Router bit set poll

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  • Router bit set poll

    The (old) poll is getting kind of stale. We need a new poll.

    This one concerns router bit sets. We all know some people like router bit general sets for the selection and not waiting and low cost per bit but a lot of other people prefer to buy router bits on an as needed basis only saving intial outlay and perhaps getting better quality bits.

    Not counting special purpose sets (e.g. set of straight bits or incra dovetail set or a cabinet-makers set or roundover set) but just general purpose sets with multiple profiles types and one or more size in each profile. e.g. straight, roundover, ogee, cove, dovetail, bullnose, flush trim all in one kit.

    If you own more than one such set you can mark multiple choices.
    Don't own router
    Own router but only buy specific bits as needed
    Own router and general set less than 7 bits
    Own router and have general router bit set between 7 and 15 bits
    Own router and general set of bits between 16 and 33 bits
    Own router and general set of bits between 34 and 45 bits
    Own router and general set of bits between 46 and 66 bits
    Own router and general set of more than 66 bits
    Have router and own multiple general sets

    The poll is expired.

    Last edited by LCHIEN; 05-17-2009, 05:51 PM.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ -

  • #2

    I think the poll idea is a good idea, but uh...

    Didn't you forget the poll?

    FWIW, I am one of those guys that likes having a large general purpose set. I actually have two.

    My original, and not a horrid set is a Skil 30pc Carbide tipped 1/4" shank set.

    My most recent is an MLCS 66pc 1/2" shank set.

    Never a moments trouble with either of them. Have used a LARGE percentage of both sets. Had I bought the bits individually, I would have spent more for the bits I have used, and waited much longer to get them, than it cost me to buy the whole set. Combine that with the nice cases I get instead of the individual plastic bags / case thingies they come in, and a good set is well worth the $$ in my book.
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    • #3
      i posted the poll, maybe you were too fast on the trigger. After I make the post I actually then have to enter the poll, took me about another 10 minutes; maybe the poll was not ready when you replied to the post. I actually own a 30 piece 1/2" shank MLCS set and a 66 Pc MLCS 1/2" shank set I got later. Of course virtually every bit in the 30-pc set is in the 66 pc set. I find I almost always get my bit from the 30-pc set, the bigger set box is too big and the choice from the 30 is adequate. In restrospect the 66 piece set is probably too big.
      Last edited by LCHIEN; 05-16-2009, 11:33 PM.
      Loring in Katy, TX USA
      If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
      BT3 FAQ -


      • #4
        I have several sets. One MLCS 1/4 inch set and two Holbren 1/2 inch sets (they were on sale). So far, I've used mostly the straight bits. Don't use profiles much but that could change.


        • #5
          I don't own any sets. I just have a collection of bits I've bought as I needed one. I tend to use only a few of the bits the most. On the other hand, having a set of bits (especially ones that cut profiles) would let me make much more interesting profiles, especially on picture frames.

          The chief cause of failure in this life is giving up what you want most for what you want at the moment.


          • #6
            I have I beleive to be a 12 piece set (the shop is a lot of steps from my easy chair right now ) Its 1/4 shank Ryobi, but I would like to go to a 1/2 shank since I got the new router that will take the larger bits. I'll see how this poll turns out and get some good info on that purchase.

            Awww forget trying to fix it!!!! Lets just drink beer


            • #7
              My first set was an MLCS 15 pc set, then I bought a few specialty bits as needed. The MLCS set was a good value @ $40, that lasted about 4 years with moderate use. My 2nd set is a Whiteside set that's still like new after > 2 years. I also bought a 24 pc set from Holbren when they were on sale for $20 shipped...couldn't pass up that deal on some decent functional bits. In general, I'd rather buy a smallish set of high quality bits (Whiteside, Infinity, Freud), then buy value bits for special uses that don't see a lot of use (Holbren, MLCS, Woodcraft). The huge value sets typically have too many near duplicates to warrant the higher cost 6 straights, 5 roundovers, 5 coves, 5 chamfers, 4 ogees, etc....

              I also have some specialty sets like Price Cutter raised panel set, Freud door making set, Holbren plywood dado set, Holbren dovetails, and Holbren bullnose set. My highest quality bits overall are Whiteside, Infinity, Freud, CMT, Katana, and the black Price Cutter bits....Eagle America is a top rated bit I'd like to try sometime...supposedly made at the Whiteside plant.
              Happiness is sort of like wetting your pants....everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth.


              • #8
                I have a 24 piece set from Holbren, plus a few bits bought singly. There are some bits I have that I've never used.

                Do you know about kickback? Ray has a good writeup here...

                For a kickback demonstration video


                • #9
                  My first set was a Ryobi 1/4" shank set, but have the MLCS 30 bit 1/2" shank set now (seems to be pretty common). Also have Freud, CMT, Sommerfeld's Own, and Whiteside specialty sets as well.


                  • #10
                    As always its tough to construct these polls to capture all situations. I do own one mixed set I got a few years ago from Holbren but also a bunch of single bits.

                    The sets are OK but you do get a bunch that you will probably never ever use. For those starting out a good "essentials" set of quality bits that you then add to when you need new ones is probably the best way to go.

