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Being new to routing a couple years past I took the advice that I had read in a woodworking magazine. That is: I purchased a set of low-quality bit set for cheap. They said “figure out what you use frequently and then go buy nicer versions of these bits that cut the most wood in your shop”.

Now I am at the point that I want to purchase quality bits. So when I purchase these “quality bits” what brand is best??? Freud..Whiteside…or what??

I guess another part of my statement should is that I am a not a rich man and just a hobby woodworker. So price vs quality is also a factor.I figure I can afford to buy "as needed" a couple of bits at a time in the price range of Freud and/or Whiteside.
 

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Whiteside has won all the competitions I've seen. Freud, Amana, and Cmt are all good quality but several lesser known brands have rated better such as Lee Valley, Infinity, and I think Rockler was in that list. One brand that is gaining support is Yonico/Precision Bits. They are very well priced and have been giving good service to the members who have bought them.
 

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Whiteside has won all the competitions I've seen. Freud, Amana, and Cmt are all good quality but several lesser known brands have rated better such as Lee Valley, Infinity, and I think Rockler was in that list. One brand that is gaining support is Yonico/Precision Bits. They are very well priced and have been giving good service to the members who have bought them.
agreed except for the Amana...
 

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Not good. Can't say I've seen the Chinese made ones. Eagle did the same. You only want the Eagle America ones.
 

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Not good. Can't say I've seen the Chinese made ones. Eagle did the same. You only want the Eagle America ones.
you will...
it's lightly etched on the bit and doesn't say where it's from on the package...
made in Israel bits say so on the package...
more and more of them are showing up....
and their CS has slid down hill...

the 1st one I found was a finger joint bit that didn't last the day...
returning it to Amana under warranty failed...
My supplier made good on it and has since phased out his Amana line after the complaints started to accumulate and Amana didn't work w/ him on warranty as they had been...

something else to consider...
how many here are going to use their bits in production mode???
after a life time or two of it for me has ingrained a different level of mind set...
what makes/breaks the bottom line... tools and tooling need to produce or be gone...
the plus side is if something holds up to production levels reasonably/exceptionally well, is backed by premium CS, how long will it last a projects orientated WW/hobbyist/DIY'er???...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks

Being new to routing a couple years past I took the advice that I had read in a woodworking magazine. That is: I purchased a set of low-quality bit set for cheap. They said “figure out what you use frequently and then go buy nicer versions of these bits that cut the most wood in your shop”.

Now I am at the point that I want to purchase quality bits. So when I purchase these “quality bits” what brand is best??? Freud..Whiteside…or what??

I guess another part of my statement should is that I am a not a rich man and just a hobby woodworker. So price vs quality is also a factor.I figure I can afford to buy "as needed" a couple of bits at a time in the price range of Freud and/or Whiteside.
Thanks all who responded to my question. Lots of info. :grin:
 

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For simple stuff I tend to use freuds because I can get them locally when I need one. For sets, I am now a Sommerfeld MATCHED SET fan. Once you set up the first bit using their quick set gadget, you can switch bits out without readjusting height, and the cuts match. They must be machining the end of the shaft to make them line up this way. This means that as you do a project, you can cut rails, stiles etc in whatever order you need without fooling around with adjusting height every time you change bits. I have a CMT set or two and it's not much fun getting them to the exact height after changing a bit. Sommerfeld has a video on making a router table that really tells the story. I think other brands have matched sets too, I just wasn't aware of the utility of those two words before now. I like Sommerfeld's glass door set in particular. It comes with a small grommet you insert into the collet so the shaft bottoms out on it, which is why you don't have to make constant height adjustments.
 

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I have a few amana bits too, anyone know when this change was made? My newest amana bit is about 10 maybe 11 yrs old and I can barely read the name and make out the logo on it.
 

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I am at the point in my woodworking where I only buy a bit when I need it for a project. Over the last few years I have become a Whiteside fan. I've never been disappointed with any of their bits and been very impressed with a couple. One of those that I'm impressed with is a bowl and tray bit I recently purchased for some cheese boards i'm making. The bit is 1 1/4" in diameter and hogs out a lot of wood. It was very smooth running, no vibration and left a superior cut. I only had to lightly sand some end grain and the cut was ready for finishing. There are certainly other good manufacturers, as mentioned in other replies, but my philosophy is, if you're happy with the products, stick with the brand. If Whiteside bits start to disappoint me in the future then I'll shop around.
 

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Just ordered a Sommerfeld matched tongue and groove set. Tired of fussing with the unmatched bits.
 

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the Israel made Amana bits are outstanding...
the chinese made Amana bits are not nearly as good and cost the same...
so where is the value in that???
Its getting so hard to make any kind of tool recommendations now a days.

What once was made in America or well made elsewhere a few years ago does not always hold true when you ask the same question today.

I use Freud when I need the bit right now. I can get them at the big box store easily and they perform well. I like Whiteside if I have time to order or they make something I can not get from anyone else. I have a couple of Infinity bits I like too. They are up and down spiral bits. Eagle America has some great reviews but I have not bought any yet.
 
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