Building a piece of furniture can put your woodworking skills to the test but completing that project gives you a sense of accomplishment that is beyond words. Whether you are a beginner or professional woodworker, choosing the right router bits can be a daunting task, for a router is toothless without router bits. It is the router bit profiles that make the router the most versatile tool. Hence finding the perfect bit becomes key for the successful completion of a project.
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In your search for the right router bit, you will come across the bits produced by the Whiteside Machine Company. Founded in 1970 as a general-purpose machine shop, this company was involved in making repairs and special parts for the furniture and woodworking industry. Today they are a trusted and respected name.
Their can-do attitude, excellent customer service, and innovative ideas put them on the map for top quality, industry-grade router bit profiles which are a complete line of carbide and carbide tipped bits that can serve all your needs. Committed to quality, this family-owned and operated company has a plethora of woodworking tools for you to choose from, be it a spiral router bit to a CNC set and accessories like bearings.
Their rigid quality control and precision manufacturing tools have resulted in high ratings and good reviews in magazines like Fine Woodworking year after year. The bit profile produced by Whiteside feature consistent quality, long-lasting performance, and superior cut found only among the industry’s finest brands of router bits. You will be pleased every time you use one of these fine products.
Whiteside router bits come in different shapes and sizes. They have a well-detailed catalog that can help you figure out what router bit profiles work for your project.
Here is a list of pros and cons to help you make a better assessment of Whiteside router bit profiles:
1. Metal and Material
Whiteside router bits are made from solid alloy steel which is precision ground for proper balance, even at high RPMs. Each of these profiles is made from high-quality, thick micro-grain carbide so that it can withstand additional sharpening. These bits have high hook and relief angles for better chip ejection giving them superior edge quality.
2. Clean Cut and Sharpness
Woodworkers usually look for two things in a router bit: its ability to cut cleanly and to stay sharp in the long run. Fine Woodworking conducted an experiment by putting 18 top-of-the-line router bit performers through a torture test to find the top two bits. They tested carbide tipped router bits through various techniques and surfaces. At the end of the day, Eagle and Whiteside had their scores tied, rising to the top.
Whiteside router profiles ranked high on the scale of sharpness and superior cut. These bits also have the added advantage of being sharpened additionally to suit your needs. Whiteside also had the bits when reviewed by the same company in 1999.
3. Smoothness and Longevity
Router bits made by Whiteside are famous for leaving smooth surfaces on the workpiece, that will require almost no sanding at all making your effort to achieve a smooth look a little less. The premium carbide construction makes these profiles sturdy, highly durable and long-lasting.
Apart from Whiteside there are several other companies that manufacture quality carbide router bits.
4. Product Line
Whitside strives to improve its product line and achieve superior quality through new technology, improved production techniques, and continued research and development efforts. They have a wide range of router bits to choose from under three main categories namely straight, spiral, form router bits.
Their downloadable, detailed catalog makes it easy to understand the uses of each of these bits which are also subcategorized to help you with making the right choice for the project.
5. Value for Money
Whiteside router bits are comparatively less expensive. These profiles are balanced, sharp, durable and do not wear or break upon repeated use. The router profiles hold up regardless of the material you are cutting and that in itself is your money’s worth. Whiteside router bits are for those who are looking for top-quality at a reasonable price which will last for years to come.
Whiteside router profiles seem to have achieved the impossible by having no disadvantages. They have always been ranked as “Overall” or “Value” bits out there. They are pricey tools to own and that is their only disadvantage but they are definitely worth it. You will also often find comments made about the number of router bits in a set are few for their price.
Though this is a common remark, it is not a disadvantage as each of these sets comes with the best, industrial-grade premium carbide bit profiles that last a long time and have a life-time warranty. After having discussed the good and bad of Whiteside router bits it is clear that they outshine the competition. They are a great tool for both hobbyists and professionals. Their design ensure that they maintain their balance even at high speeds which in turn minimizes costly errors. It is definitely a high-performance product that is cost-effective.
Top Whiteside Router Bits
Whiteside has been winning for over 30 years and here are some of their top router bits that have brought in their repeat customers.
Whiteside RU2100 Standard Spiral Bit with Up Cut Solid Carbide 1/4-Inch Cutting Diameter and 1-Inch Cutting Length is a highly rated bit that has over 200 reviews and 4.5 stars on Amazon. It is a good product with great value that is razor-sharp, tough and precise. It gives a shear cutting edge and the up-cut design provides the control with hand and table routing.
Whiteside RD2100 Standard Spiral Bit with Down Cut Solid Carbide 1/4-Inch Cutting Diameter and 1-Inch Cutting Length is a bit that is known to hold up even if you cut through a 48 linear feet of 3/4″ medium density fiberboard. It remains ridiculously sharp even after making dozens of cuts and is as smooth as a hot knife slicing butter. It is highly recommended by all its users.
Whiteside 1540 V-Groove 60-Degree 1/4-Inch Cutting Diameter and 7/32-Inch Point Length is a bit that can help you achieve crisp lines and detailed grooves. It can be run for long periods of time without losing its sharpness. It is highly durable and a great investment.
Whiteside Router Bit UDFT5152 Flush Trim Up/Down Spiral Bit is a great performer offering a state-of-the-art result. The spiral up/down gives a compression cut that eliminates fraying, splintering, and fuzzy edges. It’s sharpness and large shear angle allows it to cut up/down the grain with ease. You can be sure to get your money’s worth from this product. It also saves time by minimizing your sanding efforts helping you achieve a clean look and completing your project faster.
