Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or just starting as a carpenter, you’ll find a router bit indispensable for your woodwork projects.
Veteran woodworkers are fully aware of the significance of quality router bits, how the tools can enable them to complete their woodwork jobs. Router bits are must-haves when it comes to designing and creating cabinets and furniture and a variety of other sculptures from wood.
A router is one of the most versatile tools that a carpenter or woodworker can have in his workshop. After you have chosen a router that best serves your needs, the next thing you need to select is router bits.
No matter whatever brand of plunge, fixed-based or D-handle router you use, the tool will be useless without router bits. Though you will come across different types of router bits in various sizes and shapes, you may need only a few specific kinds for dealing with your woodworking.
For instance, you’ll need an edge beading bit for trimming and shaping rims of book shelves, chair arms, and tabletops. So, the task of choosing appropriate router bits can become challenging and hectic if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Servicezgo’s Top Picks for the Best Router Bits
To make things easier, we’ve done extensive research to bring you the top router bits in the business. Our research process entails collecting opinions and opinions of experts who know their stuff. We even include the range of router bits for woodworking and tiny hands who may want to grow up to be woodworkers one day.
1. Bosch RBS010 Professional Router Bit Set – Best Router Bit Set for edge routing applications
Bosch, the world-famous German multinational engineering, and technology firm, offers a combination of 1/2 –inch and ¼-inch router bits in a 10-piece set. The Bosch router bits kit containing ten pieces of router bits can be the perfect broad-spectrum woodworking toolkit for any professional repair person or woodworker. The carbide tipped router bits come packaged in a stylish storage case.
Precision grounded premium Micrograin carbide tips have perfectly honed edges for accurate finishes. At the same time, the material from which the bit body and shank has been created makes the router bit extremely durable and resistant to wear and tear.
On the other hand, superior consistency in the hardness of bit section and shank imparts an incredible toughness that makes the bits almost unbreakable.
Precision carbide-tipped bit bodies make sure that you get the most accurate and sharpest cuts. This Bosch RBS010 router bit kit contains 1/2-inch and ¼-inch bits, best router bits, chamfer bit, hinge mortising bit, V-groove bit, dovetail bit, 2-flute flush trim and straight bits.
- Complete set of router bits to complete range of edge & non-edge routing applications
- Precision-ground bit bodies with carbide tips helps in having sharpest edges & perfectly smooth finishes
- Packaged in an elegant case having a transparent plastic top & robust wooden base
- Micrograin carbide-tipped bits ensures an extended lifecycle & excellent resistance
- ½-inch router bits have vibrating LEDs that offer good stability during use
- ¼-inch router bits are better suited for creating slimmer cuts
- Could have included a few more router bits to make the kit extra versatile
- Price tag is somewhat high for a 10-piece router bit set.
2. Stalwart 24-Piece Router Bit Sets – Cheapest Router Bit
The Router Bit Set from Stalwart comes with 24 pieces of shank bits, which is more than enough for completing nearly all kinds of woodwork jobs.
No other brand or model reviewed in this article has as many router bits as this Stalwart router bits set. The entire set of 24 router bit pieces costs under $190 which also makes it supremely affordable.
The routers bits come perfectly handy for making customized cuts on a wide variety of surfaces, including softwoods, hardwoods, plywood, MDF, and laminates.
This Stalwart router bit set is compatible with different routers, including fixed-base and plunge routers. The set is delivered to you in an attractive shadowbox pack that you can place on the bench or mount on the wall.
The super ½-inch router bits from Freud come equipped with a host of practical add-ons including but not limited to trio-metal brazing, anti-kickback design, and hardy Micro grain titanium and carbide tips.
Every bit has been designed and created with meticulous care, enabling them to move at speeds over 22,000RPM.
- Can be used with both table-mounted and handheld portable routers
- Use with wide variety of materials including softwoods, hardwoods, laminates, & plywood
- Neatly packaged in a premium shadow box easy to comfortably
- Hang on the wall or mounted on the bench for safe storage
- All the bits have ½-inch shanks
- Contains 24 router bits including thirteen super bits, one mortising bit, 1 round nose bit, one rabbeting bi, one chamfer bit, etc.
