Review By Dean Bielanowski  Infinity Website - http://www.infinitytools.com


I
nfinity Kitchen Set Router Bits 
Review

By Dean Bielanowski

If you are planning to renovate a kitchen, replace kitchen cabinets and build them from scratch or even just build any type of cabinet, you are going to need the right router bits to help construct solid doors and drawers. A kitchen with finished wooden doors is much nicer and richer in color and style (in my opinion) than some of the new vinyl wrapped and plastic formed doors and drawers that are common in the cheaper renovations and flat pack kitchens these days.

The ability to make your own solid wood doors and drawers/drawer fronts not only gives you complete customization of your new kitchen, but is much stronger than some of the flat pack, no glue, screw together systems now available.

Today we are reviewing Infinity's Kitchen Making Set of router bits to see how well they perform, and whether they would be a good choice for your kitchen renovation or building project...

Complete Standard Kitchen Set
The set we reviewed was the Complete Standard Kitchen Set. You can buy it as a set, or you can buy the items in the set individually if desired, or as required by your project or budget. The following items make up the Complete Standard Kitchen Set (note that all router bits have a 1/2" shank):

  • 91-502  Standard Rail & Stile Set (2 bits)
  • 90-502  Standard Raised Panel Bit
  • 55-501  Glue Joint Bit
  • 55-512 Drawer Locking Bit

These five router bits will allow you to make raised panel doors, construct drawers for your cabinets and even edge join boards with great strength. The Standard Rail & Stile set also comes with free UHMW-milled setup blocks which will help in setting router bit height, and take away most of the guesswork associated with that task.

Note that Infinity Tools also sells sets incorporating ogee raised panel bits, cove raised panel bits and two other variations so you can choose the set that will offer the pattern and finish you are looking for in your cabinet and door building project.

Common Features
There are several common features in all Infinity router bits. To begin with, Infinity uses C2 micrograde carbide in their router bits (some bits in their range use C4). This finer carbide allows a fine finish and edge to be created, creating a sharper router bit that will also extend working time before re-sharpening is needed. A five axis grind crafted from numerically controlled machines ensures excellent cutting properties and solid cutting results.

The 1/2" shanks on these bits are milled from stress-proof, solid steel bar. According to infinity, the milling process incorporates computerized lathes to produce a perfectly balanced shank. We certainly had no problems with balance in use.

All Infinity router bits feature anti-kickback design, as most any new router bits on the market these days should feature, as well as a silver PTFE coating which helps prevents rust problems and gives the router bit a smooth finish. The silver also helps identify the router bit as an Infinity tools bit, although the infinity logo and bit number are displayed on the shank as well.

All the router bits (except the raised panel bit) came shipped with a rubber-type dip coating to protect the surfaces from rust or damage, and ship in a re-sealable plastic pouch. There was no sign of shank rust on any of the router bits and no sign of damage to any of the carbide cutting edges. Infinity does offer a lifetime warranty on their router bits before re-sharpening - this naturally excludes normal wear and tear and dullness due to bit use of course. For the patriotic, Infinity router bits are made in the USA.

To the Bit-cave Batman!
With the above being said, I set about firstly creating a raised panel door with the kitchen set. This uses models
91-502 (Standard Rail & Stile Set) and 90-502 (Standard Raised Panel) bits to create the door. I used 3/4" stock for both the rail and stiles, and the raised panel. Note that the raised panel bit does not feature a backcutter on it, however, a special 3-wing backcutter bit can be purchased from Infinity to use on your raised panels.

What does a backcutter do?
Well, in situations where your rails/stiles and raised panels are constructed using the same thickness material, because the groove in the rail/stiles that the raised panel sits within is offset from the bottom of the rail/stile, your raised panel will not end up being level with the rails and stiles on both the front and back faces. On the backside of the door, the raised panel will appear to be recessed in regard to the frame. A backcutter simply takes off a a portion of the raised panel on the back around each edge so that when it fits into the groove of the rails and stiles, both the raised panel face on the front side and the flat back on the backside is level with the rails and stiles on both sides. Everybody got that? A bit confusing to put it into words :-)

To make a door we need two rails, two stiles and one raised panel. Be sure to select straight stock with square edges to begin with and have perfectly square ends, or use the jointer and miter saw to achieve this goal. Cut your rails and stiles to length, and do the same with the piece to be used for the raised panel, cutting to length and ripping to width etc.

