Freud expands Quadra-Cut router bit line

Freud America Inc. displayed a potpourri of products at IWF 2008, including a new line of Double-Grind straight router bits and a large expansion of its Quadra-Cut router bit line. Numerous industrial saw blades with the company’s red Perma-SHIELD coating or Silver ICE coatings were also showcased.

Several Quadra-Cut bits, which feature four cutters, were introduced in July 2007 at AWFS in Las Vegas. Smaller profiles were the first bits that were manufactured, but during the last year, the company has put together a variety of ogee, beading, table-edge, round-over, and raised-panel bits. The Quadra-Cut line now exceeds 55 different bits. Because of the design and manufacturing process, the bits leave a much smoother finish than conventional router bits, according to the company.

“Assuming the router bit is inverted in the router, the larger cutters shear upwards and out of the work piece and that takes out most of the material,” says Cliff Paddock, Freud product manager. “Then the smaller cutters shear down into the work piece and that makes a little final cut along the upper edge of the cut, which is where you tend to see splintering, especially in a cross-grain cut. So those smaller cutting edges, by shearing downwards, they come along and clean that up and they’re pushing the wood fibers down, which gives you that very clean top edge.”

Customers have been requesting a larger selection of profiles, but Paddock says the manufacturing process doesn’t happen overnight.

“It’s not an easy process, as you can imagine, if you look at those bits. Every one of them has to be custom-designed to perform the way we want them to perform, so sometimes it takes a little experimentation. It’s not a quick process, but actually we’re pretty pleased to get that large [a selection] in a year.”

Freud’s Double-Grind bits made their debut at IWF and although every router bit manufacturer makes straight bits, Freud developed these bits with a longer life in mind.

“For the double-grind, the goal was to extend the life of the bit, to keep it cutting the same way,” says Paddock. “So what we’ve done is add a secondary back-relief bevel. Most bits have either a straight-angle relief back there, a single plane, or they have a radial relief. We have gone with a double-plane relief; it drops back at one angle, and then just about in the middle of the carbide, you see a second angle drop-off. That gives us a lot of chip clearance towards the back edge of the cutting edge.”

By clearing chips out, friction is reduced and the buildup of heat is diminished, thereby extending the life of the carbide edge.

“It’s not an easy thing to do,” Paddock says. “It drove the factory crazy for awhile, getting this worked out. It has to be very precise. It’s very hard to get that secondary angle lined up perfectly so it’s in a line with the center line of the router bit.”

The Double-Grind bits all have a 1/2" shank and between 45 and 50 bits are offered by Freud. The pricing is about the same as regular straight bits, while the Quadra-Cut bits sell for about 8 percent more than conventional bits.