CMT router bits

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by DBamaFan posted 10-24-2017 12:32 AM 2191 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DBamaFan's profile


4 posts in 1249 days

10-24-2017 12:32 AM

It has been along time since I used their bits. What the word on them?

-- David

10 replies so far

View Rich's profile


6394 posts in 1563 days

#1 posted 10-24-2017 01:32 AM

I have a couple and they cut well. I don’t recall, but I likely bought them based on price. It wouldn’t be my go-to brand though. I think Whiteside and Freud are better bits.

I’ve never done any in-depth testing on different brands of the same type bit however. This is just my opinion based on experience.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3638 posts in 4411 days

#2 posted 10-24-2017 01:42 AM

CMT, Freud, other brands. Many are good. And I own different brands with different profiles. Quality bits usually will fair quite well for standard shop use. But….

I needed a beading bit for one piece of furniture I was making. Probably never use it again. It was expensive. I saw on Amazon a yellow painted one called Yonico at about half the price. I was shocked at the quality in it’s appearance. Cheap bits usually have pitted paint and dubious looking carbide blades. And it cut as good as my expensive bits. Since then I’ve purchased a few more with other profiles and used them. Half the price and the same performance and longevity. Strange but true.

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

View ksSlim's profile


1304 posts in 3864 days

#3 posted 10-24-2017 02:32 AM

Whiteside, CMT, Freud in that order. IF you want quality$$$+, $$+, $$

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View jonah's profile


2136 posts in 4272 days

#4 posted 10-24-2017 02:57 AM

I have a Yonico spiral up cutting bit that seems good so far. I’ve only used it once so far, but it cut very nicely indeed, and it was about 60-70% of the price of Whiteside or even CMT’s similar bit.

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1565 days

#5 posted 10-24-2017 03:37 AM

The biggest difference between expensive and not so router bits is the thickness of the carbide cutter. The thicker it is the more times you can resharpen it. For hobby use it really does not matter.

View JAAune's profile


1917 posts in 3290 days

#6 posted 10-24-2017 05:45 AM

CMT seems hit or miss to me. I run through a lot of them on a router table and have been buying dozens of them since they’re stocked locally at Menards. The first one I bought was impressive. One of the recent ones I got felt dull right out of the box as it was causing more than usual burning and chipping on cherry. Switching it to another one solved the problem.

The black contractor grade bits aren’t that great. I’ve used about 3 and while one was decent, the others did not leave a very clean cut at all.

I like Amana bits better. Whiteside I still need to give a test but my regular supplier tends to send Amana bits when I place an order.

-- See my work at

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6739 posts in 3467 days

#7 posted 10-24-2017 10:45 AM

There are actually 2 levels (at least) of CMT bits now apparently. Menards carries both if you want to see them side bu side. The cheaper ones are of Chinese (or Asian) origin. The orange ones are still Italian, and my experience is they are just as good as they’ve always been (haven’t tried the Asian ones). I have always ranked the orange CMT bits as good as the Whiteside and Freud bits. They do seem to cost a little more than the others, so I normally pick Whiteside. Besides, in most cases WS has a broader selection.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View knotscott's profile


8406 posts in 4349 days

#8 posted 10-24-2017 12:41 PM

It’s been a while since I bought any, but the last one I got had thinner carbide that most others….it cuts well though. I prefer Whiteside, Infinity, Freud Quadra Cut for premium bits.

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

View Holbren's profile


23 posts in 1978 days

#9 posted 10-24-2017 04:57 PM

The biggest difference between expensive and not so router bits is the thickness of the carbide cutter. The thicker it is the more times you can resharpen it. For hobby use it really does not matter.

- Carloz

I have to disagree. The quality of the carbide has a lot to do with it and how long they stay sharp. Asian bits use a lower grade of steel for the bodies and a lower grade of carbide, some even use recycled carbide. The composition and grain structure of the carbide is what will keep the bit sharper longer.

View eflanders's profile


332 posts in 2824 days

#10 posted 10-24-2017 11:29 PM

I used to work in the carbide industry and I agree with Holbren that the quality/grade of the carbide has a lot to do with both wear and sharpness. The use of recycled carbide and steel also affects the quality. Using virgin steel and using virgin carbide will produce a higher quality product regardless of it’s quality/grade. The wear and strength factor of carbide has a lot to do with grain structure and getting consistent grain structure using recycled materials is difficult at best. The same holds true for steel. If you want the best buying American, Italian or German is the way to go as they use less recycled steel and carbide than most Asian companies do.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics