Recommendations for router bits at a sensible price

Hi. I'm new to the world of routing and I have just bought a Bosch 1/2 inch bit router. There seem to be a lot of bit sets available at a wide range of prices (no doubt generally reflecting quality). Considering that I'm new to using routers, what bit sets would people recommend, in terms of range of applications and quality? I appreciate that my question is a little vague, but I'm not sure of the range of jobs I'm likely to take on with my new tool until I gain some experience using it. I suspect that my initial level of skill will be such that I won't see much benefit from using the very highest quality bits but, equally, I don't want to end up with bits that are so hopeless that I am put off using the machine. Cheers, Jim.
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On 11/01/13 04:44, Jim Walsh wrote:

bit router. There seem to be a lot of bit sets available at a wide range of prices (no doubt generally reflecting quality).

recommend, in terms of range of applications and quality? I appreciate that my question is a little vague, but I'm not sure of the range of jobs I'm likely to take on with my new tool until I gain some experience using it. I suspect that my initial level of skill will be such that I won't see much benefit from using the very highest quality bits but, equally, I don't want to end up with bits that are so hopeless that I am put off using the machine.

dont buy a set. Buy a good quality bit for the immediate job in hand.
--
Ineptocracy

(in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least capable to
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The few I use are bought from ITS london, www.its.co.uk

--
Tim Lamb

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Agreed, although for trying it out it might be worth buying a cheap set. Then replace whichever bits wear out first with decent quality ones on the grounds that they’re the one you use most.
Axminster’s own brand (Axcaliber) seem pretty good and not desperately expensive, though the range of molding shapes is not wide. Unless you are routing to match something, that probably doesn’t matter. You’ll certainly have a use for a straight cutter, say ½″; you can cut a groove wider than ½″ with that, but you can’t cut a narrower one with a wider bit…
--
Jón Fairbairn snipped-for-privacy@cl.cam.ac.uk
http://www.chaos.org.uk/~jf/Stuff-I-dont-want.html (updated 2012-10-07)
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On 11/01/2013 11:07, Jon Fairbairn wrote:

I buy TREND Craftsman range .. they are quality without being stupid in price.
Alternative is buy a 2nd set of fleaBay ... but risk of buying blunt bits.
I personally don't buy sets as it's usually full of profiles I don't want.

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On 11/01/2013 04:44, Jim Walsh wrote:

Sets are a bit of a mixed blessing since you will usually end up paying for a number of bits that ultimately you wont use much. Having said that I can see the attraction of having a variety to "play with" when getting started.
1/2" shank bits are also more pricey in the first place, so you need to be a bit selective. (although you can use 1/4" shank bits with a suitable collet reducer).

I would say a basic set of bits would be a selection straight cutters - as a minimum a quarter inch and half inch. Some roundover cutters - I tend to use three sizes - one very small 3mm radius for just adding a pencil round to corners, then a 1/4" radius for more decorative stuff, and a larger 1/2" radius for bullnosing planks etc.
After that, pick and chose what you need for particular projects, and what appeals to your sense of design. Keep in mind that many of the larger cutters are only safe to use in a table mounted router, and also may require quite a low rotation speed - so make sure your router can go down to the 8 to 12k rpm that may be appropriate for the biggest cutters.
Have a look at this ebay seller:
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Super-Carbide-Tools?_rdc=1
I have used them in the past, and the bit quality is ok. The prices make it very much more attractive to experiment a little.
--
Cheers,

John.

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John Rumm wrote:

Also have a look at Wealden tools. http://www.wealdentool.com / Very good quality, sensible prices, and usually next day delivery.
Bob
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On Friday, January 11, 2013 4:44:04 AM UTC, Jim Walsh wrote:

I don't use mine much, so have no expertise to offer. I notice with a set often you're paying for bits you'll use, and you get the ones you don't need at no extra cost.
I've also noticed some nice looking tricks with routers on youtube. One mounts a router on a reducing pantograph, then with simple templates you can produce accurate joints etc quickly. Another is a router table enabling production of fancy complex mouldings using a regular bit set.
NT
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On Friday, January 11, 2013 4:44:04 AM UTC, Jim Walsh wrote:

I don't use mine much, so have no expertise to offer. I notice with a set often you're paying for bits you'll use, and you get the ones you don't need at no extra cost.
I've also noticed some nice looking tricks with routers on youtube. One mounts a router on a reducing pantograph, then with simple templates you can produce accurate joints etc quickly. Another is a router table enabling production of fancy complex mouldings using a regular bit set.
NT
I have used http://www.routercutter.co.uk/ for a couple of years. Most of the bits are TC tipped or solid carbide. If you intend doing a reasonable amount of work with one profile it is worth paying a bit extra for decent cutters that will last.
Andy
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On 11/01/13 04:44, Jim Walsh wrote:

bit router. There seem to be a lot of bit sets available at a wide range of prices (no doubt generally reflecting quality).

recommend, in terms of range of applications and quality? I appreciate that my question is a little vague, but I'm not sure of the range of jobs I'm likely to take on with my new tool until I gain some experience using it. I suspect that my initial level of skill will be such that I won't see much benefit from using the very highest quality bits but, equally, I don't want to end up with bits that are so hopeless that I am put off using the machine.

I don't know if you're intending to do craft type projects, or more building/diy type stuff?
First buy just a few of the workhorse bits that get used all the time - straight cutter, straight bearing-guided cutter, rebate cutter - and probably in 1/2", if for DIY (they'll handle faster and deeper cuts).
I would say, if you buy a set of bits, buy only a small set - and probably only 1/4" bits (as they're cheaper).
A good first project might be to make a router table (the one you make yourself is more work - but always the best - as you will adapt and modify it to your needs). And 6 months from now, you'll build another one, this time a really good one - knowing exactly what you need.
Personally I have a 1/2" CMT router (rebadged Elu 177), mostly CMT 1/2" bits bought individually (expensive but heavily used). Later I bought the little Bosch 1/4" router (xxx600?), and a small set of Freud 1/4" bits.
Only downside of the kit has been the height adjust on the 1/2" router is rather crude. Bosch seems much better in this respect, with all their routers.
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On 11/01/2013 16:47, Dom Ostrowski wrote:

I am also newish to routers and just used over the summer months for doing some lap joints for a repair to my shed and a couple of other `rough` work bits and pieces, It does take a bit of getting used to but these outdoor jobs are giving me some experience and to that end I have found having a cheap selection was useful for practising, but, like others have said when I have a bit more experience I will buy cutters as required for the job in hand at a better quality.
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