Router Bits

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I just got a router but have no bits yet. What is the best way to get router bits? Just buy the ones you need as you come to them in a project? Or buy a set? Are there different qualities (I'm sure there are) - what are the different options/prices?
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bthiede wrote:

When I first bought a router I purchased a cheap boxed set for experimental purposes just to get used to the router in general.
As the bits in the US are much cheaper than the UK i'd suggest you buy better quality bits seperate when you're confident of routing.
In the words of me... the router is the ultimate woodworkers tool since slide bread... ;-)
--
Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite




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This should help....
www.patwarner.com
Good reading....
Bob S.

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You get what you pay for.
For starters if you do not need or know exactly what you need a cheap set that you can easily afford would be a good choice. As you experiment with the different bits and learn to use particular ones more frequently, replace the cheap bits with a better brand bit that will last longer. If you do not have an assortment to begin with you may never know what the variety of bits will do for you. Buying an expensive set to start with would most likely leave you with several expensive bits that you will seldom use.
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bthiede wrote:
> I just got a router but have no bits yet. What is the best way to get > router bits?
<snip>
Router bits are very much application specific.
Buy as many 1/2" shank as possible.
Buy them when you need them with the following possible exceptions:
Buy a good quality rounding over set (1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2") (My cove bit set is an el-cheapo YMMV)
Buy a good quality straight bit set (1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4")
Buy a good 1/4" up spiral bit
Buy at least one good pattern bit (I like 3/4")
Buy at least one good flush trim bit (I like 3/4")
The above are my general purpose "work horse" bits I use over & over.
They are of good quality.
Anything else has to make me think I will use it more than once to buy "good", otherwise it is an el-cheapo.
HTH
Lew
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Try these guys:
www.mlcswoodworking.com
I'm a hobbyist and I've been buying from them for years. Good service, good prices. I have a few of their premium "Katana" bits too. For occasional use, the basic types are just as good.
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MB wrote:

Also check these guys out:
http://www.holbren.com/home.php
Only bought a raised panel set from them. Wasn't the greatest quality but $40 bucks for all three bits was a lot better than buying 'real' bits for $200. Doors came out fine.
I agree with those that suggest buying a cheap set so you can get used to the tool and figure out how you are going to use it. I would just stay away from HSS bits, they burn up way too quickly.
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RayV wrote:

Ya should have looked on ebay first. ;-) http://tinyurl.com/ofxpb
--
Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite




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The3rd Earl Of Derby wrote:
> Ya should have looked on ebay first. ;-) > http://tinyurl.com/ofxpb
Have you checked out Infinity Cutting Tools?
They have a section about shipping to the UK & OZ.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Hi Lew Yeah,I checked them out but their shipping cost was high along with some of the bits I'm interested in. This guy on ebay seems to be the lowest shipping cost at $15, alas sometimes the problem is you get out bid by another bidder. I can only go upto a certain amount, after that it wouldn't be economical to buy it at a higher price.
--
Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite




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Lew Hodgett wrote:

...Or checkout ebay for the realy cheapo starting out bits. http://tinyurl.com/j5muv
http://tinyurl.com/esetm
http://tinyurl.com/fxxbh
--
Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite




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If you buy a set of assorted bits you will end up paying less per bit (quite a bit less actually). Then as you start to settle in on projects you can move up in quality and buy the specialized bits you need.
Woodcraft sells halfway decent bits in sets of 10 and 20. I bought one of the 20 bit sets a couple of years ago and it provides good variety for general purpose routing and learning. BTW, you can buy these at about $30 - $40 less during a good part of the year when they have sales.
There are other sets from other suppliers that are probably just as good. This is just an example. Also, if your router accepts both 1/4" and 1/2" bits I recommend you go with the 1/2".
RonB
http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid@91

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wrote:

Buy as you need. I do have a set of round-over bits that I've found useful. There is a wide range of price and quality, basically you get what you pay for. I usually pay $8 to $25 each, Whiteside.
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I agree with this approach. Relatively new to routing and was considering this very same question. Thought through my project expectations for the next year or so and settled on half a dozen (including two multi-router bit sets . . . plywood and rabbet). Bought relatively good grade and couldn't be happier.

--
Monroe

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bthiede wrote:

I'd suggest tryiing to identify a core set of bits that you'll use most frequently and buying the best quality you can afford (my personal preference is Whiteside). If you can find them in a set, or at least some of them in a set, I'd buy them that way - you'll save money. For less frequently used bits I think the quality of the bit is less important and I buy mine as I need them.
Identifying a core set of bits will depend on how you'll use your router. There's an article in the current issue of Fine Woodworking (Oct 2006) entilted '10 essential router bits' that you might find informative.
I've also had good luck with bits from Lee Valley. When I got my first router a bought a 12 piece set from them; I've used every bit in the set and they've held up well.
Whatever you buy, buy carbide and try to get 1/2" shank.
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bthiede wrote:

You don't mention what shank size your router will handle. So make a trip to CSTCO and buy their set. At the COSTCO near me the set of 24 is $37.00 or something like tha. As others have mentioned be sure and only buy carbide teeth router bits. And watch Ebay for bits. They are frequent good buys.
Bob AZ
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Bob AZ wrote:

Checkout these and the sellers 1/2" bits http://tinyurl.com/o7f3q Do they look decent quality bits?
I got outbid by $2 on the last set.
--
Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite




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My "set" was built by need. One by one based on what was needed. Bought HSS based on cost and SOON realized that was a mistake. Before your collection gets large you DON'T want them banging around in a drawer loose. Plan a storage scheme that allows the identification of each bit. Mine, both 1/4" and 1/2" shanks, are in a box with sliding lid hung under the bench out of the way and convenient for use. Sent the idea to FWW and they printed it and I got a year subscription check for it.
wrote:

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bthiede wrote:

I would suggest buying a not too expensive set (Not HF) and you will find out which ones you will use often. As these need replacement replace them with good bits.
Glen
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Lee Valley sells a 12 bit boxed set that contains pretty much all the bits you'd probably need to get started. It's a good deal on high quality bits, and will most likely keep you going for a while, at least until you need some specialized ones.
--
Bob

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