Understanding the most commonly used router bit types and how and when they should be used is an essential skill for any budding woodworker.
Wood workers deal with a variety of different projects that includes varied materials, sizes and thickness of stock.
Wood is a popular material that they prefer to work with for construction of varied types of projects. Shaping of wood holds a significant position in such projects and thus you will a number of tools related to wood shaping.
One such tool is a wood router. Routers are popular tools that makes wood working easier and this tool is nothing without use of a proper router bit. Creative shaping of a wood piece is done with the use of an appropriate router bit.
When opting for some proper router bits, you need to understand specific features of different types of rout bits and thus can then select the most appropriate router bit sets for your workshop.
Router Bit Types
There are a wide range of router bits available in market and each router bit is designed for some specific kind of work with wood. Thus every wood worker should have specific kind of router bits that are declared most useful for their specific tasks of wood working projects. Here we have listed some of the most significant routers bits that would help you analyze which ones would you need?
1. Straight Router Bits
One of the most commonly used router bits is the straight router bit. With the aid of these bits, you can easily make straight cuts and can make hollow areas on your work piece with ease. When shopping for this router bit, you will find varied diameters from 3/16 inch to 1.5 inch and so you can choose according to your preference and requirement of job.
2. Flush Trim Router Bits
These router bits include a ball bearing having size similar to the cutting radius of this router bit. These router bits prove best for edging and trimming of material and you can give multiple identical shapes with the use of this bit.
3. Rabbeting Router Bit
With the use of this router bit, you can easily cut material placed in either vertical or horizontal position. Edging of material is easier with the use of this tool and it includes ball bearings that are offered in various diameters/sizes. With this feature, you can make different dimensions of rabbet without having the need of buying different routers of varied sizes.
4. Edge Forming Router Bits
If you would need to make varied creative and decorative edging on your wood piece, this could be achieved with edge forming router bits. You will find different variety of edge forming router bits and choosing one would really depend upon your task requirement. Some of the most common ones include Roundover bits (used for cut rounded edges), Cove routing bits (cutting concave circle), Ogee bits (S-shaped cut) etc.
5. Chamfer Router Bits
For bevel cuts at a specific angle, this router it is considered most appropriate one. Usually wood workers use these for decorative edge cutting of doors and panels.
6. Stile and Rails Router Bits
For construction work related to panel cutting and for combining horizontal layering of material with its vertical layer. Stile and Rail bits come in a package and you can combine these bits for making horizontal rail and vertical stile profiles.
7. Raised Panel Bits
The raised panel bit is used for decorative door panels and for creation of varied profiles on wood.You can add diversity in your wood working job with its horizontal and vertical configuration.
What Size Router Bit to Use?
As discussed earlier that many of the different types, models, shapes and sizes of router bits are available in market and choosing one really depends upon nature and requirement of your project. However here we have listed some of the factors that must be kept in mind while selecting a router bit for use with your wood router. These factors include
Router Bit Shanks Diameter:
Usually you will find combination interchangeable wood routers with collets 1/4 and 1/2 inch so you can easily use any of these sizes of bit. However there are some that would only work with 1/4 inch shank bit. It is best to use bits with size of 1/2 inch shank as you will get more stability and longevity with better smoother performance of cut.
Many of the router bits include High speed steel cutting edge or one with carbide tips. Carbide ones are harder than the other time and will give you longer holding of edge. These are preferred because they are more stiff however when dealing with carbide ones you must take care for handling and storage.
Quality couldn’t be judged well with eyes and thus you need to consider different factors to assess quality. Carbide ones that we discussed earlier have a fine edge and they are thicker.
These bits can easily deal with re-grindings and would have minimized risk of kickbacks from work piece. Such bits have more body mass and they dissipate heat. Such bits would prevent bits from going too deep in the material that it may kickback. These bits are more durable ones.
Having all the details on which router bits are suitable in which situations and now that you have understood all the basics, it would be easier for you to select suitable router bits.
For beginners, once you decide on getting a suitable wood router, next step is to look for ideal bits for use initially. Selection of router bit really depends upon which router bit would be suitable for your project in hand.
Would buying a router set seems viable for your work? How much you are going to use the bit? And how much do you want to spend over it? If you won’t be doing one single work each day and if you have a variety of tasks, buying a basic set would be more suitable decision.