Sorry folks, but that test was highly flawed and misleading.
First of all, a straight bit is totally wrong for melamine. Secondly, the feed speed of the CNC router used was way too slow. Those bits were overheated and burned long before the edges dulled.
A CNC router like the one used in the test cuts would normally be set up to run that type of bit at about 14,000 RPM feeding at 600 inches per minute through the material. You and your hand router will never even get close to that.
Also, the CNC will cut an unwaveringly perfect line with no vibration at the bit. Again, your hands are not that steady. Your bit in your hand router is constantly losing and gaining contact. Really, the entire dynamic is different. I have been using both hand and CNC routers side by side for the last 5+ years, and I simply do not often use the same bits for the same jobs in both types of router because they behave so differently.
I was sorry to see Taunton's article appear. The test seems to be a fair trial and I'm very sure they thought they were giving an honest result, but anyone with CNC experience will tell you the same things. Frankly, the very basis of the test was a flawed assumption, ie: a CNC will precisely replicate the wear and tear on a bit. It would have been much more accurate to set up straight edges and simply run pass after pass with hand routers. Then the feed rate and the RPM would have been what you'll be using in your own shop.
>Sorry folks, but that test was
>highly flawed and misleading.
>First of all, a straight bit
>is totally wrong for melamine.
>Secondly, the feed speed of
>the CNC router used was
>way too slow. Those bits
>were overheated and burned long
>before the edges dulled.
>A CNC router like the one
>used in the test cuts
>would normally be set up
>to run that type of
>bit at about 14,000 RPM
>feeding at 600 inches per
>minute through the material. You
>and your hand router will
>never even get close to
>Also, the CNC will cut an
>unwaveringly perfect line with no
>vibration at the bit. Again,
>your hands are not that
>steady. Your bit in your
>hand router is constantly losing
>and gaining contact. Really, the
>entire dynamic is different. I
>have been using both hand
>and CNC routers side by
>side for the last 5+
>years, and I simply do
>not often use the same
>bits for the same jobs
>in both types of router
>because they behave so differently.
>I was sorry to see Taunton's
>article appear. The test seems
>to be a fair trial
>and I'm very sure they
>thought they were giving an
>honest result, but anyone with
>CNC experience will tell you
>the same things. Frankly, the
>very basis of the test
>was a flawed assumption, ie:
>a CNC will precisely replicate
>the wear and tear on
>a bit. It would have
>been much more accurate to
>set up straight edges and
>simply run pass after pass
>with hand routers. Then the
>feed rate and the RPM
>would have been what you'll
>be using in your own
>Just my opinion,
I would be interested in their reponse if you send them an email stating your point of view...maybe, if they agree with you they would do another test....I like those tests, but agree that they are useless in the wrong hands..I on the other hand, even tho I use router bits on occasion am not an expert on them.
I have to agree, I have a few of everything it seems, and my whiteside bits are really great. I do believe there was a test done by Fine Woodworking and Whiteside came in on top. I ordered my direct off the internet. I wish I could remember the name of the company but the price although not cheap was better than the rest.
Just my opinion.....lets back it up with some facts Jack
I have sold and used Whiteside Router Bits for years. I have used 100's and sold 1000's. My heavy duty router bit users insist on and demand Whiteside. We do not need some fancy test in Fine Woodworking to tell us what we already know. I have sold Freud, Bosch, Porter-Cable, Onsrud, CMT, Amana,and yes even WoodCraft. My findings are based on user feedback from the industrial customer. Whiteside is a good bit at a good price and it is made in America by an American family owned business, giving Americans jobs. I know from actual experience the quality of Whiteside....one can not go wrong using and buying Whiteside Router Bits.
Easy does it! I never mentioned any brand in my last post pro or con.
While I do not have a formal test to verify my above statements, I have extensive experience in CNC operations and certainly just as much experience with hand routers. I am fully qualified in programming, operating and running 4 major brands of CNC's, and most of the CAD/CAM software.
I would wholeheartedly agree with you that Whiteside bits are very good quality and value. I own several myself, sold them to customers when I sold CNC's, and even have a Whiteside catalog on my bench at work right now. I will, however, stand by my previous PERSONAL OPINION that Onsrud and Amana are the best availible. They are not readily availible to the consumer marketplace, and the price is certainly pretty steep for the casual user.
My point was that the test itself was flawed, and does not accurately represent how bits will perform in a hand router. I was not surprised that Whiteside did well in the test, but there were certainly some surprises for me in what brands finished where.
I respect your opinion and your certain right to voice it, I just think your message was a bit more forceful than this discussion called for.
I have to throw my two cents in here. I am a devotee of Freud bits. They are high quality carbide bits and hold up under continuous use well. I don't have anything bad to say about other bits (okay, maybe those nasty HSS things), but for me, I will continue to buy and use Freud.
One other note-bit sets aren't always such a bad deal. I bought a nice set of profile bits from Freud -all 1/2" shank and I use them all with regularity. The set is 91-104 and comes with six different bits. I know new sets are available for as low as $100 on Ebay. Not a bad price for quality bits.
Many companies also sell bit sets for making cabinet doors. They often include a raised panel bit in conjunction with the rail and stile set included.
I'm really disappointed about the router bit test after reading your post. I thought I had found some really good data but I guess life just isn't that simple. I will just get used to the idea of mail ordering my bits and that way I can get the better quality. I have a question for you though. If a person is wandering around the tool section at HD and thinks they really must have a new bit, what is your opinion of the Oldham Vipers?
To be brutally honest, I'm not a fan of Oldham products. I've found them to be pretty poor quality.
If you order most of your bits online or through catalogs, Whiteside is a hard brand to beat. They do have a great selection, very good quality and a fair price. Also, the Woodcraft "house brand" has proven itself to me. Both can be found in Woodcraft stores or through their catalog. Whiteside is sold through any number of sources.
If you can find a dealer near you, Amana bits will impress you every time. They are expensive, but worth every penny in my opinion. You can find a dealer through their website. (www.amanatool.com)
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