Router bit set poll

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  • leehljp
    replied
    Originally posted by LCHIEN
    About 4/5 of the respondents or 120/154 own and use multiple bit sets. That was surprising because the individual bit folks usually are quite vocal, making me believe in the past that they were split more like 50-50.
    That is a trait that is hard for some people to "accept" or "understand", and sometimes it surprises me. I don't always take the "vocal" at face value, but try to balance it with the silent constituent numbers - on a given issue. In situations like this, "silence" doesn't usually mean disagreement (as it does in a wife / husband relationship) but more of a reflection of contentment.

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  • LCHIEN
    replied
    Analysis of results.

    With only a few days left in the poll, I think there are enough responses to draw some conclusions.


    I think that not all people realized they could vote more than one - in fact had they owned 2 or more router sets they could have voted for the two sizes as well as the multiple sets for a total of three.

    We had 154 responders.
    We have 35 who said they preferred individual bits.
    We have 101 responses for sets and another 32 who said they owned multiple sets.
    And thus we got 168 total votes, so only 14 people who said they had multiple sets actually indicated bit set sizes they owned. we should have had more total votes but as I said, many people only voted for one check box.

    However you can reach some conclusions:
    It means that about 1/5th of the respondents like individual bits. About 4/5 of the respondents or 120/154 own and use multiple bit sets. That was surprising because the individual bit folks usually are quite vocal, making me believe in the past that they were split more like 50-50.

    And by popularity, the sets of about 16-33 bits are the top of the curve- most owned. This must be the sweet spot at around $50-100 and a useful assortment and I sort of concur with that.

    Finally, no one admitted to not owning a router. I would have bet there'd be a couple. Maybe they just did not elect to participate.
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 05-26-2009, 09:55 PM.

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  • dkerfoot
    replied
    I am an advocate of buying a medium to large, cheap, general purpose set, then high quality versions of whatever special bits you still end up needing and/or as replacements when you wear out the cheap ones.

    With a good sized cheap set, you are likely to have the odd bit you discover you need in the middle of a project. If you manage to wear one out, you know it is likely to see enough continued use to be worth replacing with high quality.

    Nothing is sadder than high quality tools that don't get used.

    When I do buy good bits, I love Whiteside and you can't go wrong buying from Holbren.

    .

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  • Wood_workur
    replied
    I've got a 1/4" ryobi with an 8 piece (ryobi) set and a few rockler bits.

    It's not the best, but they do a pretty nice job for what I need.

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  • leehljp
    replied
    I have two of the 66 piece 1/2 inch sets - one in Japan and one in the States. Other than this, I have carbide bits purchased going back nearly 40 years. The older ones were / have been re-sharpened. Other than the two 66 piece sets, I have a set - 1/2 in chamfer set that covers a full 3/4 in thickness on all pieces.

    I have many many individual pieces, shapes, moulding bits and two or three rail and stile sets. The vast majority are 1/2, but I have about 30 - 35 1/4" bits.

    All told in the US and here I have about 250 carbide bits - including the two 66 bit set as duplicates.

    Some people can't have too many clamps . . . I can't have too many router bits!

    Lets see - I have 3 routers (2 - 1/2", 1 - 1/4") here in Japan and 2 - 1/2" in the US. I gave two sears 1/4 inch routers away a couple of years ago. Routers used to be my most used tool.

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  • vaking
    replied
    My first set was a 20-piece 1/4" shank set from Costco. I also got a 6-piece Craftsman set as a gift. Costco set was decent, much better than Craftsman. Costco set allowed me to learn what bits do and how they work. As bits ware out I replace them with 1/2" shank bits. By now almost all of the original 20 bits are gone. Some replacement bits are MLCS/Holbren/Woodcraft, most important bits are Freud/Lee Valley.

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  • dbhost
    replied
    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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  • Bill Stock
    replied
    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.

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  • Pappy
    replied
    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.

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  • cwsmith
    replied
    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.

    CWS

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  • BerniePA
    replied
    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.

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  • poolhound
    replied
    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.

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  • 180x
    replied
    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.

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  • Ed62
    replied
    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.

    Ed

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  • Knottscott
    replied
    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 IMHO....ie: 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.

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