Who makes good router bits? I've seen lots of price differences and I've
looked at a few of them at places like Lowes who carries Skil and Bosch and
then there is the Craftsman brand and Sears.
Many good bits that are accurate, will last a long time and fair prices can
be found at:.
www.routerbits.com They have Whiteside. Amana is good, CMT, probably
others I've missed. Not quite as good, but a great value are the $5 bits at
www.woodcraft.com when they are on sale.
Learn about routers and bits from: www.patwarner.com
Whiteside is good value although I peronally don't think their carbide
and sharpening are <quite> up to the standards of Amana. Of course,
similar profiles are normally a good 20% or so cheaper, too (and
sometimes much more than that). For non-production work, I'd not
hesitate. I've been running a bunch of window frame w/ soft maple and
the Whiteside cutters are showing the effect much sooner than I would
like (and expected)...
There was a nice article on router bits in FWW August 1999. They
compared 17 straight router bits in a rather scientific fashion to test
initial sharpness (first 25 feet) and final sharpness (after 250 feet
or so). The test was done with melamine to make the chipout clearer;
the rational is that what happens with melamine in 250' will eventually
happen with bits in hard wood as well.
Their conculsions: in the VERY BEST category are Whiteside and
Ridge/Carbide Liberty. In the top-4 category are also Oldham-Viper and
Freud. The second-tier (but still good) bits were Amana, MLCS, CMT
and Carb-Tech. The third tier is much lower quality: Bosch, Eagle, PC,
Woodworker's choice; most of these start out fine but quickly
degenerate into chippers. Jessada's bits kept breaking, so the results
are a bit hard to interpret. I think (after Jessada sent a third bit
to FWW) the results put Jessada in the midfdle of the second pack. The
fourth tier is not worth your money, even though they are cheap.
You have to take these results for what they are: a very scientific
test of straight 1/2" router bits in melamine. Still, one suspects
that the quality of this bit may be related to the companies entire
Hope this helps.
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