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  1. #1

    Default Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    Has anyone used Harbor Freight router bits? I have purchased some of their tools, but have resisted the urge to save $10 to $15 dollars on a router bit.
    I was looking for something like this to recess the rear of a baffle for better driver breathing:
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=66636
    But something tells me that spending only $5 for something spinning that fast that close to my face is just asking for trouble.
    Any closet HF router bit purchasers here?

    TomZ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    I've used them alot. If you don't trust them woodcraft has bits on sale for $5 a piece alot. I'm sure most of them are made in one or two places anyway.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Phoenix
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    3,671
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    1

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    I have a whole set of them (well, most of a set), and they're not horrible, but they do tend to break when they get hot. I've snapped two different straight bits, but that was likely my fault for digging too deep with them out of impatience.

    That chamfer bit works pretty well, though, I used it on the center channel speaker that I built a little while ago, and it did just fine for me.

    HTH,

    Mark
    You go your way, I'll go mine. I don't care if we get there on time.

    ~Pink Floyd

  4. #4

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark65 View Post
    I've snapped two different straight bits, but that was likely my fault for digging too deep with them out of impatience.:
    Thanks for the responses, I need to pick one up tomorrow so I can keep going on this project and if you guys told me they were junk, I'd have to hit up Home Depot or Sears for substantially more $$$.

    Mark, what happens when they break? I haven't had one snap yet, I imagine hot sharp metal shrapnel flying everywhere!

    TomZ

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Howell NJ
    Posts
    7,118

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    goggles and or safety glasses a must. also position your eyes at a safe angle.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Default Re: Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    Well, as I said, I was going too deep into the workpiece when mine broke, so all it did was drop into the box, or onto the floor. depending on which one broke.

    No worries about the chamfer bit though, as it always has one side exposed to cooling air...it seriously did the job for me, and I'm cutting driver recesses tomorrow, I'll let you know how it goes...

    Mark
    You go your way, I'll go mine. I don't care if we get there on time.

    ~Pink Floyd

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    KC Metro Area
    Posts
    314

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    I have a set and it has held up through two pairs of ZDT3.5s and a sub, and they still seem to have life left in them. I did break the straight bit when I was cutting through the double thickness baffle for the sub. But that was entirely my fault. I had it way down in the MDF and it had to be too hot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Sioux Falls
    Posts
    11,521

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    Tom, I had a 1/4" straight bit break as I was cutting a circle. I just broke. Router kept on spinning. No shrapnel or anything.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Her and there
    Posts
    1,976

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    I bought the 12-piece set: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=46832

    I have nice solid carbide spiral upcut straight bits that I use for driver holes, but at $30 for a set of profile bits seemed too good to pass up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn NY
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    Default Re: Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomzarbo View Post
    Thanks for the responses, I need to pick one up tomorrow so I can keep going on this project and if you guys told me they were junk, I'd have to hit up Home Depot or Sears for substantially more $$$.

    Mark, what happens when they break? I haven't had one snap yet, I imagine hot sharp metal shrapnel flying everywhere!

    TomZ
    Hia. I've been a professional woodworker for about 18 years now and broke a few router bits in my lifetime.
    Most of the time the bit will just snap off and fall on the ground. Of cause it depends on the size of the bit, your router and how fast are you pushing. If you aren't in a hurry, there's very little chance of the bit itself failing. Mostly it happens because of overheating and bearing failure(which causes even more overheating). Carbide bits last longer and I suspect(based on the price) this particular bits will have very thin layer of carbide.The danger may be that it will snap(carbide) off more easily (I am speculating here). Yes it has happened a few times. Carbide does brake off. I suggest a full face shield not just the goggles, of cause ear plugs as well.
    CMT, Amana, Freud make excellent bits. You could find them at the discount price from the local sharpeners who carry a line of standard or custom woodworking tools. It will not be $5 for sure but good tool is a good tool.
    I've used Whiteside a few times and found that their bearings were very prone to failure.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Leduc Alberta Canada
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    418

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    Quote Originally Posted by r-carpenter View Post
    Hia. I've been a professional woodworker for about 18 years now and broke a few router bits in my lifetime.
    Most of the time the bit will just snap off and fall on the ground. Of cause it depends on the size of the bit, your router and how fast are you pushing. If you aren't in a hurry, there's very little chance of the bit itself failing. Mostly it happens because of overheating and bearing failure(which causes even more overheating). Carbide bits last longer and I suspect(based on the price) this particular bits will have very thin layer of carbide.The danger may be that it will snap(carbide) off more easily (I am speculating here). Yes it has happened a few times. Carbide does brake off. I suggest a full face shield not just the goggles, of cause ear plugs as well.
    CMT, Amana, Freud make excellent bits. You could find them at the discount price from the local sharpeners who carry a line of standard or custom woodworking tools. It will not be $5 for sure but good tool is a good tool.
    I've used Whiteside a few times and found that their bearings were very prone to failure.

    I also have been making furniture for 25 + years, I have had a few bits break as well the carbide break off and that has gone flying through the air. I always wear safety glasses and a full face shield and ear plugs, you can never not have enough protection when it comes to your eyes! Amana and Freud are excellent bits and yes they cost more but in the end you get what you pay for.

    WayneN

  12. #12

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    Thanks a lot guys.

    TomZ

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    NE, IN
    Posts
    3,366

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    I bought one of these large chamfer's for a very good price. The bit works well for me. I don't use it often, so I was unwilling to buy a nice one.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Carb-Tech-Chamfe...6#ht_500wt_930

    Carb Tech 2-Flute Chamfer Router Bit Anti-Kickback Design. Great for 4 sided boxes
    Cutting Length 1"
    Cutting Angle 45 Degrees
    Large Diameter 1 "
    " Shank
    This one is also tempting.

    Brand new, high quality, industrial grade

    1/2" Shank 1-1/2" Radius Round Over Router Bit

    3/8" Bearing is included. This bit can be changed to 1/2" Shank 1-1/2" Radius Beading Router Bit.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/1pc-1-2-SH-1-1-2...#ht_1640wt_956

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Oakland, Calif.
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    5

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    Quote Originally Posted by brianpowers27 View Post
    I bought one of those. It works fine in my mill, but it won't fit in my 3 HP Ryobi router. (OD tips would hit tabs on ID of the mounting plate.) Just check before you buy. As has been said before, something this big you should dial down the speed and take progressive cuts.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Router Bits?

    Well, Harbor Freight didn't have the bit I was originally looking at, so Sears had a 1/4" bit for $20. I'm glad I didn't get the 1/2" one like I usually do, because my big Ryobi router just gave up the ghost on me.

    Job completed, glue drying, pictures soon.
    Thanks again everyone

    TomZ

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