Using the setup blocks, we can set the router bit height above the table. You will need a router table to use these bits. You cannot safely use them in a handheld router. The set up blocks are two pieces of UHMW that have been pre-cut with the rail and stile bits. The idea is that if you use these blocks to set the height of the router bit, after your mill your rails/stiles, they should come together and be pretty much flush on both faces. Regardless, you should make test cuts and test fits using the same width material as your project, and once you have found the right settings, mill sample pieces to use as set up blocks for your project (if the blocks provided are not suitable). I milled the stiles first using the stile cutter bit because only one edge needs to be milled on these - the inside edge. You may normally need to do a little setting up and test cutting to get the results you are after, but the setup blocks make this task almost obsolete. The stile cutter mills a groove in the wood and just above it they create a roundover type effect. You should mill the stiles with the front face down on the table and to continue the roundover profile all the way around your door frame, mill the inside edges of both rails as well. You should use backer pieces behind your project piece as you run them through the bits. While the Infinity bits are nice and sharp and do cut well, tearout on the backside is almost inevitable with any router bit if you do not have a backer piece trailing behind it to prevent it.

The ends of each rail also need milling with the rail router bit. This creates a profile that will match the stile profile providing a nice fit, and allowing plenty of glue surface area to construct a solid and strong joint. Because you are running the short ends across the router bit, you will need to use a sled or miter gauge of some kind to secure the rails down and keep them square to the router fence as you pass them through the router bit. Backer blocks are needed here too. My 3.25 HP Triton Router had no trouble milling the rails and stiles, and the Infinity bits worked a treat in cutting clean and 'finished' profiles. What I mean by 'finished' is that they required only the lightest sand before any stain/varnish/oil or protective coating is applied.

With the rails and stiles taken care of, we can swap out the bits and drop in the Infinity raised panel cutter. The Infinity 90-502 raised panel bit will produce a 'square' raised panel, i.e. no curved sections. Remember to reduce your router speed down to 10,000 RPM before you spin up these larger bits. A powerful router will make using these larger bits much easier and less troublesome. I can make a one pass cut with my router and this bit, however, for cleaner results and less strain on your router, plan to craft your raised panel using multiple passes, adjusting router bit depth (height above table) each time. Your aim is to continue routing and raising the bit until your outside edges are reduced in thickness to provide a sliding fit into the grooves milled in your rails and stiles. It is common practice to rout the end grain sides of the raised panel first as these are more prone to tearout. I found the Infinity bit produced very good results when routing across the grain. A little sanding is required, but the results are better than many other bits I have owned or used previously. Continue milling your raised panel until it provides a slip fit into the groove. It is common practice not to glue your panel in the door, because natural wood movement could cause your rail/stile joints to fail if the panel decides to expand in the groove. If you want to back-cut the panel, you will have to do this manually and ensure you leave additional material thickness around the edges of your raised panel for the back-cut to be compensated for. As mentioned above, a special backcutting bit can be ordered from Infinity if you so desire it.

Once all the above steps are completed, you should be left with all the components you need to construct your door. Making raised panel doors is not overly difficult itself, however, you MUST spend time in the setup phase, make plenty of test cuts on scrap to ensure a good fit, and remember to adjust router speed between different diameter bits to achieve the best and safest results. It's then just a matter of sanding, gluing/assembling, clamping and finishing your door.

With regard to router bit performance, I initially made a raised panel door from dressed pine. Pine does have a bit of a tendency to tear out across the grain. It was pleasing to see that the Infinity router bits proved themselves to be sharp as we experienced minimal tearout, and the cross-grain cuts with the raised panel bit were particularly impressive.

Drawer Lock Bit
A kitchen or cabinet project often comprises more than just doors. You will likely also be making a couple of drawers to complete the project. There are many ways to make cabinet or kitchen drawers and I can think of at least half a dozen off the top of my head. Using a drawer lock bit, you can make quite a strong joint between perpendicular pieces. It is also great for shop cabinet drawers as you can basically craft drawer boxes and attach handles right to the drawer front (assuming you do no wish or need to add a decorative front drawer panel of course). Using the drawer lock bit is a little simpler than the rail and stile bits. Once you have set the height of the bit above the router table correctly, the only change you need to make between cutting the drawer front and drawer sides is a small adjustment to the router fence. Infinity does supply full instructions for use with all the bits featured here, or you can easily download them from the Infinity website. The photo in the right column shows you exactly how the joint comes out, and it is a handy, strong, and most importantly, a very easy joint to make on the router table. This bit has a recommended maximum router speed of 18,000 RPM. I set my router to roughly 18,000 RPM and found this speed to give the best cutting results in both softwood and hardwoods.

