Essential Router Bits

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So you bought a router, now what do you do?  Before you can get started, you need to purchase some router bits. Depending on the type of project you want to complete, you may need just one or a variety of different bits. 

Here's a brief overview of the different types of router bits and what type of projects you can complete with them.


Straight router bits – With and Without a Bearing

Straight router bits are great for a variety of basic cutting applications. You can use one to notch out a board or plunge out a section of the workpiece. Straight bits with bearings – often referred to as Flush Trim Router Bits – are great for trimming the edge of pieces. The bearing sits on the workpiece while the straight portion cuts the material back a set distance from the edge.


Edge Treatment Router Bits – With and Without a Bearing

Edge Treatment Router Bits do just as they are described – place a decorative edge on a board.  Like straight router bits, they can come with or without a bearing.  Many that come with a bearing can be used with or without it.  Styles include ogee, ovolo, bevel, cove, bull nose, round-over to name a few.  These are great for adding detail to a sign, table or furniture edge, plaque and more.


Joinery Router Bits

Instead of using hand tools to create dovetails, rabbets and other types of joints, you can use your router and the appropriate router bit. Different sized dovetail router bits, rabbeting router bits and specialty tongue-and-groove router bits can create those joints.  These are great to use when making boxes, furniture like dresser drawers, tabletops and more.


Cabinet Door, Drawer and Window Router Bits

Creating your own custom cabinets can be accomplished with your router too.  Typically, cabinetmaking bits are considered a specialty router bits.  However, once you become adept at router usage, there are a vast amount of cabinet door, drawer or window bits to choose from.  Based on your style preferences, you can create rail and stile doors with many different raised-panel profiles like Shaker, cove, bevel, ogee and more.


Architectural Router Bits: 

With your router and some architectural router bits you can create custom molding, trim, handrails and other decorative pieces for your home.  Each of these bits would also be considered a specialty item.  A wide variety of profiles exist that allow you to choose one – or several that can be stacked – to create a custom look in your house or office space.

As you can tell, there's a lot you can accomplish with your router and one or many of the most common types of router bits.  Keep in mind what size router you have and match the bits (typically 1/4" or 1/2" shank sizes) and the power of your router with the job at hand.

Edge Treatment Router Bits

View All Edge Treatment Router Bits

Joinery Router Bits

View All Joinery Router Bits

Architectural Router Bits

View All Architectural Router Bits

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