What is the first router bit you should buy to use with your router? Routers are one of the most useful and versatile woodworking tools in any store. Of course, having no router bits isn't great either. If you're not familiar with routing, the hundreds of options can be confusing. How do you choose? Here is what you need to know to choose the best router bit for your woodworking project.
You don't need drawers full of different router bit profiles to complete most projects. Instead, purchase different router bit profiles only when needed. The most commonly used router bit profiles for most woodworkers include straight or auger bits, rounded corners, concave bits, 45° chamfered bits, notch bits with bearings of various sizes, and flush trim and patterned bits. Quality bits last a long time, and careful selection will help you explore the router's rich potential in an affordable way.
Routers use a large number of different bits, each for a specific purpose. The most common types of router bits include straight bits, flush trim bits, mortise bits, chamfered bits, edge moulding bits, moulding bits, door frame and guide bits, bump bits and joinery bits. Your best choice will depend on how you plan to use your router and the materials you need to drill for.
The straight router bit is one of the most commonly used bits of all, ranging in diameter from 3/16 inch to 1 ½ inch. Straight bits are mainly used to make grooves or dado directly in the material. It can also be used to hollow out areas of material for mortise or inlay.
The flush trim router bit has a guide bearing that guides the bit during cutting. The size of the guide bearing is the same as the cutting radius of the bit, so a flush dressing bit can be used to trim the edge of one material so that it is flush with the edge of another material. Examples of such bits in use include trimming finishes to flush with the bottom layer or trimming shelf edges.
Notch router bits are designed to cut grooves (notches or shoulders) at the edges of the material. These bits use guide bearings to guide them along the side of the material in order to cut the production notch accurately and evenly. Most router bit sets will have a series of guide bearings, so a notch bit can cut a variety of notch sizes.
Chamfered milling drill bits make angled cuts at corners to remove 90-degree edges and create attractive designs, or remove impinged edges and restore the material to straight edge cuts. Chamfering router bits can also form beveled edges for joinery. Shaped router bit
The shaped router bit is a larger version of the edge shaped router bit. They are used to create architectural molding profiles, and multiple edge molding profiles can be incorporated into a drill bit. Because of their size, they are best used with desktop routers.
Post and rail router bits are primarily used in frame and panel structures. These bits have a decorative edge profile and a straight line profile and are used to cut a groove in the door frame (or vertical part of the frame). They also make corresponding cuts at the end of the balustrade or at the level of the frame so that the balustrade can be inserted into the handspikes. These bits are sold in pairs to complete two cuts or as single bits that can be used for both cuts.
What materials are used to make router bits? Most router bits are made of high-speed steel (HSS) or carbide. High speed steel bits are made of carbon steel, which has high heat resistance, allowing the bit to maintain strength for longer periods of time. Another option is a carbide tip drill. Carbide tips are stiffer than high speed steel bits and can hold longer edges. In terms of bit life, HSS bits simply cannot compete. According to Router Technology: A Comprehensive Guide to Using Routers, carbide tips last 80-90% longer than HSS bits.
While carbide bits outperform high speed steel in most categories, it should be noted that you must handle and store carbide bits with care. Carbide tips are brittle, so be sure to keep them well. If done properly, you'll find that they can stay sharp longer while still providing a cleaner cut than HSS bits. All of this makes carbide bits a higher quality material that is well worth the investment.
Shank sizes are available in two different diameters, ¼" and ½". In most cases, it is best to use a ½" diameter because it is stiffer and more robust, which reduces vibration and allows for smoother cuts. Some routers only use ¼", so check your router before you start. But in most cases, you'll be relying on ½" for stability and longevity.
Where your router bits come from is important. Whether you're paying $3.00 or $3,000 for bitcoin, you want to make sure you're getting your money's worth. While there are several companies that make quality router bits, choose a name you can trust. Whiteside Router Bits came up again and again. In a test conducted by Fine Woodworking magazine, 18 different milling cutters were compared in an attempt to find the smoothest. In the end, the Whiteside router bit received an "excellent" rating and was labeled "Best Value" and "Best overall." For more than 40 years, Whiteside's high-quality micrograined carbide bits, manufactured in the United States, have been a staple of the woodworking community, favored by experts and DIY enthusiasts alike.
When you purchase a single router bit or set of router bits, you will see two different types: carbide head bits and hardened steel (HSS) bits. Solid carbide milling cutter heads and tungsten cutter heads are also available.
While carbide tips and high-speed steel bits of the same size and type perform the same function, there are some key differences to consider.
Carbide milling bit costs are generally higher than HSS bit costs.
Carbide bits have a much longer life. A premium carbide bit may last up to 50% longer than a standard high-speed steel bit.
High speed steel bits are more likely to be blunted by heat and friction than carbide bits. If you are using HSS bits, you will need to check them regularly to make sure they are not blunted, as this can lead to poor performance.
So which style is right for you? Carbide drills are a high quality choice and a great choice for professionals. They will also last longer, so if you use the router bits regularly, they will provide better performance over a longer period of time.
If you are new to using a router or are still learning the details, you can save money by starting with HSS bits and upgrading later. Individuals who require a special type of router bit for one-time work may also benefit from purchasing an HSS router bit, as longevity is not an issue.
With this handy guide, you can easily learn the best router bit for your home improvement project. Use the Kone Tools mobile app to view our wide selection to find what you need.