Tool Test: Router Bits
We torture-test 18 profile bits to find the smoothest cutters
Synopsis: As woodworkers, we ask two simple things of our router bits: Cut cleanly, and stay sharp. But with so many companies manufacturing bits, it isn’t always easy to identify the top performers. Associate editor Tom Begnal purchased the same style carbide-tipped cove-and-bead bit from 18 manufacturers and put each one to the test. Used in a router table, each bit made an extensive series of test cuts on edge grain, end grain, and premium and standard MDF. Afterward, the results were rated independently by Fine Woodworking editors. A bit was rated “excellent” if the molding it produced required little to no sanding.
Products tested include: Amana 54134; BC Saw 43272; Bosch 85605M; CMT 844.850.11; Eagle 171-2605; Freud 38-614; Grizzly C1755; Holbren 24229; Infinity 44-850; Lee Valley 16J34.52; MLCS 8788; Porter-Cable 43179PC; Ridge 23-515; Rockler 91680; Southeast SE3212; Whiteside 3212; Woodline WL-1253; Woodtek 820-228.
Woodworkers want a router bit to do just two things: cut cleanly and…