Top 3 MLCS Router Bits Reviewed: A Comprehensive Guide
When it comes to woodworking, you have to admit that a router is undoubtedly amongst the most versatile tools in any circumstance. And more decisively, the bits are a router’s soul. They play the actual role in shaping up the curves to get the finish you desire.
So, it’s crucial to get the right set of bits to get the job done flawlessly. Where there is only a fistful of products amongst thousands that deliver a such flawless performance, MLCS is a name many woodworkers like to put their trust on.
In this MLCS router bits review, we’ll discuss the top three sets of router bits from the well-renowned brand to help you figure out if they meet your demands.
Uses Of MLCS Router Bits
MLCS router bits are a popular choice among woodworkers and hobbyists. They are versatile and can be used for various woodworking applications, including:
- Edge shaping: MLCS router bits can be used for creating decorative edges on furniture pieces, picture frames, and other woodworking projects.
- Joinery: These router bits can be used for creating precise and strong joints, such as mortise and tenon joints, box joints, dovetails, and finger joints.
- Raised panels: MLCS router bits are ideal for creating raised panels for cabinet doors and other furniture pieces.
- Decorative carving: These router bits can be used for creating intricate designs and patterns on wood surfaces, adding a decorative touch to furniture pieces and other woodworking projects.
- Sign making: MLCS router bits are popular among sign makers for creating precise and professional-looking signs.
- Fluting: These router bits can be used for creating fluted columns and other decorative woodwork.
Overall, MLCS router bits are a versatile and reliable option for a range of woodworking projects, offering high-quality performance and durability.
Why Should You Choose MLCS Router Bits?
Since the arrival of MLCS router bits, there have been many queries among both amateur and professional woodworkers regarding its various usage and performance.
That’s why we have come up with this section where we’ll clarify several aspects of the MLCS products, so you can make out yourself whether they are the best match for you or not.
These MLCS router bits come with the sharpness that’ll allow you flawless woodworking experience with softwood. The makers have been adept enough to make it absolutely stand out for delicate projects that require the sharpness to be fine and precise.
However, when it comes to working with hardwood, you may not get similar fineness, as the edges are too subtle to curve smoothly upon a harder surface. But you can still trim the edges with it effortlessly.
You can utilize the router bits for a wide variety of cut variants and applications, thanks to the diversity of its profiles. And since very few of its rivals in this price range offers on-par flexibility, having such versatility within this product is a definite plus.
These bits come with high-grade carbide tips that help you operate with minimal vibration. It enhances the longevity of the bits by preventing wear-offs with frequent use. Also, it preserves the bits’ strength and sharpness. You can expect them to match similar attributes of those from Whiteside or Freud.
The router bits from MLCS come as 15, 30, and 66 pieces sets. So, the cost per unit of bits is exceptionally lower than a separate one. Meaning, you can avail an entire package of bits spending much lesser than purchasing them separately.
So, If you happen to be an amateur or a professional looking for a competent set of bits to work on softwoods, there’s no better cheaper yet splendid option than MLCS router bits sets. Especially for beginners, it’s the perfect choice to buoy themselves up for a successful woodworking journey.
MLCS Router Bits Review
We have picked the three most popular packages of the MLCS router bits for review. Let’s find out all the goodness they bring along.
|MLCS 8377 15-Piece Router Bit Set with Carbide-Tipped 1/2-Inch Shanks||661 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
|MLCS 8369 1/2-Inch shank Carbide-tipped Router Bit Set, 30-Piece||88 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
|MLCS 6077 Woodworking 1/4-Inch shank Carbide-tipped Router Bit Set, 15-Piece||262 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
MLCS 8377 Router Bit Set (15-Piece)
This is the most popular MLCS choice in the woodworking community that comes with top-notch carbide-tipped bits of various styles and sizes.
The flexibility of working on a broader range of woodworking projects is what makes this MLCS 8377 preferable over other models at this price range.
In the box, you’ll find a V-groove bit, Roman ogee bit, 45º chamfer bit, round over bit, rebating beat, flush-trim bit, dovetail bit, cove bit, hinge mortising bit, round nose bit, and panel pilot bit as well.
Meaning, no matter what strength and size you require for a crucial project, the set will have you covered.
The chamfer bit, in particular, provides exceptional drives when curving those soft angles of your work surface. Often it leaves you with a result that won’t require an additional finish.
And the sharp edges ensure that you never face any defect in your project even for the slightest when working with the round over, Roman ogee, or even the dovetail bit. Thus, they cut the headache of hassling with any post-curving attention.
