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Router Bits - Does brand really matter?

14669 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  kenadian
Hello Everyone,
I am a newly registered member of the routerforum and I have two questions for some of the experienced woodworkers out there in the forum. I am a beginner when it comes to woodworking and I wanted to know if the brand of the router bit really matters. I know a 1/2" shank is better than a 1/4" shank, and I was looking to buy a kit and I saw that Home Depot had a 18 piece 1/2" shank Ryobi set (Model A25RS18) for $79.99.

Would any of you recommend a set like this?

What are the most common bits that I should look for in a set?
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Welcome to the forums boiler maker.

the "Doctor"
Boiler Maker- You are definitely in the right site to ask these type of questions. Continuously, there are threads with opinions about routers, bits, tables, etc. I am relatively certain that the answer to your question is already here. Also, don't forget to look for Router Workshop on your PBS station.
Boiler Maker, recently I took on the project of making raized panel doors for my existing kitchen cabinets. So I purchased a Porter Cable 9690 router because it accepts 1/2" shanks. Then ordered a cabinet makers bit set from Harbor Freight[$19.99] and proceded to build a router table. I went to Home Depot and got a single Ryobi 1/2' straight bit to cut the recess for the plate. It cut very well.
My HF bits arrived and also work very well. Part way into the project I started having problems with the joints lining up. But it turned out to be the table so yesterday I built a new one.
Since starting the project I added to my collection by purchasing a 50 piece set on E-bay for 40 bucks[1/2" all w/carbide, most w/bearings]. I have used several with excellant results. "High Quality" bits probably have more carbide so they last longer. But right now I have a bit for every occasion for not much cash. I'm afraid to buy better because it might show the weakness in what I have.

In router bits as all tools you usually get what you pay for. If you buy a good tool it only hurts once, a cheap tool usually many times.

Router bits and what matters?

To begin with your a beginner and in the process of learning what your router really can do, right?

Your going to drop the router bit (by the way don't use a router bit if it has been dropped), feed the router bit too fast and then too slow and so on. Your learning how to use the router. The cheaper router bit are usually made of softer C3 carbide and with this they don't hold an edge as do those expensive ones BUT these bits are more forgiving when it comes to bumps and lumps a new router enthusiast is going to hand out. The C4 carbide is not forgiving and will break at the slightest bump or lump.

Having said that it is true you usually get what you pay for but for the beginner that is just learning how his/her router works the cheaper router bits are the best choice. I don't like to buy general sets because you buy router bits you don't need. To begin with though buy the set. You learn what router bit you use the most and which router bits you don't use. Once your comfortable with the router bits and learn which ones are your favorite get the good bit of the choosen one...Just my 2 cents.
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I've seen a few different sellers on eBay selling ELITE brand bits. One seller is in Canada, and I would save on shipping if Iwas to buy from them. The description says their "Tungsten Carbide Router bits".

Does anyone have any comments on this particular brand? I know "ya get what ya pay for", but since I'm starting out I'd like to pick up a variety of different profile bits; see what I can do with them (which one's I'll actually use) then buy "better quality" bits in the profiles I'm using.

Thanks [again] for all the quick responses........
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