommended speed decreases. Look at it this way... If the center of a 2" diameter bit is turning at 6000 rpm, what do you think the outer edges are doing?
But if heat is the problem, shouldn't it affect "all" router bits? Or is it that more heat is generated by mid or low level brands due to less sharp cutting edges, even with brand new bits? There must be "something" different that allows high end bits to run at 24,000 rpm without their manufacturers recommending lower max rpms.

Also, note this statement made by MLCS in the link I provided:

"Please note that for router bits with a carbide height greater than 1-1/2", the bits should be run at 16,000 RPM or less, and the cut should be made in several passes."

The several passes part is common to every router. But the "carbide height greater than 1-1/2" part should be run at 16,000 RPM" part does indeed indicate balance problems and not heat problems to me. Longer bits have to be balanced better to run at full speed.

I donknow. The only fact I can go by with my beginner's evaluation is that MLCS itself recommends that their bits be run at less than full router speeds. Even their 1/4" diameter bits which negates the larger diameter theory. I'm sure MLCS router bits work great with so many positive user reports. As I said, I'm going to buy some MLCS bits. I'll just use them at the max speeds that MLCS recommends.

Thanks,
Skyglider
 

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I hadn't seen that table... and being just about to buy the MLCS stacked slot cutter set, I'll be interested in the answers from our veterans.
I would think that the cautions are more to do with heat than vibration... though both edge speed and vibration potential increase with the width of the bit.
That said, I'll sit back and watch the answer flow... :)
Bob
Bob,

FWIW, I bought the ebay Super Carbide 11pc tongue & groove slot cutting set. I believe that this set is not better than the MLCS stacked slot cutter set so I will be running it at the lower rpms that MLCS recommends for their bits. My expectation is that I won't be using the slot cutters all that much so the ebay set will meet my needs.

I was going to buy the MLCS stacked slot cutter set that you're thinking of until Bobj suggested the ebay set. It includes a hard to find 3/8" slot cutter plus two arbors. When I'm not running T&G jobs, I expect to leave the 5/32" cutter on one arbor for biscuits and use the second arbor for other jobs. I also like the ability to put the bearing on the tip or shank side which I believe the MLCS set can also do.

Best regards,
Skyglider
 

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HI Guys

This just my 2 cents :)

I only run bits that are 1/4"/3/8" in cutting diam. at 24,000 rpm's all others I run at 10.000 to 12,000 rpm's. ...the big bits are always run at 8,000 rpm's, the lowest setting on your router ...the number #1 the norm..

If you sit down and do the math you will see 10,000 rpm. is fast,, :) when you get into a 1 1/2" / 2" bit...diam. bit...speed = heat anyway you cut it..
and heat will kill any cutting tool...do this for a quick test, round over some Oak stock with a 1 1/2" round over bit, that's about 24" long in a full cut and then try and touch the router bit..lick your finger 1st. it's going to be hot to the touch..once you do that do it one more time b/4 it cools down then try and touch it aging...you will say WOW... that's hot :)

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But if heat is the problem, shouldn't it affect "all" router bits? Or is it that more heat is generated by mid or low level brands due to less sharp cutting edges, even with brand new bits? There must be "something" different that allows high end bits to run at 24,000 rpm without their manufacturers recommending lower max rpms.

Also, note this statement made by MLCS in the link I provided:

"Please note that for router bits with a carbide height greater than 1-1/2", the bits should be run at 16,000 RPM or less, and the cut should be made in several passes."

The several passes part is common to every router. But the "carbide height greater than 1-1/2" part should be run at 16,000 RPM" part does indeed indicate balance problems and not heat problems to me. Longer bits have to be balanced better to run at full speed.

I donknow. The only fact I can go by with my beginner's evaluation is that MLCS itself recommends that their bits be run at less than full router speeds. Even their 1/4" diameter bits which negates the larger diameter theory. I'm sure MLCS router bits work great with so many positive user reports. As I said, I'm going to buy some MLCS bits. I'll just use them at the max speeds that MLCS recommends.

