Woodworking

Woodworking Router Bit profiles Every Woodworker should know.

A router is one of the most important carpentry power tools which offer great versatility and convenience. Woodworker’s tool kit is incomplete without a Router and set of router bits. Woodworking router bits are used to perform tasks like cutting, paneling, siding, sheathing, grooving, joinery, edge profiling, and special molding on wood with the highest speed and accuracy. However, it is equally important to use the right router bit to get the desired cut with the highest efficiency and accuracy and minimal effort. The wide varieties of router bits available in the market are no less than a treat for woodworkers. However, having a lot of options available means a lot of confusion. I have come up with router bit profiles to clear your confusion and meet your demanding cutting needs.

So whether you are a professional woodworker or a DIYer, this article will help you in making the right choice. In addition, the purchase link is also attached to each product and it is reviewed by our team of professional woodworkers.

Woodworking router bit profiles are discussed below.

Grooving bits

Grooving bits consist of a shank and cutting edge with no pilot. These bits are used to groove the shaft on plane surfaces of any material. Grooving router bits profiles are;

Veining router bits

It is nothing but a narrow version of a round nose or V-groove router bit which is an inch wider. Veining bits are ideal for sign making, freehand lettering, or numbering on the surface of the material. Veining bit is used for recessed decorative veins into the cabinet and door front grooving.

Straight bits are the most commonly used woodworking router bit. It is designed for routing grooves, cutting dados, rabbet joints, mortising, hinge recessing, and carving in the middle of the wood. It cuts on the sides of the material as well as at the bottom that is a square-shaped groove. While using straight bits you first need to plunge the bit into the wood depending upon how deep you need to cut and then move the bit in any direction. It can also be used for mortising door hardware or to groove a channel to insert a decorative piece in it. Most commonly used straight bits have one or two flutes. It is recommended to use a single fluted bit where the cut speed is more important than the cut finish. However, more advanced cutters have 3 flutes which give smooth, clean, deep cuts for mortising with quick clearance of waste.  In addition, it is available in different shank diameters ranging from 3/16 inch to 1 ½ inch.

v groove bit

As the name suggests v- groove bits are used to get the intricate cut with beveled sides and shallow or sharp ridge at the bottom. In other words, the v groove router bit is used to get a double chamfer profile in the middle of the stock. Bits come in different diameters which have different widths and depths of the cut. V groove bits are 90 degrees that is each cutting edge measures about 45 degrees from the bit axis. However, for lettering and freehand designing 60degree profile is preferred therefore it is also available with 60 degree beveled edges. V groove bits are a great choice to create fluted columns and beadboard appearance on the panels, chamfer edges, sign making, and engraving designs on furniture to create a decorative effect. In addition, flat-bottom v groove router bits are also available. It is mainly used to rout outdoor signs and limit the depth of the cut.

A round nose router bit is used to rout a Scotia or a concave shape less than 180 degrees. It is more or less similar to cove bit, except that it is used for routing grooves and flutes in the middle of stock. Bits are available in cutting diameters ranging from 1/8 to 1.2inches. However, it is recommended to use a 1/2-inch round nose bit for a deeper and wider cut. Round nose router bits are excellent at making rounded-bottom slots or grooves for sign making and fluted millwork. It is also used for fluting and stock removal in raised letters signs and bowls and as a handrail bit for stairs. It is also known as core box bits used for making shallow, round-bottom grooves of variable depths.

A mortise is a slot carved into the wood which interlocks with tenons on the adjoining piece to get the strong joint. Mortising bits are used to carve square-shaped slots for hinges, locksets, and cutting mortises. It has a cutter and a threaded shank and it is designed with a down shearing feature to get the cut with clean splinter-free edges. It is available in various cutting diameters to match the radius of different hinges.

Dovetail joint router bits create a profile with flat bottom and chamfer sides. This woodworking router bit excel at making dovetails for drawer joints, utility, and decorative boxes, and casework. It not only gives a versatile and mechanically strong joinery system but also adds a decorative touch to the workpiece. Dovetail router bit can also be used for making tapered dados and rabbets. It is mostly available with a cutting angle of 7-14 degrees. For easier routing use it with a straight router bit that is run the first pass with a straight bit equal to the narrow size of the dovetail.

T slot bit is used to make a perfect keyhole shape slot to mount picture frames, plaques, and wall hanging woodworks to the wall.  The bit first plunges a round hole into the material followed by cutting a large diameter cut beneath a small one resulting in a stepped area for a screw or nail to lock in it.

The ball end bit makes a perfect 360-degree cut that is cut circular channel by plunging it from an edge of the material. This woodworking router bit is mainly used for creating circular channels for pipes, cables, and closet rod support. The bit comes with an array of diameters ranging from 1/4 to 5/16 inches. The larger diameters are excellent for creating drawer pulls.

As the name suggests bowl and tray bits are used to create smooth flat bottoms with verticle edges and round corners. When applied on a flat surface it gives a perfect bowl shape for making wooden trays. This woodworking router bit excel at making bowls, trays, boxes, and other craft items.

