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There are a lot of companies selling router bits. Are there a lot of companies also manufacturing these bits or are two or three factories making them all.

I have been buying bits from Grizzly. The price is right and they work well for me, but I am new to the world of routers. Is a fifty dollar bit really better than a eighteen dollar bit?
 

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I started out buying lesser quality bits.As I progressed in my skills I also saw a need for a better quality bits.A couple of years ago I started buying MLCS bits.They seemed to do pretty good.I was at my local Woodcraft store a little over a year ago looking at there different bits.I was having a little trouble with tearout working with Purplheart.I was chatting with a non-employee about my problem.He suggested using a Whiteside bit.What a difference.The quality of the cut by far outweighed the cost difference of the bit.I have been replacing my most used bits with the Whiteside bits every chance I get.In my opinion a $28.00 Whiteside bit is by far a better bit than the $18.00 bit.(as usual no association with Whiteside)

John
 

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I buy less expensive bits unless I have a project I know needs more quality. Routing a hole for my attic fan or for the squirrel house I just built sure doesn't need an expensive bit. I save the good bits for better projects and use the cheaper ones for what ever. Does this make sence? Anyway it works for me.

I should point out I never buy the cheapest bits..... just the lower priced ones.

Ed
 
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My experience with cheap router bits, proved to me that you get what you pay for.
I bought a leigh dove tail jig, along with a set of bits from woodworkers wharehouse.
The first time I chucked upa 1/2" 14 degree bit and took a cut it snapped in half, just above the cutting edges. I went out and bought a CMT bit and replaced the broken one. No more problem, Whiteside bits are also good. Freud makes good bits.
In my opinion Onsrud makes about the best.
Woodnut65
 

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Woodnut65 said:
My experience with cheap router bits, proved to me that you get what you pay for.
I bought a leigh dove tail jig, along with a set of bits from woodworkers wharehouse.
The first time I chucked upa 1/2" 14 degree bit and took a cut it snapped in half, just above the cutting edges. I went out and bought a CMT bit and replaced the broken one. No more problem, Whiteside bits are also good. Freud makes good bits.
In my opinion Onsrud makes about the best.
Woodnut65
Interesting how things go, I just happened to pickout a new Whiteside 1/4" shank, 1/4" round over bit for a project today. I have maybe a half dozen of their bits and have found them to be high quality. On this one the bearing froze with I would say less then 20 feet of routing! So as you can see even good bits can go bad.... This has not turned me off of this brand but we will see how they fix my problem.

Ed
 

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reible said:
Interesting how things go, I just happened to pickout a new Whiteside 1/4" shank, 1/4" round over bit for a project today. I have maybe a half dozen of their bits and have found them to be high quality. On this one the bearing froze with I would say less then 20 feet of routing! So as you can see even good bits can go bad.... This has not turned me off of this brand but we will see how they fix my problem.

Ed
This might be off subject but...... Things have cooled down and I have taken the bit and looked at it. After cooling the bearing would turn but it was stiff, make that very stiff. I sprayed some bearing lub on it and it got a little better but I could feel something as I turned it and it was way to stiff to try and use.

I took the bearing off and this took a bit if effort, what struck me was the screw was still tight to the bearing. I took a plastic hammer and tapped it loose. Then things made more sence, the screw was turned in to the bearing, no washer or washer screw! With the screw out the bearing started turning like a new one! My guess is that someone assembled this one wrong. I was in a hurry so I never did check the bearing spin before using it.... after all it was new.

I don't know what damage the bearing may have taken during its short life but I think I will add a washer and see what happens durning some more routing.

So let's add another tip here: Always test spin the bearings before you use them (unless you're isolating them) and do it with new bits as well as the old ones.

Ed
 

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There is an extensive review of router bits in a thread over on WoodNet.net. I'm computer illerate and don't know how to post a link. Do a search on router bits and you should find it.
 

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"You never regret buying the best quality." I dont know who first said it but aint it the truth? Regardless of which cutting tools you buy, keeping them sharp is key to getting good results. Make sure you have a case or at least a piece of wood drilled for them to stand securely in. If you get a nick or a dull edge find a local machinist or service to sharpen them. An imbalanced bit is dangerous! Dont stand your router on the cutting edge of your bits. It may be common sense but it bears repeating. Safety first!
 

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Shane167 said:
Well everyone hit the nail on the head... now just tell all my family not to buy me cheap bits for x-mas. Does any one else have this problem?
I like the idea of having other people buying me the "best" bits. So if any of you were planing on getting me some router bits for Christmas please make sure you spend the extra money on the "best". Thank's in advance.

Ed
 

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I would be happy if my family bought me even cheap bits! (My sock drawer is overflowing) Keep an eye on the sales. All the sites run good specials from time to time. Woodcraft features a different Whiteside bit each month for 25% off. Wherever possible I buy 1/2" shank bits. It makes sense to me that having a beefier shank should provide more support and less vibration to the cutting edges.

Mike
 

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reible said:
I buy less expensive bits unless I have a project I know needs more quality. Routing a hole for my attic fan or for the squirrel house I just built sure doesn't need an expensive bit. I save the good bits for better projects and use the cheaper ones for what ever. Does this make sence? Anyway it works for me.

I should point out I never buy the cheapest bits..... just the lower priced ones.

Ed
Here is a picture of the new residents to my squirrel house. Note the modifications they have started to my nice routed hole. This begs to ask if I had used an expensive bit would they have been happier?

http://www.routerforums.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=36

Ed
 

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I purchased a set of 35 bits from Bad Dog Tools http://www.baddogtools.com while I was at the Woodworking show in Arlington last week. They had a very impressive demonstration. The rep put several nails in a peice of pine and ran it through a router table. There were no chips in the bits.

This was my first big set of bits and it cost me $250 bucks. They said that the bits cost $350 buckso on their website, but as you will notice, their website doesn't appear to have router bits anywhere.

Well, they told us at the show that they didn't have the bits on hand, so they would give us a smaller set of bits for free if we allowed them to send the bits to us in the mail. I went ahead and did so and crossed my fingers.

Well, today I got them in the mail. I was looking forward to trying them out this weekend. I wasn't planning on testing them against any nails, but it didn't look like I needed to. So far I've already found that two of the bits are chipped on the carbide tips. I haven't even finished going through them all yet. I guess now I get to test their "guarantee"

I'll take some pics and post them up later. I'll include a full review.
 

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Bob N said:
Did you look under "Rover Bits" on their web site? The router bits seem to be displayed there.

I hope you can get the chipped bits replaced.

Bob N
Yea, I looked there. Rover Bits are not their Router bit product. I couldn't find the bits listed there.

Anyways, I just got back home from my Christmas vacation. I will call them tomorrow and hopefully get quick replacements. Still, I am disappointed that the bits came to me chipped, even though they are supposed to be brand new. It makes their quality suspect.
 

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Update:

I called BadDog tools and spoke to a nice lady there. I very politely explained my situation to her. I informed her how disappointed I was to see chipped carbides and shotty build.

I got what I would term as great service over the phone. She stated that an entirely new set of bits would be shipped out on Monday. She promised that she would personally inspect each bit before shipping.

Now comes the real challenge, do the replacement bits fit the bill? When I get the replacements, I will take pictures and post a full review.
 

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The only advantage is they fit all the routers on the market. Many brands only offered routers with 1/4" shanks for a long time. As long as you are using a decent quality bit you are good to go. Stay away from the "Unbelieveable bargain" bits. You get what you pay for.
 
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