Whiteside 401 Basic Router Bit Set, 1/2-Inch Shank, 7 Pieces is a handy toolbox that comes with all the commonly used router bits. This is an excellent selection of bits for someone who is starting out and because of their premium carbide construction, they are sure to last a long time. This set has been highly rated by customers who agree with it being a worthwhile purchase.
Whiteside Ultimate Trim Combination Router Bit UDC9112 is said to be a phenomenal bit. This bit can cut through 100 curly maple display boards leaving a glass-like finish with no burn and absolutely zero tear-out. In the words of a trusted user “The last cut was as perfect as the first. I have been through dozens of pattern bits, and there is absolutely no comparison with this beast.” It definitely does not disappoint.
Whiteside SC50 Carving Liner 11-Degree by 5/8-Inch Cutting Length is an essential etching tool. It is very sharp, easy to predict and extremely smooth. Making cuts along a curved line/marker is a breeze with this bit. It is a great product to achieve those fine details.
There are over 100 Whiteside router bits to choose from and you can be sure these are of superior quality and high industry standards. 9 out of 10 people agree that these bits are a wise investment, however there are a few of these products that have not hit it off with the customers and are worth exploring.
Whiteside 1572 Point Cutting Round Over Bit with 1/4-Inch Radius, 1/2-Inch Cutting Diameter, and 1/2-Inch Cutting Length is a good router bit but has been criticized for its fragility. Some users claim the tip snapped off and hence it has been rated poorly.
Whiteside 470 Undersized Plywood Dado 3 Piece Set with 7/32-Inch,15/32-Inch, and 23/32-Inch Cutting Diameter with 1/2-Inch Shank: it is a great choice for hardwood but a tight fit for most plywood. One of the only reasons why it has a comparatively low rating.
Whiteside SC062 Standard Straight Bit with Solid Carbide 1/16-Inch Cutting Diameter and 3/16-Inch Cutting Length were found to be hard to use and of poor quality. Customers rated this product 3.8 stars because it broke upon use.
Whiteside 2408 Flush Trim Bit with 1/2-Inch Cutting Diameter and 2-Inch Cutting Length is a good router bit but customers have found it to lose its sharpness and have defects because of which this bit does not fair well.
Very few Whiteside router bits have had issues and low ratings. However, these reviews and ratings have been useful in making an unbiased assessment of the bits produced by this company.
Freud vs Whiteside vs MLCS: Which Router bit brand is good ?
There are many brands that sell router bits, many more to put to the test and experiment with. Woodworkers have rated Whiteside, Freud, and MLCS in that order for quality and Freud, Whiteside and MLCS for value.
Freud is a highly dependable brand that delivers quality. Whiteside provides the performance and finish, MLCS, on the other hand, does not fair well in comparison to the other two brands. It is difficult to decide which of these brands are good as each of them have their own advantages and disadvantages.
In the furniture and woodworking circles, Freud is a well-known name and is said to be the business. These bits feature a TiCo (Titanium and Carbide) tip which is a high-end material that is tri-metal blazing.
Freud is known for its technological advancements in the router bit business. Freud’s computer-balanced bits offer vibration, chatter-free operation, and an anti-kickback design. These bit profiles offer a high shear angle to produce fewer tear-outs and minimal chatter marks. All of this being said, Freud bits are the most expensive router profiles out there. It does cost an arm and a leg for the quality and technology they have to offer.
MCLS, on the other hand, is a cheaper option especially if you are a beginner and are looking to get your hands dirty. It is highly durable thanks to its carbide tip construction and definitely the most affordable brand. These router bit fall short in terms of longevity. They perform well but do not last long. MCLS router bits are great for their value but are shunned by most woodworkers because they lack the ability to produce professional level work.
Whiteside is the middle ground. It is relatively cheaper than Freud but more expensive than MCLS. The superior quality, made in America mark and carbide construction gives you a clean cut and smoothness. Whiteside router bits also last a long time and are worth what you pay for them. It is surely a one-time investment because of its durability.
If asked which brand is for router bits, Freud would definitely be the answer but when you look at value for money and all the other features Whiteside stands out. If you are someone without a budget then, of course, Freud is recommended but if you are looking for an economical option Whiteside should be your go-to.
Whiteside router bits have surely proven to be a good investment. Their superior quality and cutting edge technology rank them highly. As a beginner, it would be to start with MCLS’s starter kits so you get the hang of how to use these tools at a reasonable cost but as you move from beginner to advanced a switch to Whiteside is recommended.
Whiteside router bits have many advantages and key features, their accuracy, cut, durability, and performance make them one of a kind. This is why they make an ideal choice for you. These are highly tolerant bits that deliver a flawless finish. These are subject to an intensive manufacturing process that makes them what they are. All of this exhibits the attention and expertise the bit profiles are subject to before they reach you.
To wrap up, the quality of Whiteside router bits affect the quality of the cuts you make and ultimately the overall outcome of your project. Carbide tip router profiles are harder and can hold the edge much longer. Every woodworker understands that excellent quality woodworking doesn’t just come from the type of wood but from the skill and tools used. Router bits are used to shape your project so if they are off you can consider your project finished. That is why it is important to choose the right router bits from the right company.