This article will explore a variety of router bits currently available on the market, focusing particularly upon Freud router bits.
The cost and characteristics of each product will be explored, alongside a consideration of outcomes achieved by professionals when testing the various brands.
First, we'll explore what router bits are and what their main uses are, then from there consider which brands and types are best for our woodworking purposes.
Router bits are tools that are attached to a router table to allow you to perform a wide variety of cuts to your wood pieces to in turn build your projects.
Router bits provide edges and joints through which the various pieces in your project will attach and interact with one another.
When deciding upon which router bit to purchase, the most important features to focus upon are functionality, quality, and price.
There are a number of router bit profiles from which you can choose. Straight bits cut straight into a material to form a groove or dado, or to hollow out an area for an inlay or mortise.
Rabbeting bits are used to cut a rabbet, or shoulder, into the edge of a workpiece, often to join pieces. Flush-trim bits are used to trim the edge of one material flush with the edge of another.
Chamfer bits cut a bevel of a chosen angle to ease or decorate the edges of a surface, while edge-forming bits do as their name suggests and are used to cute decorative edges.
Specialized bits provide for additional features and means of performance.
Freud Router Bits are one of the reputable brands in the woodworking community for both professionals and hobbyists, as the company has been around long enough to have stood the test of time and to have learned what keeps woodworking customers coming back for more.
Freud promises that whether you are a fine woodworker or a high production cabinet shop, their selection presents you with the best, most precise cutting tools that deliver a superior quality finish and hold a long cutting life.
Freud's products are designed to optimize the outcome of your woodworking projects, big or small.
Each product is manufactured through the most sophisticated process available, using only the best materials and innovative designs to ensure superior performance and maximum life.
The products are custom tailored to provide us with the best cutting performance every time the tools are used.
Freud offers a wide variety of router bits for a number of applications.
For the table router alone, the company produces straight & spiral, trim, edge treatment, architectural millwork, joinery, solid surface, doors & window, and router bit sets.
Whatever the needs of your project may be, Freud has a router bit that will likely work, and provide superior performance and maximum cutting life in the process.
- Set comes in Freud's unique shadow box case that can hang on the wall or mount on the bench to keep bits handy and safe.
- Cuts all composition materials, plywoods, hardwoods, and softwoods.
- Use on CNC and other automatic routers as well as hand-held and tablemounted portable routers.
Freud router bits are noted in the woodworking community for their top-level performance, long cutting life, and manufacturer-produced carbide tips that further improve upon the performance of the bits and their cutting life.
The custom carbide tipping offered by the brand is a significant advantage over the competition, as the hardness and cutting performance is complemented by a longer cutting life as opposed to being more brittle and prone to failure like other carbide-tipped bits.
Ease of Use
Freud router bits come in a broad variety of sizes and assortments and also fit palm routers, hand routers, table routers, and CNC machines.
Whatever tool you intend upon fastening your bits to, Freud has an option for your project.
Freud produces their own proprietary carbide blend to maximize the cutting power of carbide-tipping while ensuring that there are no trade-offs made in terms of the durability and longevity of the bit.
Freud is an industry leader in terms of quality of production, and with their own carbide tipping program in place, is one of the most innovative producers of woodworking tools on the market.
Freud offers a warranty on all products sold, with additional instructions for their various additional toolsets available for download on their site.
- DURABLE CONSTRUCTION - Stalwart's carbide tipped router bits are built to last and are constructed using high quality...
- MULTIFUNCTIONAL SET - With 24 included pieces, this kit is great for multipurpose uses. It is perfect for...
- EASY TO STORE- The included wooden case is sturdy and makes storing the high-quality router bits convenient while...
Stalwart claims to present you with the most comprehensive range of router bits that are available in both industrial and professional markets today.
The company has grooving and sizing, profiling and chamfering, door frame and panel, jointing and rebating, and carving router bits.
The company also places their own unique and exclusive Dnamic grade carbide on their router bits.
