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JAT 04-06-2010 06:06 PM

router bits
 
what does a router bit's size refer to?

Bob Mariani 04-06-2010 06:54 PM

not a clear question. Two sizes are needed to identify a router bit. The shank size (part that goes into the machine) 1/2" or 1/4" an the size of the cut or profile. Like a 3/4" roundover will give you a 3/4" radius rounded edge.

RobertN 01-21-2011 09:14 PM

I'm new to the router world, just picked up a ridgid router on sale at HD. I am confused on which bits to go with 1/4 or 1/2 and can I get by with the cheap bit sets found on ebay or harbor freight? I know good bits are important but at this moment I'm not sure which bits I will use the most. I have some home projects to do cut some laminate and put a finished edge on some window stools and whatever else I can find. Lastly is there a good site I can visit to read up on router uses.

Ron6519 01-21-2011 10:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobertN (Post 575316)
I'm new to the router world, just picked up a ridgid router on sale at HD. I am confused on which bits to go with 1/4 or 1/2 and can I get by with the cheap bit sets found on ebay or harbor freight? I know good bits are important but at this moment I'm not sure which bits I will use the most. I have some home projects to do cut some laminate and put a finished edge on some window stools and whatever else I can find. Lastly is there a good site I can visit to read up on router uses.

There are plenty of books available to give you an overview of routers. Popular Science and Time Life each put one out. For more in depth of material, try "The New Router Handbook" by Patrick Speilman or "Woodworking With A Router" by Bill Hylton and Fred Matlack. Check the local library for others.
For light weight routing, the 1/4" bits are okay. If you move up to larger size cutters, get the 1/2" shaft ones. You can buy bit collections or you can just buy the bits you need for the jobs you're doing. With the collections, you'll get bits you probably will never use.
Stay away from cheap bits. I'd go with the carbide bits over the steele ones. They last longer.
Ron

ratherbefishing 01-22-2011 12:58 AM

You can get a pretty good education at the MLCS website. And I've had good luck with their bits. Their 15 piece set is a good place to start.
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...et15piece.html

oh'mike 01-22-2011 06:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ratherbefishing (Post 575432)
You can get a pretty good education at the MLCS website. And I've had good luck with their bits. Their 15 piece set is a good place to start.
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...et15piece.html

This company has good quality and prices.

I see nothing wrong with going to E-bay and getting a starter kit with a selection of commonly needed profiles---great way to get started.

The weak point with most of the bargain sets are the bearings--you will find most will have a short life.---That's the bit you replace with a better one.

I recieved an E-bay 70 (or more) piece set as a gift---Boy,it's nice to have some new and different shapes to add to my collection--
The bearings look fair--At less than $100--what a deal.

Ammana and other high quality bits are pricey--but a good value if it's a bit you use a lot.

--Mike--

Just Bill 01-22-2011 06:12 AM

Just for info.........1/4" shanks tend to be for small cuts that don't put a lot of force on the shank. Round over, edge trimming, etc. 1/2" shanks are for bigger bits, and are more stable, less wobble. Panel cutters, molding cutters, thick wood, etc.

TheDoorGuy 01-22-2011 07:02 AM

One additional thing....Be sure to follow all safety instructions
and tighten bits securely. When installing bits hold them up
an eighth or quarter inch from the bottom of the collet so that they
will tighten all the way.

oh'mike 01-22-2011 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheDoorGuy (Post 575467)
One additional thing....Be sure to follow all safety instructions
and tighten bits securely. When installing bits hold them up
an eighth or quarter inch from the bottom of the collet so that they
will tighten all the way.

Excellent point--As a bit gets hot it expands and will 'creap' up if set all the way to the bottom of the hole.

Daniel Holzman 01-22-2011 09:41 AM

Many bit profiles are available in 1/2 inch or 1/4 inch format. I always go with the 1/2 inch format if available, they are more stable, chatter less, and are far less prone to movement in the collet. As noted, some bits are only available in 1/2 inch or even 3/4 inch format, however few routers are 3/4 inch diameter, so 1/2 inch format is the most common for large bits.

Some bits are offered in steel, carbide tip, or solid carbide. Carbide is much harder than steel, and will last a long time if you don't hit a nail, and is always worth the extra money in my experience. In practice, you are not going to get a router bit sharpened, it simply costs more than it is worth, and a steel bit is going to wear out quickly. There is nothing more frustrating than routing with a dull bit, it burns the wood and is dangerous.

oh'mike 01-23-2011 07:47 AM

We have a sister site---woodworking talk---Lots of good router information there.

Link at the bottom of this page.

Millertyme 01-24-2011 06:24 PM

dull bits can be sharpened. There are many companies that do it. There are also places you can mail them to. It is NOT that expensive to sharpen a carbide bit. My $50 1-1/8" flush cutter only cost 4.40 to sharpen. and they will turn the bearing down too.They will even replace the carbide if it chips for much less than a brand new bit. Always buy a quality bit unless you very rarely use it.It will be worth it in the long run.


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