You can expect to get the quickest service out of all these bits as they come with a 0.5-inch shank.
If you often feel the necessity of beading bits, the kit also has the solution for it. To allow you to convert round-over bits into them, the kit includes an Allen wrench along with a bearing.
The whole package comes organized within a sturdy and elegant wooden box to keep them secure. At a price this low, the 15-piece router set undoubtedly is a bang for the buck.
- The kit is beginner-friendly, in terms of both price and numbers
- It renders unmatched performance on softwood
- You can adjust these bits with the help of the Allen key
- The bits are highly heat resistant, hence don’t wear easily
- Its sturdy storage box is elegant and convenient
- The straight router bits are dull and weak
MLCS 8369 Router Bit Set (30-piece)
In terms of material, shank diameter, and quality, this MLCS model is hardly any different from the product we have discussed above. The key trait that separates the two sets is the number of bit pieces offered.
With 30 pieces, this 8369 model provides you with more options than the other two packages on our list. It bolsters your flexibility in working, making sure you never have to improvise a quick solution while working on a delicate project that demands precision in various aspects.
Similar to the above-mentioned model, you get the same variants of bits. But with more options, the opportunity to work with more accuracy never seems to end.
If you are looking for a set with more bit options at a price cheaper than most other similar competent models, you should slightly raise your budget and go for this one rather than the MLCS 8377.
- The package offers excellent value for the price
- Includes all the common variations of round-overs and straight pieces
- With various sizes and options, it allows working with more accuracy without stressing about improvisations all of a sudden
- The elegant wooden box keeps your bits nicely organized and secure
- Weaker blades on the chamfering bits require more attention while working
MLCS 6077 Router Bit Set (15-Piece)
This 6077 router bit set from MLCS is the most low-priced model in our list, which ranks high among the other cheapest sets in the market. If we didn’t talk about it, the MLCS router set review wouldn’t be complete.
These are pretty much the same carbide-tipped router bits as the fellow MLCS models we have mentioned above. However, one trait that differentiates the set from the other two is the 0.25-inch shank diameter of its router bits.
A few would also translate this difference as a shortcoming since it won’t provide similar area coverage while curving. Meaning, it takes a bit more time and effort compared to that with the above two while working on large surfaces.
And it also requires you to become careful while putting pressure on a harder surface, for it can dull the sharpness.
Other than these concerns, it’s all the same as the 8377 model. You’ll get similar 15 pieces of router bits along with an Allen wrench that’ll allow you to shape up the round bits for use as beading bits. And you’ll also get them packed inside a much alike wooden carry box for classy yet effortless transportation.
The router bit set may not be suitable for several woodworking projects, but it’ll get the job done for you if you are a novice woodworker learning numerous curving techniques. For the price, it’s totally worth it.
- An excellent choice for beginners to get their woodworking days successfully underway
- Includes several multifunctional router bits and an Allen wrench
- The whole package comes nicely packed into a sturdy wooden box for secure storage
- Because of the narrow shank diameter, it won’t suit several woodworking projects, prolonging the duration of some of your work also
What to Look for While Choosing a Set of Router Bits?
With bazillions of router bits available in the market, it is indeed a difficult task to make a precise pick. But you can ease down the tedious selection process by being aware of a few basics. Let’s find out what they are.
The requisite power to cut through the wood becomes much less when you work with sharp router bits. It also, tackles the possible safety issues as well. So when it comes to bits’ sharpness, there should be no compromise.
In general, there are three discrete materials used for making up router bits;
- High-Speed Steel (HSS)
- Solid Carbide
A Carbide bit can last way longer than an HSS bit, and it also costs higher. HSS bits finely suit softwood whereas the Carbide-tipped ones perfectly work for hardwoods and other harder applications.
However, in terms of the most premium-quality performance and the most extended longevity, Solid Carbide router bits are the best among the three, and they are specialized for more sophisticated applications.
The shanks of the router bits are mostly available in 0.25-inch and 0.5-inch diameters. You’ll be wise to go with 0.5-inch bits as they cover a cross-sectional area four times larger than that with a 0.25-inch bit. More so, it makes them sturdier and more rigid.
You’ll want router bits that serve your project with minimal vibration rates to retain its sharpness and strength and to prevent untimely wear-offs. Bits with a better spin rate resolve such issues.
