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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a rather large kitchen cabinetry project coming up, and I am going to purchase a panel cutting bit (actually a complete set of cabinet cutters).

The plan is to include arched panels, so I will not be looking into vertical cutters.

Of the horizontal bits that I've looked at, I notice a considerable price diference in the two main styles.... with or without a back-cutter.

As far as I can gather (from the forums here, mainly), the main advantage to the back cutter is to keep the panel flush with the frame. Correct?

In order to keep the panel flush with the frame with a standard cutter, the panel should be simply thicknessed first?

There are several internet advertisements offering panel cutters for considerably less than some of the 'name' brands. They advertise them as being tungsten carbide. That should mean that they keep their edge well, right? If anyone has bought them, would they buy them again? They also are advertised with a rating on the carbide as ISO grade K-20. Can anyone explain that, or at least (or maybe best!) compare that to the 'name' brands.

Also on the frame cutters, please offer me up some pros/cons of stacked and matched set stile/rail cutters.

Mostly what I'm after is some knowledge to help me purchase a great panel cutter set for a decent price. Opinions as well as experience will be appreciated.
 

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This may not be very popular here, but I wouldn't pay extra for a back cutter. If you are using 3/4" stock there are other ways to get the panel even with the rest of the frame. One plane the panel material to 5/8". Use the same panel cutting bit (lowered),or any other bit you like, to remove 1/8" around the back of panel. A little more work but less expense. I much prefer the two piece matched set,if they are used a lot you can tweak either bit to compensate for wear. These are my opinions,and while I haven't cut as many as some, I have cut a great many.

Regards
Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jerry. I was leaning towards the matched set. Seems a lot easier to set up.
As for the panel cutter, cutting a rabbet as a second operation doesn't sound like a lot
of trouble, nor does planing the panels down. One other question that came to me as
I've been pondering.....
If you are raising panels with a back-cutter bit, do you need to remove all the material in a single pass? Or do you make several passes with the back-cutter removed first, then stack the back-cutter blade on top for the last cut?
 

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I generally make the cut in one pass,but many people do it in several passes moving the fence a little at a time. Practice on cut offs from your project and use the method that you feel more comfortable with. Enjoy the experience.

Regards
Jerry
 
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