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Good Introductory Router Bit Set

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  • Good Introductory Router Bit Set

    I just got a Hitachi M12V2 3.25 HP router. It is my first and I am looking for a good set of introductory router bits. Do you guys have any suggestions? I was looking at the 13-piece Freud set that goes for about $200. But that is a lot of money for bits that I am not even sure if I am going to use. But buying them seperately from a store is ridiculously expensive, so that is why I wanted to go with a set. I am going to be mounting it in a table in my TS3650. I will be making some end table, chest and various other things. I am just getting my shop up and running. Any help would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Good Introductory Router Bit Set

    You'll find as many opinions on buying router bits by the set or individually as there are different styles of router bits. I happen to be of the viewpoint that sets are not the way to go.

    You're right that buying bits individually can get a little on the expensive side but on the other hand buying them one at a time ensures that you'll only be buying bits that you intend to use. When I first started using a router I went the set route and years later I still haven't used over half of the bits in that set. As the bits from that set wore out I replaced them with high quality bits and found that the better, albeit more expensive, bits tended to last longer which in the long run made them not quite so expensive.

    If you feel that a set is best for you and it may well be then look for one in the medium quality range. Holbren is one company that offers good quality bits for not a whole lot of money. He offers free shipping and also sell the Whiteside brand of bits that are about the best you can buy. The customer service at Holbren is also excellent. BTW, use WOODNET10 as a discount code and you'll receive and additional 10% off of the posted prices.
    Last edited by BadgerDave; 11-02-2007, 04:37 PM.
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


    • #3
      Re: Good Introductory Router Bit Set

      MLSC makes decent bits. Here's the link:
      You can never have enough drills-too many is just enough!!!!!


      • #4
        Re: Good Introductory Router Bit Set

        I'm totally with BadgerDave on this. Sets are usually filled with bits that you won't use. So you got a greater number of bits, but if you only use half of really paid double the price for that half. There is nothing wrong with Frued bits, quality wise, but most of the "cheap" starter sets are not in the same class at all. $200 is not what I would call a starter set though.

        Also, (just my opinion) I would stick with 1/2" shank bits whenever you can. This is even more important with bits that take cuts with greater surface area....Rabbets, larger round-overs and coves, long straight bits can all have a lot of bit in the wood. Even if you make multiple passes to get to final full depth there is a lot of wood contact. This puts more load on the shank of the bit, resulting in vibration and chatter. Just because a bit is available in 1/4" shank, doesn't mean that you should use one.
        Obviously with some really small bits that is your only choice, but that's the only time I use them.


        • #5
          Re: Good Introductory Router Bit Set

          The $200 dollar set is a really nice set. Excellent brazing, thick carbide too. Buy this set and a few solid carbide up-cut bits and you're set.

          IMO it's nice to have a big set so you don't have to run to the store to buy bits when you're working on something

          They also make a nice 5 (or 6.. can't remember) piece set with 1/2" shanks as well... that would be a nice starter set if you only want a few bits. Whatever you do, try to buy 1/2" bits whenever possible


          • #6
            Re: Good Introductory Router Bit Set

            Wise words, those by BadgerDave.

            I bought a cheapie set with lots of bits thinking that I had a lot of options down the road if I ever should need a bit. When it came time to use them they were never up to the task and I ended up buying a better quality bit.

            Finally bought a better quality set to keep as spares. I think I've used 2 bits in the set. Still ended up buying a bit or two that was much better for a particular job then these "general" when I needed a bit that could plunge as well as cut for door hinge and lock work.

            If you really want a set of bits my recommendation is to buy one of those $40 12 piece sets you see at Costco or the like. Then, if you never use it, you are only out $40 bucks.


            • #7
              Re: Good Introductory Router Bit Set

              My suggestion might be way off compared to the others.Knowing what I do now I'd buy a semi cheap carbide set with a wood case.Then find out what you like in profiles and use most and replace the cheapo with a top quality.Then you have a case something to practice with and for those sometimes questionable cuts a throw away bit.
              I got super lucky at an auction a few years back and got a very nice homemade router table complete with a nice big router mounted and about 40 Freud was a sleeper in the auction..65 bucks if I remember right.Most everything was barely used or new still.So watch your local auction houses for stuff.


              • #8
                Re: Good Introductory Router Bit Set

                The only set I would recommend for a beginner is this one from Infinity $ 99 (or same bits from your favorite mfg).
                I use all these regularly, the only substitution I would make is a down-cut carbide spiral for the 1/2" straight cut but that would increase the price substantially


                • #9
                  Re: Good Introductory Router Bit Set

                  Buy them individually. I have about 4 bits I get a lot of use out of, and because they are quality they still cut like new. One is an Amana rabbit bit that is awesome, changing the bearing allows different sized rabbits. It was a $50 bit, but well worth it. I have a dewalt flush trim bit. A rockler roundover bit, some of the rockler bits are made by Amana, look at the package if it says "made in Israel" then it is an Amana bit.
                  Woodcraft occasionally has a $5 bit sale, a good cheap way to try out a bit without spending a lot of money.


                  • #10
                    Re: Good Introductory Router Bit Set

                    I have an 85 piece bit set from ryobi from Home Depot. It has served me well.I think cost was $100. Ive had it about 1 year , I have used maybe 5 bits in it.I guess thats not much of 85.I had to buy 2 Freuds the other day 1/2 inch shanks. I did notice they were quieter having the thicker shank.
                    Last edited by Woodywoodchuck; 11-03-2007, 09:05 AM. Reason: spelling


                    • #11
                      Re: Good Introductory Router Bit Set

                      Holbren offers a Whiteside 7 pc set of the most commonly used profiles. These bits are the same ones you'd pay $15-$20 each for, and all should see considerable use. US made, high quality, long lasting precision cutters for a reasonable price...~ $80 shipped with "woodnet10" or "SMC10" discount code. I can't think of a better value in a set, and it should leave some money from your budget to add a few additional profiles that you may want.

                      FWW recently rated Whiteside bits as "Best Overall" and "Best Value". The Infinity bits are really impressive too.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Good Introductory Router Bit Set

                        I would recommend the Lee Valley set, 1/2" shank and all are bits that will see regular use in a router table.



                        • #13
                          Re: Good Introductory Router Bit Set

                          franklin pug

                          Thet is really not bad as sets go..........but, and I'm sure that there will be some that will disagree, there are some there that I would not put in the category of "most used"
                          The 90 degree grooving
                          1/2" round-over........marginal, 3/8" or 1/4" would be better
                          The flush trimmer......too short
                          14 degree dovetail.....pretty much only for sliding dovetails, how often does an average guy use one?
                          A rabbeting bit really should be a set itself. The short cut length and single bearing are very limiting. Yes, in a table you can work around part of that, but it is combersome with large parts.
                          After all of that, this set is not bad, it's just that the bits I pointed out will likely be the last ones used....if you ever do.

                          Again, just an opinion, and I will admit that I have bought some bits that I haven't used........yet. Also, the smaller the set, the more likely the bits are the ones you will use. Same with the quality name brand sets.