Review: Woodpeckers Ultra-Shear bits – FineWoodworking

Woodpeckers is now producing high-performance router bits at its Ohio manufacturing facility, and selling them factory-direct, which lets them edge out similar top-tier bits on price. I tried a wide range of these new “Ultra-Shear” bits, and each one cut very cleanly, with the shear-cutting action keeping tearout to an absolute minimum.

I started with the spiral upcut bits, made from solid carbide, a type I rely on for a host of tasks such as template routing and cutting dadoes, mortises, and tenons. In all of these situations, the Woodpecker bits worked equally as well as my previous favorites.

Clean cuts ontricky woods.
Clean cuts on tricky woods. A solid-carbide compression bit, with upper flutes facing downward and lower ones upward, left just the slightest amount of fuzz on the edge of Baltic-birch plywood, which is very prone to chipping.

Woodpeckers also makes compression-style bits, which twist downward against a top edge and upward at the bottom, to reduce chipping on both. As promised, these did a great job routing plywood with no fuzzing or tearout on the top or bottom surfaces.

I also tried 1⁄2-in. and 1⁄4-in. flush-cutting bits with compression-cut spirals and bearings on top and bottom. Both cut flawlessly.

There are also a number of Woodpeckers bits made with carbide inserts, set at an angle for similar shear-cutting action. I got great cut quality from the rabbeting bit, and its large diameter gave it a very secure and smooth feel when cutting. Last but not least, I had my shop neighbor test out the new slab-flattening bit on his CNC, and it produced a very smooth surface, with minimal evidence of overlapping passes.

Top-notch rabbeting bit.
Top-notch rabbeting bit. Some of the Ultra-Shear bits have carbide inserts, which cut very cleanly as well. The Ultra-Shear rabbeting bit has a wider range of bearings than most of its competitors.

—Jeff Miller is a furniture maker and teacher in Chicago, and a frequent contributor.
Photos: Asa Christiana (top), Jeff Miller (bottom 2)
From Fine Woodworking #309


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