Cheap router bit sets, good value IMO.

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Forum topic by shawnn posted 10-15-2014 03:35 PM 1286 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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152 posts in 2221 days

10-15-2014 03:35 PM

The normal advice given to new woodworkers is to avoid cheap Chinese router bit sets like the plague. I have a different slant on this I want to share. I am new to woodworking, so like many I bought the 10000 piece bit set for $6 (embellishment) on Ebay, and after burning up a few, breaking one, but generally (95% or so) getting good results – I learned to my horror that I’d made a drastic mistake…

In my opinion, these cheapo bit sets are a great bargain for someone to learn on or wishing to expand their bit selection, assuming you’re ok knowing that some of them will not cut well or be perfectly sized (~5%). And, knowing your “learning curve” will cause you to burn some up – trust me, you feel a lot less loss burning up a $3 bit than a $25 bit. Worst case is you experiment with different router settings, techniques, etc, and gain a lot from trying to get good results with the bad bits. And they come in a nifty wooden box. You will have 10x as many bit profiles than if you only buy premium brands. I replace the bad bits – that I actually use, this is key – with premium bits. I just built a blanket chest & couple of craft boxes with raised panels (hard Brazilian Cherry & soft red cedar) using the el cheapo bowl/tray bit to cove the raised panels, and got perfect results with zero burning or chip out.

Having expressed this, would I buy these bits if I was running a production shop? No. Well, not for production use. Would I use a junk bit that I know cuts good for production? You bet, and if they last long enough to be a better ongoing value than brand name, I would try to get more of that particular bit. In small shops, pro’s & newbies alike might find as I did that these can be a good value.

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1138 posts in 3141 days

#1 posted 10-15-2014 04:09 PM

I couldn’t agree more.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

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