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  • Router bits

    Can anyone give me some guidance on buying off brand router bits?

    I've been checking on Ebay and Tool Crib and there seem to be some good bits at about 1/2 the cost of brand names.

    Are they worth it or is the quality too low.

    JD

  • #2
    I have had good result from the bits I picked up at http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      This is an area where some caution and common sense is needed. I've been in a shop when a carbide cutter separated from the steel bit....very dangerous, but we were fortunate. It's not worth the savings if someone gets pierced by a cutter that was spinning at 20K rpms.

      That said, there are several "value" oriented bits with a good track record. They perform fairly well, but tend to not last as long as top shelf bits....they're a great choice for low frequency and low intensity use. Some of the better value bits are Holbren, MLCS, Woodline, Woodcraft, Price Cutter, Grizzly, etc. I'm finding that Holbren usually offers the best price and great service, but I've had good results with the others too.

      There are alot of occasions that I'd rather buy high end bits for frequently used profiles. Whiteside and Infinity offer basic sets that go on sale below $100, and I think they're a better value that spending that much to get dozens of low quality profiles, many of which will never get used.

      http://www.holbren.com/home.php?xid=...5ea77cbe2c14ba
      http://www.infinitytools.com/

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      • #4
        hewood's advice is right on the money. Holbren seems to consistently receive good reviews on both their product and customer service. I bought a plywood sized set from them just to try them out and although they're not high end quality and won't last as long as high end bits they do a good job and cost much less.
        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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        • #5
          Thanks guys. I've been looking for panel cutting bits to go with a recently built router table. Just ordered a set of Holbren - never heard of them until I read this. Thanks again.
          Stay well and play well.
          Skip

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          • #6
            Most are my bits are Holbren (40+) and I have good luck with them. I had a 1/4" straight bit break and they sent me a replacement no questions asked. They didn't even want the old one returned.

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            • #7
              WOW ! great prices ! I never heard of them till now either . thxs all. Looks like i add a set to the shopping list .

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              • #8
                Holbren is great to deal with too. I think you'll find you get treated really well and will probably be back for other stuff. He's really been ramping up his selection of everything. Watch for specials too!

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                • #9
                  Whiteside and Infinity offer basic sets that go on sale below $100, and I think they're a better value than spending that much to get dozens of low quality profiles, many of which will never get used.
                  Just to play Devil's Advocate with you...I was a total newbie several months ago and with little knowledge about what a router could do for me or how much I would actually use it, spending $100+ on a small set of bits seemed outrageous and was a deterrent to me experimenting.

                  Another example : I ran into a guy at HD just before Christmas and he was considering buying a router but when the salesman was showing him router bit sets in the three digit range he walked away. I caught up to him and suggested he check out a cheapie 30 piece set from a closeout store near us for $30. I explained the set was inexpensive but a good starter set that came with a case and as he got better he might want to consider upgrading the bits he likes best. He said thanks and perked up.

                  I got the chance to play with dozens of different bits having fun and learning all at the same time. Woodworking is an expensive hobby and can be cost prohibitive to people just wanting to experiment and see whether or not they like it. Now as I get better my toys get more expensive I think I will check out the Holbren sets...thanks!
                  Little River Bed and Breakfast, Peterborough NH

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi,

                    I have used bits from http://www.bladesnbits.com/ and have been happy so far. Very nice people to deal with. They are not the best quality but they have the best prices I've seen and I am pretty sure they are all made in the same factory as those of http://www.holbren.com/home.php?xid=...5ea77cbe2c14ba or many other inexpensive bits sold by others. For example, the following set I bought from bladesnbits http://www.bladesnbits.com/merchant....4&lastcatid=84
                    seems identical to this one from holbren: http://www.holbren.com/product.php?p...&cat=25&page=1

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mreza View Post
                      Hi,

                      I have used bits from http://www.bladesnbits.com/ and have been happy so far. Very nice people to deal with. They are not the best quality but they have the best prices I've seen and I am pretty sure they are all made in the same factory as those of http://www.holbren.com/home.php?xid=...5ea77cbe2c14ba or many other inexpensive bits sold by others. For example, the following set I bought from bladesnbits http://www.bladesnbits.com/merchant....4&lastcatid=84
                      seems identical to this one from holbren: http://www.holbren.com/product.php?p...&cat=25&page=1

                      They do look similar to me. BnB charges shipping and Holbren ships free. The set you referenced was cheaper at BnB than Holbren even if you consider the shipping costs, but Bnb's 3/4" roundover was considerably more than Holbren's, so I guess you've got to compare prices on individual items if price shopping.

                      It's also worth noting that BnB is out of Canada.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Router bits

                        Well, I just about have my new router table done, so I guess I need to buy some bits.

                        I understand the comments here about the safety issue with cheap bits, coming apart, etc. But I had a problematic experience with high priced bits: I bought Amana and Freud bits when I started back into woodworking a couple years back, and I made a shop cabinet. When I was finished with the cabinet, I noticed a small chip in the Amana rabbit bit. I bought it locally (small woodworking specialty shop), so I went back and asked them about a warranty. When the guy learned I was using plywood he explained to me that there's no guarantee, because plywood (even good quality hardwood plywood) has stuff in it that can damage router bits. I have never verified if that's true or not, but the bottom line is I will be working with plywood often, so if there's no guarantee against bit damage, why should I buy high quality bits?

                        That's when I decided that henceforth I would buy cheap bits rather than expensive ones. But I must confess, I hadn't thought about cheap bits coming apart at 20,000 RPM. I don't want to compromise my safety, but I don't want to waste my money, either.

                        Question #1: Does plywood really damage router bits?
                        Question #2: How do I decide whether a particular bit is "cheap" (i.e., a safety hazard) or not? Ask this forum?

                        - djb
                        Last edited by djb; 02-09-2007, 10:08 AM. Reason: Added plywood question
                        sigpic

                        A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

                        Restore the Republic.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Router bits

                          I don't know about the plywood story, never heard anybody say that. These bits have to be designed w/plywood taken in consideration and other materials w/glue and resins. If your bit gets a chip in it just don't tell them you were using plywood, what are they going to do, send the bit out for a chemical testing. I think they didn't want to deal with the return, wrong day and time to come in I would imagine. I have returned bits before w/no questions asked, me personally I would stay w/ good brands for longevity.
                          Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                          http://www.contractorspub.com

                          A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Router bits

                            Originally posted by mreza View Post
                            Hi,

                            I have used bits from http://www.bladesnbits.com/ and have been happy so far. Very nice people to deal with. They are not the best quality but they have the best prices I've seen and I am pretty sure they are all made in the same factory as those of http://www.holbren.com/home.php?xid=...5ea77cbe2c14ba or many other inexpensive bits sold by others. For example, the following set I bought from bladesnbits http://www.bladesnbits.com/merchant....4&lastcatid=84
                            seems identical to this one from holbren: http://www.holbren.com/product.php?p...&cat=25&page=1

                            I bought a set from blades n bits on ebay 3 years ago as a starter set. I payed $75 for a 30pc set and they have performed quite nice, no complaints here. I received a PC 630 router as a x-mas gift and needed bits so I figured $75 for a set like the ones I bought wasn't "too" big an investment and I was right. Blades n bits is a nice company to deal with btw
                            How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Router bits

                              djb, the next time you're in that store ask the clerk why that company doesn't guarantee router bits that are used with plywood yet they manufacture and sell straight bits that are sized specifically for use with plywood. If the clerk that waited on you was the owner, find a new store.
                              Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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