Are these router bits a good buy?

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Forum topic by Wintersedge posted 04-05-2010 08:43 AM 9552 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Wintersedge's profile


83 posts in 3481 days

04-05-2010 08:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: router

I am looking into getting a router that will support 1/2” shank bits. I saw this ad today and am curious what others think. There are 66 router bits for $104 bucks plus shipping. This seems dirt cheap. Am throwing good money at cheap bits or are these decent inexpensive bits?


-- Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.

27 replies so far

View TomHintz's profile


207 posts in 3905 days

#1 posted 04-05-2010 08:52 AM

I tried a set of “super cheap” router bits years ago and after a day in the shop threw the whole set in the trash before someone got hurt. One had a “carbide” edge come loose and fly off, on another the “carbide” broke halfway down its length and that piece came off. I put carbide in quotes because if it really is carbide, it is the cheapest they can find and apparently too brittle to handle cutting poplar safely as I was doing when these bits failed.
There is no way for me to say the set you are looking at is the same quality but when I see less than $2-per bit, there has to be lots of corners cut in their production. I would rather bite the bullet and pay for good quality bits and just get the ones I actually need. With most sets you are paying for a bunch of bits that will never get used so the “deal” gets worse right there.

-- Tom Hintz,

View whit's profile


246 posts in 4484 days

#2 posted 04-05-2010 09:56 AM

I’d stay clear of them. Like Tom said, the “carbide” on a bit turning >25K rpm has to be both hard and stable. And . . . be able to handle something harder than white pine (or “white wood” in the parlance of the large home center store whose primary color is similar to that of Tennessee and whose products are primarily manufactured by legions of individuals who are citizens of an Asian nuclear superpower – but, I digress). Also, there have been reviews written on router bits in several of the woodworking magazines and the “smooth coating” offered with bits of this caliber is usually something the rest of us refer to as “paint”.

“You get what you pay for.” sounds sort of trite but it’s been my experience that with a set of this type, you end up with two types of bits – broken and unused. My recommendation – get a catalog from some of the router bit manufacturers (Woodline, CMT, Freud, etc) and find the bits you think you’ll need. If you have a specific need, you can probably find the bit in one of those catalogs.


-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View knotscott's profile


8332 posts in 3883 days

#3 posted 04-05-2010 11:07 AM

The number of duplicates and near duplicates is very high and the quality isn’t. The “price per bit” is attractive, but it’s still enough money to get into some really nice quality bits like Whiteside – 7pc, Infinity 6 pc, Freud, CMT, or Eagle America, etc. I’d rather get a small high quality set of the basic profiles, then buy individual specialty profiles as needed.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4329 days

#4 posted 04-05-2010 01:14 PM

I have to agree with the comments on this. I have found that with sets of bits there are a few that will be useful but the majority of the bits are bundled into the kit because they do not sell well and the manufacturer needs to get rid of the inventory. In my opinion it is better to buy then individual bits that will be used than to simply accumulate a lot of bits that will simply gather dust.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View woodworm's profile


14475 posts in 4098 days

#5 posted 04-05-2010 01:37 PM

You can find reasonably priced (compared to other branded) router bits at MLCS Woodworking with good quality. I have almost every piece of MLCS for 6 years now and never have problem. I also bought the 66pc set for $119.00 during sale.

Hope this might help.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3708 days

#6 posted 04-05-2010 06:25 PM

Wintersedge, like woodworm, I buy most of my bits from MLCS. I have bought a lot of their Katana bits but I also have their house brand bits. Never had a problem and they work very well.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View whit's profile


246 posts in 4484 days

#7 posted 04-05-2010 06:30 PM

Thanks, Woodworm. I forgot about MLCS.


-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View TheDane's profile


5690 posts in 4170 days

#8 posted 04-05-2010 06:41 PM

A few years ago, I bought a 45-bit set from MLCS … I have been happy with them, and when I discovered a problem with the shank on one of the straight bits, MLCS shipped me a replacement bit NQA.

I know some feel buying the big sets is a waste, and though I have not used all of the bits I bought, I like having options on hand if I want to do a particular profile.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View woodworm's profile


14475 posts in 4098 days

#9 posted 04-05-2010 06:49 PM

Agree with you TheDane, round over bit for instance, we have option to use from 1/8” to 1/2” radius. The same goes with cove bit.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3777 days

#10 posted 04-05-2010 06:50 PM

Sometimes these sets are great for someone that needs to see what uses a router will be good for. Then you can replace the ones you use most with quality bits. I have an old set that I bought many years ago that still has some bits with life in them. I would certainly not buy a “cheap” set now…but they do have their uses, including a one or two time use on a project that you are not planning to do again.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Builder_Bob's profile


161 posts in 3567 days

#11 posted 04-05-2010 07:00 PM

I bought these bits through Amazon: 80-Piece Premium-Grade 1/2” Tungsten Carbide Router Bit Set – 3 and 2 Blade – With aluminum Case by Neiko Tools for 79.99.

