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


I
nfinity Router Bits 
Review

By Dean Bielanowski

You can never have enough router bits, according to some, and yes, painfully (according to your wallet) they are right! Router bits seem pretty expensive when you look at the small-ish object you get for your hard earned dollars. However, as most of us probably know, a good router bit is worth every cent you invest in it, and with proper care, can last quite a long time.

There are many great brands of router bits on the market, and many not-so-great brands as well. The top brands share a good slice of the market, and trying to break into that market is tough, but this is exactly what company Infinity Cutting Tools is attempting to achieve, with their relatively new range of Infinity Router Bits.

Today we will take a closer look at a couple of router bits in their product line, namely their Ogee Raised Panel bit, the 3/8" roundover bit and their 1/4" double ogee bit.

About Infinity Cutting Tools
"Infinity Cutting Tools is a worldwide distributor of high quality router bits with headquarters in Clearwater, Florida. Our mission is to provide the professional as well as the weekend woodworker a direct source of high quality router bits, accessories and other woodcutting tools. With this goal in mind, we have developed a website and catalog which brings you guaranteed quality products at competitive prices that can not be beat!"

One of the big marketing plugs Infinity makes is that their router bits are made wholly in the USA. This is somewhat a trend against the flow as many US-based companies now manufacture or source their products from overseas. So, from a patriotic point of view, assuming you are a citizen of the US, then it's a thumbs up to start with.

Infinity also offer a lifetime guarantee on their router bits, however, for specifics of this guarantee and why they offer it, I would advise you to check out their website at www.infinitytools.com
Basically it warrants them for life, excluding normal wear and tear of course, or problems as a result of sharpening etc.

3/8" Roundover bit
I thought I'd start by looking at the 'simplest' router bit we had available.
The roundover bit is one router bit that probably every router owner has in their workshop. It is almost exclusively used to remove the sharp edge from the corner of a piece of stock round it over), but may also be used to create a small section of a profile molding.

The 3/8" Roundover bit we are looking at is product code 38-817 and features a 1/2" shank. The length of the shank measures exactly 1 1/2" inches from the base of the shank to the base of the router body. The steel shank on all Infinity Router bits it made of Fatigue-Proof steel. Now, far from being an expert on metallurgy, all I can say about the exact composition of this material is what Infinity claim on their website:

A high manganese, resulphurized steel; “Elevated Temperature Drawn” process produces higher strength levels, yet maintains machinability with minimum distortion.

It certainly sounds impressive, but one thing I might add is that of the many router bits I have used over the years, I have yet to have one that had a major problem with its shank. This might be the norm of course, but whether or not this Fatigue-proof steel offers any benefit over steel used on other branded router bits, I will leave up to you to decide.

The 3/8" roundover bit, features a sealed, dust-proof top bearing, which is an absolute necessity on this type of bit, given that it will often be used with your router in free-hand mode to round the corners on assembled projects, or on larger components that are not suitable to roundover on the router table. In testing we had no trouble with the bearing seizing up due to dust infiltration. The bearing revolved smoothly in both free-hand and router table setups. The bearing is removable, as you would expect, to allow a smaller, or larger bearing to be added depending on your needs, and the profile you wish to create.

As far as we could tell, the router bit exhibited exceptional balance and cutting performance and reduced chipout on test pieces which indicated that the carbide tips were in excellent, sharp condition out of the packet compared to a budget set of router bits we also had on hand. All three router bits were shipped in their own flexible, but somewhat hard plastic, re-sealable pouches.

The finish on all Infinity router bits is composed of a Silver PTFE (poly-tetraflouroethylene) Coating, which is baked on. The PTFE provides a very durable surface on the router bit, which should help extend its life by reducing friction and increased buildup of pitch. Personally, I think the choice of silver color gives the router bits somewhat of a futuristic look, but its really all just personal preference in that department :-)

1/4" Double Ogee Bit
The double ogee bit, which may also be called a "Classical Ogee" bit in other brands, also features the 1 1/2" long, 1/2" wide Fatigue-proof steel shank. The Double Ogee (Infinity Code: 41-880) is a decorative bit primarily, and useful for routing profiles for a number of applications, however I find I tend to use these types of bits for small picture frame work mostly, and sometimes for routing a decorative edge on CD/DVD tower bases, clocks and trophy bases etc. Out of the packet, the double ogee bit was in perfect condition and on several test cuts we made, including one pass taking the maximum amount of material the bit can consume, gave respectable results.

