Router guide bushings: steel vs brass


Are there any strong feelings in the group about choice of material for router guide bushings, other than the obvious: steel can rust but is stronger; brass looks nicer, and doesn't rust, but is more easily bent?
Are the various offerings of PC-compatible bushings of comparable quality?
Thanks!
Chuck
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Chuck,
While this may not prove out scientifically, the brass guide bushings seem to slide with less friction when I use them with aluminum straight edges and corner templates (while doing solid surface materials). I have both steel and brass guides of the same diameter and prefer the brass. I've not bent either one, but these are not used in a commercial setting, so perhaps, my shop is not a typical one.
Got the brass guide at woodcrafter and the steel one part of a Porter Cable set.

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Brass operate, tighten, and loosen much more smoothly.
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Another thing to consider is the hardness of the material - brass is softer than steel, so it should do less damage to a bit or blade if one were to somehow hit the guide. Seems unlikely, but just in case? Andy
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Brass, for two reasons--one related to the other.
One, brass will not damage your router bits when (not if) they come in contact when the nut loosens (as it will if steel--see next);
Two, brass nut will hold its grip when hand tightened. It's a phenomenon of the material which I have not seen a good explanation for, although several friends who have metallurgy experience confirm the characteristic.
I bought mine from Jesada, back when Carlo was running it and it was a reliable company to do business with. Lee Valley has them, I believe. They're worth looking for, in my opinion.
--
LRod

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The term is "stiction", a contraction of "static friction".
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Mine are from PC and are made of aluminum. Bending and distorting them has not been a problem, for me, they only move easily in the dovetail jig.
Don Dando

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PC brand steel for this wood/metal worker. If cut to PC specs, the numbers are a little tighter. Have seen too many brass out of spec, especially flange O.D.
Do they loosen? Have not had that happen, I use the pliers at the
http://www.patwarner.com/images/sundries3.jpg pix link tho. Brass, indeed, is more fragile.
http://www.patwarner.com/ (Routers)
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chuck wrote:

I've never bent a brass guide. They slide easier on dovetail and staircase templates. They polish up like new after a couple of years of job-site use. My steel guides are somewhere out in the shop with white and rusty corrosion all over them. I'd give them away if I could find them.
Most importantly, when you push that 1/4" bit too hard, you will see no sparks with brass.
Tom in KY, I know exactly where my brass guides are.
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Before getting caught up in any "router expert" war on recommendations, my post regarding brass was based on what I learned from watching Bob Rosendahl on PBS' "The Router Workshop."
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LRod

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Thanks to all for your thoughts. I had been leaning toward the brass and there seem to be no show-stopping problems among users so I will pick up a set of them.
Chuck
LRod wrote:

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