You’ll always want the router bits you purchase to keep their worth. So, make sure you buy from a well-renowned brand. CMT, Freud, Whiteside, and MLCS are among the reputed brands with the least possibility to disappoint you.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How durable are Carbide-tipped router bits compared to High-Speed Steel?
Carbide-tipped bits are as much as 40% more durable than High-Speed Steel.
Carbide-tipped router bits are generally more durable than high-speed steel (HSS) bits. The hardness and wear resistance of carbide makes these bits better suited for demanding applications and extended use. Carbide maintains sharp cutting edges for longer periods, reducing the need for frequent sharpening or replacement. It is also more resistant to heat, allowing carbide-tipped bits to handle high-speed cutting without losing their cutting performance.
It is suitable for a wide range of materials and can withstand the abrasive forces encountered during routing. While carbide-tipped bits may be more expensive, their longevity and ability to maintain sharpness make them a preferred choice for professional woodworkers and those who frequently use routers. HSS bits, although more affordable, tend to be less durable and may require more frequent maintenance or replacement.
- Are these Carbide-tipped bits prone to get blunt?
It’s unlikely unless they face excessive heat exposure, or you use them in projects that are not meant for them.
Carbide-tipped bits are highly resistant to becoming blunt compared to other types of router bits. The carbide material used for the cutting edges is exceptionally hard and durable, allowing the bits to maintain their sharpness for a longer time.
However, it’s important to note that even carbide-tipped bits can eventually become dull with extended use, especially when subjected to demanding or abrasive materials. The rate at which they become dull depends on factors such as the type of material being routed, feed rate, and the overall quality of the bit.
Nonetheless, carbide-tipped bits generally offer significantly better longevity and retain their sharpness better than alternatives like high-speed steel (HSS) bits. Proper use, maintenance, and occasional sharpening can further prolong the cutting life of carbide-tipped router bits.
- Can I sharpen the blades?
Since these blades pretty much resemble saw blades, you can sharpen them for an extended period of service. However, sharpening brings changes to their profiles, and it keeps diminishing the carbide. So try not to sharpen them in quick successions.
- How should I remove the thin wax coats over the bits?
You can do it with your fingernail or razor blades. You must be careful when doing it with blades to avoid hampering the carbide as well as to ensure your safety.
Also, follow these steps:
Step 1: Start by soaking the router bits in a container of warm water for a few minutes. This helps to soften the wax and make it easier to remove.
Step 2: After soaking, use a soft brush or toothbrush to scrub the bits gently. This will help to loosen and remove the wax. You can also use a mild detergent or dish soap on the brush for additional cleaning power.
Step 3: Rinse the bits thoroughly with clean water to remove any residue from the wax and detergent. After rinsing, dry the bits completely using a clean cloth or paper towel. Ensuring they are dry helps prevent rust or corrosion.
Step 4: If there are still traces of wax remaining, you can try using a solvent such as denatured alcohol or mineral spirits. Apply a small amount of the solvent to a cloth or paper towel and wipe the bits to remove any stubborn wax residue. Be sure to follow safety precautions and use solvents in a well-ventilated area.
Step 5: After cleaning, inspect the router bits to ensure all the wax has been removed. Check for any signs of damage or wear. Once you’re satisfied, store the bits in a clean and dry location, preferably in a protective case or container to prevent damage and keep them ready for future use.
- Can I use the 8369 model to curve cabinet doors?
Yes, you can do so. But you must be extra careful while putting the pressure as it can dull the sharp edges.
- Do I get these bits pre-drilled as per my router?
No, they do not come pre-drilled. You have to drill on your own, matching the configuration of your router accordingly.
Router bits are designed with standard shank sizes (such as 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch) that fit into the collets or chucks of most routers. When using a router bit, you would manually insert it into the collet or chuck of your router and securely tighten it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
It’s important to note that some specialized router bits, such as those with bearing guides, may require adjustments or adjustments to match the specific configuration of your router. In such cases, you may need to refer to the instructions provided by the router bit manufacturer or consult their customer support for guidance on achieving optimal performance with your specific router.
Always prioritize safety when working with router bits. Ensure that your router is turned off and unplugged when installing or removing bits, and follow all safety guidelines provided by both the router and the router bit manufacturer.
When the cost is your prime concern, but you are not the one to compromise quality in your starter set of router bits, there’s hardly a better solution provider than MLCS.
Hopefully, after reading this MLCS router bits review, you now have a clearer idea about this essential woodworking tool set. So, now it’s your turn to act wisely and go for the one that sounds like you.