Whiteside - Router Bits (Rating: 5)

First, pardon the commercial web site photo. I usually prefer to post my own photos, but in this case, the image from the web site shows it best.

This router bit is such a great performer. I've used two-flute flush trim bits for years with mixed success. If you can manage to run with the grain, they work beautifully. Using a combination bit with bearings on the top and bottom helps with that because you can flip the piece with the template attached and adjust the bit height so that you can deal with the grain better. The problem comes when the wood has wild, fluctuating grain. There's no way to work with the grain when it's changing every few inches.

That's where this Whiteside bit shines. The spiral up/down design provides a compression cut, so that the shear for the top and bottom of the board is towards the center, eliminating any fuzzy edges. It also is as sharp as it can be, and the large shear angle allows it to cut down or up the grain with ease. (Even with that, going around a curve and into the grain should be handled with caution).

The shear angle also completely eliminates any washboard effect on the trimmed surface. It's clean and ready with no need to sand it smooth.

At $110+, this bit is not cheap, but like all Whiteside bits, its quality is as good as it gets, and if you have a need to do lots of trim cuts cleanly, it's a flawless performer.

My need for it not only involves expensive exotic hardwoods, but the trim step is several steps into the process, so if I have to toss the piece due to tear out, I'm wasting not only money, but time. So far this bit has caused zero defects that required scrapping the piece.