Edge cutting bits

Edging bits are mainly used to add fine detailing and a decorative appearance on the edges of woodworking pieces. Edge forming router bits profiles are;

Flush trim router bits are straight bits with a pilot bearing at either end of the flute which allows the cutter to trim off the surface the bearing is riding on. The flute with a down shear angle gives a smoother cut as compared to the straight bits. A flush trim bit is used to follow a pattern or to get rid of excess material. Flush trim router bit with the upper bearing guides the cutting arm around the edge of the material. However, the use of the top bearing or bottom bearing bit depends on the preference and type of operations the user is going to perform. One disadvantage with the use of top bearing flush is while following a pattern if you accidentally move the cutter slightly you may end up cutting the workpieces. In contrast, if you make the same mistake with the bottom bearing the bit moves away from the workpieces. So, all you have to do is make another pass to fix the mistake. A flush trim bit is ideal for making curves, shelf edging, veneer trimming, making custom patterns, and duplicating things like legs of the table or the parts of chairs, etc.

The rabbeting bit is used to get a step cut or an L- shape cut on the edge of the wood to form a rabbet joint. Rabbets can also be cut using straight bits or a table saw but rabbeting bits offer superior results and improved efficiency. Rabbet joint is utilized in cabinet making to join adjoining sides or to connect sides to cabinet tops, to install cabinet backs and to build drawers, etc. A rabbeting bit has a ball bearing pilot at the tip which guides the bit riding along the edge of the material to make a perfect deep cut. Therefore, the width of the cut is determined by the size of the bearing. The bit comes with an interchangeable bearing kit that has different sizes of bearings to produce any size rabbet according to users’ needs.

The chamfer router bit is designed to get a bevel cut or a 45-degree angle cut on the edge of the material. It is used to chamfer table tops, counter edges, or other flat edges to give a perfect finished look. Chamfer router bit can create different sizes of chamfers as per users’ needs and preferences. It is available in size ranging from 1/8 inch to 2 ½ inches in diameters and angles between 11.25 and 45 degrees.

Round over router bits is one of the most commonly used woodworking router bits to create a quarter round profile on the edge of the workpieces to get a smooth, finished look. It is mainly used to ease the sharp edges of tabletops, chair arms, edges of shelves, and other home improvement items. The bit has a ball-bearing pilot at the base to limit the depth of the cut. Round over bits come in an array of radius ranging from 1/4 to 3/8.

The cove bit is the inverse of the round-over bit. It forms a rounded profile with a concave radius at the corner. Round over bits is used to ease the shape edges. In contrast, cove bits are used to add a decorative touch on the edges of windows, stools, tables, cabinet doors, bookshelves, drawers, and furniture legs, etc. cove bit is a versatile woodworking router bit to full fill your molding needs. It can also be used to match a beading shape on the adjoining piece for the rule joint.

Classical cove bits are similar to cove bits with an addition of the fillet or step at both ends of the cove. The sole purpose of classical cove bits is to give a decorative touch to the home furnishing items.

Beading bit is similar to round over bits with the addition of fillet at the top and bottom edge of the round over. Users can adjust the width of the fillet by changing the ball-bearing pilot. This woodworking router bit comes in an array of radius. By changing the bearing you can convert a round over bit to a beading bit. Beading bits add a classical decorative appearance to the edges of tabletops, picture frames, vertical stiles, and horizontal rails, etc.

Edge beading bit

These bits are used to get a large radius bead profile on the edge or at the corner of the workpiece. Edge beading bits can produce a nice bead profile with or without a fillet. It is used to give a traditional decorative touch to flat surfaces.

Corner beading bit

The corner beading bit is more or less similar to the edge beading bit but with a hard quirk edge. This double fluted bit can be used to cut beads on tapered chair legs.

Edge fluting bit

The edge fluting bit is used to get a fingernail flute on the edge of the workpieces. It is ideal for creating small radius grooves, doors and to get a curved appearance on the material. It can be used in both handheld and table-mounted routers.

Triple bead and fluting bits are ideal for making three beads or flutes in one pass on the edge of the material. It is mainly used for creating traditional molding for millwork and casework projects. However, the use of triple bead and flute bit isn’t limited to moldings. The first unique feature of these bits is the bead and flute interlock together to make an excellent glue joint with a unique alignment feature. You can also exploit the interlocking feature of these profiles to get bead and flute detail on the inside corner of a frame. One can also create six beads profile using the triple bead bits for molding on doors and other architectural millwork projects. The set of the triple bead and flute bits have half-inch shank with a top bearing to follow a pattern. 

Variable beading router bits

The variable beading router bit is more or less similar to the triple beading bits. The triple beading bit forms three symmetrical beads in one pass. In contrast, the beads formed using the variable beading bits are unsymmetrical or are of variable sizes such that the smallest bead is near the bearing followed by the increasing size of the bead with the largest bead near the shank. This bit is used for decorative moldings on beds, handrails, edges of tables, shelves, bookcases, cabinet frames, etc.  

