Router bits #1: Paint or no paint

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Blog entry by grosa posted 09-02-2010 01:12 PM 2276 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Anyone here ever talk about painted router bits ? I have used many types of router bits over the years and bits without paint seem to last longer than the painted ones. I have unpainted bits that are 3 &4 yrs old, still in good shape. I get most of my bits through Magnate or custom made bits from Wood worker’s tool supply. They don’t paint there bits at all. I was told the paint acts as a blanket and dose not let the bit disperse heat as well, that makes the bit get dull quicker. Just like re cutting saw dust chips will dull your bits quicker. What do you guys think ? I have over $3000 in router bits. They add up just as fast as power tools.

-- Have a great day.

9 comments so far

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3379 days

#1 posted 09-02-2010 03:44 PM

I haven’t noticed a significant drop in quality with my painted bits over my non-painted ones.. I’ve just noticed that the paint wears off ridiculously fast. Although to be fair I use my router bits in a CNC machine so when I use them I use them a LOT more in a single use than would be reasonable “by hand”.

The company I get most of my bits from, Her-Saf, does not paint theirs at all. You’re right, they get mighty expensive quick!

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3236 days

#2 posted 09-02-2010 03:56 PM

I have noticed a difference in painted versus no paint, a BIG difference. I recently had to do a custom order of 68 picture frames. Since I was going to be doing a lot of work with a round-over bit, I decided to pick up a new one at the hardware store while I was there for something else. The only brand the store carried was painted bits. The new (painted) bit started getting dull and chipping out real bad about a quarter way through the order. So I chucked up the old bit (unpainted) and finished the order with no problems.


View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 3274 days

#3 posted 09-02-2010 03:58 PM

All I’ve seen is painted bits. Who makes the unpainted?

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3702 days

#4 posted 09-02-2010 04:12 PM

I buy the whiteside router bits from and they are not painted (or if they are the paint is metal colored). They really hold up great and are reasonably priced for the top quality. I do have some Freud quadra cut router bits and they are very good also…but i haven’t noticed the red paint causing any problemos.

View chewbuddy13's profile


150 posts in 3679 days

#5 posted 09-02-2010 07:01 PM

It was my understanding that the “paint” is an anti-friction and pitch coating. I use mostly Freud and Rockler bits, so I don’t really have any non-painted to compare them to. I would think that the companys that manufacture the bit would have done some sort of testing to see what the effects of the coatings would be. I wonder if the problems some of you may have might be with the specific manufacturers of the bits. Whiteside and Freud and companys that make good quality bits, i have some that i got in a set from the BORG and they were crap.

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 3334 days

#6 posted 09-02-2010 08:45 PM

I feel the same way, it just seems the unpainted bits do better. I think the paint is there to make ‘em look pretty!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View grosa's profile


1005 posts in 3222 days

#7 posted 09-03-2010 01:03 AM

A painted router bit is like a fishing lure. Fishing lures have all those pretty colors to catch fisherman not fish.

-- Have a great day.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22698 posts in 3499 days

#8 posted 09-06-2010 08:58 PM

So far, I have not noticed a difference, but I just have a few painted ones from MLCS- and they are the more expensive ones. I do like the 3 fluted bits they sell, though , and they are painted to make them look better than the raw steel.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View grosa's profile


1005 posts in 3222 days

#9 posted 10-04-2011 04:39 AM

The paint acts as a blanket and holds the heat. That will cause the bit to get hotter, faster. This will dull the bit and cause the carbide to fatigue and crack. One with no paint will dissipate heat quicker. I get most of my bits through; they are allot better and cheeper than home depo.

-- Have a great day.

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