Freud Premier Adjustable Rail and Stile Set Review

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Freud’s newest rail-and-stile bit sets not only cut standard cope-and-stick profiles, but also create full-length (or less) tenons. The key is the two-part rail bit. After cutting the ends of the rails, you remove the top section of the bit and continue using the cutter to increase the length of the tenon. But is it as simple as it sounds? I requested a set to find out.

The Setup and Trial Run

Freud’s basic set consists of the rail-and-stile bits, plus wrenches and a set of shim washers. The bits will handle stock from 5/8″ to 1″ thick. The shim washers enable you to adjust the groove width to match the thickness of your panel or mortising bit from about 7/32″ – 3/8″. I tried the standard cope-and-stick joint first in my table-mounted router, and then made test cuts in cherry to produce stub tenons. Next, I set up the stile bit to match the rail configuration. The cuts were clean and mated nicely. To create a long tenon, I installed shim washers in both bits to match my drill-press mortiser. After coping the ends of my rail stock, making stub tenons, I removed the top half of the rail bit and, in  1/2″ increments, routed the stub into a 1 1/4″-long tenon. To rout the opposite face, I replaced the upper cutter, flipped the rail stock, and then lowered the bit until it was flush with the stub tenon. Using a backup block, I repeated the  cuts until the end of the rail’s tenon touched the fence. After cutting the tenon’s haunch with a handsaw and the corresponding mortise on a stile, I tested the rail/stile fit. It proved airtight.


Best Applications

If you’re content with 3/4″-thick doors and glued-in plywood panels, you can get by with regular rail-and-stile bits, but if your woodworking includes solid  raised panels, you need a longer tenon. The Freud set does both.

Tester’s  Take

Cutting  the  tenons  and  mortises  doubles  the  time   some  cases  the  strength  makes  the  investment   worthwhile.  Weekend  woodworkers  interested   in  making  such  doors  might  start  with  the    additional  matching  cutters  for  installing  panels   Optional  sets  also  can  cut  stub  and  long  tenons.

Freud Rail and Stile Router Bit Set: Round Profile #150675 $127.47

Freud Rail and Stile Router Bit Set: Ogee Profile #150676 $127.47

Freud Rail and Stile Router Bit Set: Bead Profile #150677 $127.47

Freud Rail and Stile Router Bit Set: Bevel Profile #845352 $127.47

Freud Double Sided Profile Cutters #150678 #150681 $101.97

Glass Panel Door Cutter #150682 $35.97

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