Ease of Use
The product offerings of Stalwart are expansive and provide a router bit for whatever tool you are attaching it to and for whatever project you require it to perform on.
Through the use of Dynamic grade carbide, the cutting life of the Stalwart bits is enhanced and competitive with other industry leaders.
While not the cutting-edge industry leader, Stalwart is close to Freud, and uses only advanced materials in their steel alloy, improved upon through a unique grinding process that enhances the precision and quality of cuts performed with their bits.
Stalwart guarantees all tools against defects in either workmanship or material.
Lee Valley presents carbide-tipped router bits to meet the needs of your various projects.
The company presents a variety of router bits including straight, dovetail, plunge, molding, frame and panel making, joinery, rabbeting and grooving, edge treater, sign making, and sets.
Ease of Use
The router bits by Lee Valley come in a wide variety of sizes and assortments, including 8mm shanks which are popular in Europe but generally harder to find in North America.
The products by Lee Valley are touted as having a carbide tip, but not a special formula as with Freud or Dimar, and thus the carbide tip may make the blade more brittle, reducing its operating life.
Quality steel and carbide tipped routers are produced by Lee Valley.
3-month return policy for any reason and all defects are warrantied regardless.
Woodpecker offers a wide variety of tools extending into router tables and beyond. All your tool needs at your fingertips.
Ease of Use
Options available to provide for any project you need.
Many of their bits are carbide tipped, which may reduce the operating life of the products
Compared to specialty companies like Dimar or Freud, these products are more high-volume manufactured and lower quality
There is a warranty for all products, with further details sent to you upon filing your warranty after purchase.
Freud is notorious for producing some of the most technologically advanced bits and blades available on the market.
The company produces industry-leading wood router bits that are among the best quality in the industry, providing top-level cutting performance and also maximum cutting life.
Freud has become an industry leader through the unique characteristics of their manufacturing processes which add value and quality to the brand and the performance of its bits.
A significant advantage of Freud router bits is the fact that the company produces its own carbide. Carbide tips make your bits harder, but also sometimes more brittle, so the decision to go with carbide should be made carefully, keeping in mind the bit quality.
Freud is one of the only manufacturers in the cutting tool world that produces is own MicroGrain carbide with Titanium, which Freud calls TiCo.
TiCo is a combination of Titanium and Cobalt and allows for the carbide to be formulated for each tool's requirements, maximizing the cutting life and performance of the bits.
In side-by-side cutting comparisons between Mastercraft, Power Sonic, Elite, Freud, Dimar, and Lee Valley, Freud was among the top three.
The top three left a flawless surface after machining that requires no additional sanding, while the Mastercraft, Power Sonic, and Elite offerings left nicks that, while minor, did require an additional step of sanding.
When you are purchasing bits, the price differences may seem substantial, but it is important you keep in mind the cost of your time in making up the difference if the bit you choose doesn't perform as well as the others.
How it Compares
We picked a couple of similar products available on the market to see how they compare. If you'd like to perform your own tests, a great way to do so is to purchase the same size bits from the various manufacturers and install them on a router table.
Perform the same test cut on the same type of wood with each bit, and also machine an edge with each. Afterward, you may compare the outcomes achieved with each bit on your wood test blocks.
They each will perform uniquely, some better, some worse, and some simply differently. Use the test blocks to judge which bit to use for which of your projects.
For comparison, we also reviewed:
- Lee Valley
Rating: 5 stars
Freud router bits are of exceptional quality and have some of the highest manufacturing standards and methods in the industry.
The proprietary carbide formula is unique to the brand, with the cutting performance and life of the tool superior to many of the competitors.
Freud router bits are more expensive than some of the other brands, but the manufacturing quality, enhanced lifetime of the tool, and performance of the bits justify the investment.
Freud router bits are highly competitive products in the woodworking industries, and whether you require precision or high production volume, Freud router bits will work wonderfully for you and can perform optimally on any project you send their way.