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  • router bit shafts

    as long as my router has 1/2 and 1/4 collets, is there any advantage to 1/2 over 1/4 bits?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    1/2" bits are more stable (twice the steel) and will not flex under load which tends to give you more accurite cuts. I had a router that used an insert adapter for the 1/4" bits and found that it did not hold them anywhere near as solid as the 1/2" bits.

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    • #3
      The only ¼" shaft router bit I use is a ¼" double flute straight bit. All the rest of the bits I regularily use have ½" shafts. In the past I've used ¼" shaft bits but I've found that when using the ½" shafted bits they just feel more solid to me. I also think that the ¼" shafted bits are more likely to chatter than the ½" versions.
      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.

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      • #4
        dp - 1/4" shafts are not hard to break, but you're not likely to break a 1/2" shaft....it has 4x the shaft area. They also have lower vibration in general due to the extra mass. I tend to go 1/2" whenever possible.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by wbrooks:
          1/2" bits are more stable (twice the steel) and will not flex under load which tends to give you more accurite cuts.
          1/4" vs. 1/2" is twice the diameter, but is actually 4 times the cross section (or 4X as much steel.) This results in a 1/2" shank having 8 times as much torsional stiffness as a 1/4" shank.

          I use 1/2 except for when using disposable bits on crappy material, such as C/D plywood. Then I go with the cheapest I can find, knowing it is trash when I'm done.
          Steve
          www.MorrisGarage.com

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          • #6
            About the only 1/4" bits I still use are 1/4" spiral cutters. Since switching over, I've noticed much less tendancy of the bit chattering and much smoother cuts.
            Dave

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            • #7
              I am finally getting to know my router. Incredible machine once one discovers it's full potential. The majority of what I have is 1/4" shaft. I initally bought the craftsman bit set when it was on sale to get me started, and they have served me well. I started to buy freud's until i discovered CMT.

              I don't have enough 1/2" bits to speak intelligently on the matter. I am pleased with the result of the 1/4" CMT's.

              I forget who recommended this to me, but they said never bottom out the bit in the collet. Drop it in, and then lift it up a hair. I know folks that actually put a spacer in the collet, one guy I know uses a dowel piece. He claims this stabilizes it. I can't understand that and have never tried it.

              All I can say is that I am very pleased with the performance of my CMT bits.
              \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

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              • #8
                Space,

                Sounds like Voodoo to me.

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                • #9
                  I personally would never use anything in my collet other than the bit.
                  I am just kind of funny that way
                  \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

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                  • #10
                    maybe not too much voodoo???

                    www.rockler.com

                    item number 63415/63423
                    \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by spacebluesonoma:
                      I personally would never use anything in my collet other than the bit.
                      I am just kind of funny that way
                      Hi Space - Most bits have a flare on the shaft where the cutterhead meets, raising the bit a tick keeps the collet from clamping onto the flare. I put a small rubber grommet at the bottom of my collet that keeps all be bits ~ 1/8" up. No problem so far!

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