Carbide router bits have a higher hardness to help for very precise cuts, especially across edges. Users can choose from among three options which include solid carbide, high-speed steel, and carbide tipped. Those that aim for long-lasting use would go for solid carbide or carbide tipped as it has more strength and endurance than steel.
These tips are not that expensive. In the longer run, they tend to prove beneficial in terms of optimal finishing and their economic life. You can use both plastics and hardwood without much trouble.
Here are my recommended products picked out through amazon you would be interested in depending on your budget…
7 Best Carbide Router Bits Reviews
Here is my list of the Best Carbide Router Bits in 2021;
1. Hiltex Tungsten Carbide Router Bits | Editors’ Choice
- Material: Carbide, alloy steel
- Shank size: ¼”
- Flute type: Straight
- Set size: 15 pieces
- Weight: 1.21 pounds
This router bit set is made from tungsten carbide that is high in quality and can deliver accurate cuts. You will start to notice this as soon as you start using them in your CNC machine.
You can easily use these bits for cutting nearly all kinds of wood due to its heat resistant materials. For increasing the durability, the manufacturer has used steel alloy as well to make the bits.
Generally, you would find most of these bits with a shank size of ¼” as most of the routers are compatible with this size. And this one is no different. The ¼” shank size allows for more options in terms of routers, and they also save time if you’re planning to frequently change them during work.
These router bits are suitable for work involving thin profiles, and it has 15 different pieces to choose from. All of these pieces are placed in a nice little wooden case with labels on each type. There are also some images placed next to it that you can see to put those bits inside in the right way. The box itself is quite big enough to store all those bits and is super easy to store and carry.
For durability of the router bits, Hitlex has done a powder coating on the outside that essentially acts as an extra layer of protection for these bits. Using these tungsten carbide bits is easy, and you wouldn’t have to worry about the life of the product as they are made to last for a long period of time due to their tough exterior.
Overall, it is considered an excellent set for grooving, veining, trimming, edging for both DIYers and professionals.
2. Bosch RBS010 Professional Router Bit Set
- Material: Carbide, Wood
- Shank size: ½” and ¼”
- Flute type: Straight
- Set size: 10 pieces
- Weight: 2.77 pounds
This set is ideal for carrying out multi-purpose woodworking tasks by enthusiasts and professionals alike. There are many types of bits with tips made out of Micrograin carbide that is extremely durable.
With these bits, you would get some nice finishing and accurate results as they are made for high-precision jobs. It is wear-resistant to a great extent and has sharp edges that help to get those clean curves and detailed edges.
Due to its enhanced strength and uniformity between both the shank and body, it can withstand breakage pretty well.
There are two types of shank bits in this set; ½” ones and the other are of size ¼.” While working with the ½” shank bits, you would notice a considerable difference in LEDs vibration and some greater stability. With the ¼” bits, you would find them better in woodworking jobs with a thinner profile.
All of this comes in a nice storage case with a wooden base and a transparent plastic top with labels for each router bit.
3. HQMaster CNC Router Bits for Wood and PVC
These router bits are made from solid carbide and are a great alternative to the straight design bits. They basically act as a milling cutter and are accurate and smooth on wooden materials.
For those users that are looking for some woodwork involving engraving and cutting, these spiral bits are perfect for you. They come in a pack of 10 and have a decent economic life. The shank diameter is 1/8”, which is obviously not designed for most CNC router machines.
With this set, you would be able to do slotting, cutting, milling, and carving. Also, these bits are excellent for sculpting on materials such as plastics, acrylic, hardwood, nylon, and resin. You can use these for surface machining as well.
Like the rest, these router bits are precise in their movements, and their tips are very strong. When you use them, you will experience that little or no smoke, and burr is released. This is because of its design and materials used to make these router bits.
There is a plastic box where you can place these bits easily in different sections. It also has foam on the sides to avoid collision among the router bits.
4. Stalwart – RBS024 Router Bit Set for Woodworking
- Material: Carbide
- Shank size: ½” and ¼”
- Flute type: Straight
- Set size: 24 pieces
- Weight: 1 pound
These router bits made by Stalwart are made for long-lasting use and are manufactured with quality materials. With these router bits, you would be able to finish all of your tasks with optimal results.
