Whiteside RFT5125 Flush Trim Up Cut Spiral Router Bit 1/2" D X 1-1/4" CL 1/2" SH 3-3/4" OL

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Review by Brad_Nailor posted 12-09-2012 06:32 PM 7784 views 4 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Whiteside RFT5125 Flush Trim Up Cut Spiral Router Bit 1/2" D X 1-1/4" CL 1/2" SH 3-3/4" OL No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I have recently been doing a lot of pattern routing on my router table. I had started out tracing pieces and cutting them out on the band saw then sanding them on my drum sander, with less than acceptable results (too many inconsistencies in the curves). So, I moved over to making a pattern and cutting close to the line with the band saw then finishing the cut with a pattern bit on the router table. First time I tried this I used a basic, two cutter, top mounted bearing pattern bit and immediately I was getting tear out when routing against the rotation. I reluctantly switched to climb cutting, and within a minute the piece was grabbed out of my hand and thrown violently against the wall. So after some searching, and much review reading (this bit, and other similarly configured pattern bits were given high marks for clean, safe, tear out free pattern routing) I decided to try this bit. It’s a solid carbide, two flute up cut spiral with dual top mounted bearings. It.s expensive ($84.00 at Woodcraft) but the first thing I noticed when taking it out of the protective plastic sleeve is it’s very heavy and solid feeling, and the bearings are really high quality. I chucked it up in my table router (Bosch 2 1/2 HP variable speed) and got my pattern all ready to go. This bit cuts like a dream! I had my pin in for control and did all the routing against the bit rotation and it cut like a hot knife through soft butter. Smooth, controllable, and zero splitting, or tear out. I couldn’t be more pleased with it’s performance. Granted i was cutting a relatively soft materiel (Walnut) but I think it would perform equally well in any materiel.
Overall I give this bit high marks in all categories..quality, sharpness, performance..maybe a little tick for the price..but it is solid carbide, and very high quality. I have many Whiteside bits and have always been happy with them, but this bit is one of the nicest router bits I have ever purchased.


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2545 posts in 5206 days

14 comments so far

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4589 days

#1 posted 12-09-2012 06:43 PM

can’t wait to get one

still looking for the money however

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 4258 days

#2 posted 12-09-2012 08:09 PM

Thanks for the review. I have a couple spirals, but haven’t made an investment in a spiral flush trim bit yet. Been meaning to, but not sure whether to get an upcut or downcut (use both in table and freehand with templates on either side). The up/down combo flushtrim bits would solve that issue, but they are also like $150.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile


402 posts in 5162 days

#3 posted 12-09-2012 08:12 PM

Cheers, thanks for sharing your opinion on that bit. I have been considering one for some time now. This has just pushed me over the top. Thanks

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

View NiteWalker's profile


2743 posts in 3825 days

#4 posted 12-09-2012 08:55 PM

For future reference, get your whitesides from holbren or hartville tool.
They put woodcraft to shame on pricing…

For example, the bit you bought is $68.26 at holbren.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5206 days

#5 posted 12-09-2012 08:59 PM

Thanks Nite Walker..I saw essentially the same bit on for $49.00…but i needed it now! But I will check out those resources ..thanks!

Live4ever..that would be a compression bit..cuts up and down at the same time..and ya your right. I considered one as well for the same reason..flexibility..but it was close to $150.00..OUCH!

David/Bruce..get it! I was amazed at how smooth and controlled it wont be disappointed.


View HorizontalMike's profile


7933 posts in 4162 days

#6 posted 12-10-2012 01:35 AM

I like this bit. Actually I am finding that this is the most used bit in my collection. Or should I say I have a few extras as I go through them, most often in my horizontal mortiser. Nice write-up!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View dnick's profile


986 posts in 3631 days

#7 posted 12-10-2012 04:19 AM

Nice review. That’s out of my budget range in this depression. Someday.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 4683 days

#8 posted 12-10-2012 04:36 AM

As mentioned on another thread, look into carbide end mills, they are very tough and DO work well on wood.
These bit are make in the USA and are available down to 1/32” and 1/16” dia.
There are 2 types (+ others), the Ultra series and the Niagara series which has 4 flutes.
Make sure you click on “Specification for this product family” to see all the sizes.
I have used the 1/32 and 1/16 and they are superb.

-- 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.

View BenI's profile


333 posts in 3427 days

#9 posted 12-10-2012 06:01 AM

Thanks for this review. I’ve been looking at flush trim bits and can’t really make a decision.

So regardless of the grain and the direction you were routing, you had no tear out?

-- Ben from IL

View Ken90712's profile


18067 posts in 4437 days

#10 posted 12-10-2012 04:49 PM

nice review, thx

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

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5206 days

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

The grain was mostly parallel, but I was routing across grain at the end. Again, it was a lot of walnut, but that bit cut so smooth and perfect…no tear out at the edges, or splitting along the long grain. I was very impressed by its performance. The next peel i make will be mostly maple..we’ll see how it handles that!


View BenI's profile


333 posts in 3427 days

#12 posted 12-11-2012 08:28 AM

Ah okay, thanks for the reply. I’ll definitely think about getting this bit.

-- Ben from IL

View Sumdume's profile


101 posts in 4082 days

#13 posted 02-23-2021 04:40 PM

Hello Brad,
I have a few questions about the spiral pattern bit you reviewed in 2012.
Are you still pleased with it?
How long did it stay sharp?
Have you found a different bit that was as good and less expensive.

Thanks, I am making some router bowls and getting too much tear out on the end grain of hardwoods like maple. I am tired of sanding.

-- Rule # 1 - Don't mix yer blood and sawdust!

View splintergroup's profile


5885 posts in 2471 days

#14 posted 02-23-2021 04:59 PM

I love pattern bits and template router work. I own/use the unit you show, great bit but solid carbide in that size is pricey!

For quite some time I have been using 3/4” diameter bits with standard brazed-on carbide cutters. They also have both top and bottom bearings which allow one to always be cutting grain “down hill”. Only down side is the diameter doesn’t work well with tight radius concave areas (I have to switch to a smaller diameter pattern bit).

The larger diameter is a big plus for using rugged tip bearings and I can add my own lower bearings for 1/2” shafts.

Having a router table throw you work away at high velocity is just as disturbing as table saw kickback!

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