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I just got my first router and purchased some Freud bits for it. However, I noticed that a few of them have pitting at the base where the cutter joins the shank. Is this normal for router bits, or is it a defect that I should return them over? I figured it might be part of the balancing process, but I'm not sure.

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The pitting looks like it is done by the manufacturer. You should look in the guide that comes with the bits when you purchase them. If you can't find it contact the manufacturer and ask them if they are supposed to have the pitting. – deathismyfriend Jun 15 '14 at 21:38
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Just gas bubbles in the fillet brazing that joins the carbide to the shank. You can see the brass color of the brazing in the flute. The carbide is socketed into the shank and the braze weld in that area is the true strength element.

In brazed joints, the fillet is more cosmetic blending to reduce a stress riser than additional strength, the important part is hidden in the braze weld in the socket the carbide bit inserts into.

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