View Full Version : Looking for a set of router bits for wood, plastic, foam and thin aluminum.

12-12-2008, 02:03 AM
I bought a Hitachi KM12VC 11 Amp 2-1/4 Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets that I will end up using to construct a cnc and then use it as the spindle.

I will work a lot with wood, lots of foam, some plastic and maybe some thin aluminum.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good set of bits?
Or individual bits?
Where's a good place to buy good ones?
What kind should I get?
What size, 1/2 or 1/4?

I found these two sets:



Are they good deals? The only problem is that those are just for working with wood....

12-12-2008, 11:25 AM
Always use 1/2" shank whenever possible. Those seem to have very good reviews, and I doubt you'll find a decent set any cheaper.

The only problem is that those are just for working with wood....

You can cut plastic and aluminum with carbide router bits designed for wood. In many cases they'll cut just fine, but in some cases bits designed for specific materials will work better. They'll also cost much more.

12-12-2008, 11:54 AM
A silly question, but why 1/2 and not 1/4? Is 1/2 base bigger and stronger? Are 1/2 bits bigger than 1/4? I know it probably sounds like a silly question but I have no clue.

12-12-2008, 01:40 PM
1/2" shank bits are much stronger than 1/4"

12-13-2008, 03:44 AM
Oh, ok. Thanks, Gerry.

12-16-2008, 10:52 PM
I've compiled a list of sets that maybe good for starters, which one should I go with (unless someone knows a better one):

1 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=370126502121&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=024

2 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=330293595050&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=014

3 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=350141010678&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=022

4 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=350141331273&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=022

5 Amazon.com: MLCS Woodworking 15 Pc. Carbide-tipped Router Bit Set, 1/2" shank: Home Improvement

6 Amazon.com: 80-Piece Premium-Grade 1/2" Tungsten Carbide Router Bit Set - 3 and 2 Blade - Aluminum Case: Home Improvement

7 Amazon.com: Yukon Tool YTRB100 Carbide Router Bit Set with Bonus Wooden Case, 100-Pieces: Home Improvement

8 Amazon.com: 50-Piece Premium-Grade 1/2" Tungsten Carbide 3-Blade Router Bit Set - 3 and 2 Blade - Aluminum Case: Home Improvement

Total prices (shipping included), number of bits and price per bit:

1. $54.98 (50 bits for $1.10 each)
2. $28.00 (24 bits for $1.17 each)
3. $67.06 (66 bits for $1.02 each)
4. $52.99 (50 bits for $1.06 each)
5. $39.95 (15 bits for $8.93 each)
6. $93.99 (80 bits for $1.17 each)
7. $94.99 (100 bits for $0.95 each)
8. $70.50 (50 bits for $1.41 each)

Looking at that, #7 is the best deal and #5 is the worst... price-wise. However, I do not know the quality of the tools (especially the eBay ones). Seems like a lot of people are very happy with #5, but #7 offers a nice amount of bits for all kinds of work.

I need a good 1/2" hobby set for wood, foam and plastic for my 2.25 Hitachi router.

What do you guys think?

04-23-2009, 09:29 PM
I have had really good experience with bits from Whiteside.


It has been a while since I ordered some, but here is one supplier - many others around as well.


I have had excellent results from bosch bits - so much that I bought a bosch router. Onsrud also makes great bits.


I guess I will ask a silly question - do you really need a set of bits ? Here is why I think you really don't need them, and actually, don't want a lot of bit types.

a) Making the CNC router
- Most of the work is with a straight, 2 inch long, 2 flute bit, probably with a a bearing to follow a guide
- The othe work, rounding edges, can be done with a 1/2 in roundover bit with bearing

b) Using the CNC router
- A lot of the cutting for objects can be done with a straight, 2 or 3 inch long, 2 flute bit with no bearing and some bottom cutting edges. Is it the best for every job - no, but it will cover a heck of a lot of them.
- V carve bit - if you are going to do V carving - great - if not - not needed.
- Ball end bit - pretty versatile, but slow for a lot of cutting work. Rough cut with the straight bit and finish with the ball end bit.
- Spoilboard surfacing bit http://www.amanatool.com/bits-fv/rc-2257.html
- 1/2 in round over bit - no bearing. (just grind the bearing stub off of the one you have)

Remember - every time you change the bit during a part, it needs to be precision re-aligned to ( 0,0,0 ) or your work piece will be ruined.

Ok, those will cover you for a lot of jobs - not everything, but a heck of a lot. IMHO - listen to Ger21 first of course, but try to see how much you can do with 3 or 4 bits first. It is a lot easier to maintain 3 bit types in good condition than 10.

Perhaps this goes to the heart of the matter - what are you planning to make ?

04-23-2009, 10:38 PM
Good v-bits and spiral bits. V-bit starter set if you want that.
Good small bits if you want miniature. Good small collets for some routers.
Good tool holders. I got a straight shank ER16 1/2" holder because I can't find a 1/8" collet for Milwaukee.

04-24-2009, 12:06 AM
harryn -- thank you for the tip, that actually does make a lot of sense. When I got into all of this I knew very little about.... well.... anything that involves tools, heh I can see now that bit sets are not for me unless I do a lot of manual work (I have a 15 piece set that I got which is pretty nice, but from now on I'll stick either to very small sets of specific bits or singles). As far as what I'll cut... anything and everything you can say. Whatever comes to mind. I am very much into RC planes and cars, so making aluminum parts for my nitro buggie would be awesome and having the ability to create 3D wings and fuses for the planes would be just as good. I am also interested in making 2.5/3D shapes out of wood and foam.

BobF -- thanks for the links, I'll definitely check them out.