The ogee bit is exactly the opposite of roman ogee bits that is the cove portion comes above the round portion. The look of the bit is a cove near the shank and a round portion near the bearing. Like the ogee bits, there is also a double classic ogee bit which is a mirror image of double roman ogee bits. The fillet appears as a divider between the concave and the convex portion. Using these bits one can create complex profiles effortlessly. There is also a bearing conversion kit that can be used to adjust the fillet either at the top or the bottom of the profile.

One of the most popular edge cutting bits is roman ogee bits. It is used to make an S-shaped curved staring concave followed by a convex or cove shape at the bottom. Fillet can be done at either end of the material. The bits come in such a way that the round portion is near the shank and the cove portion is near the bearing. The ogee router bit is used to add a decorative appearance to the edges of tabletops, picture frames, vertical stiles, and rails, etc.

There is a double roman ogee bit which is similar to roman ogee but with the addition of a fillet or step in between. This little step adds some beautiful texture and fine detailing to the material.

A bullnose bit is used to carve a 180 degree rounded edge with the fillet at both ends.  It is one of the most commonly used woodworking router bits to get a bead profile on the edges of tables, stair treads, window seals, shelves, and other home improvement projects. It is available in a range of radial sizes from a quarter-inch to one inch and 1/8 inch. In addition, it is available in both bearing and non-bearing guided versions so that you can choose the perfect bit to meet your cutting needs.

As the name suggests table edge bits are used to add the finishing touch or decorative detail on edges of dining tables, coffee tables side end tables, window sills, chair rails, and cabinets, etc. It gives a nice wide profile with an elliptical shape arc on the edge of the material it is applied on.

Leaf edge beading router bits

Leaf edge bits are used to get the leaf-like appearance or moldings on the workpiece. The bit divides the material by creating a horizontal slice with a quarter of beads on each side of the slice. The bit comes in different sizes with variable leaf patterns. 

Handrail bits are designed to be used with other woodworking router bits to create custom handrail profiles. The thumbnail bit creates the round top for the smooth finish and the handrail bit creates a lower portion of the handrail profile. It is used to create custom handrails and knobs for doors, etc.

As the name suggests louver bits are used to open louvered cabinet doors, windows, doors, etc. It gives the perfect series of cuts for creating ideal louvers. The bit comes in varying radiuses.

Joinery Bits

Joinery bits are used to make ideal cuts on the adjoining wood pieces to make strong and durable wood joints. Wood jointing router bits profiles are;

Making slots or grooves using a straight bit is time-consuming. The tongue and groove router bit set is specially designed to cut narrow grooves on the edge of the two adjoining wood pieces resulting in mechanically strong joints. It is mainly used when the strength of the joint and alignment of adjoining pieces is important. Usually, the bit has two wings however it could be more than two also. The tongue and groove router bit set comes with an interchangeable ball-bearing pilot to change the cutting depth of the groove. The width of the bit is dependent on the thickness of cutting teeth and the slot depth of the groove depends on the distance of ball bearing to the cutting teeth. It is ideal for cutting grooves on the edge of the cabinet, drawer parts, picture frame, etc. to make finger joints. Bits come in sizes ranging from 1⅜ inches to 2¾ inches.

The unique router bit set is used to create a tongue and groove joint with a v profile on the upper surface of the material. The set is used to cut two separate pieces of wood that joint together via tongue and groove joint leaving the v- shape in between the boards. One bit cuts thin tongue and half v-profile and the other bit creates the mirror image of the first one with the other half of the v-profile. It is ideal for ceilings, walls, wainscoting or cabinets, etc. It is recommended to use these bits with table-mounted routers. 

Lock and miter router bit set are some of the most useful wood jointing bits. It not only gives a perfect 45-degree bevel cut but also creates a mechanically strong and durable tongue and groove glue joint. It is very useful for boxes, picture frames, cabinet frames, columns, hollow beams, and other things that require parallel angle or right-angle joints.  

The drawer pull router bit allows you to construct high-quality drawers with a European style molding that eliminates the need for knobs or handles on your doors and drawer fronts. This woodworking router bit can not only create a soft edge handgrip on the edge of the drawer but also the inset drawer full on the drawer face. This highly versatile woodworking router bit can create different profiles as per your need.

Window sash router bit set is useful in creating a framework for windows and doors where the glass pane fits perfectly. It is mainly designed to make matching rail and stile window or door frames.

The rail and stile router bit set includes a slot cutter and a spacer. It is ideal for cutting a decorative profile and a panel slot on the doors or window frame. They can also cut exact mirror image profiles on the edge of the rails which results in smooth joining of window parts. Rail and stile bits come in different profiles. For example, rail and stile with matched ogee profiles can be used to create decorative kitchen cabinet doors.

Know more about other woodworking tools. 

Humera Hallari

Humera is an experienced CAM CAD designer. Her passion for digitalization and technology has helped her to attain success in the woodworking industry.

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