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Cheap Router Bits?

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I have found the cheapest router bits to be Whiteside.   Yes, they cost more initially, but they last, and they leave a clean cut.   I've made the mistake of buying lower cost bits a few times, but never again.  I have probably 35 pounds of router bits in the router bit box.  It includes some Whiteside bits that I bought back in the 1970's.  The low cost bits have all been tossed.   Some didn't last through the first use.  

Whiteside also has a good sharpening service, with quick turn-around.

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A cheap version of a bit you will probably only use once might be reasonable but if it does a poor job will all the sanding needed be acceptable?   When I bought a used router table it came with a bunch of cheap bits. If I need that profile I clean it up, touch it up w a diamond paddle and then take 3 light cuts instead of 1 or 2. Still end up withtoo much sanding to do.

The bad taste of poor quality lingers way past the appeal of that low price.

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You  called it in the title of the post......."cheap".    If cheap is what you want, buy'em! If good or better, is what you want buy better.

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Look at it this way; I have paid more than that for a single router bit.  That is not to say that more basic profiles are that expensive; some are less, some are more.  You have to consider usable life.  A Whiteside bit that costs twice as much will last five times as long.  Which bit is cheaper now? ;)

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7 hours ago, Tom King said:

I have found the cheapest router bits to be Whiteside.   Yes, they cost more initially, but they last, and they leave a clean cut.   I've made the mistake of buying lower cost bits a few times, but never again.  I have probably 35 pounds of router bits in the router bit box.  It includes some Whiteside bits that I bought back in the 1970's.  The low cost bits have all been tossed.   Some didn't last through the first use.  

Whiteside also has a good sharpening service, with quick turn-around.

Bingo! The only exception for me is I will go with Freud quad cutters if available otherwise most of what I have is Whiteside.

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Those Freud Quadra-cut bits are wonderful and worth every penny. They cut so cleanly and reduce sanding to a minimum. But the price of a 1" radius round over bit is kinda eye opening. 

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They aren't nearly cheap enough for what they are. Compare to the cheapest on Amazon cause that's most likely what you're getting.

My take on router bits: find the most respectable cheapos, buy a varied pack of cheapos, touch up to make sure they're sharp. In my case i found the Yonico ones from Amazon to be fairly reasonable, especially for the price (a bit pricier than the absolute cheapest). Use them for a while, so you'll know which bits you need the most. Buy higher end bits of the ones you use the most. So far I have a 1/8 roundover and a 3/4" straight spiral bit on the higher end, though the cheapos are still functional if either one breaks in the middle of a job.

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