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Router Bits

3686 Views 17 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Innovator
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?
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I use Freud, and Whiteside bits, and both seems to be of very good quality. if your router can use 1/2" shank bits- use those as opposed to 1/4" shanks.
I use Freud and Jesada (Razor Tools) bits and, as PurpLev said, go with 1/2" shank bits if you are able to.
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.
I've had very good luck so far with the Whiteside bits and they are a reasonable price for a hobbyist.
I buy only CMT bits. Don't really know if they are better than any others because I don't have any others. Can anyone offer a comparison?
I agree with CMT and I also use Whiteside
IMO, Freud, Amana, Velepec, Whiteside, Southeast Tool, Bosch, Leitz, Leuco, CMT, FS Tool, Vortex, Onsrud …all very good quality. On par with each other.

Make your best deal.
i just got some porter cable bits - i cant comment on longevity, but out of the box they're super sharp, cut well, and look like quality manufacturing.

like the others said, go with 1/2" if possible, especially for that end grain.
Aaron, I left out Porter-Cable because of the fact that as a dealer, I have no clue who at this point makes their bits, in what country nor do I know a customer that uses them.
huh. i had no idea they didn't make their own.
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.
Thanks for all of the feedback, it seems that Whiteside has gotten quite a bit of votes. I will give them a try first.

one more vote for whiteside.

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.
I think this might be the comparison chart from FWW you mentioned:
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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.
Knottscott that is the chart from FWW, thanks for posting it.
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