First, I wanted to point out about a good router guide book I forgot I had
from Woodsmith which I read intently and learned much. Second, it mentioned
a few high performance quality bits specifically Amana, Freud, CMT and MLCS.
I know Amana and Freud are quality bits but never guessed the CMT and
MLCS.Visiting my local Woodcraft retailer, who sells CMT, I always thought
they were a lower quality bit equaling that of their own retail brand and
never gave them a second look. After reading the Router book, I'm now more
alert to the CMT's. Does anyone use these bits and how do you like them?
CMT has been around a long time. Long ago, CMT America?, an American
company in Florida IIRC, pretty much only sold the quality Italian CMT bits.
As time went by the American CMT company began making their own router bits
and also branding them as CMT.
Because of that the Italian CMT company took the American CMT to court and
won the case. As a result the courts ordered the American CMT company to
rename their router bits which late became known as Jesada. The name was
derived from the first two letters from the owner's kids names.
Jesada made a pretty good bit however IMHO it was never quite as good as the
Jesada sold out and the current owner still uses the Jesada name.
One of the original Jesada kids now has a router bit company that is known
as Infinity. IMHO these bits are "ok" but not up to the quality standards
of the old Jesada bits and certainly not up to the quality of the current
and old CMT bits. IIRC Infinity does not or did not manufacture their
bits, they have their bits manufactured by an off shore company.
I have a set of rail and stile bits that are the real CMT bits and they have
been working well for the last 15 years.
Have you tried Infinity Tools router bits? What basis do you have to
say that their products are not as good as others? The ones that I
have are excellent quality and are as good or better than any of the
other top brands I've used.
My experience as well. That said, I don't have any of the "early" Infinity
I have Infinity, Freud, CMT, Bosch, some Jesada, Eagle America, a few MLCS,
and a few from Sommerfeld.
I don't think there's much difference between Freud and CMT. Infinity a
very close 2nd. MLCS being a low cost bit good for those occasions when you
don't want to invest in an expensive bit for infrequent use.
Just my personal opinion.
They make a few bits which I use constantly. A bottom bearing flush
trim bit which has a bit of a downward angle of cut (shear) and we
work them pretty hard. We take a 1/2" thick x 1/8" trim off the sides
of Corian in one swipe, day after day. They hold up great. Nice solid
bearing. I also use their slot cutters. Well-balanced and duarble. A
well-made arbor too.
These days there are few if any really bad router bits around. Most of
us give them limited (non production) use so the carbide seldom gives
up. One company I have bought unusual bits from seems to have a more
extensive catalog than most: go to www.magnate.net and have a look. I
like MLCS, too. If you contemplate CNC work, magnate would be a good
I have Freud, CMT (Italian), Infinity, Amana and Jesada router bits.
They all perform reliably and I can't discern significant differences
between any of them.
That said, Whiteside bits have repeatedly won the router bit comparisons
in Fine Woodworking and other magazines.
Whiteside - I'll second that!
If it's a bit you'll use for one project - then pick most any of them.
If you're going to use it for a lot of projects - roundovers, chamfers,
slots, dados, rabbets - forget the pretty shiny colorful coatings -
and their hype. Whiteside - plain and simple - and last.
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