What are the 1/4" router bits good for?


I see most people recommend 1/2" shank. So then, does smaller shank exist only to cover the low-end market? Is there a case where they have any advantage over a wider shank?
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wrote:

I like 1/4" shanks for 1/4" and smaller straight bits and any bit that'll get used in my laminate trimmer. I haven't seen any advantage of a 1/4" bit with a 1/2" shank, other than the convenience of not having to change a collet.
Laminate trimmers are excellent tools for light hinge mortising, small roundovers, small chamfers, and of course, laminate trimming. They are small enough to be very easy to control for freehand work. I've even used it for freehand rough cleanout of hand cut, half blind dovetails.
I'd say 85% of my routing that is not done on a router table is done with the little guy. I usually only use a "real" router for plunge work, or edge work with big bits on items too big to handle on the table.
Hope that makes sense.
Barry
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| wrote: | | >I see most people recommend 1/2" shank. So then, does smaller shank exist | >only to cover the low-end market? Is there a case where they have any | >advantage over a wider shank? | | I like 1/4" shanks for 1/4" and smaller straight bits and any bit | that'll get used in my laminate trimmer. I haven't seen any | advantage of a 1/4" bit with a 1/2" shank, other than the convenience | of not having to change a collet. | | Laminate trimmers are excellent tools for light hinge mortising, small | roundovers, small chamfers, and of course, laminate trimming. They | are small enough to be very easy to control for freehand work. I've | even used it for freehand rough cleanout of hand cut, half blind | dovetails.
Interesting...I have Bosch 1617 dual base. Would you use it as a laminate trimmer? I'd like to try it as jointer. I am still looking for a catalog of Bosch router accessories. I may need new glasses, but I couldn't find it anywhere on boschtools.com. Perhaps you know...
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wrote:

Any router can trim laminate.
What makes the "laminate trimmer" routers nice for freehand work is the small size, much smaller than a standard 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 HP model.
Barry
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I always have a laminate trimmer with an 3/32" roundover bit close to me anywhere I am working. Couldn't live without one.
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I wouldn't say a low end market as a 1/4" shank can be every bit as good in quality.
Some small routers use them easily and some small sized bits are only made with the 1/4" shank. Like the 1/8" cutters from solid carbide.
When you get into larger sizes and heavier work, do you want that large bit spinning at 22,000 rpm on a hefty shank or a skinny one? That would be like putting your 1/2 ton pickup on 13" wheels with 6.50 tires.
Invoking the penis theory here, I don't know of any advantage of small over large.
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wrote:

When's it's caught in the zipper?
Just had too, sorry!
Allyn
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| >I see most people recommend 1/2" shank. So then, does smaller shank exist | > only to cover the low-end market? Is there a case where they have any | > advantage over a wider shank? | | | When you get into larger sizes and heavier work, do you want that large bit | spinning at 22,000 rpm on a hefty shank or a skinny one? That would be like | putting your 1/2 ton pickup on 13" wheels with 6.50 tires.
Well...don't bit designers keep some ratios in mind?
| | Invoking the penis theory here, I don't know of any advantage of small over | large.
....Can boldly go where no larger penis has gone before...
| |
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|

Sure, some bits are only made in 1/2" for that reason. Same principal applies though, a larger diameter shank will always be superior in collet holding, flex, shear strength, etc.
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1/4" routers are good for smaller work...
1/2" for bigger.
I tend to use my 1/4" for adding decorative mouldings and my 1/2" for eg routing out stair housings.
1/4" probably getting used more and if I can do the job with my trend 1/4" I will as it's easier to manage
cheers
Nicholas
--
Nicholas Buttle - Quality Joinery and Cabinet Making
http://www.nbjoinery.net
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Why are there 16- and 8- oz hammers as well as 20-oz framers?
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The smaller ones are easier on your thumbs.

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well, I'm far from a "tool purist", but I use 1/4" bits in the table and free hand routers and 1/2" in the shopsmith for drill press style routing... works fine for me, but I'm still in the wood destroying stage.. *g*
mac
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On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 09:30:44 -0800, mac davis

Some smaller diameter cutters only seem to be made in 1/4" shank.
Generally speaking, a quality bit is a quality bit. A 1/4" shank Whiteside bit is a better cutter than a 1/2" shank cutter from Home Depot.
I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with a 1/4" shank for small diameter cutters. They get a bad rap because of the abundance of available 1/4" shank bits out there in Borg grade.
In general, if a larger shank is available, AND it fits into your workspace, you want to use the larger shank. You also, in general, want to use the shortest bit that will do the job at hand.
If you need an 1/8" core box bit, I don't think there's much problem with using the 1/4" shank version. Indeed, I'm not sure I've ever seen an 1/8" core box bit on a 1/2" shank, though I imagine someone must make one.
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even the 1/4" straight bit looks a bit odd with a 1/2" shaft..
mac
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1/2" bits are too tight a fit in my router's 1/4" collet.
wrote:

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you just haven't built the correct jig for it yet..
mac
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Newbie wrote:

They fit in my father's (now deceased) router. The new fangled 1/2 inch bits don't fit without a lot of filing and fussing.
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Your father or the router? ;-)
Gerry
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