Select from these router bit types for your next project.
A router is one of the most versatile tools you can have in your shop, and there are MANY different router bits available. Here’s a guide to the seven bits I find most useful, and what I typically use them for.
1/8″ Round Over Bit. I use this bit a lot to simply take the sharp corners off of projects. The amount of round over it provides is very subtle, looking almost like you gently hand-sanded the corners, but with a more consistent look than you’d get from hand sanding. If you make toys, this is a bit you’ve GOT to have to ease sharp corners for little hands.
1/2″ Down Cut Spiral. My number one use for this bit is turning my router table into a jointer. It allows me to joint man-made materials, something you shouldn’t do on a conventional jointer unless you have carbide cutters. The spiral provides an excellent surface finish on the edge. I also use it to cut grooves and dadoes in plywood. Since it’s a down cut spiral it’s much less likely to chip veneer.
For more on using your router table as a jointer see this article.
1/2″ Flush Trim bit. On a flush trim bit the bearing and cutter diameter are exactly the same. So the bearing can ride on, or trace, one surface, and the cutter will remove anything that projects past that surface. I use it when I need to produce identical parts, like this Adirondack chair arm.
The bearing is riding on the pattern and the cutter is removing the 1/16″ or so that’s sticking out beyond the pattern. I also use it on face frames. Leave the face frame slightly larger than the case and, with the bit in a hand held router, trim the frame back so it’s perfect.
You may have thought my shop was a two-bit operation, but you can see it’s at least a seven-bit shop. That’s my list. Now I want to see yours. Let me know what your most-used bits are.
Photos By Author
1/8″ Round Over Bit #2000C
1/4″ Round Over Bit#2006
5/32″ Roman Ogee Bit #2202
1/4″ Straight Bit #1058
1/2″ Down Cut Spiral Bit #RD5125
3/8″ Rabbet Bit #1901
1/2″ Flush Trim Bit #2405
Whiteside Router Bits www.whitesiderouterbits.com