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I have a 1-1/4 hp router that only has a 1/4" collet. Assuming I want to hog the deepest widest dado possible in one cut, what characteristics do I want? Put aside buy a bigger router arguments for this question. Assume relatively soft material like pine, cedar.

  • Is carbide going to perform better than HSS?
  • Will a spiral bit perform better than a flat bit?
  • Will an up cut spiral bit perform better than a downward or combination bit?
  • Will a 3 flute straight bit perform better than a 2 flute bit?
  • Carbide is always going to perform better than HSS for a give definition of performance. Spiral bits cut better than straight-flute bits, with additional advantages. The last two depend on a few factors (thickness of material, desired feed rate, and unfortunately not least on specifics bit design which don't allow for an accurate generalisation). – Graphus Sep 10 '17 at 7:32
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    Oh and you don't want to get into the habit of hogging out deepest and widest, that's just bad practice as it overworks the cutters, bearings and motor, and risks substandard routed channels because of the labouring device. – Graphus Sep 10 '17 at 7:34
  • @Graphus well yes, but I do want to be able to hog out the deepest and widest cut I can without overloading the router or geting a substandard route. I guess the better question is what bit characteristics put the least stress on a router. – Justin Dearing Sep 12 '17 at 0:47
  • Deepest and widest is bad practice like I say. All the router experts and many of the manufacturer warnings stress that it's safest and best to route incrementally. Simply put that's something every user needs to get their head around because there's no getting around it. If one has a need (and I stress need, not "I really want <grin>" so this really only applies to production work) to hog away major amounts of material with a router it's necessary to use pro-level routers which are just beasts, easily double the power of yours (some triple) and of course not using piddly 1/4" bits. – Graphus Sep 12 '17 at 7:25

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