There are 24 pieces in this set, and they have a variety of uses. You can use them for trimming, woodworking, engraving, veining on wooden materials. Enthusiasts and even professionals can use them depending on the project scale. For removing bearings, there is also an Allen wrench that comes with this set.
For easy storage, the manufacturer has placed these router bits inside of a wooden case with separate sections for each type of bit. There are also labels in front of each socket that mention its shank size and shape. It makes it easier to keep them safe and avoid any missing bits, especially while traveling.
So, the set includes a 1/8” radius round-over bit, 3/8” dovetail bit, 3/8” cove bit, a 3/8” round nose bit, a 3/8” radius round-over bit, a 3/16” radius round-over bit, a ¾” straight bit, a 3/8” trimming bit, a ¼” panel pilot bit, a ¼” straight bit, a ¼” radius round-over bit, ¼” cove bit, ¼” Roman Ogee bit, ¼” slot cutter bit, a ½” dovetail bit, a ½” mortising bit, a ½” flush trim bit, a ½” straight bit, ½” 45-degree chamfer bit, a ½” rabbeting bit, a ½” combination bevel bit, a ½” 90-degree V-groove bit, and a ¾” straight bit.
There were, however, some problems reported about the fastening of these router bits. Some customers reviewed that some of these bits get loose sometimes after a while. So, if you face any problem such as this, you might want to contact directly to the manufacturer for a replacement.
5. MLCS 8377 Professional Router Bit Set
These router bits offer versatility with the number of options that you have with this set. For beginners and DIYers, these router bits are perfect for experimenting and kickstarting on any small project. It would give you the leverage to learn and make mistakes along the way without any costly repercussions.
They are not expensive, which allows newbies to purchase them easily. Don’t think that they’re of sub-standard quality because you can still make excellent projects with these if you work carefully with them. You can purchase them in an even bigger package which would reduce the overall cost of the bits even further.
On softwoods, these router bits perform near to perfection in comparison to other harder materials. Again, this doesn’t limit its use to only softwoods as we’ve seen some great results on other hard materials as well. On the edges, you might sometimes not find that sharpness, but overall, the finish is great. Using a sander might help you to take the result to the next level.
With the carbide tip, you would experience more accuracy and less vibration. The shank size of ½” might not be compatible with some of the low-end CNC routers, but these bits do offer better stability.
As per some users, using these router bits may cause burn marks to appear on the sides.
6. Whiteside Spiral Router Bits
This is a single router bit that is 1 inch in length and has a diameter of ¼”. Clearly, it is different from the rest of the sets covered above in this list. The tip of this bit is made from premium carbide that is made to work at high speeds without causing a loss in precision.
The bit is of industrial quality, and so, it’s more suited to industrial woodworkers that want to get a bit of a professional quality finish on their projects. Each one of them is quite expensive in comparison to the set of bits in this article.
You can use it on probably all types of woods out there and make complex designs with excellent finishing. It is capable of delivering clean cuts, especially on plywood.
The spiral design is very effective in cutting and engraving and the diameter of ¼” makes it compatible with most machines. Like the MLCS 8377, they tend to have burn marks appear on the side after long and rigorous use.
7. FivePears Tungsten Carbide Router Bits
These bits are made from a combination of C3 tungsten steel and carbon steel for increased durability. You can use them on all types of softwood and hardwood for making cabinets, shelves, doors, DIY work, and even some small-scale industrial work.
There are 12 pieces that you can choose from which offer different styles for creating complex designs and customizations. They are ideal for grooving, edging, veining, woodworking, and trimming.
The tip is made from solid carbide, and every bit that you have is powder-coated for added protection. This would make it easier to use these bits frequently without affecting the quality of these bits. There is an enclosed bearing roller that helps to achieve easy alignment and makes the operation seamless.
The shank size is ¼”, which is quite universal and compatible with a lot of router tools out there. They fit securely and make it possible to deliver clean cuts.
All these router bits come in a wooden case with labels written below each of them. The casing is pretty decent and makes it easier to organize and avoid missing pieces.
