rail & stile router bit set - recommendations

Folks -
I need to make some frame and panel doors and haven't done this before. I'd appreciate any brand, etc, recommendations for 2pc bit sets for routing rails and stiles - also, brands perhaps that should be avoided.... maybe I should have joined the HCA after all... curses!
Also, it seems that the rail bit would see only a fraction of the use of the stile bit - when the stile bit wears do you have to purchase a new set of bits? That's either 1) Odd; or 2) I'm missing something...
Thanks!
John Moorhead
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John,
I like Freud and have several sets of their rail and stile cutter sets and haven't had a problem with them yet. But before you decide on a brand, decide on what your needs are first. For instance, do you have a router with enough hp to swing a large horizontal bit or should you be looking at a vertical panel bit? What shape / design are you looking to make. There are more than a few methods for making raised panels and not all of them involve using large router bits.
As for the bits dulling, they can be resharpened and you can do touch up with a small diamond sharpening plate or powder. Making raised panels out of MDF is rough on bits so if that's the material of choice, then you may want to consider that in your purchasing decision.
Bob S.

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Aye. My Freud bits are fine.
Cheers
Frank

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I've used Freud, Amana, and MLCS. All work very well. Avoid the super-cheap sets, and you'll be happy.
Brian.

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How many do you expect to do?! If you buy a set, you are probably right, but it won't happen for a while. You can avoid the problem by buying a reversal bit.
With router bits, you get what you pay for. The cheap ones don't last as long or cut quite as well; but if you needs are small, cheap ones are okay.
So, it really depends on what you need.
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I have a CMT set that I have been using since 1995 and it still cuts well with out having being resharpened. I have done several projects and remodeled a kitchen full of doors with this set.
As for you indication that the rail bit will get less wear than the stile bit, maybe so maybe no as the routing and or cutting across the end grain is considerably harder on the cutting surface than cutting with the grain.

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I just got the Freud set with the Raiser (with backcutter) and the Stile/Rail cutters. I am very impressed with this set. The raiser (the big horizontal one) can cut the panel in one pass. It has four cutters, two at different heights that allow you to do this. VERY smooth results. And for the stile and rail set, the thing I noticed is that the Freud set does not leave any chipout where the panel groove is cut. Other sets (yes Whiteside included) have some trouble in this area. The Freud is smooth as can be. I can highly recommend this set.
John Moorhead wrote:

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<snippage> Great experiences: Whiteside, Freud, Amana OK experiences, but don't stay sharp as long: Rockler
By the time you drop around $100 on these sets, you may want to check with a good local sharpening service to see what they sell and recommend. I'd bet you could find one near Santa Rosa. (Maybe Dave Hastings in Rohnert Park?) Our guy in Concord sells Whiteside, and only Whiteside.
BTW, good on ya' with the Mt Storm gloat the other day! That's one well run yard up there.
Patriarch
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I'd
Ditto. See my post from a few days earlier.

Since I don't expect to be doing a lot of these (especially if I find out that it's too damned hard and much easier to break into new houses under construction and steal theirs), I wanted a good value. After much rumination - I went with the MLCS Katana bit set for $79. (Their non-Katana brand is ten bux cheaper).
Googlin' showed me that the MLCS proponents slightly offset their detractors, which was not the case on Woodline (their's is $59) where the unhappy posters outnumbered all.
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