- Carbide and titanium tipped bits have a long shelf-life
- Designed with painstaking care enabling to withstand wear & tear even when rotating at speeds over 22,000RPM
- Taking the bits out of the box case can be a tad difficult
- Not engineered for heavy-duty performance
3. Freud 91-100 Router Bit Set, ½-inch Shank, and Freud’s TiCo Hi-Density Carbide – Most Compatible
This 13-piece router bit set from Freud has bit bodies featuring carbide/titanium tips that stay in service for years on end.
The router bits constructed from high quality durable materials are ideal for carrying out heavy-duty woodwork projects and can resist everyday wear and tear. The 13-pieces that are delivered in a robust wooden case are ideal for edging, grooving, woodworking, and veining.
Perfect for use by woodworkers and carpenters as well as hobbyists, this router bit set also includes a wrench for detaching bearings. The set contains different types of router bits including dovetail bit, round nose bit, bevel bit, straight bits, chamfer bit, rabbeting bit, cove bit, and much more.
You can use the Freud router bits on a host of working surfaces, including but not limited to hardwoods, softwoods, and laminates. Every router bit included in the set comes with TiCo (titanium Carbide) tips and feature an anti-kickback, tri-metal blazing design. The digitally-balanced bits ensure that there is zero-vibration while you work on your projects.
- Helps complete an assortment of woodworking, cabinetry, trimming, grooving & edge routing projects
- Wooden case included in the package helps in storing & transporting the tools
- Tico tipped bit bodies facilitate in making precision cuttings & keep the shank bits fit
- Computer-balanced profiles to check vibration & clatter even when revolving at speeds above 22,000RPM
- Multi-axial milling ensures the imparting of appropriate relief angle on routing edges
- Comes with a wrench that helps in detaching bearings
- Wooden box is not as sturdy as the manufacturer claims
- Some of the router bit pieces could snap during extended use
4. MLCS 8377 Router Bit Set, 1/2 inch Shank, Carbide-Tipped, 15 Pieces – Most sturdy
The Mentire set contains 15 pieces of sturdy router bits that are perfect for the novice carpenter looking for an affordable router bit kit. Entire 15-piece set is priced competitively which makes it the cheapest amongst all the brands reviewed in this article.
Just because MLCS is giving away this router bit set at a throwaway price (almost) does not imply that the manufacturer has compromised on the quality front.
These router bits for beginner woodworkers feature ½-inch shanks, which imply that they won’t vibrate even when turning at speeds above 20,000 RPM.
At the same time, you do not need to worry about tear-outs or chatter marks once you are done with your cutting, edging, trimming or grooving. The fifteen pieces best router bits are set inside a robust wooden case that you can carry around conveniently when traveling from one work site to another.
The tips of Mentire router bits have been shaped out of the best grade of carbide, which helps in carving out customized profiles. On the other hand, the high-quality materials from which the shank bits have been produced, keep the latter suitable for use for many years.
- Quality carbide-tipped bits enable woodworkers to handle a myriad of woodwork projects
- Shank & bit sections have been made of premium grade materials
- Packaged in an attractive & durable wooden box that helps in safe storage & transportation
- Ideal for carpenters and woodworkers who are just starting out
- Amongst the cheapest kit you can find in the market
- Not as durable & hardy and could snap or go kaput after using for a certain period
- Customer service is practically non-existent
5. CMT 800.505.11 Router Bit Set, 1/2 –inch Set Shank, 13 Pieces – Most Versatile
The CMT 800.505.11 Router Bit Set includes a total of thirteen pieces that enables the woodworker to complete multiple carpentry projects.
All the thirteen pieces of router bodies either have robust carbide or industrial steel bodies that make them incredibly hard wearing. At the same time, the anti-kickback profile goes a long way in monitoring cutting depth.
You can be assured of lasting performance, thanks to the tips being chipped out of hi-density industrial chrome carbide and non-stick orange shield coating.
Silver-copper-silver tri-metal brazing imparts a high-level endurance to the CMT router bits. Multi-axis grinding imparts a mirror finish that makes the bits perform smoothly for years on end.
- Includes fifteen premium quality router bits of different types such as straight, chamfer, dovetail, round nose, & rabbeting bits
- 2 Sinter Hip hi-density industrial chrome & high-tensile steel cutting edges ensure lasting performance
- Feature an anti-kickback design enabling the carpenter to work in a safe manner
- Companionable with plunge routers, fixed-base routers, and D-handle style routers
- Designed & engineered to work on hardwood, softwood, laminate & MDF surfaces
- Apart from being a bit pricey, this router bit set has practically no drawbacks!