Buying Guide for Carbide Router Bits
Here we’re going to discuss some of the factors that are important to consider while purchasing router bits, as well as the types of bits you can choose from.
The choice of the shank size is not something that is an option for many router users as it probably supports one size only. But, if the router you’re using is compatible with different collet sizes, you might want to consider the shank size that you want to work with.
The size (diameter) of the shank does create an effect on how the router bit performs and the end result. If the shank has a larger diameter, less vibration will occur and there would be more precision during cutting.
This doesn’t mean that a smaller shank-sized bit would perform worse and give a terrible cut as there are plenty of other factors like the material you’re working on, the length of the bit, etc.
So, if you haven’t yet bought a router and your choice is to go for the wider bits, make your purchase accordingly. But if you already have a router, look for the shank size that would be compatible with it.
Type of Material
The material that you are planning to work on will determine the type of bit that you should buy. For softwoods, plywoods, and softwoods, it is best to go for tungsten carbide tips.
These tips are made to last longer than steel bits and lose their sharpness very slowly. This makes it both cost-effective for users to purchase them as well as to get that extra bit of finishing due to its sharpness.
If in your project you have to engrave or cut abrasive materials like MDF or particleboard, then remember to use solid carbide tips only as they are sturdier than tungsten carbide bits and can work even longer.
Freehand or Table-Mounted Routing?
Both the diameter and the flute type give an indication of whether you could use the bit on a router table or work freehand with it.
Those router bits that have smaller shank sizes like 1/8” have relatively tiny cutting heads that make it easier for the user to use it freehand. Well, the same goes for ½” shank size bits with small heads, so the main focus is on the cutting head. To sum it up, if the cutting head is small, it’s better to use it freehand. The larger bits that also have a bigger cutting head should be used in a router table only.
With this, the need to have a router fence to cut straight or curved edges is eliminated. These bearing guided tips do it flawlessly on their own and can create some precise edges. The bearing makes it possible to position itself along the lines of the edge for increased accuracy.
These bearing guides are also extremely helpful when you’re using a template on a project. The bit would shape the work while the bearing would carefully follow the template. With these guides, there is no need to go for specialist base plates and guide bushes.
The part of the bit that delivers the cut is called the flute. They might differ in number and, resultantly, affect the actual results as well in terms of speed and cutting. Working with a single flute bit might not give you a cleaner and smoother finish, but it would certainly speed up the process. With more flutes, you can easily achieve optimal results with smooth finishing.
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FAQs about Carbide Router Bits
Here are a few questions that people ask about carbide router bits for money;
What are the Best Carbide Router Bits?
Here is my list of the Best Carbide Router Bits in 2021;
- Hiltex Tungsten Carbide Router Bits
- Bosch Professional Router Bit Set
- HQMaster CNC Router Bits for Wood
- StalwartRouter Bit for Woodworking
- MLCS 8377 Carbide Router Bit Set
- MLCS 8377 Professional Router Bit
- Whiteside Spiral Router Bits
- FivePears Carbide Router Bits
What is the benefit of using a spiral bit over a straight bit?
When using spiral bits, you would get a very smooth result, particularly when working on strong end-grain and figured wood material. This is due to the shearing action that is created by the design of the spiral bits.
The cutting edges on a spiral bit are in constant contact with the material you’re working on, unlike straight bits. In essence, a spiral bit would completely eliminate the need for sanding.
What happens if the bit comes out of the collet and why does it happen?
This did happen with a customer once, as while he was using the straight bit to engrave, the bit came out a little bit which caused uneven grooves in terms of depth.
The reason for this might be the size of the bit shank. If it is too small in diameter, the collet might not be able to hold it properly in place. So, look for brands that are polished to be of the size they claim to be. Otherwise, you can always alter them to make them fit securely.
Another reason why this may happen is due to the router collet being worn out. You should have it checked at your local hardware store and also measure your router bits with a dial caliper for size. This slippage can become a safety hazard and can also ruin your project completely.
Can you use a router bit in a drill press?
You can use these bits in a drill press, but you would have to first make the drill work at a higher rpm in order to get optimal results.