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router bits

I recently went in search of an 1/8″ slot-cutting router bit that I needed that day. Home Depot was close and I left with my bit. But rather than buy a single bit, I ended up buying a $50 kit with 15 router bits. I didn’t need all of the bits – already having many of them – but it was the only way to get the bit I needed (it wasn’t being sold separately) and $50 wasn’t a bad deal for a set of decent quality bits.

The experience made me think about a few of things: the amount of money that can be spent on quality bits, versus bits that’ll just get you by; the different types of bits included in different “value” sets; and lastly, what bits you really should have in a decent starter set.

For many a new router owner, the shopping trip to get the bits to make the thing function can be a little confusing and a little depressing when you start to add up the dollars. A set of five good quality bits to make up a starter set can quickly add to more than the cost of the router itself. You can quickly find yourself rationalizing the bargain sets thinking, “how bad can they be”?

So I sat down in front of the camera to share my knowledge of bit manufacturing (not too deep, I promise) and to give you my opinions on what bits you need, and how to buy them. I’m sure there will be some differing opinions, and please post them in the comments. We can all learn from each other’s experiences.

– David Thiel

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