Good less expensive router bits? Is this possible?

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Review by Craftsman on the lake posted 03-25-2015 10:40 AM 6389 views 3 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Good less expensive router bits? Is this possible? No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I don’t have a lot of mileage on this bit but since they impressed me I put this review out for those who are currently looking for a router bit that they might need for a one time job and not have to pay nearly as much as for a standard name brand one. I will update this review over time if I begin to see any deviation from my initial thoughts.

I’d seen these reviewed here before. Usually the reviews are mixed. I needed to make some small fluted moldings for a hutch. I didn’t know if I’d do this much again, if ever. I looked on amazon for my usual Freud bits and came across these for easily half or less of the price. So much so that a matched pair cost less than one Freud. I payed $35, free shipping from Amazon.

Now, in defense of this review. I have lots of good Freud and CMT bits. I’ve made dozens of raised panel cabinets and do all my moldings for house remodeling. I’ve put lots of miles, and hundreds (thousands?) of bf of wood through my router table.

In the downside of this review. I haven’t put much mileage on this bit yet and I can’t speak for any of their others.

What made me try them is that I might not need them much beyond the hutch molding I was making, and looking at all of the variety of Yonico bits on the market, these were mysteriously much less expensive. Of all the yonico router bits on amazon, all of them receive 4-5 star average ratings. And the ratings are from people who actually bought them. Amazon is pretty good about that. All of this taken together made me jump and try them out.

The bits are beefy with a large thick carbide knife on them. It also seemed to have a good edge too. The entire bit is smooth, and well finished. In cheap bits you usually see pitted shafts and blemishes in the paint. These, at least, looked very well made. The bit I’m sure is made in China. The bearing on the end says Japan. The shaft fit my triton router so that part at least was machined right.

When I put cherry (not a super hard wood) through the fluted bit it went in full bore, three flutes at 3/16” deep. Usually I take a couple of passes. The bit cut well at a speed setting of 2 out of 6. I like to go slower as it burns the wood less. The resulting fluted molding was cut clean with no scorch marks, in one swipe. Hmmm….. I made the other molding and then while it was running I put through some 3-4 foot random scraps of Oak, maple and cherry. In all I made about 30 ft of molding by turing the scraps over and doing all sides.

While this isn’t a lot of mileage on these bits, each pass in various hard woods produced the same clean, even flutes I wanted. The bit seems to have the same sharp edge as when I started.

I don’t know if these will hold up over time. I’m positive the thing is well made mechanically. The edge we’ll have to wait and see. But, for an occasional routing profile, they seem to work like the big boys until we know if these things will hold up over time. This bit will do the job. I wonder what a larger set of say, raised cabinet profile door bits might be like? I think I’d have to have a longer proving time before I put out that kind of cash for them. My Freud’s were very pricy, but they’ve served me well over the years.

So again, this review is initially for anyone wanting to take a chance on a router bit, particularly, at this point for short term use as we don’t know what the long term life is of the blade. The thing is, that if it serves the purpose either short term or long term. The extremely lower price is very attractive. I hope they work out in the long run. Thanks for reading.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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Craftsman on the lake

3468 posts in 4286 days

14 comments so far

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 2025 days

#1 posted 03-25-2015 10:46 AM

Thanks for the review. Keep us posted as the bits get more use.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4280 days

#2 posted 03-25-2015 12:45 PM

Looks like a nice set to have at that price. When I started, I bought one of those 40 or so bit sets, and unless its a unique profile or size, still use them as the go to bits for everything I do. Not a production type environment, so for the less than $100 I paid, I’ve gotten more than my monies worth.

Definitely going to check out the Yonico name on Amazon


-- Scott, Irmo SC

View Joe Andrews's profile

Joe Andrews

83 posts in 2848 days

#3 posted 03-25-2015 01:07 PM

Thanks for the review. I have one of their 60deg V bits I use in my CNC router and it has worked very well so far. Good to hear others having the same results. I’ll probably pick up a few more styles soon.

View tyvekboy's profile


2045 posts in 3862 days

#4 posted 03-25-2015 02:22 PM

Thanks for the review. Good to know.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View abie's profile


916 posts in 4620 days

#5 posted 03-25-2015 02:53 PM

I Have bot both CMT , priceline,whiteside and Freud bits
I have a 40 bit Yonico set and the smaller bits have broken, It was my first set and it has been useful, but for long lasting and production use I would stay away from their sets. Just MHO

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View philba's profile


96 posts in 2221 days

#6 posted 03-25-2015 03:06 PM

Thanks for the review. I’ve been looking at yonico for a while now. For what it’s worth, I’ve been buying my freud and cmt bits from Great prices – much better than amazon. Prompt service. No tax. $1 flat rate shipping in the USA via first class USPS which means they get to me within 2 days.

