I recently purchased a set of 13 1/2” collet router bits from TayTools. I’m new to routing, and purchased the Kobalt router table. Setting everything up, I attempted to make a cut with a 3/4” straight bit in some pine. The cut traveled about 3/4” into the piece, and then ceased to move further. I repeated this with a dovetail bit and another straight bit to no avail.

Description of Events

I’ll describe what happened with the 3/4” straight bit:

I locked the bit into the collet and submitted the router to the table. I aligned the fence along rulers that are etched into the table on either side of the bit housing (approximately 2 inches from the bit’s center). I turned on the router and allowed it to reach full speed. Using a Grr-ripper, I applied pressure toward the fence and down toward the table to secure it. Then, I slowly fed the piece of wood into the bit (end-grain first, but I also repeated this process in a cross-grain fashion). The bit seemed to struggle for the first ~3/4” cut, and then would not cut further. The wood started to scorch from the bit spinning in the same space for an extended period of time. I then stopped pushing because I felt the situation became dangerous.

This situation happened again with a dovetail bit, where I aligned the fence so that it passed over the center of the bit (i.e. 0” from the bit). The dovetail bit cut better than the 3/4, but struggled and caused massive tearout.


Any ideas what the issue could be? Since the bits have carbide tips, I don’t know how I could attempt to sharpen them. The router does not have a variable speed dial. Could it be the RPMs?

  • Hi, welcome to Woodworking. I think you'll need to describe the circumstances in a little more detail, "ceased to move further" is pretty unequivocal but we weren't there so we can't visualise the sequence of events, e.g. I can't imagine it's the cause, but the bits didn't actually stop spinning did they? And there are other possibly relevant details.... it isn't that the two sides of the fence aren't aligned is it, so the leading corner of the wood hit the second half and couldn't progress further?
    – Graphus
    Commented May 31, 2021 at 15:17
  • @Graphus Thank you for your reply. I’ll update the question to provide more detail. Commented May 31, 2021 at 15:19
  • BTW you can sharpen some carbide router bits but it's tricky to do well and maintaining balance is critical. Especially if you have limited sharpening experience it may be best to either buy new bits as needed, or (in the case of better quality pricier bits) send them out to be sharpened professionally. As a leisure woodworker barring an accident that damages an edge, or lots of cutting of very wearing material (particleboard, OSB, very hard hardwoods) you can expect months to years of service from your bits. These days this includes some cheap ones, which can be surprisingly decent.
    – Graphus
    Commented May 31, 2021 at 15:25
  • 2
    Thanks for the advice. I updated the question. Commented May 31, 2021 at 15:29
  • This might be an obvious question, but I have to ask: since we are cutting until we can't, are the chips being cleared properly? A router should make a mess of chips underneath it, and very few chips should be left in the void it cuts.
    – user5572
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


After inspecting the bits, I believe all are completely dull. I suppose I’ll find someone to sharpen them/verify this.

  • Just to check, these were new right? And if so, the bits didn't have anything covering the working end?
    – Graphus
    Commented May 31, 2021 at 17:28
  • My guess is that you actually have a set of CMT bits, which are distributed by Taylor Tools. They have a replacement guarantee you should take advantage of. Graphus is reminding us that router bits often come in a sheath of clear vinyl they are dipped in during manufacturing, which you are to peel off carefully before use. It's hard to believe that a new set would be dull if you bought them from an official distributor (whether or not via Amazon, etc.)
    – user5572
    Commented May 31, 2021 at 17:44
  • Oops. didn't see the "CMT" in the title, as I often ignore titles.
    – user5572
    Commented May 31, 2021 at 17:55
  • @Graphus They were new. Unless there is something very difficult to see covering the end, I would say “No”, there is nothing covering the tools. Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 9:43
  • 1
    Thanks for that. If there were a coating it would be very evident, if there is a protective coating it often looks like the end of the bit has been dipped in wax. Anyway the bits being blunt straight from the factory is slightly bizarre, since CMT bits used to be highly regarded. In a set I can maybe accept one or two bits being under par due to the law of averages, but if they're all the same it indicates a massive slip in standards.
    – Graphus
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 21:44

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