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Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by g00eY, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
  2. service is great, but the products suck! This is one area where I've learned to buy the best (usually most expensive) bit I can find. I love CMT and Freud bits. They are excellent quality and last a good while.
  3. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    how about the hickory woodworking bits? i was looking at the 24 pack with 1/2" shanks. it seems like a good deal, but the reviews are swayed. plus i can get them for even cheaper cuz i have amazon.com coupons lol :) .
  4. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    I have the Hickory bits. They are decent, but I would suggest Whiteside, CMT, Woodcraft, or Rockler for bits. MLCS isn't that bad, I have some pattern bits from them, but there is much better out there.
  5. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    I would also suggest Porter Cable bits. I bought a few a while back and they've eaten through nothing but wenge, maple, and purpleheart since then. They are still very sharp.
  6. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    i think i might get some flush trim bits from MLCS, and then a set from Hickory. i'm not looking for anything super ultra good like CMT of Freud. i want something that will get the job done (decently) at a very affordable price. my parents are funding my project for me (since it's also a school project) and i feel bad about spending all their money. i think i can get some ok bits right now, and then upgrade if i really get into the hobby/art.

    oh, and wilser, can you explain why you think they suck?
  7. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I respect the fact that you're looking to save money, but in my opinion router bits are not the place to do it. Feel free to buy the cheap set, but do yourself a favour and buy a quality flush trim bit (Freud is a personal favourite though anything in the $20 range will likely work fine). In the end the frustration saved will be well worth the extra dollars.

    In my experience the main problems with cheap bits are chip out, burning, and cheap bearings. A cheap bit is much more likely to grab your work and make life much more difficult, both by being hard to control and by chipping and tearing anywhere the grain doesn't line up just right. The burning thing isn't a huge issue as it can usually be sanded out, but it's annoying and it adds work. Also, if your bearing is off centre or not quite the right size you'll have trouble getting a perfectly accurate representation of your template. If you take it slow and careful with cheap bits you can get decent quality results, but once you try a high end one you'll never be able to go back.

    Also having a cheap bit explode while spinning at many thousands of RPM is always a bit of a surprize. I'm not saying it will happen, but it's more likely with bargain bits.

  8. Sure!
    I got 2 pattern bits (one base mounted bearing and one top mounted), one 1/4" straight, one 1/8" straight and a round over bit for the edges.

    The 2 pattern bits lost their sharpness after routing 2 pickup covers on the basemount and tracing the edge of 1 body on the top mounted bearing. Now all these do is burn the wood and leave a very rough edge.

    The roundover still cuts decent, but it's not as sharp as when it cut the first body, it burns the wood quite a lot.

    The straight 1/4" broke a carbide on me when cutting 3/32" deep groove (first pass) for the truss rod on it's second use. And the 1/8" bit broke in half when cutting the 3rd 1/16" deep groove for a graphite bar.

    Now, you might think that my technique is bad, but how come all my other CMT, amana, freud and porter cable (these are really Viper bits) are still cutting sharp and smooth after much more use than the MLCS bits? Think about it.
  9. Rendisha


    Oct 2, 2005
    You should buy cheap bits only if you are total newbie with router, because you can screw up good bits as easy as crappy ones (don't ask me how I know it :) ) But when you learn how big/deep passes you should do and how fast to move the router to avoid burning, good bits will save you a lot of time and nerves - they will stay sharp for much much much longer time. BTW, good ones DO come sharp in the first place, while crappy ones not really that much.
  10. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL

    first post! welcome to TB, Rendisha!

    well anyways, thanks for all the help guys. then maybe i will get a nice trim bit and then that Hickory set. i have no idea what is in the Hickory set i can use, but if there's that many bits there's bound to be some i can use.
  11. Rendisha


    Oct 2, 2005
    Thanks g00eY,
    BTW, check out www.woodcraft.com - they have their 1/2" bits on sale for $5, seems like a hot deal.
  12. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    ooh. nice deal!

    but good news! i just recieved a reply email from my school's woodshop teacher. he said i can use the school's woodshop as long as we can work out some times. it'll be sweet! i'm going to go talk to him in person tomorrow and see what we can work out.

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