Router Bits for Beginners

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​No doubt these tools are really popular among wood workers as a wood router offers varied benefits at their workplace for even complex wood edging, trimming, shaping and other similar projects.
With the use of a proper router bit with your router, you can get a complex edging done or a square grooving or many other tasks with ease. Another factor that adds on the benefits is that you can find a wide variety of wood routers including casual hand held ones as well as heavy duty industrial use ones.
All that creative cutting and edging is done by the router bit. The best router bits are made from high grade materials and even as a beginner you should try to buy the highest grade bits. Specialized bits are available that are designed for specific wood working jobs. So when you already have a new wood router, the next thing to think about is which bits you should buy?

Router Bits for Beginners

Wood routers make use of the bit side for cutting just as a drill machine uses bit tip for making a cut. The key aspect is that it cuts sideways. Two basic types of routers are there including plunge routers and fixed routersBoth of these are hand-held routers include an electric motor with variable speed. It includes a collet for a bit held above the base where router is placed during cutting operation. There are two basic factors over which a beginner’s decision for buying a router bit should depend.

  1. Shank Size: Shank is the part of bit that connects the bit to its router. The shank is a smooth shaft inserted in collet and you usually get two different sizes of shuck including 1/4 and 1/2 inch. The 1/2 inch is considered more useful as large size gives you increased rigidity and makes way for smoother performance of cuts. Some of the large size bits may however only come with large shank and vice versa.
  2. Material: Router bits are made up of high speed steel (HSS) or carbide. Steel ones are considered less expensive however more powerful and useful are the carbide ones that give you sharper edging and cutting performance. Carbide bits tend to hold the edge for a time frame much longer than that with the steel ones. These are also considered more appropriate for carrying out multiple re-grindings for edge restoration. With all these benefits and improved performance, carbide bits are expensive but their durability makes it a good investment decision.

When talking about router bits, there are three basic types of router bits that perform varied functions as discussed below:

  1. Fluted Cutter: The word flute itself speaks for what function this router bit is suitable for performing referring to the edge cutting. This type of router bit is appropriate for making simple, smooth and straight cuts/trimmings.
  2. Profile Cutter: For more complicated edging along with shaping, the profile cutter is perfect choice. In fact without use of profile cutters, complex edging tasks cannot be performed.
  3. Helical Cutter: The helical cutters are used for drilling, shaping as well as for varied trimming jobs. This router bit type is most suitable for drilling through soft material and they are usually used with plunge routers.

When a new wood worker begins wood working, reviews of wood routers really help them in making a buying decision. Same is the case with router bits however with a wide variety of bits available in market that offers you diversity of work with high quality performance and durability; it is difficult to confine your purchase to some most suitable bits.
You would be attracted to invest money in a router bit set as they seem to offer you more value however you should think if it would give beginner same value as it gives to an experienced professional. The answer may be No! The reason would be that as a new wood worker, you may not be using many of the bits in the set on a regular basis.
Here we have listed some of the most basic and more useful router bits for a new wood router. Beginners will find these router bits really helpful in their basic projects and above all you need not to spend a high price. These are bits that are justified for their cost for beginners.

  • Roundover Bit: The roundover bit is a perfect choice for sharp edge cutting of a wood board. Wood workers can make consistently accurate rounded edges throughout the length of their work piece with the use of this bit. You will find different sizes of such bits that enable you to make varied sizes of edges. It is recommended that you buy a small or medium size that would work well for your jobs.
  • Chamfer Bit: For making creative bevel cuts and for decorative edging, chamfer bit is good. You can create edges at different angles and can give sharp edges with this bit. With chamfer bit, you can get a large size as this bit just makes angled bevel and you can use it for large and small chamfer cuts.
  • Solid Carbide Spiral Upcut Bit: This bit gives you diversified usage and can help you in making dados, rabbits as well as for This is a bit costly in comparison to others but it is justified for the cost by offering smarter, quicker and better cuts with quality.
  • Flush Trim Bit (bearing guided): This bit is ideal choice for trimming laminates as well as for pattern routing. Pattern routing refers to a process where you need to create exact copies by following pattern. Flush cut bit is used for trimming all your work pieces in one pattern to give you a final work piece. This bit trims your work piece to a size slightly more than final one and then the work piece is patterned with sided tape. Work piece is trimmed according to pattern that rides over bearing.


As a beginner in wood working, it is best to understand all the features and functions of various kinds of router bits in order to make a wise purchase decision. The main factor that affects the decision would be nature of your projects.
Analyze what router bits you will need for your work on regular basis and in the first phase just buy those. Gradually as you get more experience and work, you can always make increases in your tools kit. Remember that you need not only buy all the stuff but need to maintain your wood router well with all its parts and accessories for longer use and performance.