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Old 01-15-2020, 12:36 PM   #1
Buccaneer
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Default Router Bits?

Woodworkers, I'm a woodworking newbie, although I've built decks, fences, made boot jacks as gifts. You know REALLY easy, don't need much in the way of tools stuff.

I want to get into some basic projects and know I'll need a router. I'll figure out what I want there. However, I know nothing about the huge number of router bits available.

What are the basic bits to have on hand? I won't spend big bucks on professional quality, but I appreciate money well spent. I see router kits online but are they worth buying, or for longevity is it better to buy individual pieces?

Thanks

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Old 01-15-2020, 01:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Router Bits?

Like you, I've done a lot of carpentry stuff, just no real "woodworking". I've been thinking about getting more serious. A router is going to be necessary, both a plunge and fixed base.

I've got an old fixed base router that I inherited, but I haven't used it much at all.
I stumbled across this vid on "the 5 Essential Router Bits":


At the beginning, he says what I already thought- just buy what you need at the time. There's so many bits I don't think you could cover everything without mortgaging your house and using up your whole shop for storage.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Router Bits?

Just in case you miss it, take a look at the Lowes Kobalt Router and Router Table kit. Great features and price. $129 with table.

Router bits vary a lot in price. I started with a high rated Amazon bit kit and went with 1/2 inch bits. New to this, so leaned on the Amazon reviews.

Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:41 PM   #4
uhmw
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Default Re: Router Bits?

Over the years I have bought 1000's of router bits. Nothing but carbide. I use The JIT purchasing method. If I need one I get two.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Router Bits?

Thanks guys. I've been watching youtube videos too. I'm thinking about getting a fixed base with a plunge kit so I can have both available. I'd love to have a router table but I have extremely limited space. If I'm working on a project, it's in the garage and I have to put everything away so I can park my wife's car inside. I can get away with a few days leaving something set up in the garage but that is about it. I've been looking at portable router tables online, but I'm 6'5" and everything looks like they're made for midg...short people (a lyric comes to mind...short people got no reason to live).

Anyway, I like the buy-it-when-you-need-it approach but thought there might be 5-10 bits that get a lot of use.
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Router Bits?

Maybe start with a couple of sizes each of straight cutting and round-over bits and a flush trimming bit. Carbide with 1/2" shank.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Router Bits?

I have 23 routers from small hand size to 3.5 hp beast and a 18 hp cnc. having an assortment of bits is a waste of money unless you know exactly what you plan on doing with them, you can buy a variety pack but chances are you will never use half of them.

I only buy industrial quality so you get what you pay for.
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:20 PM   #8
Herring Impaired
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Default Re: Router Bits?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guthooker View Post
I have 23 routers
.
Wife; You know you have 5 Routers in the garage?
Me; Call the cops!
Wife; Why?
Me; I should have 8 routers, somebody stole 3 of them!
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: Router Bits?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guthooker View Post
I have 23 routers from small hand size to 3.5 hp beast and a 18 hp cnc. having an assortment of bits is a waste of money unless you know exactly what you plan on doing with them, you can buy a variety pack but chances are you will never use half of them.

I only buy industrial quality so you get what you pay for.
It sounds like you have a shop running 8 days a week. I can't even call what I have a shop. I like the obtain as needed approach. But when I get a router, I'm going to want a bit of some kind so I can play....err make sure it's working correctly.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Router Bits?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buccaneer View Post
It sounds like you have a shop running 8 days a week. I can't even call what I have a shop. I like the obtain as needed approach. But when I get a router, I'm going to want a bit of some kind so I can play....err make sure it's working correctly.
O.K. fair enough get a 1/4 inch round over , 3/8 mortise, and flush trim with ball bearings, I go with 1/2 shank as they vibrate less but they might cost more then you're willing to spend. with the round over you could use that to ease the edge of a cabinet door with the mortise you could route out a door hinge and flush trim for laminate, pattern making flushing up a edge panel.

I have been a cabinetmaker for 33 years.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:54 AM   #11
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Default Re: Router Bits?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guthooker View Post
O.K. fair enough get a 1/4 inch round over , 3/8 mortise, and flush trim with ball bearings, I go with 1/2 shank as they vibrate less but they might cost more then you're willing to spend. with the round over you could use that to ease the edge of a cabinet door with the mortise you could route out a door hinge and flush trim for laminate, pattern making flushing up a edge panel.

I have been a cabinetmaker for 33 years.
Thanks a bunch. I really appreciate a pro's advice
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:01 AM   #12
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Default Re: Router Bits?

Not a tremendous amount of experience myself so take my comments at face value. Only stating what I have found. First is the router itself. I purchased a used router that is highly rated. It came with the router motor, stationary base and a plunge base. Then I bought a router for the router table that had a lift mechanism built into the router (Triton). I use the table more often than not and when I've used the hand held I didn't really care that much for it but plan to keep it at least in the short term. Right now I'm researching to eventually purchase a trim router. Right now if buying today I would invest in the DeWalt and get the kit with both bases.
Now for bits. I did buy a used set of cheap Lowes bits made by ryobi. They work but I am not that impressed when compared to a middle of the road bit I purchased at a local wood working store. I didn't know exactly what I needed for the project in mind but the sales guy was very helpful and steered my in the right direction. He even made some suggestions on set up. So in my opinion you should do the following. Research as much as you can about using a router and the different bits (I use youtube a lot for that kind of stuff) Add it all together and divide by 2 and you likely will come up with some pretty good and reliable bits.
I should mention that I did have one of the cheap ryobi bits fail on me while in use. With those things spinning as fast as they do, had it hit me I no doubt would have been injured very badly. I don't think I did anything to cause the failure but that is beside the point. The quality of manufacturing is in my opinion very important from a safety point of view. Good luck and if nothing else keep in mind that these tools are remarkable but also deserve the utmost respect regarding safe use.

Last edited by Finn-icky; 01-16-2020 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:51 PM   #13
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Default Re: Router Bits?

I have 2 routers{ std plunge}
and bought a box of bits from Sears years ago.

While I have probably played with most of them. The ones I use the most are probably closer ti industrial grade. Not from the sears package. Particularly if you are into more heavy duty work.

I always think about a small palm size router - just have not justified it
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