Upcut vs Downcut Spiral Router Bits

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A straight router bit is a workhorse tool in many woodworking shops. Picking out the best router bit for your needs with all of the choices on the market today, however, can be a daunting task. The solid carbide spiral router bit offers us a durable option that can also improve the cut quality for our joinery.

Many woodworkers struggle, however, with the differences between upcut vs downcut spiral router bits. This is understandable because there is a lot of misinformation on the internet about the differences between the two, and the decision criteria that should be used when making the decision between upcut vs downcut spiral router bits.

Here are a few things to contemplate when making the decision between upcut vs downcut spiral router bits:

How much use will the bit see? Solid carbide spiral router bits are not cheap, so they are best suited to heavy use applications. For occasional use, a traditional straight bit with high speed steel or carbide tipped straight wings might be a good economical option.

How fragile is the material that is being milled? For applications where the edges of the milled region must be crisp and not chipped, and the surface material is fragile such as a coarse veneer, that is a strong indicator for which style of spiral bit you might want to choose when considering your options between upcut vs downcut spiral router bits.

How important is chip evacuation? If you will be using the bit for mortises, and heavy chip evacuation is critical, that is also an important factor in choosing the style of bit that you will want. Choose correctly and you can produce more work.

Once you try a solid carbide router bit, I bet you will be hooked. Let us know your thoughts in the discussion area.