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Harbor Freight router bits??

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  • Harbor Freight router bits??

    Just wondering if anyone has experience with Harbor Freight's router bits. They are considerably cheaper. Are they worth the money or is it a deal where, "You get what you pay for?" I'll spend the money for good bits, just don't want to if I don't have to.

    If not HF, who makes good router bits?


  • #2
    Re: Harbor Freight router bits??

    you get what you pay for, sorry. if i might sujest get you slef a ryobi starter set then as you get better and add go with bosch bits one at a time as you need/want new profiles
    9/11/01, never forget.


    • #3
      Re: Harbor Freight router bits??

      I have used the HF bits and the work fine. I haven't had any experience with them burning/scaring the wood as long as the user wasn't trying to cut too much or not using the right speed. I will be the first to admit that I don't use them everyday but for casual use they have served me fine.


      • #4
        Re: Harbor Freight router bits??

        Try the MLCS website for router bits. I bought a set there (1/2 inch) for $39 and they work awesome for the money. No problems at all and lots of other woodworkers have used and recommended them.
        Jim Don


        • #5
          Re: Harbor Freight router bits??

          Harbor Freight certainly does have some items that are worth buying but in my opinion their router bits aren't one of them.

          You'll find as many opinions on how to buy router bits as there are places that sell router bit. I happen to be of the school that says most multiple bit kits are a waste of money. When I first started using routers I bought a 30 piece kit of cheap bits. The quality of the bits stunk and I actually ended up only using a few of the bits anyways so actually that cheap set cost me a bundle if I averaged out the cost per bit used versus the cost of the kit

          I now prefer to buy my bits only as I need them and then I usually only buy high quality bits. That's not to say that all my router bits are big dollar bits though. If I know that I will probably only be using a bit for a single project or very seldom then I'll save a few dollars and go with one of the less expensive makes of bits. Their quality isn't up there with the big name brands but for a project or two they work just fine.

          For high quality bits that will stay sharp for a long time you can't go wrong with Whiteside, Freud, CMT or Amana with Whiteside being the best, again IMO. For average quality bits is a great source. They also handle the Whiteside line.
          Teach your kids about 30 percent of their ice cream.


          • #6
            Re: Harbor Freight router bits??

            There's some risk involved with a bit spinning at 20K rpm's. I've been present in a shop when a cheap bit lost a cutter and hit a wall...we were just plain lucky to not be in the path. I have a tough time justifying the cost savings on an HF bit when I consider the risk, and compare the price of some other pretty decent low cost bits. Holbren, MLCS, Woodline, Price Cutter, Grizzly, and the $5 Woodcraft bits are all acceptable quality proven low cost alternatives to the HF.

            Bits from Whiteside, Freud, Infinity, Eagle America, and CMT are all top shelf, but usually cost a premium. Whiteside has a small 7pc basic set of the most common profiles that goes on sale in the $75 range...outstanding quality at an attainable cost for most of us. I'd prefer to buy 7 top shelf high use profiles than a box of 24-40 cheaper bits, many of which will likely not see much use.



            • #7
              Re: Harbor Freight router bits??

              I am of the opinion that medium grade router bits are the way to go. I had a bad experience with a high dollar bit, and I've heard horror stories about "cheap" bits. So I bought the plywood set from MLCS and so far, I'm pleased with the quality and performance of this set.

              - djb

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

              Restore the Republic.


              • #8
                Re: Harbor Freight router bits??

                I'm with BadgerDave on this

                I'd rather buy high quality bits one at a time as needed, than to buy a bunch of crappy, useless bits. You get what you pay for...


                • #9
                  Re: Harbor Freight router bits??

                  I bought their 5 pc cabinet maker set. something like $40.00 I think.
                  I used the stile and rail set and then the raised panel bit on oak and it worked fine. I've only used those 3 bits in the set once and I haven't needed them again but for the $ and the limited time I needed them it was worth it.
                  They are 1/2" shanks painted yellow.




                  • #10
                    Re: Harbor Freight router bits??

                    Holbren has a set for $20. This is the yellow set. Mine came with a little rust on the shaft but came off with some steel wool and T9. The discount applies when you add it to the cart.