What are the first router bits I should buy for woodworking?
The router being a versatile tool helps in shaping decorative edges, trimming, and cutting a wide range of woodworking joints including rabbet, dado, dovetail, tongue and groove, and many others.
But the router isn’t alone in making these wonderful operations possible, rather it is joined by router bits that are available in a variety of sizes and shapes to help, depending upon the required style for shaping wood.
Look for the quality of bits before purchase by considering the quality of the carbide, hardness, and overall balance of the bit. Good-quality bits enable creating refined work while reducing the risk of workpiece kickback while working.
Since beginners in every field must be acquired by certain tools, in terms of woodwork routing, everyone should own these common router bits that are essential in starting up a majority of tasks.
Straight router bits
These router bits make straight cuts into the material for forming joints like dado, groove, and for hollowing out an area from the material to provide space for inlay or mortise. These are available in a varied range of lengths and diameters.
Chamfer router bits
These router bits are used to cut the level of a specific angle for decorating the edges of a surface. Beveled edges that are required in joining multi-sided constructions can also be created using chamfer router bits. Other applications include creating multi-sided boxes and various decorative pieces.
Rabbeting router bits
Rabbeting router bits are crafted to cut a rabbet in the edge of a workpiece that is used to join pieces. These are work by spinning pilot bearing at the tip and can be bought in a set that contains bearings of varied diameters that allow a single bit to create rabbets of different sizes.
Flush-Trim router bits
These are used for trimming the edge of one material flush about the edge of another Trimming a veneered surface flush using a pattern to form multiple similar pieces, can be an example of flush-trimming. They work by spinning pilot bearing at the tip or the base, while its diameter is the same as that of a cutter.
These router bits are mostly used for cutting decorative edges. Some examples are:
- Edge-beading bits are used for cutting a quarter- or half-circle profile (called a bead)
- Round-Over bits are used to cut rounded edge of a particular radius (such as 1/8″ or 1/4″)
- Cove bits are used for cutting concave quarter-circle.
- Ogee bits are used for cutting variations of an S-shaped profile
Edge-forming bits have a pilot bearing in most cases and these bits are used for the final decoration of a woodworking project in which the edges have already been created and can serve as guides.
These bits are dedicated for use in special tasks. Molding bits that include various edge-forming profiles into a single bit, raised-panel bits that shape the edges of a door panel for fitting into respective slots in the frame’s style, stile-and-rail bits that are used for shaping the frame pieces in the frame-and-panel constructions, are the examples of specialized bits. Finger-joint bits, dovetail bits, lock-miter bits, and drawer-lock bits are some other examples of specialized bits used in woodworking.