                    Phoenix AZ - It's a dry heat

                    We all make mistakes and I should know I've made enough of them


                    • #11
                      When I first bought my router, I bought a small set of bits, 1/4 inch no less, because I didn't know what I needed and I wanted to make some sawdust. Since then, I normally only buy 1/2 inch bits, and buy what I need. Sometimes, this is a "set", as in a set of straight bits for plywood, sometimes, this may be a single bit like a keyhole slot bit.

                      Depends on what my need is at the time, but I can not see myself buying a "set" as you are talking about in the future.

                      My present count, at a rough guess, since my shop is also too many steps from my recliner this afternoon, is probably about 30 - 35 bits.

                      Owww -- That spinnin' thang hurt!!


                      • #12
                        I got my first router almost three decades ago for a Christmas present. It was a little Ryobi-made Craftsman and it came with a set of six HSS "Chromium" Craftsman bits. Except for a very poor collet design, I liked the router with its lighted base, micrometer-like adjustment, and trigger on the handle. But the bit's were terrible and I never felt comfortable using it. Four of the bits were the two-piece design, in which the cutter-head was screwed onto the shank.

                        In 2003, Home Depot had a big tool sale and I bought a little Ryobi router/table combo and an 18-bit set of Ryobi 1/4" shank bits. The following fall I got a good deal on a Ryobi 3-base router combo for $87) and that Christmas my wife bought me the 44-piece 1/4" shank Ryobi set.

                        In 2006, I added the Ridgid 2900 router and set about building a much nicer table with a Rockler top and accessories and purchased one of the "damaged" 30-piece, 1/2" sets from Blades-n-Bits.

                        I've been very happy with the latter, but even the 1/4-shank set's from Ryobi have stood up remarkably well.

                        Think it Through Before You Do!


                        • #13
                          I had to vote 3 ways. I have an older Craftsman 1/4" collet router mounted in the BT as well as a 1/4" Rockwell and bought the 30 pc 1/4" shank MLCS set for them.

                          I also have a Bosch 1617EVSPK for hand held use and a Hitachi M12V in my router table. To complement these routers, I bought the 66 pc 1/2" shank set from MLCS.

                          Minor sets include plywood sets from both MLCS and Holbren, a Katana (MLCS) rasied panel and rail/stile set, and a 5 pc architectural molding set from Blades-N-Bits. The last set is for cutting profiles for picture frames that was put together at my request. (Every set I found had bits I didn't want and was missing profiles I liked.)

                          At this point I add to my collection on an as needed basis, mostly Whiteside, since one of my mail customers is a dealer and gives me 15% off retail. He also handles Amana, but I can't justify the extra $$$ over Whiteside.
                          Don, aka Pappy,

                          Wise men talk because they have something to say,
                          Fools because they have to say something.


                          • #14
                            I bought a 36 piece set from Canadian Tire for $99 on sale when I got my Ryobi router. Of course some are abused, others never used. I also bought the raised panel set from Lee Valley and recently a 1/2" 'Blue Tornado' set for my new Triton. The 'Blue Tornados' have yet to see wood.


                            • #15
                              I need to correct myself... I kinda forgot about some of the stuff I had and sold...

                              Okay here's the history, and where my inventory is now...

                              First router was a Ryobi R161, on a Wolfcraft table. I had a Craftsman 6 piece Carbide bit set (1/4" Shank) which I HATED.... I broke a couple of them. Replaced the ones I broke. This router / table / bit set went to a friend of mine from college. He used it to build replacement window sills (he had Termintes eating his house and plenty of damage to fix...) Overall, I was happy enough with this setup, but I would need a profile not in my inventory etc... so I...

                              Went to Lowes and got a damaged box set of Skil 30 piece 1/4" shank carbide router bits. Still have that set. I no longer use it much though. Will probably put it up for sale soon.

                              Router #2. is a B&D Firestorm plunge router. Miserable piece of junk that fell apart in less than a year. I wouldn't wish this thing on my worst enemy. I tried using it for cutting dovetails with my MLCS Pins & Tails template set / 1/4" shank bits. The collet kept spitting the bits out, only to find out the collet was defective (cracked). B&D customer service STINKS and that's all I got to say about that...

                              Router #3. Was a PC 690LR that decided to take a walk from my truck. Nice router, but...

                              Router #s 4 and 5, are a pair of Hitachi KM12VCs. I don't miss the PC at all with these... I wish I hadn't lost the PC sure, but had I gotten one of these Hitachis first, I would have never bought a Porter Cable...

                              I started picking up special purpose bits and sets including the MLCS 9 piece rabbeting bit kit (6 rabbet sizes), and the MLCS Mitered Frame Raised Panel Door Set.

                              I kept running into profiles needed for certain projects that I just didn't have, and the MLCS 66 pc set did... So one of those got added to the shop.

                              I have used, but not owned a Freud Quadra Cut Drop Leaf bit set, and several various profiles from Bosch, Rockler, Amana, and Price Cutter... All of them are nice. Bang for the buck I am happiest with MLCS though... I am least impressed with Rocklers bits. I think the ones I used were just dull though...
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