Thanks,
Skyglider
 

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HI Guys

This just my 2 cents :)

I only run bits that are 1/4"/3/8" in cutting diam. at 24,000 rpm's all others I run at 10.000 to 12,000 rpm's. ...the big bits are always run at 8,000 rpm's, the lowest setting on your router ...the number #1 the norm..

If you sit down and do the math you will see 10,000 rpm. is fast,, :) when you get into a 1 1/2" / 2" bit...diam. bit...speed = heat anyway you cut it..
and heat will kill any cutting tool...do this for a quick test, round over some Oak stock with a 1 1/2" round over bit, that's about 24" long in a full cut and then try and touch the router bit..lick your finger 1st. it's going to be hot to the touch..once you do that do it one more time b/4 it cools down then try and touch it aging...you will say WOW... that's hot :)

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Bobj,

Thanks for your $.02 … :)
Your experience is valued and much appreciated. I'll follow your lead with all the bits I use. Don't have any 1-1/2" round over bits on order but I understand your point.

Thanks,
Skyglider
 

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Here's what I've done and it works for me.
I started out with a general type small set from eBay I learned there to buy only 1/2" shank bits except the bits I use in my palm router have a 1/4" shank.
From then on I go to MLCS.com (free shipping and lifetime guarantee) and purchase bits I need as I need them.
I wouldn't buy a large set of anything because some bits from the set languish in a drawer and I wouldn't buy any bit unless I had used one of the companies bits. I have had really good luck with MCLS bits.
 

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Hey Jerry
every one has there own take on router bits but I say if your new to woodworking buy the ebay set 1/2" and see what bits you like best and use the most then buy higher end router bits individually for projects you build. I bought one of the 66 bit set for my local High school and 2 years latter there still in use. with shipping I think they were $58 this is what one or two White Side router bits cost. Routers are another subject a decent porter cable 690 cost about $ 130 they will last a long time and give good service. I have never liked sears routers the just don't hold up or work properly and you pay %75 of what a good router cost.

Jim
 

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Woodace you need to reevaluate the Craftsman routers, the new models seem as nice as any porter cable.
I agree. The new Craftsman routers are getting good reviews. Many on this forum have them. Heck, I have one.
 

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Woodace you need to reevaluate the Craftsman routers, the new models seem as nice as any porter cable.

Most definitely. I have 2, no issues. :)
 

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Hey Ken
I have 27 routers and have no problems with the porter cables. Porter cable routers are
considered a standard in most the pro woodworking shops that I know. I have not owned a sears router for years but I teach adult woodworking and a number of my students have purchased them and many times they have problems with the basis like tightening the collet so the bit won't fall out or adjusting the depth. I'm sure there must be some sears routers that work ok . If your making occasional things for your self they might be ok but not for a professional shop. If you like them great. after all a router is just a motor with a handle the holds a bit that cuts if yours does that then that's all you need.
Jim
 

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Jim, Things have changed at Sears. Starting with the Craftsman 26620 which was a clone of the Bosch 1617 (and built by them) which has way more power and versatility than the PC 690 series. If Sears had been really smart they would of kept this top rated router in production. The new "conglomerate" router offered by Sears is what members have been mentioning. Nice 1/2" collets, plenty of features and a very low price. ($109 for the 2 hp combo kit is about average) Is it a production shop router? No, but it does provide a good value for the money. PC managed to shoot themselves in the foot with the 890 series routers. Their quality control was so poor they ended up scrapping both base designs and reworking them. If you got one of the good ones you were happy with it. If not there were more problems than you could shake a stick at. It took a long time to get them to admit the problems but in the end they did do right by exchanging the bases at no charge... If you knew about the article on this site. Now that B&D owns PC and has decided they are the mid quality tools and that the DeWalt are the professional line.. (Yes, everybody is still laughing over that one) who knows what will happen? At any rate Sears is offering very different products from what they did in the past.
 
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