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  • Go to Router Bits

    I would like to have a basic set of useful router bits. I actually have some now. I am a newbie to routing but after using one this week I started to think that I could do a lot more with it.

    I have thought about using a template bit to make multiples of panels instead of trying to cut each one and they end up a mm off or similar. I used a spiral down cut for routing my tweeter recess on baltic birch. That worked great and the edges were very clean. But what else do you guys use?

    For background my router is a Milwaukee plunge router.

    What bits are a must for you guys?

  • #2
    It all depends on what you plan to do with your router. For basic cabinet building a flush trim bit is a must, the rest are optional. When making bum joints, you can overhang one board a bit and run the flush trim bit down to clean it up. Saves you from having to be super precise with your cuts.

    My collection includes spiral down cut, 3/8", 1/2", and 3/4" roundover, big chamfer bit, a cove bit, flush trim bit, and a few others for detail work.

    A guide bushing set is also great to have for making templates.
    "I just use off the shelf textbook filters designed for a resistor of 8 ohms with
    exactly a Fc 3K for both drivers, anybody can do it." -Xmax

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    • #3
      I have a rabbeting bit that can do up to 1/2" wide rabbets. Very useful for making cabinets.

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      • #4
        Do not buy cheap bits. Most especially do not buy a large set of cheap bits, as you won't find use for many of them, and the ones you do use will not work well for long, if at all.

        Buy only very good quality router bits, and only as you find specific need for them. You will find that need as you detail plan a specific project, including the tooling requirements in the planning. That does not hold true for a lot of other things, but router bits are not the sort of item where needs are likely to arrive by surprise, unless you break a bit, which is more likely to happen with cheaply made bits, so don't buy any of those.
        "Our Nation’s interests are best served by fostering a peaceful global system comprised
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        (a lofty notion since removed in the March 2015 revision)

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        • #5
          Pluge router + Flush trim, template , straight cutter (for circle jigs), round over (1/2 and 3/4) cover about 80 ,percent of a speaker builders needs

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          • #6
            This is very helpful. I have several of these so that is great. Also most of what I seem to have are Whiteside so I am good on quality.

            I really appreciate the help.

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            • #7
              MLCS bits are decent too , though probably not as good as Whiteside. Not sure how much of a difference that makes on mdf , to be honest

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              • #8
                +1 on Whiteside bits. Love those guys! If I'm in a hurry, Menards sells CMT bits for most of the basic router operations. I have had good success with their "industrial" line which has the orange paint jobs vs their cheaper "contractor" bits that are almost exclusively 1/4" shank and all have black paint jobs. I can also vouch for MLCS on limited application work. I bought a set of four 1/2" shanked roundover bits (1/8", 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2") that have worked quite well in MDF, and the 1/8" bit even had no issues routing red oak recently. Not bad for what they are.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JRT View Post
                  Do not buy cheap bits. Most especially do not buy a large set of cheap bits, as you won't find use for many of them,
                  Good advice. Another good brand is Freud. My 3/4" Freud Quadra-cut roundover bit is awesome, but also $50.

                  A couple of exceptions I would note...a set (not the crazy large cheap sets) of good roundovers and straight bits can be nice.
                  I have a lot of odd router bits, mostly for other woodworking. If I am not sure how much I will use it, or am just trying something out I will get a cheaper bit. I have bought Yonico bits for cheap and they have worked good for what I need them for.

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                  • #10
                    Can anyone elaborate on the difference between these spiral bits?

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                    • #11
                      The middle bit might be a 1/4" bit on a 1/2" shank, the outers seem to be 1/4" bits on a 1/4" shank, .that or the cutting part middle bit is less than 1/4" dia. on a 1/4" shank

                      The length of cutting part of the bits is also appears different

                      When it comes to online retailer item descriptions I frequently trust but verify.

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                      • #12
                        the description of the right bit mentions brazing which indicates that it's not solid carbide

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                        • #13
                          They are all 1/4" shanks, but the cutting diameter is different. The one on the left is 1/4", the middle is 3/16" and the right is 1/8".
                          The cutting depth is probably different too, but the only one that really indicated was the one on the left at 1" depth.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by a4eaudio View Post
                            They are all 1/4" shanks, but the cutting diameter is different. The one on the left is 1/4", the middle is 3/16" and the right is 1/8".
                            The cutting depth is probably different too, but the only one that really indicated was the one on the left at 1" depth.
                            The bit on the left is sufficient for an occasional driver cutout?

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                            • #15
                              For sure, I think that would be the most typical bit for such cutouts.

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