All Replies on Good router bits that won't cost a fortune?

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View Micah Muzny's profile

Good router bits that won't cost a fortune?

by Micah Muzny
posted 01-11-2014 08:56 PM

19 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1820 posts in 3909 days

#1 posted 01-11-2014 09:00 PM

I like MLCS bits…

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View knotscott's profile


8415 posts in 4425 days

#2 posted 01-11-2014 09:31 PM

MLCS and Woodline are both solid entry price choices….MLCS’ 15 pc set for $42 shipped is a good bang for the buck. Grizzly green are ok too, but s/h tends to kill the value. Katana, Price Cutter, and Grizzly purple are the next step up.

Whiteside does have a nice 7 pc kit for ~ $95.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Tedstor's profile


1691 posts in 3682 days

#3 posted 01-11-2014 09:36 PM

I see NIB Craftsman ‘Professional’ bits on ebay fairly often. These are re-badged Freud bits with .5” shanks. Look for the yellow packages. Of course, like anything on ebay, the prices are all over the place. But I commonly see them for $10 or less.

View dawsonbob's profile


3990 posts in 2805 days

#4 posted 01-11-2014 09:38 PM

What do you think of Yonico ( )┬ábits? I know that they’re not made in the USA, but they seem to be pretty good bits, for substantially less money. I bought a tongue and groove set that works pretty well for me (not that I actually know what I’m doing, most of the time).

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View Loren's profile


11133 posts in 4697 days

#5 posted 01-11-2014 10:05 PM

MLCS is fine. I have bits by a lot of makers and most of
the time an MLCS type bit will do the job just as well
and at a lower cost. One thing about them is they
have less mass in the larger diameter bits because they
are machined out of flat stock. For things like panel
raising I think the Freud style panel raising bits will
give a cleaner cut (less sanding).

Lee Valley bits are good too and they have some
unusual ones for solving joinery problems and
things like that.

I never bought bits in sets because when I was
starting out 1/2” shank carbide bits were so
spendy I could only afford to buy them as I
needed them.

I think sets of straight bits and a set of round
over bits are worth investing in these days
as you’ll use them all in common furniture
type things.

View BArnold's profile


175 posts in 2882 days

#6 posted 01-11-2014 10:26 PM

Another vote for MLCS. I’ve been buying from them for 15 years and have never been disappointed.

-- Bill, Thomasville, GA

View alohafromberkeley's profile


257 posts in 3454 days

#7 posted 01-11-2014 10:38 PM

MCLS is a great site. Good return policy, customer service and free shipping on all orders….If your router has the capacity- then 1/2 ” shank bits are the best way to go.

-- "After a year of doing general farmwork, it was quite clear to me that chickens and I were not compatible"-George Nakashima

View Loren's profile


11133 posts in 4697 days

#8 posted 01-11-2014 10:42 PM

I’d recommend taking a look at the 8mm format as
some smaller and very nimble routers are becoming
available with 8mm capacities in addition to 1/4”.

... of course a 1/2” router can take bits with a
1/2” shank too, using a collet adaptor.

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 4116 days

#9 posted 01-11-2014 11:33 PM

Well, if you are going to use them once and throw them away woodcraft brand puts a sale on their bits 5bucks a piece a lot. They are throw away. I’m going to say that you can buy good tooling once or cheap often. I’ve got some white side bits I’ve had for years and still cut great. So you take that into consideration. There is a huge difference in quality of cut and life of bit too. If whiteside makes it, I’ll go there first. Big bonus it’s still made in America. Thats important too. I’ve got some Lonnie Bird’s line of bits from Amana that are good.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 3095 days

#10 posted 01-12-2014 12:41 AM

MLCS FTW. I got the 15 piece starter set 1/2” shank and have been very happy. I’d probably consider Whiteside or Eagle America (is MLCS affiliated with Eagle America?) over their Katana line.

-- paxorion

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 3553 days

#11 posted 01-12-2014 12:44 AM


-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View JAAune's profile


1939 posts in 3366 days

#12 posted 01-12-2014 04:43 AM

For spiral upcut bits, you can use 2-flute, center-cutting aluminum-cutting end mills. Make sure they are in fact 2-flute, center-cutting aluminum-cutting end mills and not something else. Those bits are usually a little cheaper than the spiral bits sold by woodworking outlets.

That being said, if you’re ever after quality, Onsrud makes some terrific (but expensive) spiral bits. A few days ago I made a mistake on a CNC program and sent one of those bits into the head of a 1/4”-20 zinc-plated bolt at 16,000RPM and 80IPM. The router barely slowed down and the bolt head was neatly trimmed in half. The bit will have to be replaced due to minor chips on the edges of the flutes but other than that it survived and is still sharp.

-- See my work at

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

485 posts in 4413 days

#13 posted 01-12-2014 05:30 AM

MLCS is good for most applications. I fill in with Whitesides for specialty bits (like plywood bits etc). Paxorion, Eagle America is owned by MLCS. So you have the option of Eagle America (USA made), MLCS (Taiwan) or Price Cutter (China).

View lepelerin's profile


498 posts in 3374 days

#14 posted 01-12-2014 05:42 AM

Blue Tornado makes good bits. Mine are still in excellent “cutting” shape after a lot of use for some of them. they are cheap too. As good as the one from lee valley for a fraction of the price.

View oldnovice's profile


7702 posts in 4417 days

#15 posted 01-12-2014 06:24 AM

I used to use Eagle America but since MLCS bought them I have not bought any more.

I now buy Niagara, Onsrud, and others as I buy end mills either HSS or carbide and typically, but not always, a lower price.

The Onrud super “O” is one of my favorite carbide cutters that work well in all types of material. Most of the HSS cutters I use are “upcut” and a minimum of two flutes and there are four flute ones available too.

I also buy some conical end mills that are available in almost any angle and depth of cut.

eBay and Amazon both list quite a variety of these cutters but you have to check on the manufacturer as some are off shore cutters. And watch the shank size as there are many more than just 1/4” and 1/2” shank sizes on end mills!

Roger Clark, a fellow lumberjock, put me on to end mills as he uses them for routing long before I did.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View bowedcurly's profile


519 posts in 2778 days

#16 posted 01-12-2014 06:31 AM

Ebay has good deals all the time take your time and buy a few at a time I have bought Eagle, Whiteside bits for 1/3 to 1/4 the price, new and used if you know someone that has a sharpening service you can buy used and get a great deal

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View bowedcurly's profile


519 posts in 2778 days

#17 posted 01-12-2014 06:33 AM

Eagle bits are made by Whiteside I think

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View oldnovice's profile


7702 posts in 4417 days

#18 posted 01-12-2014 06:42 AM

bowedcurly, Eagle America was bought out by MLCS!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View pintodeluxe's profile


6344 posts in 3863 days

#19 posted 01-12-2014 07:08 AM

The standard Freud bits from Home Depot etc work great. I really like Rockler bits too, and they go on sale from time to time. I’ve had good luck with Whiteside too.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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