Shop Tool Reviews
Sign making and marquetry is right in my wheelhouse, so I was excited to try this 8-piece Freud router bit signmaking set. Even though they’re made for a CNC, they work great in a trim router as well.
Your router is only as good as the bit with which you’re working. You can have the steadiest hand, the perfect speed, and best attention to detail, but if your bit is dull, you’ll chew up your work and blow out the edges of your piece. The company says their 8 piece CNC Freud Router Bit Signmaking Set is the perfect way to get into signmaking, and I was given the opportunity to evaluate their claim.
What’s In The Box
- Up Cut Spiral Ball Nose (1/2” long, 1/4” diameter)
- Up Cut Spiral Ball Nose (1-1/8” long, 1/4” diameter)
- 6.2º x 1/32″ Tapered Ball Tip
- 5.4ºx 1/16″ Tapered Ball Tip
- Up Cut Spiral
- Down Spiral
- 3/4″ 90 Degree V-Groove (1/2” shank)
- 1/2″ 60 Degree V-Groove
Testing The 8 Piece CNC Freud Router Bit Signmaking Set
The packaging of these bits is fantastic. Each bit sits snuggly into the base, which is covered by a clear plastic case. The case is a nice touch, as it will keep the bits protected and sharp.
I do not own a CNC machine, so I tested these bits using my RYOBI Cordless Trim Router Review – P601. A word of warning—these bits are incredibly sharp. If you were to carelessly try to pull one out of the base using the business end of the bit, you WILL slice your finger. Hypothetically speaking of course.
Bits and Dust
With the exception of one of the V-Groove bits, all of the bits have 1/4” shank. The 90 degree V-Groove bit has 1/2” shank, so be aware that if your router doesn’t accept 1/2” shanks this bit will be useless to you.
I tested these bits one-by-one by routing letters into pine. You could also use these bits in wood composites, plastics, or aluminum. I wrote in both print and in cursive to see how easily they cut through the pine board’s grain pattern from all angles. As with all router bits, start by making shallow passes and slowly work your way up to a deep groove.
With all of the bits, the edges were at worst minimally frayed in a few spots. After testing each bit, I picked the two that I liked the best for the look of the sign I was making and went to town. These bits made clean, quick work of my sign. I turned the board over a few times to dump the sawdust out of my project, which took much less time to make than I anticipated. When I was finished routing the letters, the grooves were so clean that all I had to do was run sandpaper lightly over the edges to clean them up. There were no chunks taken out of the letters, no blow outs on the side of the boards, no damage to patch.
Granted, I am a novice sign maker, but I’ve used a router enough to know good bits when I use them. I’ve used bargain bits, and learned you definitely get what you pay for. Carbide bits retain their cutting edge longer, are able to withstand high temperatures created by high cutting speeds (as with a CNC machine), and will achieve better surface finish quality than non-carbide bits.
If you are looking to invest in a high-quality set of bits to help you get into sign making, or if you need to upgrade your current bits, look no further than this reasonably-priced option from Freud.
Freud Signmaking Bit Set Features
- Specifically designed for CNC machines, but also work well in a hand-held router
- All bits are either solid carbide or carbide-tipped for maximum cutting life
- Advanced cutting geometry for superior chip evacuation and finish quality
- Designed for use with wood, wood composites, plastics (hard & soft), and aluminum
Freud 8-piece Signmaking Bit Set Specifications
- Item Number: 87-108
- 8 Piece CNC Router Bit Signmaking Set
- Ideal For: Wood, wood composites, plastics (hard & soft), aluminum for 2D & 3D carving, and sign making.
- Machine Use: CNC or Router
- Materials: Wood, Plastic, Aluminum
To get your 8-piece Freud router bit signmaking set, click here.