There are many different brands of router bits available on the market, from good quality brand name router bits, to much lower quality unknown names. The better quality brand name router bits almost always will come with some sort of a guarantee, the no-name brands may or may not come with some sort of a guarantee, you need to ask.
How much use a router bit gets is often one determining factor on whether or not to purchase a brand name bit or not. If a router bit is being used a lot, maybe even in a commercial setting, good quality bits are essential, not only because of their warranty and performance, but in some cases, also because of the longivity as a working tool bit.
There are also many small and hobby woodworkers who do not run production facilities and from time to time need to use a router and router bit. In some cases, they may only use a router bit once or twice in their lifetime, if it is some sort of specialty bit. Sometimes novice woodworkers simply are unable to afford the price of premium bits, and in these cases they look for alternative bits.
It's often hard to select a router bit with an unknown name, while you are standing in a store. Often you have to take the clerk's word on whether it is good or not, if they even know or have any experience with the bit, and often they have never used them first hand, only getting feedback from other who may have used them. So how do you find a decent quality bit when you are on more of a budget. The first thing to do is to look closely at the bits, do they look well made? does the coating on the bit (if there is one) appear to have been applied in professional manner (i.e. there are no drips or runs on the shaft of the bit), does the carbide appear to be well seated, and what kind of warranty does the bit come with. This alone will sometimes tell you the quality of the bit, if someone provides some sort of warranty on the bit, it means they will stand behind it.
The next issue is to see how well it performs, and the only way to do that is to take the bit and try it out in your shop. Single bits, i.e. those not it matched sets, are less likely to have problems, regardless of the manufacturer, but even single bits can have issues and that is why they need to be tried out.
The bit sets we test here are only single bits and are from a company called precisionbits.com . They appear to have a pretty good selection of bits and they do stand behind their bits, which is nice to see. They also have a good selection of bits to choose from. Of course like many other companies they also sell a variety of different items than just router bits.
We have had woodworkers and subscribers ask us about no-name router bits, and unless we can see them and use them we really have no idea on the quality of them. We have had MANY people ask us about router bits sold by " ### company", and sadly there are just too many for us to check out, and some of them change manufacturers from time to time so tracing them is a nightmare. Now at least, we have had a look at one set of bits from a distributer and a manufacture we were not familiar with, tested some of their bits and were quite happy with the results from these bits we test. So at least we have some idea of what is out there in the marketplace.
We did NOT perform extensive testing, nor did we want to compare these bits against name brand bits, that was not our purpose, it was simply to see how well these bits performed out of the box, in an environment where they would get limited use, such as a woodworking hobbist might do.
So for those of you who are looking for more budget minded bits, you may have to perform your own testing on one of two bits to see how they perform for you, and now that you have some knowledge of what to look for, you can make more informed decisions.
Copuright - Colin Knecht