Centurion tools router bits - Router Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2016, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Default Centurion tools router bits

Tool: Centurion Tools solid carbide V groove bits
Reviewer: KP91
Tool Rating: 10
Picture: ( provide a picture of the tool up for review ) *optional*


Review:

One of the many lessons I have learned in my woodworking career is that concrete and carbide don't mix. So when I was doing a bit change when making a sign, and my only 60 degree V-groove bit rolled slowly to the edge of the table and dropped off of the edge, I knew I was in trouble. Sure enough, the bit was 1/8" shorter than when it started...

I needed to finish this project, and I didn't relish the thought of driving an hour up to woodcraft, or wait 2 days for Amazon. I remembered reading on another forum about a company in Virginia that makes carbide cutters, and they were just over the county line. I scoped out their web site https://www.centuriontools.com/ and found they were just over the county line to the south of me.

I gave them a call, and they invited me to come down the next morning. They usually do specialty work for major companies, but will run small batches of cutters during the slow times. They work in a small shop off of the beaten path, and have slightly odd hours so that they get most of their time in before the heat of the humid Virginia summers makes it unbearable.

I almost missed their place when I drove by, it doesn't look like a router bit manufacturing plant from the outside. They invited me in, and showed me the 5 or 6 CNC mills that are cranking out the bits, the coolant systems, and the other associated hardware. We talked about where the raw materials come from, and who their main customers are. All of their products are sourced in the USA. Their goal is to make a quality product that is affordable, and I think they are on the right path.

We went into the back room and I picked up some bits, they averaged about $26 a piece. I ran a few cuts with them and they do a great job. The edge grind profile is a little different than my last bits, but they worked pretty much like the others as far as feed speeds.

They will sell you 1 bit or 1,000, with shipping about $10 for any order up to 6 bits, and free shipping for orders over 6 bits. If you plan on showing up in person, call ahead. They may not have all bits in stock at any time (since the hobby woodworker trade is not their main business) but they can usually find the time to grind it in a day or 2.

I really enjoyed the visit, meeting the machinists, and seeing where my bits came from, and appreciated the time they spent talking to me. I am very happy with the bits, they saw a lot of carving in poplar, and did a good job without a lot of fuzzing in the 99% humidity we've been having. I will definitely be buying more bits from them in the future, probably after dropping another one. If you are in need of V groove bits, you might want to give them a try.
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Doug
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2016, 10:12 PM
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Thanks Doug..
good review nd good to know about their product..
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 08:47 AM
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Great review. In looking at their site, it doesn't appear that small online orders would be welcomed. Do they even make any bits with applied carbide?
Nevertheless, I applaud their efforts to make quality products in the USA. I wish them well.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 10:29 AM
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Doug, Thanks for that review. That sounds very interesting and I personally LOVE TO BUY AMERICAN MADE! I do have a question: referring to the bits in your pic, is that for a 1/4" collet, 3/8" collet or 1/2" collet; or do they have a wide variety? Without shoulders, I am wondering how one might affix a template following bearing? Any tips, suggestions or comments?

Thank you so much!

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OPG3 View Post
I do have a question: referring to the bits in your pic, is that for a 1/4" collet, 3/8" collet or 1/2" collet; or do they have a wide variety? Without shoulders, I am wondering how one might affix a template following bearing? Any tips, suggestions or comments?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Howe View Post
In looking at their site, it doesn't appear that small online orders would be welcomed. Do they even make any bits with applied carbide?
In the V carve bits, it is mainly 1/4 and 1/2 inch shanks. In the compression, spiral, and other styles they have various size shanks.

All the bits are solid carbide, except the spoil-board cutter, which uses index-able inserts.

They will fill any size order. If you buy less than six pieces, shipping is just under $10 per order USPS. That is just the cost of the flat rate box and for them to drive it over to the post office.

As I mentioned, they machine specialty cutters for major manufacturers in large lots. They run the router bits when there is downtime between these orders. I have only heard about them by word of mouth, never have I seen advertising.

As for bearing guides, you could use template guides instead of bearings, or you could sandwich a bearing between two bearing collars. My Milescraft sign kit uses template guides, or I freehand signs or use the CNC, bearings haven't been something I thought about.

Bearings and Rub Collars - Stop Collar Kits

Doug
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 06:23 PM
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An amazing find. It is heartening to hear of a small, customer oriented business making it.

Jon
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-25-2016, 10:35 AM
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Thanks for sharing, Doug...excellent review...

Nick

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