Router bits (yes .. again!) ... Looking for advice on brands

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"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> () wrote on Monday 15 August 2005 04:43 pm:

Jack,
I bought a Grizzly set that got me started for about $60. After that, I just bought the bits I needed. A lot of people say "don't buy sets", but if you're just starting out, a set is a good way to see exactly what your router is capable of.
--
Michael White "To protect people from the effects of folly is to
fill the world with fools." -Herbert Spencer
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"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> () wrote on Monday 15 August 2005 04:43 pm:

Don't buy a set.
I looked at several sets and saw the common ground, then bought individual pieces from the ones I figured I'd use, one each from several manufacturers.
My impressions:
1. I've no preference among the quality manufacturers. If I need X, I'll choose whoever has the best special this month from the several brands I have. Woodcraft's "Router Bit of the Month" has gotten my business several times.
2. If I need a straight bit for an abrasive task, buy whatever the Borg is selling this week and consider it disposable.
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Hello,
My advise is the oposit!
By a set (preferably a cheap 50 peices 1/2 shank on ebay for $25 or $30) start using it, you will see which bits you use all the time (1/4 straight flute, trim bit for example) and buy a good one of these ($5 special at woodcraft) and you are in business...
cheap OK bits for your once is a while jobs, good bits for your everyday use.
cyrille

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Cyrille de Brbisson wrote:

I've gotten bits so bad I've had to shut the router off immediately and return the offending bit to the store for refund. Also, I've got a set of Woodline bits that don't cut for crap, brand new. Hard to push through the wood and they leave jagged edges. Inferior tools can be a hazard as well as a nuisance.
Dave
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I take a rather different approach, I will spend the money on bit's I know I'll continue to use. But since there are so many variations out there I buy the cheapest I can find just to play with if I like it, I buy a better brand and put it in my collection. I couldn't give you an accurate ratings on brands, just haven't been using them that long.
Don't look at price it isn't a good barometer.
"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in message

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On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 15:43:18 -0600, the opaque "mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> clearly wrote:

Get a $15 set from Ebay/Harbor Fright/Big Lots and figure out which profiles you use the most. Replace those few with name-brand bits (the cheapies actually aren't bad bits) like Whiteside and keep the rest for play.
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mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net wrote:

1. I would *never* buy a set.
2. Make up your own set... (a) 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 straight bits, plunging preferred. My favorite 3/4 is a Grizzly because it is down shear (but not plunging).
(b) 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 bead. Get them with removeable bearings so you can use them as round over with a larger bearing.
(c) 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 cove (or core box since you intend to use a table)
Those nine bits can probably handle 95% of all the routing you'll ever do.
3. Add other profiles as you need them. Avoid "enclosed" profiles (like bull nose) as *any* movement of the wood up or down will mess up the cut. Try to select profiles that cut with the grain rather than across it. Can't always do that but a re-orientation of the wood can do the same; for example, any of the bead/cove bits are cutting across the grain on the side of a board if the board is flat...stand it on the edge and they are cutting with the grain.
4. Consider 1/4 shank in some cases, steel too. The smaller shank can be good with, for example, a 1/4 straight bit to cut deeper than you could if it were 1/2" shank or for using the shank as a bearing. HSS is easy to sharpen and can be made a lot sharper easily than carbide. Handy for cuts in solid wood. Ditto for HSS spirals but those aren't easily sharpened.
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I bought bits as needed instead of sets and soon found out they weren't being stored correctly and were lacking identification. I built a shallow box with strips of wood with both 1/4" & 1/2" holes for shanks with a shallow dovetailed groove for card stock with info stuck in. Sliding lid keeps most sawdust out and it slides under the benchtop just above where the router table is stored.
On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 15:43:18 -0600, "mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote:

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