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Thread: HF (Bauer) carbide router bits?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    7,072

    HF (Bauer) carbide router bits?

    I know - but - I need a cheap 3/8" and 5/16" bit and HF has both in a 5 bit set for $20.

    Is anyone willing to admit trying one out?
    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    65
    Whiteside is my normal go-to but I have a set of HF roundovers for years. I bought them for some construction need but use them frequently on less-critical applications around the shop. They are actually just fine and my caution is more that they are not the sharpest any longer after years of use. If you are looking for cheap I would not hesitate to give them a try.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    4,651
    I'll use a cheap bit for an unusual pattern, but I buy quality for straight bits. You get what you pay for.

  4. #4
    I just got one from there the other day. I don't find much difference between the cheap bits and expensive ones aside from the guide bearings don't last as long.

  5. #5
    My HF rule is, if you just need it once or twice, they usually do a pretty good job for the money. If you're going to need it more frequently, it's cheaper to buy a better brand.

    For their drill and router bits, be prepared to sharpen them right out of the packaging. They don't always need to be sharpened. But maybe 50% of the time they do. And be prepared to sharpen them after every use or two, as they typically don't hold up very well compared to a name brand bit. But, you don't need to grind a whole new edge. Usually just a pass or two with a medium grit (600) diamond file is all that's needed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    960
    I've bought items from HF when I know I'm not going to use them a lot. For example, I bought a 24 ga pin nailer for somewhere around $10-$15 and, because I used it about twice a year, it lasted a long time. When I began to use the pin nailer more often, it started to jam periodically. I then bought a Grex pin nailer and that is a dream to use. So, for me, how often I'm going to use the tool or if I'm only going to use it for one job, I would buy from HF. Their stuff is cheap but is also generally isn't good quality and won't stand up under heavier use. With router bits you generally get what you pay for. The quality of the carbide is better on more expensive bits and, as another posted, the bearings aren't likely to stand up to frequent use.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    66,152
    When I need something that's more "economy", I order Yonico off of Amazon. I've had zero issues with them. I actually just received a .75" beading cutter today that will likely be a "one project" use, but the carbide is pretty impressive for the cost.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    7,072
    I do like the Yonico bits. They have a profile for some stiles and rails that come real close to what our kitchen is.
    I need to make a set of cabinets for over the refrigerator and a pantry so, I can put them to good use.

    My need right now is for some cheap - pretty much one time use - bits for some shop stuff.
    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    10,209
    Any HF tool you bought six months ago is not the same as one you buy today. it was made in a different factory and parts may not interchange. The bits you buy today may be okay but they have no relation to what someone bought a year ago.
    So testimonials are not really meaningful.
    BILL D

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