Author Topic: Which router bit shank size to standardise?  (Read 1076 times)

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Offline mackenzie

  • Posts: 178
Which router bit shank size to standardise?
« on: January 04, 2018, 09:57 AM »
Hello,

I don't own a router yet and I'm looking to buy one very soon, likely the OF1400.  I have done some research into bits and the shank sizes available. I will probably look to standardise to 1/4 & 1/2" shank sizes.  I don't know if I would ever need a 6mm, 8mm 3/8 or any other different shank size router bit.

Do you have any input?
If you could start all over again what woud you do?

I realise it's fruitless trying to standardise everything, I try to as much as possible and I feel 1/4 & 1/2" shank sizes are a good compromise.

Thank you

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Offline bnaboatbuilder

  • Posts: 130
Re: Which router bit shank size to standardise?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 10:02 AM »
Where you live can dictate it for you.

In the U.S., 1/4" and 1/2" are the standard. 1/4" for smaller bits and lighter work, 1/2" shank for larger bits and heavier work.
- John

Offline mackenzie

  • Posts: 178
Re: Which router bit shank size to standardise?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 10:07 AM »
Yes, thank you good point.  I'm in the UK and have observed a number of recommendations to use www.wealdentool.com for all the router bits I'd ever need.  They seem to have a good selection of 1/4 & 1/2 which also influences my decision.

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1832
Re: Which router bit shank size to standardise?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 10:52 AM »
Standardizing is generally good but there is nothing wrong about adding the 8mm collet to your arsenal. Some very nice bits are available from Festool in 8mm with replaceable inserts and they can help with a lot of tasks. The inserts are very high quality and in some cases have multiple edges so they become much more economical over time. Other manufacturers supply 8mm as well and, if you ever do add another router like the MFK you will enjoy the benefits of 8mm over 1/4.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 725
Re: Which router bit shank size to standardise?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 11:43 AM »
1/2" shanks for as much as possible, 1/4" shanks for trim routers.  Collets are cheap compared to quality router bits, so if you find an 8mm shank bit that you just have to have, go buy the collet.  Those three sizes are the only ones I have, and I've never wanted/needed any of the other sizes.  To be honest, I couldn't tell you right now if I even have an 8mm shank bit.  At any rate, when you select a router, make sure that you know what size(s) of collet it comes with, and what you can get as an accessory.

I've never been tempted to buy a collet reducer, as I've always been worried about the tolerances/quality, but they are available if you need to reduce from, say, 1/2" to 8mm.  Anybody out there have experience with collet reducers one way or the other?

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4468
Re: Which router bit shank size to standardise?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 12:30 PM »
Festool OF 1010...1/4" & 8mm
Festool OF 1400...1/4", 8mm & 1/2"
Festool MFK 700...1/4" & 8mm
Milwaukee 5625...1/2"

As greg mentioned, Festool makes some very nice 8mm replaceable knife trim, chamfer and radius bits. I have a couple that I aways use in the MFK. The radius bits replaceable knife can be rotated 3 times giving 4 different cutting edges.  [big grin]


Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 569
Re: Which router bit shank size to standardise?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 01:17 PM »
1/2" bits if at all possible, otherwise 1/4". Keep in mind that if you were to buy a trim or smaller router (OF1010) at some point you will only be able to use 1/4" bits with those. If you are not in the US then the 8mm bits are probably best.

Offline RussellS

  • Posts: 203
Re: Which router bit shank size to standardise?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 04:00 PM »
Keep in mind that if you were to buy a trim or smaller router (OF1010) at some point you will only be able to use 1/4" bits with those.

When I bought my Festool OF1010 router ten or so years ago, it came with both the 1/4" and 8mm collets.  So the OF1010 DOES NOT only use 1/4" router bits.