Reverse Glue Joint Bit
Admittedly, I've never owned a reverse glue joint bit (I guess I've never had a need for one as yet). When I took it out of its plastic pouch (which all infinity router bits come in) I imagined that this bit might be a bit tricky to use. I couldn't have been more wrong. In fact, this bit is a breeze to use once you have perfected the depth for it to be set. Here's a tip... The bit depth needs to be adjusted for varying thicknesses of wood. I used 3/4" stock as an example. To set the bit height, you must first find the exact center of the edge of your wood. So split 3/4" exactly in half and mark that line. A marking gauge with a wheel cutter (like the Veritas model) is ideal as it scribes a very thin, fine line. Using this line you then must match up the middle of the bevel of the tooth-like projection on the router bit to your line on your workpiece. You have to be accurate here because an error becomes doubled when you join your two pieces together. Run a few test pieces and when you have the setup exact (so your mating pieces are flush when joined) keep that test piece aside and use it to set bit height next time you are using the same thickness stock. Once the height is set and fence is adjusted according to instructions, you simply run your pieces through, the first face up, and the second face down. Once done, flip your second piece over and dry-fit the pieces. If you have set up correctly, the pieces should come together perfectly and be flush on both sides. Again, the Infinity router bits produced excellent results and nice slip fit joints. If you look at the last image in the right column, I cut those pieces with no backer blocks in place. There is zero tearout as the bit cuts through the back of the piece, a sign of a quality, sharp router bit.

Some Tips

  • When using any of the bits above, it is good to use featherboards to hold your stock tight to the table, and to the router fence. The more vigilant you are with this, the better your results will be, and far more accurate at that. I use the GRR-Ripper for most of my router table operations. In most cases it saves me lots of time by removing the need to set up and use featherboards at all, plus makes my routing operations much safer.
  • Keep your router bits clean! Clean cutting edges reduce the load on your router, reduce the chances of burning, gives sharper edges and basically improve cut results. So remove any resin or pitch buildup regularly. I use Simple Green cleaning agent but there are many other products that can also be used. Just make sure they are non-corrosive agents or do not contain anything that will cause damage to the router bits!
  • Check your router speed after every bit change to ensure you have an appropriate speed selected for the diameter of the bit. Also remember to use the plunge lock lever on your router. During testing I forgot to engage mine during a cut and the router slipped slightly (before I made the cut) and threw my setup out of line. Needless to say, I wasted a nice piece of wood!

Infinity Router Bits
Well, I have now been using Infinity Router Bits and products for 12 months. The first Infinity router bits I reviewed are still producing excellent results after many board feet have been passed over them. They will need to go in for a sharpening soon, however, this needs to be done for all router bits after a period of heavy use. They only last so long before they need attention. Infinity bits have enough carbide in them to last more than a few sharpening sessions with a professional sharpening service, so you will get good life out of the bits before they need to be replaced.

I also own a few CMT, Whiteside and Triton router bits. In comparison to those, the Infinity bits certainly match it with CMT and Whiteside, and all three of these are a level above the Triton bits in my opinion. I'm happy to say that that these particular Infinity router bits have come up trumps in performance, durability, balance and cost-effectiveness. 

Infinity Tools can be found on the web at www.infinitytools.com
They have a pretty good website where you can view the entire product range, read up about the making of the router bits, place an order online or download instructions etc. Well worth a look.

 

Available to Order Online through these companies...
Click graphic to go to their direct product page for this item

Amazon.com (USA)

Now Also Available In Australia:

www.northwoodtools.com.au

 

Infinity Kitchen Set Photos
All photos copyright onlinetoolreviews.com. Use without prior written permission prohibited


Set up blocks make setting router bit height simple.


A perfect match... the Infinity Rail and Stile set.


Raised panels anyone?


Drawer lock and Reverse Glue Joint bits.


Making test cuts is essential to create accurate joints.


Using a device like the GRR-Ripper, there is no need for featherboards or other push sticks to make cuts.


The Infinity bits produce very clean profiles and accurately fitted joints.


A raised door panel crafted with the Infinity raised panel bit.


And here is the end product...
A well-profiled, well-crafted raised panel door!


Using the drawer lock bit means its difficult to pull the fronts of your drawers/


The reverse glue joint bit provides very strong, interlocking joints for a variety of joinery applications.

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