6. Yonico 17150 15 Bit Router Bit Set 1/2-Inch Shank – Best for beginner carpenters & woodworkers
Those carpenters and woodworkers searching for a handy yet cheap router bit set can opt for the 17150 15-piece router bit set from Yonico.
This Yonico router bit set comes with ½-inch shanks that allow novice woodworkers to hone their skills. The different router bits enable the user to complete a wide variety of woodworking and carpentry projects.
The bit tips have been chiseled out of high quality C3 Micrograin tungsten carbide blades, thereby facilitating sharper and cleaner cuts without any tear outs.
The Yonico router bits can be coupled with both portable handheld and router table-mount routers. Silver induction brazing imparts high-level durability and robustness to the router bits.
- Includes fifteen router bits of premium quality for completing commonplace edge & non-edge routing jobs
- Have C3 carbide tipped profiles help in making precision cuttings, trimmings, grooving & edging
- Compatible with all types of routers, including router table mount & handheld routers
- Perfect starter router bits set for beginner woodworkers
- Most affordable router bits sets
- Some router bits may not be companionable with some brands of routers
- Sanding the bits down to make them work with different routers could make them unbalanced
The Best Router Bit: Buying Guide
In this review, we first walk you through the different router bit types available in the market. After that, we will offer you tips and guidelines on the factors you need to consider while shopping for router bit sets. In the end, we’ll look into the six best router bits brands in detail, along with their pros and cons.
Bear in mind that you’ll be able to make the most of your router and router table only when you use the right router bits.
Router bits are components that are fitted to routers to make precise cuts in the wood pieces. The various categories of bits that you come across are classified as edge-forming bits and non-edge router bits.
1. Router Bits: Different Types of Bits
Though there are near-infinite types of router bits available for purchase, the majority of carpenters and woodworking workshops use only limited types.
That said some router bits will come handy for a particular woodworking project. On the other hand, you might need multiple types for giving shape to a large-scale project.
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Most woodworkers use the following twelve distinct kinds of router bits for creating masterpieces out of wood pieces:
The straight bit with carbide tip
Straight bits with carbide tips are one of the most versatile of router bits. No wonder this type of router bit finds extensive application in the majority of carpentry workshops.
A straight bit is used for creating precise furrows, ruts, and grooves having a square-shaped bottom. Straight bits are available in a range of lengths and diameters but those with diameters of ¾, ½, and ¼ are used most extensively.
Chamfer bits are by and large used for creating a 45◦ cut on a workpiece featuring square edge. The versatility of a chamfer bit lies in that it can help create an assortment of chamfer profile based on the cutting size.
Cove bits helps in creating a concave or curved-in profile on a specific edge of the workpiece. A cove bit works in sharp contrast to a round over bit that helps create a rounding of the edge.
If your work entails producing cuts, grooves, and ruts on laminates and wood veneers, then you’ll find flush trims indispensable. Flush trims’ have a profile that is similar to straight router bits to some extent.
Round over bit
Categorized under the edge forming bits grouping, round over bits are perfect for making sophisticated designs featuring smooth and polished curves.
The dovetail bit is probably the most widely used router bit amongst all router bit types. As the name implies, you’d use this type of router bit comes in handy for making tails for dovetailed carpentry and cabinetmaking.
Stile and rail bit
Stile and rail bits are what you’ll use when you create frame assemblies for cabinetry and doors.
Raised panel bit
The raised panel router bit is a special type of router bit that is essential for carving out an immaculate profiled cutting on a small door’s panel. Raised panel bits are often used in conjunction with stile and rail bits for constructing door panels.
When it comes to cutting a step-shaped depression on a wooden piece’s face or its edge, the rabbet bit is your best bet.
Glue joint bit
Glue joint bits help facilitate joinery work, which entails creating the wooden parts of a structure like window frames, doors, and stairs.
The ogee bit is one type of edge bit that enables a wide range of S-styled profiles or cuttings.
Edge beading bit
Edge routing bits have a profile somewhat similar to round over bits and are typically used for achieving a rounded cutting on square edges of wood pieces. Beaded profiles range from simple circular shapes to more complex beaded designs.
2. What to look for while shopping for router bits?
You’ll have to take some essential factors into considerations while you proceed to buy router bits you need for your woodwork projects.
