Ready to work on wood? Do you have some great ideas about new tables or cabinetry and all is missing is the right router bits? We have got you covered.
With our article, we help you find the best router bits in terms of quality and cost! Our intention is to help you understand better how router bits are used, offer their key features, underline the differences among profiles and help you make the right choice to suit your budget.
If you are a DIYer, you are probably asking: What are the main differences among router bits? How do I tell which type to get for my project? How can I choose the right product without breaking the bank? We answer all your questions.
We can’t tell you where to buy router bits and we don’t know which projects you have in mind, but we give you an overview of the best router bits available on the market, make clarifications in terms of their usage, and provide you with a 5-product router bit set and 10 router bits review.
Table of Contents
- Why Use Router Bits?
- The Best Router Bit Sets on Market – Short Review
- #1. MLCS 8377 15-Piece Router Bit Set with Carbide-Tipped 1/2-Inch Shanks
- #2. Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide Router Bit Set, 15 Piece
- #3. Stalwart Multi-Purpose 24-Piece Router Bit Set
- #4. Yonico 17702 70 Bits Professional Quality Router Bit Set Carbide 1/2-Inch Shank
- #5. Pro-Series PS07426 Router Bit Set, 12-Piece
- Features to Focus on When Buying Router Bits
- Top 10 Router Bits Types Every DIYer Should Own
- Importance of Reviews - Something to Keep in Mind
Why Use Router Bits?
The router is as good as its bits. What use will a router have without the bits? Without them, the router is just a powerful motor and nothing more. It’s the router bits, which make the difference. Router bits for sale range as much as your projects.
It’s no wonder why there are kits which might include tens of different pieces. What manufacturers try to do is create the perfect kits for any do-it-yourselfer or professional woodworker. If you are a new woodworking hobbyist, you might not be aware that each router bit is designed for a different project.
There are metal, wood and plastic router bits depending on the material you want to work on and with the former being the most popular choice. Still, there are differences among products based on whether you want to work on soft or hardwood, laminate, wood veneers etc.
But whether you buy Freud, MLCS or Amana router bits, you must make sure your kit has what you need for your woodwork tasks. Which tasks these would be?
The Best Router Bit Sets on Market – Short Review
That’s a great deal router bit set. You get 15 profiles made of carbide-tipped and still pay a very reasonable price. It would have cost much more to buy each router bit separately.
It’s an excellent kit for beginners who want to have a plethora of ½-inch shank bits to get started. It includes: 4 straight bits, 1 round-over bit, 1 cove bit, 1 roman ogee bit, 1 45-degree chamfer bit, 1 flush-trim bit, 1 rabbeting bit, 1 dovetail bit, 1 V-groove bit, 1 hinge mortising bit, 1 panel pilot bit, 1 round nose bit, 1 Allen wrench and 1 bearing that will help you convert the round bit into a beading bit.
You get to keep your tools organized since it comes in a great wood storage box.
This is a super-great offer! Its price is more than reasonable and you get 15 pieces.
The only downside of the product is that the router bit shank size is ¼ ‘’. And so we can’t say that this product ideal is for all projects. It’s best to invest in it if you are interested in creating thin profiles.
But since it comes in a very good price, it’s worth having it in your workshop for some special tasks. It’s also positive that the router bit material is carbide.
What it includes: A flush-trim bit, a round bit, a 45-degree chamfer bit, a cove bit, and a roman ogee bit. These come with a ball bearing. There are also 4 straight bits without ball bearings, 2 cove box bits, a 90-degree V-Groove bit, a panel pilot bit, a mortising bit, and a dovetail bit.
One of the best features of this product is that the shanks of the router bits fit all routers. Another great feature is that the router bits are made of carbide. If you combine these two elements, the product is offered in a very reasonable price.
If you also consider that there are 24 pieces included in the router bit set, you might actually consider it a great deal. It will cost you a lot more to buy the bits separately and this set is exactly what you need for many woodwork projects.
If you are a beginner, it’s a great value for money.
What you get is: a bevel bit, a dovetail bit, a 90-degree V-groove bit, two round nose bits, trimming and panel pilot bits, straight bits, a flush trim bit, radius round over bits, cove bits, a roman ogee bit, a 45-degree chamfer bit, a slot cutter bit, a mortising bit and a rebating bit.
Although this is an expensive product, it is still a very good deal. Does it sound like a paradox? It’s not.
The problem is that many people, especially newbies, cannot afford or don’t want to spend much for router bits. But you get a full set and would pay more to get the bits one by one.
The set includes 70 router bits made with C3 micro-grain carbide cutters and have super sharp edges. They are coated with heat resistant Teflon and so you won’t have a problem with burning wood. They have an anti-kickback design for accurate cuts and great balance.
Another great feature is that the bearings are lubricated ensuring smoother performance.
Perhaps they are an expensive option for beginners or those who do woodwork once or twice each year, but this is the best router bits for professionals.
One more thing that makes this set a great value for money is that the product comes with a lifetime warranty and it is made by a reputed company
Read more —
The set includes 12 router bits with ¼-inch shanks.
The price is very reasonable if you consider that the set contains carbide tipped bits.
Although you can use the bits for a pretty wide range of woodwork projects, you still get a limited number of bits.
So the set is best for beginners or those who want to renew their existing router bits.
Features to Focus on When Buying Router Bits
1. Router Bit Materials
There are three main router bit materials.
2. Quality Router Bits
When you are choosing router bits, it’s important to pay attention to the quality of the materials. HSS router bits are cheap but they won’t last for long if you try to shape hardwood.
There is also a risk of burning the wood because this material becomes dull fast and stops cutting wood nicely.
