Cheaper bits vs Onsrud, etc

Cheaper bits vs Onsrud, etc

Postby Mikehell » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:38 pm

I can get bits on Amazon or eBay that are cheaper. How much better are the more expensive (Onsrud) bits? Will an Onsrud stay sharp longer than a comparable cheaper bit? Any particular brands to avoid?
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Re: Cheaper bits vs Onsrud, etc

Postby 4DThinker » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:01 pm

The reason I buy Onsrud bits is that in my experience that are always the size they claim they are. I've had bits from other manufacturers that came nowhere near the dimensions they claimed. 3/16" is .1875, but one 3/16" whiteside upcut end mill I had alway resulted in loose joints. I finally measured it and found it was .1904. That explained why tenons turned out smaller than expected, and mortises were larger than expected.

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Re: Cheaper bits vs Onsrud, etc

Postby Leo » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:26 pm

I use SGS a lot. I know it's not well known around the hobby world or the wood world but it is a high quality cutter and VERY well known in the machining world.

I get SGS from "Carbide Depot" dot com. Generally in the $teens$ per 1/4" cutter

SGS is a quality tool. --- generally made for the metal cutting industry

Onsrud is also a quality tool. --- generally made for the wood cutting industry

There are a lot of differences between a low end tool and a quality tool. There is nothing visibly different to the untrained eye, but to an experienced eye, there is much to be seen. Quality of the grinding and sharpening is visible to the experienced eye. Low end cutters will not be up to the same standards as a high end cutter.

Other things that are not visible at all is the quality of the material the cutter is made out of. "CARBIDE" may seem to be just "CARBIDE" - but in reality it is NOT. Carbide comes in many different grades just like steels do. In steels there is Cold Rolled Steel and there are tool steels. You would not want an end mill made out of CRS - but M42 would be good. Carbide is also available in different grades. Low cost cutters, may or may not be quality carbide. High quality cutters are more likely to be good carbide grades.

OK - so - with all that being said - I have and still do use some of the lower cost cutters, with decent results. There is a noticeable difference in cut quality, and longevity of life.
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Re: Cheaper bits vs Onsrud, etc

Postby sharkcutup » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:07 pm

I agree with both Leo and 4DThinker - (well said guys).

You know the old saying 'you get what you pay for'. I have also used cheaper bits and have noticed a difference in the quality of the carvings too. Cheaper bits are great for roughing carved models or even the final cutouts in which tabs are removed and the entire outside surface is sanded anyhow. Of course this also depends on each individual's preferences final product quality too!

I do recommend that when buying the cheaper bits be sure to check the bit dimensions before adding to tool database. These bits are usually the bits that didn't make the Quality cut at the manufacturer but are still saleable bits in another market.

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Re: Cheaper bits vs Onsrud, etc

Postby Ton80 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:26 pm

I have used Precisebits. I like them because the bits are very good quality and they list all the required info for entering their bits into Vectric software. Sometimes that info seems hard to come by?

Check them out at http://precisebits.com
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Re: Cheaper bits vs Onsrud, etc

Postby sharkcutup » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:28 pm

I have used Precisebits. I like them because the bits are very good quality and they list all the required info for entering their bits into Vectric software. Sometimes that info seems hard to come by?

Check them out at http://precisebits.com


Just been to their site and the very first thing I had noticed is that they do not mention whether their end mills are up-cut or down-cut end mills. These type of bits do make a difference with their application!!!

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Re: Cheaper bits vs Onsrud, etc

Postby adze_cnc » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:19 pm

sharkcutup wrote:Just been to their site and the very first thing I had noticed is that they do not mention whether their end mills are up-cut or down-cut end mills.
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I just had a quick look at their site and all the pictures I saw were of up-shear cutters. I'd expect that to be "the default" and any mention of down-shear to be an exception.
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Re: Cheaper bits vs Onsrud, etc

Postby Rcnewcomb » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:58 pm

For production work the job is quoted to include the price of the bits.

I am fortunate to live near an Onsrud distributor who offers me good discounts on some of the more obscure bits (odd sizes) that he has to stock, but for which there is little demand.
Centurion Tools makes some top-notch bits, i.e. you can run them for a long time.

For my own experimentation I will also try out lesser-know/unknown brands and sources. There are some good values to be found.
Seller drillman1 on eBay has some good selections. There are many online sources that may be a good value.
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Re: Cheaper bits vs Onsrud, etc

Postby potzmannwoodshop » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:46 am

4DThinker wrote:The reason I buy Onsrud bits is that in my experience that are always the size they claim they are. I've had bits from other manufacturers that came nowhere near the dimensions they claimed. 3/16" is .1875, but one 3/16" whiteside upcut end mill I had alway resulted in loose joints. I finally measured it and found it was .1904. That explained why tenons turned out smaller than expected, and mortises were larger than expected.

4D


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Re: Cheaper bits vs Onsrud, etc

Postby scottp55 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:58 am

+1 on Drillman1 on his Kyocera 1/8" shank bits.
And love my Centurion FEMs.
I DO have a bunch of cheap Amazon and EBay bits that will probably sit in the back of the drawer forever after using them ONCE however.
Don't think I'll ever swap away from my Onsrud engraving bits though...find what works for YOU...and stock up:)
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Re: Cheaper bits vs Onsrud, etc

Postby ger21 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:11 pm

Another +1 for Drillman1. With small bits you can get good bits for very low prices.
But once you get to 3/8"-1/2" bits, I only buy high quality bits.
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Re: Cheaper bits vs Onsrud, etc

Postby Mikehell » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:54 pm

ger21 wrote:Another +1 for Drillman1. With small bits you can get good bits for very low prices.
But once you get to 3/8"-1/2" bits, I only buy high quality bits.



I get all my 1/8 bits from drillman1. His selection of larger (1/4 and above) is a bit limited though. But the Onsrud bits he does have are priced good. One thing I do like about Onsrud is that I can look up chip load in the back of the catalog.
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