All Infinity router bits feature C-4 micrograin carbide, which is a step above the carbide you might find on cheaper bits. C-4 is a stronger, more dense carbide with a smaller grain size of 0.8 microns. The 'hardness' of C-4 will allow the bit a little more durability, which hopefully will also help retain the sharpness of the bit over time. The quality of the grind on the carbide plays a big role in how well the bit cuts through the wood too.

We tested the 1/4" Double Ogee on several wood soft and hard wood species. The bit cut effortlessly through all of our softwoods placing little strain on out Triton 3.25HP table-mounted router. On hardwood, results were similar, although a slower feed rate was needed to limit overload on the router. The double ogee bit seemed to perform well on cross-grain with only occasional tearout at the trailing edge, however, wood species, feed rate and many other factors can contribute to this occurrence, but the bit did seem to show a higher degree of 'sharpness' compared to another quality brand router bit we had available.

Ogee Raised Panel Bit
Let's face it, every woodworker loves a raised panel router bit.. don't they? While this bit is an essential element in creating cabinet doors, among other things, the truth is that these bits are darn scary to use and dangerous if proper safety measures are not implemented. With the proper measures in place, these bits can be no dangerous than any other router bit, so please exercise some caution here.

The Infinity Ogee Raised Panel bit (model number 90-501) has a diameter a touch over 3" wide with a 2" long, 1/2" wide shank. The width of this bit may introduce a problem for those with specific router plates. I have a Triton router plate and basically, the bit is too wide for the plate opening, even without any inserts in place. I needed to make a fake table from MDF to give the bit a little clearance from the metal router plate to use the bit effectively. So do check the width of your router plate opening before considering this bit, else a vertical panel raising bit would be your other option.

With a large bit like this, it is imperative that you use a variable speed router and turn the speed right down. Having a bit of this size and diameter spinning around at 24,000 RPM is a scary thought. The outside edges would be moving at an incredible, and dangerous speed!

Use of push blocks is recommended when router raised panels, and you would certainly never try to use your router freehand with a bit like this in the collet. Definitely for router table use only. The raised panel bit, like other Infinity bits, features anti-kickback design. This is a feature you will find on almost all quality bits these days, so it is something we would expect from a product marketed as a quality item.

In use, the Ogee Raised Panel Bit produced a very smooth, well shaped ogee style panel. Given its size, and the amount of material it can cut with a full pass, I always make it a habit to take several smaller passes to help reduce burning or overload on the router. With push blocks in hand, running the wood over the panel bit requires careful attention, and while you can have the best and sharpest router bit in the world, remember that the same sharp router bit will slice through your skin and bone with the same amount of ease!

In testing, we found the large Ogee Raised Panel bit to be well balanced. Making multiple passes over the bit produced great results. It's hard to quantify router bit results, as there are too many variables. The photos in the right hand column may help to show you these results, but ultimately, I can only really explain the outcomes in qualitative terms...

The End Result
After using the Infinity Router bits over several weeks of on and off workshop use, we found them to be of very high quality, rivaling some of the top brands on the market. It seems Infinity is set to shine if they can crack into the routing market, which is heavily dominated by successful European-made router bits.

 

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

Amazon.com (USA)
 

Available In Australia:

www.northwoodtools.com.au

 

Infinity Router Bit Photos
All photos copyright onlinetoolreviews.com. Use without prior written permission prohibited


Router bits ship in flexible packaging. The Raised Panel bit ships with instructions.


The 3/8" Roundover Bit


The 1/4" Double Ogee Bit


The Ogee Raised Panel Bit - Notice the gentle curve on the cutting tips.


Finish on the Infinity router bits is of a good standard. The dust proof bearing seems to be resisting the dust so far!


The roundover bit in the router table.


Taking the edge off some corner legs for a bench grinder stand I am building. The roundover bit produced nice, smooth corners.


The double ogee bit ready for action.


'Decorating' the base of a
multimedia storage tower.


A routed double ogee edge has
given excellent results, even
across the grain


Sample of the Raised Panel bit
at work.

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