So a few weeks ago I was working on a kitchen drawer, using the 1/4"
straight bit from my MLCS bit set to cut a 3/8" deep groove in red oak.
I know I'm supposed to take multiple passes, but I thought 3/8" might
be shallow enough for one pass... But I was wrong. The bit broke right
off. So I finally got around to calling MLCS today, fully expecting to
order a replacement, and instead they said they'd send me a new bit,
free! The bits had a 2-year warranty, but usually for stuff like that
it is under appropriate use, and I broke this bit by apparently using
it beyond it's capacity. The rep I talked to, though, was very
friendly, and was very ready to send me a new bit, with only a gentle
reminder to take shallower passes next time. I learned my lessons -
both about the capacity of a 1/4" straight bit, and about the first
place I'll look for router bits in the future. Thanks MLCS!
Sooo..... A better bit shouldn't break? Has anyone else cut 3/8" deep
grooves in red oak with a 1/4" bit in a single pass? Maybe the broken
bit had some defect, and others will be OK? Other than the one broken
bit, I've been very impressed with the quality of cuts I've gotten from
the other bits in the set. I'm still happy with their customer service
and I'm still happy to get a free router bit, but maybe I should look
at their premium (Katana) bits for ones I'm going to use more often.
What shank diameter and where/how did it break? I would certainly
expect a 1/4" cutting diam bit at that depth of cut in <clear> oak <not>
to break under normal feed rates.
I've never bought any of the MLCS stuff as my presumption has been it's
not "inexpensive", it's "cheap" and I'll spend the extra for Whiteside
or some such as it'll bve around for a while...
IMO, ymmv, $0.02, etc., ...
My take on this is... the bit broke when it should not have; the vendor
replaced it with a [presumably] _identical_ bit... and the OP is *happy* ???
I would've demanded a refund, then applied that toward a better bit from a
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
That's purty near a 1/2" cut in red oak and in my opinion,
you pushing the little bit too hard. I have a couple of
1/4" with 1/2" shanks and I would not push them in 3/8" of
I seem to recall that most books recommend cuts
in the 1/16 range with smaller bits.
The MUCH smaller 1/4" shanks will snap like
match sticks if pushed just a wee bit hard.
oak with a 1/4" bit to make a door panel before I had the proper bits for
it. I don't remember any problems.
I own several MLCS bits and they have all performed well. I did buy a 1/4"
spiral bit that was several thousanths undersized and didn't work with my
box joint jig. MLCS refunded my money, but wouldn't pay the return freight
because they claimed it was within spec.
I think you just got a bad bit.
I have purchased quite a few MLCS bits - router and shaper -
over the last 10 years or so. They are fine as long as you know what
you are getting.
They are not quality bits - they are "hobbiyst" bits - meant for
occasional use. If, on a certain project, you attempt to use them
as a "production" bit (i.e. a lot of doors, molding etc) you will soon
realize their limitations.
They are worth what you pay for them, but nothing more.
I still buy them.
| take shallower passes next time. I learned my lessons - both about
| the capacity of a 1/4" straight bit, and about the first place I'll
| look for router bits in the future.
I've had good experience with MLCS bits. I just received four more
today - an 2" core box bit and three carbide down spirals.
The only problems I've had so far with bit breakage have come when I
used too low a feed speed and first overheated the bit (and only one
instance of that was an MLCS bit.) The others were Onsruud and
I have noticed that the MLCS bit aren't always as sharp as some other
brands, but I can fix that by having the bits sharpened - after which
they cut as well as anyone else's bits.
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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