Ryobi straight router bits, set of 4, suck

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Review by CplSteel posted 08-10-2012 05:59 AM 11168 views 0 times favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Ryobi straight router bits, set of 4, suck Ryobi straight router bits, set of 4, suck No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I think cheap tools have a place. I have 2 very nice kitchen knives and a few crap knives; i use them for different things. So i needed a bit to rough out a curve and using a router on a swing arm seemed to make sense, so I picked up these bits. I expected them to leave a rough edge, I expected them to be less than scary sharp, I expected them to do their job just not to be great about it.

I was wrong, turns out red oak beat that bit silly. By my math, this bit made 4 36” passes at 1/4” depth and died on the 5th.

Never again.

(Edit: because it became an actual live issue in the discussion thread below, I went and took a good measurement, the cut depth was 3/16”, not 1/4”, if that makes a difference to this review or not is up to you)

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143 posts in 3014 days

38 comments so far

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Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 4284 days

#1 posted 08-10-2012 11:18 AM

I never buy cheap bit sets, it is better to get a single good bit to do the job instead of a set where you might never use some of the other bits. I only us Freud, Whiteside, Milwaukee and Amana bits, all of which are superb, but MLCS does carry bits that are cheaper and are quite good.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

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9950 posts in 3692 days

#2 posted 08-10-2012 01:00 PM

I do buy cheap bit sets. There are times that I do not know what bits in a set that I may or may not use. So I will buy a cheap sets if it’s got bits I know little about (of course, that’s rare these days since I know a lot more than I once did). Then, as the bits wear out, I know what I use most and replace them accordingly with quality bits. I buy Freud for quality because that’s what’s available locally.
However, there are some bits, straight bits like you have here for example, that are just commonly used bits. Because of that, I’d never buy a set of just straight bits from the el-cheapo section. I’d go straight for the Freud on something like this.


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2902 posts in 3098 days

#3 posted 08-10-2012 01:16 PM

I’ve learned my lesson with router bits. I used to buy cheapies and moderately priced bits like MLCS. After buying a few whiteside bits, I would rather go without than buy cheap ones. I have an MLCS 3/4” straight bit I now refuse to use. I make two passes with my 1/2” whiteside bit instead. It is still faster and the results are so much better.

All my crappy bits (I have about 25) are going on craigslist. I am not a brand snob and do own a lot of less expensive tools, but I do find value in blades and bits.


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2902 posts in 3098 days

#4 posted 08-10-2012 01:23 PM

Also, I would lump Freud Diablo bits in the “cheap” category. Some of those only cost 2 or 3 dollars less than the Whiteside equivalent. Even just a visual comparison of the bit (amount of carbide, brazing) makes it a no-brainer. I have found the diablo bits cut really well when new, but don’t hold up well at all.


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1267 posts in 2997 days

#5 posted 08-10-2012 01:38 PM

I can only get two brands of bits locally… Skil or Bosch are my choices. I only have a small selection of bits right now and they are mostly Skil. I’ve heard many people say not to buy cheap bits so I have hesitated. In a weak moment on eBay I did cave and bought a set of flush trim bits. The price was too good to pass up. So far… They are ok and have done what I needed them to do. I think I got 5 and paid $7 and change.

I like what William said though about getting sets and then buying nice ones for the ones you really like and will use more.
Lumberjoe…. I’ve yet to find anyone locally getting rid of any router bits. It’s the one thing i can’t find used.

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5777 posts in 4081 days

#6 posted 08-10-2012 01:50 PM

I have had the same results with a small Freud straight bit. Small bits are fragile no matter who makes them.

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2902 posts in 3098 days

#7 posted 08-10-2012 01:56 PM

While I was often tempted to by the cheap sets, it’s a waste of money. The ones you actually use, you will end up replacing. The ones you don’t use, well, you wasted money on because you don’t use them. Woodcraft has a “bit of the month” sale on whiteside bits, and it’s usually under 20$, and they are commonly used bit profiles.

Angie, the bosch bits got a nod for the best “bargain bit”, so if you need to buy locally vs online, that is probably the way to go, however in the Fine Woodworking test, the Bosch bit was actually 9 dollars MORE than the Whiteside. As I mentioned before though, a whiteside, Eagle America, or Freud Industrial (not diablo) bit is only 2 to 3 dollars more in a lot of cases.

Here is a good article on router bits


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Chris McDowell

645 posts in 3002 days

#8 posted 08-10-2012 02:04 PM

I’ve seen these Ryobi sets locally, but have been iffy about considering them for purchase. Thanks for your review.

I’ve also seen Skil and Bosch locally. The Bosch are pretty expensive, at least, for what I can afford. Is Bosch any better than the enough to justify spending more?

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

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2902 posts in 3098 days

#9 posted 08-10-2012 02:11 PM

The Skil and Ryobi are probably the same bit. If the Skil bits are anything like the other stuff they make (except the mag77) they are probably worse than the Ryobi.

The bosch bits are decent, but not for the price. You can get a premium bit cheaper than a mid-range bosch bit 90% of the time.

Don’t be afraid to shop online. There is a whole other world outside of the big box stores with better products and better values.


View Ken90712's profile


17902 posts in 4038 days

#10 posted 08-10-2012 05:27 PM

I was going to post the article that lumberjoe did for you. Not worth it buying thecheap ones. I gave up buying anything Ryobi makes I have the 18 volt drill and 2 18 volt Dewalts. I have replaced Ryobi’s battery 3 times and have never replaced the Dewalts. That why Dewalts batteries cost twice as much. Plus there so much stonger driving in screws or bolts.

We have all been there….. Thx for honest review, there are to many posts from harbor frieghts tool’s and such that get 5 stars. We have all bought the throw away tools when needed, but in a router at them speeds I’ll tak e quality over quantiy anytime.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3473 days

#11 posted 08-10-2012 11:25 PM

Now dont get me wrong, I’m not going to bat for Roybi, but a 1/4” pass in oak is asking a lot for any bit. Two passes at 1/8 would have produced a cleaner cut, possibly faster, and you would have been able to finish with the same bit you took to that party.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4537 days

#12 posted 08-10-2012 11:42 PM

Ditto jumbojacks comment.
You’re asking too much of that tiny bit , no matter which brand you chose .
Also don’t know what your rpms were or what your feed rate was , but it doesn’t take much effort to snap a quarter inch bit.
Aren’t you a bit premature with your rating ?
You only broke one of the bits so far…the rest might be perfectly alright when used properly.
Remember that they’re only 1/4” shanks : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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David White

120 posts in 4130 days

#13 posted 08-11-2012 12:00 AM

I never buy sets of router bits as I find that if I do I always end up with a bunch of bits I really don’t need. I usually buy individual CMT bits, and only the ones I need and as and when I need them.


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394 posts in 4430 days

#14 posted 08-11-2012 01:12 AM

Uh…Ryobi, nuff said. I learned my lesson long ago also. Spend the extra bucks for high quality. CMT works for me. I did break a bit once (1/8) with a cut too deep and the store replaced it for me at no cost. I still shop there. lumberjoe is right, look on line. I got a CMT raised panel bit set for 150.00 bucks and that included shipping!

-- Rick

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3539 days

#15 posted 08-11-2012 02:08 AM

Jumbojack and Dusty nailed it. Shallower cuts and multiple passes are the answer for cleaner (and safer) cuts.Granted Ryobi are not premium bits but then they don’t cost premium prices. Just my 2 cents.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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