If you are new to woodworking, it’s sometimes difficult to know what tools and accessories to purchase. Too many choices and too little money. When it comes to router bits, the choices are myriad and the cost can very quickly hit the stratosphere.
The new Ryobi 25 piece Master Router Bit offers a conveniently packaged set of 1/4″ shanked bits in a variety of styles, including straight, round over, rabbeting, trim, dovetail, cove, and chamfer. The bits come in a handy pine box that you can hang on the wall, and there is even storage space for extra bits. I quickly tallied the price I would have paid for similar sized bits from one supplier, and came to a whopping $450, for an average cost of $18. The US price on this set is $99.97 (Canadian pricing will be announced in July when the bits become available at Home Depot), which works out to about $5 CDN per bit. That’s a significant savings. No, make that a hugh savings. These bits are not micrograin carbide, so they won’t last as long as premium bits, and the shanks are all ¼”. The bits are all on the small side, for example the cutting edge on the ⅜” straight bit is only 25/32″ long. But hey, I tried a number of the bits on some oak and cherry, and was quite satisfied with the results. The cuts were surprisingly clean and crisp. While I would hesitate to recommend these bits for a professional shop, they offer excellent value for the DIYer. If you are new to routing and want a basic collection of bits, this is definitely the way to go. Ryobi will also be introducing 18, 12, and 8 bit sets (the 18 piece set with ½” shanks).
Carl Duguay - [email protected]
Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.