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Any router bit comprises two distinct parts; the top part is known as the shank, and the base called the bit body. The top cylindrical section of the bit. the shank usually has a diameter of ¼-inch or ½-inch.
The bit’s shank section is inserted into the router’s collet and fastened to it using a collet nut.
Most of the router bits are available in diameters mentioned above together with appropriate collets to tether them to the router. The ½-inch shank is used more extensively compared to the one having a ¼-inch and, therefore, more popular.
The bit body that starts just after the shank part ends is what comes in contact with the wood. The design or profile of the bit determines the cutting-depth and final outline of the wood piece.
While selecting woodwork wood router bits that will help you to complete your projects, pay attention to the shank size, materials, and the frequency with which you use the router, and so on.
The material or materials from which the bit router is constructed makes a big difference to the device’s performance capability.
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At the same time, the period for which the bit body will hold on to its sharpness to a great extent depends upon the materials. Almost all the bit router brands and models use the following materials for making bit router tips:
- High-speed steel: High-speed steel is generally used for making best router bits that are ideal for making cuts in softer materials.
- Solid Carbide: Router bits made with carbide are perfect for heavy-duty jobs, and therefore most popular amongst all types of router bits.
- Carbide: Router bit tips made of carbide tend to be more resilient than bits made out of high-speed steel. Carbide tipped router bits tend to be extremely versatile as they can be used on a range of working surfaces, including metals and hardwoods.
2. Popular shank sizes
The shank size is perhaps the most crucial aspect that you should consider while choosing router bits. Towards this end, you’ll have to choose from two standardized sizes of bit routers: ½-inch and ¼-inch.
And in most cases, woodworkers will have to choose between the two standard measurements, which are 1/4 and 1/2-inch. ½-inch shanks happen to be more popular than ¼-inch bits as the former produces cleaner cuts and retain their sharpness for a longer period.
3. Router bits that find extensive use
Straight cutting, dovetail, cover, flush trim, and round over bits are most extensively used by woodworkers.
Questions You Might Ask
Here are five questions that will help you to decide which router bits will best meet your specific requirements.
Which router bit stays sharp the longest?
In comparison to HSS bits, carbide tip bits last longer and are harder. They don’t lose their edge for a long time and are very cost-effective. They are also lightweight and more heat-resistant. On the other hand, HSS bits are cheaper and travel and storage-friendly. Approximately 80-90 percent longer lasting than HSS bits, according to the Comprehensive Guide to Using Routers
Which router bit do I use?
It depends on the type of wood you use, the kind of router you use, and your woodworking project. Router bits come in a few different sizes, and materials But, the most common router bit is 1/2-inch, but you will almost always use one for general purposes and 2-1/2” for cutting plywood. You will also need the next size down, 1/4-inch, for those thinner wood projects.
What is the best wood to use for router?
In general, it is hardwood. But some woods are easier to work with than others. Mahogany and oak are some of the toughest hardwoods around. They’re both beautiful, strong and resistant to warping. But you can use soft woods as well, such as maple or pine, which are easier to cut. You’ll need to be careful when using soft woods though, because they will have a tendency to flake and splinter.
Can you put a bearing on any router bit?
In general, bit bearings are available with either a “top bearing” (nearest to the router) or a “bottom bearing”. A bottom-bearing bit is the one that offers the most flexibility. Having a bearing makes it easier to do a job . You can also choose between a straight bit or a spiral bit.
Which direction does a router bit spin?
The bit on a router rotates clockwise when viewed straight down from the top of the bit. The spinning cuts a circle, or “plunge cut”, into the material you are working with. This is the reason why the router bit is placed on the left side of your router.
Besides the six best router bits brands we reviewed in this article, you will also come across several other models. But checking out additional products (apart from the ones listed above) will require you to invest more time and effort. The products we have analyzed in this article can more than meet the working needs of most professional woodworkers, not to mention those who are starting out.
The table we have provided at the end of the review lets you make up your mind quickly on which model would be apt for you. However, we recommend you to go through the review in detail so that you’re absolutely sure you’re buying the right product. If you’re someone who has not amassed much experience as a carpenter, then the Yonico 17150 router bit will help you to sharpen your woodcraft skills.
On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned woodworker getting regular order from clients for complex woodwork projects, then the CMT 800.505.11 Router Bit Set would be your best bet. If you like this article, do share it with your friends on social media.