The best quality router bits are made of carbide. Carbide router bits are more reliable and can last for a much longer time which compensates for their higher cost.
The quality of the material will make a difference to the end product. Of course, if you only use your router twice a year, an inexpensive HSS router bit will do.
3. Router Bit Shank Diameter
The shank is the little shaft of the router bit which goes into the router’s collet and is fastened to make sure the bit is in place.The shank of router bits have either a ½-inch or ¼-inch diameter.
Since the shank must fit in your router’s collet, you must make sure your router comes with collets to fit both shank sizes. What’s also nice is that there are router bit types in both shank sizes.
So the question DIYers will most likely have is which shank size to use. Let’s take a closer look at both shank sizes.
4. Router Bit Manufacturer
The question haunting every woodworker-to-be is which is the best router bit brand! The truth is that there are some good manufacturers out there making router bits for all requirements and expectations.
So you should start by asking yourself what you need the router bits for! There are cheap router bits and there are expensive ones. They differ in terms of shank diameter and profile and give you different results based on their quality.
These are all reputed brands. But if you choose the wrong router bit profiles for your project, you might get disappointed.
If you take the word of the hardware store clerk, you can never be sure if he has some experience or just tries to sell.
Top 10 Router Bits Types Every DIYer Should Own
The profile of the router bits defines the cutting edge. In other words, you get different results from each router bit type. The truth is that if you want to use this versatile tool for several projects, you need all bit types.
These are the most common ones every do-it-yourselfer ought to own
The name of straight bits says it all. These bits are designed to cut straight the board in order to create a mortise, dadoes or square grooves. Straight bits are required tools in any wood shop since they can help in a variety of projects.
For the convenience of the wood worker, they come in several sizes ranging from ¼ to ¾-inch diameters. They are inexpensive and easily found, but they might heat up burning the wood board and causing damage to their sharp edge.
To avoid such problems don’t leave it to stagnate in one specific spot and use it at moderate speeds.
They help you make the edge of a board round at a particular radius. The round-over bit comes with a ball-bearing pilot which lets you control the cut’s width.
In order to cut the board in the right depth, you must adjust the router base.
Since the radius of the cut is essential, you should choose these bits accordingly. Get 3/8 or ¼ inch size round bits.
They allow you to create S-shaped edges and are the most popular ones in the edge-shaping bit family.
They enable you to shape picture frames, rails or table tops. There is a ball-bearing pilot at the end of the bit which helps you control the width of the cut.
These bits are also available in several sizes depending on the radius of the cut you need to make.
You can choose ¼-inch roman ogee bits but they are also available in 3/8 and 5/32 inch sizes.
They are the exact opposite of round-bits.
Whereas the round-bits make round edges, cove bits create concaves at a certain radius.
You can find them in 1/16 and 1 inch radiuses. If you are DIYer, ¼ and 3/8 inch cover bits will be great.
In order to join two pieces of wood to build drawers for example, you need to make an L-shape on the board. This is what we call a rabbet.
And you will need rabbeting bits in order to form the board. These bits usually come with a ball-bearing pilot and in different diameters so that you can make rabbets of various depths and widths.
The most popular rabbeting bits are those which cut 3/8-inch wide and ½-inch deep.
You can use these bits to trim wood veneer flush with the substrate or the edge of another material. They can also be used for plastic laminate trimming.
These bits will also help you create identical boards and then fit them together.
There are several flush-trim router bit options on the market and they include a ball-bearing pilot to build counters, cabinets and their door, and table tops.
Although there are flush-trim bits of several sizes, it seems that the ½-inch diameter ones are the most popular.
These bits are the perfect router accessories when you want to create decorative bevels or form bevelled edges to join multiple boards together.
With the chamfer bits, you cut the edge of the board at any angle required or create V-shaped grooves.
So make sure to choose the right size chamfer bits of different angles. For example, you could go for a 45-degree angle chamfer bit with 1-1/4-inch diameter.
These bits are used to cut round-bottomed grooves. They don’t use a pilot.
You can rout decorative grooves or flutes in columns.
The diameter of the bit is important and ranges from 1/8 to 1 ½-inches. 3/8 and 1/4 –inch core box bits are fine for DIYers.
As their name implies, these bits are used to create V-shaped grooves. They can be used to make grooves in wall panels, cabinet doors or table legs.
You can also use it to make signs and engrave the letters or numbers. V-groove bits are non-piloted.
The most popular size is 90-degree angle and ½-inch diameter.
These are specialized bits, which are used to make narrow grooves and slots into wood – like picture frames, cabinet frames or drawers. You can use it to cut grooves for spline joints.
There are two wings with cutting teeth, the thickness of which differs in accordance to the width of the slot you want to cut. There are 1/16 to ¼-inch thick teeth available on the market.
The depth of the slot is determined by the distance from the cutting teeth to the pilot. ¼-inch wide and ½-inch deep slot-cutting bits are the most popular ones.
Importance of Reviews - Something to Keep in Mind
You can easily find the best place to buy router bits. After all, they are sold in every hardware store and definitely online. The question most DIYers have is which router bits to buy?
How to distinguish poor and good quality!
Which profiles to use for what projects! The ultimate goal is to find the best possible Whiteside or Freud router bits for your money but in order to do that you must also know which router bit types you will need for your projects.
Want to make V-grooves? Intend to create decorative angles?
With our article, we helped you understand which profile is right for each project. Traditionally, router bits were made of HSS. Now most of them are made of carbide, which is harder and not easily affected by heat.
Such information comes handy if you want to keep safe and love your work at the end of the day. So keep our article handy and use the information provided before you buy router bits online or in a hardware store.
It’s good to know what you need and which quality to trust to make the best of your efforts.