Truly a buck a bit. They are the only bits I have and I’m sure they are not the best, but I have learned a lot from them. Look at my projects to sample the results from these bits, and read the 30 comments from Amazon customers.

I tend to lean toward slower router speeds and always wear safety glasses.

-- "The unexpected, when it happens, generally happens when you least expect it."

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3716 days

#12 posted 04-05-2010 07:19 PM

I don’t know if this will help you, but I went for a similar deal… a 70 piece bit set from Eagle America. It normally sells for $299, but I got it for on sale for $100 off. I made the purchase partly because Charles Neil recommended it in one of his blogs as a good deal. I’m glad I got it. I’m just a rookie woodworker so I am not really a great one to judge, but I will say that they get the job done for my use and I haven’t had pieces flying off of any of them yet. I have no idea how Peachtree compares to Eagle America.

The whole idea of bargain sets to me is not seeing them for what they are and not as a final purchase. I like having a selection of bits to try out, and, if I am working away on a project and need a router bit, it is most likely included in this set; I don’t have to run out to buy one or wait for it to arrive via mail order. If I see that I am going to be using any particular bit with any frequency, I’ll go ahead and buy a better quality one. This is my approach when I buy bargain sets of anything… see what pieces I like/need and upgrade them one at a time as I go. If you already know what bits you are frequently going to be using, maybe you should go ahead and buy the ones you know you’ll be needing.

View TheDane's profile


5690 posts in 4170 days

#13 posted 04-05-2010 08:05 PM

I use bits from my MLCS set for more routine stuff (over the weekend, I did a bunch of round-overs and chamfers on a project I am building for my wife’s sewing room).

I order premium bits for specific purposes … today’s mail brought a premium Whiteside molding profile bit I ordered from Charles Neil for a project I plan to do in May.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View mikedrums's profile


102 posts in 3543 days

#14 posted 04-05-2010 08:59 PM

My 2 cents…
Those are going to be the same thing as what you’d get from MCLS, but painted a different color. All those $100 sets are going to be the same animal. Unless they can assure you that it’s a better carbide than the rest, they are all the same… probably coming from the same Asian factory.

I guess there are a couple schools of thought.
- Buy the best you can, for each bit, for each project, as you need them. or…
- Get a cheap set and see what they can do.

I’ve subscribed to both.
I bought a $99 set from woodcraft, years ago and still put good them to good use.
I’ve also bought much more expensive bits for projects, as needed.

For some uses, I can’t tell the difference. For other uses and woods, I notice a big improvement on speed of cutting and quality of cut. However, I’ve yet to use any bit that left a finished surface. Very few bits will leave an finished surface, that needs no further sanding. If that’s what you want and need, pay for it and enjoy it.

The other advantage of the expensive (better carbide) bits is longevity. They will stay sharp longer. If you need profile bits that can’t be sharpened, for production purposes, it’s worth it to spend the money.

Another issue some have brought up is that you may never use half the bits in the set. Looking at that set, I can say that I’ve used or had need for at least 50 of those bits in the last few years. They are kind of nice to have around. Sometimes you are just inspired to build something on a whim, and it’s nice to have all those bits sitting there in the shop. Sometimes, they are just good for practice.

I guess the bottom line is, if you’re a hobbyist and like to mess around with a lot of things… get them and have fun. They may surprise you.
If you make money with what you do and have had enough practice in woodworking, then buy great bits, as each project dictates. None of the bit profiles in that set are going to very expensive in good carbide from a good manufacturer. Infinity Tools comes to mind. They also have bit sets that are the same high quality carbide, for very reasonable prices.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4092 days

#15 posted 04-05-2010 09:27 PM

for occasional use they can’t be too bad for that kind of money.I suggest also you buy what you will use rather than a set, especially if you use them daily ,but for very occasional use the el cheapo’s would be ok in my opinion.Heck you can buy sets here for a pound a piece but there junk.The carbide is brittle it fractures and breaks for no reason and they don’t stay sharp long sorry to be the bearer of bad news.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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