View dawsonbob's profile


3789 posts in 2604 days

#7 posted 03-25-2015 04:18 PM

I’ve been using a couple of Yonico bit for awhile now, and they’ve worked just fine. It’s only been a year or so, so no long time use. Pretty good bits in my opinion.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3802 days

#8 posted 03-25-2015 05:11 PM

I’m always interested in hearing about new sources for router bits. My past history has been pretty negative on bargain bits. After stripping out veneer, chipping cuts, and frozen bearings, I have pretty much been directed exclusively to WhiteSide bits. (which, BTW, have NEVER failed me).

Admittedly, WhiteSide bits are a bit pricy, but for the kind of work I do, veneer chipping and the like causes horrendous problems on the project. I would love an alternative, but as yet have not found anyone who is as reliable and consistent. (and I have a good sized pile of other/off brand bits that I am no longer confident to use)


-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View robscastle's profile


7323 posts in 3053 days

#9 posted 03-25-2015 08:41 PM

I purchased some roundover bits from China 2” 2.5” and 3” all were about $ AUD 14 to 15
they are big boys and I do not use them in my everyday work. I did a blog on then when I received them and conducted some tests.

At that price resharpening by a service provider would possibly be more than the buy price.

I did have a CMT bowl cutter which broke

I still use it as its quite safe and if the bowl is deeper than the bit it self clears the ridge otherwise its re do with another bit or remove by sanding.

I took it for repair but it was deemed to be beyond repair, so it just goes to show there is a couple of different situations presented.

I have seen the Yonicos and would have no problems trying them if the situation arose.
They are certainly an interesting matched set, I am curious what your application is?

I have a similar concave one but I dont think I have a convex one…I will have to check and report back later!

I do agree with Roger they must be razor sharp or they will do more damage than good.

A tip: never use a router bit with a bearing without testing it in your fingers first, (and that is with the power off by the way!) any evidence of “roughness” do not use it, if OK then apply a drop of light oil for lubrication, check again then run it to expell any residue oil.

-- Regards Rob

View sawdustjunkie's profile


410 posts in 2566 days

#10 posted 03-26-2015 02:19 AM

I also use Yonico bits. I bought a raised panel set for a bathroom vanity I have been making and also got some other of their molding bits. They seem to work quite well. I made almost 100 feet of molding with them and they are still very sharp. I agree with toe others regarding very low usage. I don’t know if they will last long, but for half the price, I can’t complain.
I have used these with hard maple and walnut and they are holding up well.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View ncdon's profile


220 posts in 3725 days

#11 posted 03-26-2015 11:07 AM

I’ve ordered a couple of specialty sets of Yonico bits on Ebay. Those that I’ve used so far work well and seem to hold up well. their prices are reasonable and they ship very quickly.

-- Don, North Carolina, Working full time at retired.

View goochs's profile


62 posts in 2078 days

#12 posted 03-26-2015 06:25 PM

I have quite a few bits from them and they have preformed pretty good. I recently had one the lost a potion of cutting edge, which they insisted I must of dropped, but having used it only once I think I would know if I dropped it or not. Anyway they will replace it but in their words “this time” lacks a little in the customer service area. Will I continue to buy from them?? maybe, maybe not. Maybe just my limited small use bits but not my heavy used ones.

View Stephen's profile


21 posts in 2402 days

#13 posted 03-30-2015 03:17 AM

I was also tempted by the great price of these bits. I did buy some recently and was very pleased. But it was only for bits I rarely use. You know, the bit you only need once every few months. I haven’t tried them for any heavy use bits yet, but maybe. I do think they are better than the bits you would buy from say harbour freight. I once bought a slot cutting bit from HF and it lasted about three uses. Just was so easliy dulled and burnt up. I will never do that again, lol.

-- -Stephen, WV ,

View PPK's profile


1790 posts in 1658 days

#14 posted 05-24-2017 04:58 PM

I’ve had very good luck with Yonico bits. I’d agree that they probably aren’t the daily users, but I don’t use mine daily. I’ve only had one that had some vibration (slot cutter) and that may just be due to bearing not being adjusted. I think that one consideration that people sometimes forget is safety. I’ve had a cope and stick bit (Freud) come flyout out of the collet and whiz past my face once. Got lucky that time, but I’ve always taken the task more seriously not. It was my fault, I didn’t bury it deep enough in the collet. The take home here, however, is that if you have a cheap bit that can lose its carbide, shatter/ blow up/ break off at the collet, this can create a pretty dangerous situation to have a bit (sharp or jagged) spinning towards you…

Just my take on the matter :-)

-- Pete

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