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Old 04-06-2010, 06:06 PM   #1
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router bits


what does a router bit's size refer to?

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Old 04-06-2010, 06:54 PM   #2
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router bits


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.

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Old 01-21-2011, 09:14 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:02 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 01-22-2011, 12:58 AM   #5
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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
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:05 AM   #6
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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.

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Old 01-22-2011, 06:12 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:02 AM   #8
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router bits


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.
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:58 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:41 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:47 AM   #11
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We have a sister site---woodworking talk---Lots of good router information there.

Link at the bottom of this page.
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:24 PM   #12
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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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