I read through some of the older posts on router bits. I have also read the Fine woodworking test done on 18 different router bit companies. I am looking to upgrade some of my bits and I was looking for some feedback on the best bits out there.
I do make various cutting boards and I need to rout all edges. The cutting boards are mostly end grain so the bits need to be good. With that being said if money were not an object which bits would you purchase to get the best possible cut?
I agree go with the 1/2" chuck. I've usually bought from the lesser expensive routerbits. Woodline, MLCS. For the number of cut I'll do in my lifetime it doesn't pay to buy the very best. I usually don't need to cut 3000 running feet of a cut. maybe 50 to 100 ft for a project.
Whiteside and Infinity are the best I have and are definitely worth the premium for important applications. My Freud, Price Cutter black, Katana, and CMT bits are very good too. My Holbren, MLCS, Grizzly green, and Woodline are fine for less critical applications.
I have a couple sets of cheap carbide bits, the straights get chipped, the round overs burned, the beading leaves lots of fuzzies. They are fine if I dont care about the quality of the work, something that is going to be mostly hidden or painted over. I use those to save wear and tear on the more expensive bits.
And I have some whitesides, sharp enough I have literally sliced open a finger sliding a 3/8 upcut spiral out of the package, through my fingers, into my hand. And the cut they leave behind reflects that. Clean cuts, no fuzzies, less chip out, the wood cuts instead of just pushed and blown out of the way like with lower quality bits.
I have some Freud sets that are nice but my individual single purpose, single purchase bits are all whiteside. Holbren usually has as good a price as anywhere and free shipping. So you can afford to buy onesies twosies and not feel like you have to buy a set to cover shipping.
I am planning to buy all my bits from Infinity, if available. I started out with MLCS - the bits are good and MLCS offers free shipping. Whereas, Infinity's bits are more expensive. But, I had better cuts with the Infinity bits. I have a 3/4" straight bit from both companies and the cuts are much smoother and significantly less burn on the same wood with the same feed rate.
Another company that I have heard is good, but haven't tried is the Eagle America. the prices are comparable to Infinity. Fine Woodworking published a comparison that included most of the bits from most of the manufacturers mentioned here. You may find the results surprising.
That is the one, Knotscott….. I searched for it so I could post the link, but wasn't able to find it. The associated article described how the test was done. I think the test comprised of using a straight and a roman ogee bits from each of the listed manufacturer.
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