Okay, you’ve bought a router (or plan on getting one soon) and you want to know which are the most important router bits you should have.
If you look around you will soon notice that there are hundreds of different sizes and styles of router bits available.
That huge selection makes it difficult to know which router bits to buy, especially if you are new to routing.
To help you with that, I have compiled a list of 5 router bits that every DIYer should have in their workshop.
What router bits do I need?
In my opinion, you can finish 95% of your projects with only 5 router bits.
With a straight cutting bit, flush-trim bit, 45-degree chamfer bit, rounding over bit, and a V groove bit, you own a set of router bits that are affordable and versatile.
With these basic router bits, you will be able to handle most projects and you can add more router bits to your collection over time.
Do all router bits fit all routers?
The answer to that is no. It depends on the shaft of your router.
There are different types of shanks for routers.
Expressed in inches, you have 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch shanks.
Expressed in mm, you have 6 mm, 8 mm, or 12 mm shanks.
So take a good look at which type of shank your router has and look for suitable router bits.
Must-have router bits
Here I will briefly describe what each router bit can do for you.
I also made a selection of the best buy. Keep in mind to select the right shank before you buy.
Straight-Cutting Router Bits
If you want to cut straight grooves with a square bottom, you need this router bit.
It is available in different diameters.
You can use this router bit to cut rabbets, dadoes, and grooves for backs of plywood cabinets and drawer bottoms.
This is a router bit without a pilot, so you will have to guide the router along a ruler.
However, you can also choose to purchase these bits that have a pilot that guides the bit and holds it in place.
Flush-Trim Router Bits
Flush trim router bits look a lot like straight cutting router bits but have a ball bearing pilot attached.
That ball bearing allows you to trim overhanging surfaces perfectly flush with the substrate.
This router bit is perfect when you want to flush-trimming wood veneer or copy a workpiece.
You can choose between the type with the ball bearing on the end or on top of the router bit.
45-Degree Chamfer Bit
When you want to remove the square sharp corners from planks, you need this edge shaping router bit that has a 45-degree angle called a chamfer.
Chamfer bits are available in different sizes and angles, but the 45-degree angle is the one most commonly used.
Rounding-Over Router Bits
Just like the 45-degree chamfer bit, this round over bit will also be used to finish sharp corners.
Instead of updating the corners to 45 degrees, you can round the corners with this router bit.
The bit is fitted with a ball-bearing pilot that will guide the router bit along the edge of your workpiece.
There are different sizes of round over router bits available, so it is recommended to buy a set of these router bits so that you always have the appropriate bit for the project you are working on.
With this router bit you can make decorative V-shaped grooves, such as in cupboard doors.
Again, a wide range of router bits are available, but the most used is the v-shaped router bit of 90 degrees.
This can be interesting if you want to work with a router
Since I have been working with my Makita 3709 (Check this router on Amazon here) for quite some time, I have made a few jigs that make it possible to make easier or more extensive cuts.
Be sure to check out the links below for inspiration and free plans, so you can make the jigs yourself.
Simple router jig
With this simple router jig you can make perfectly straight cuts without any worries.
The router is trapped between two guiding rails and can only move forward or backward without slipping out to the sides.
Router circle jig (without center hole)
This easy-to-make router circle jig allows you to create perfect circles of any diameter. This jig is very easy to make and cutting circles becomes a piece of cake.
Make hollow and convex cuts with your router
If you want to get the most out of your router, these 2 jigs might be something for you.
With this jig, you are able to make hollow cuts in wood, such as for making small plates or soap dishes.
This extension of the previous mold allows you to make convex cuts.
Dead simple router T-track guide extension jig
Cutting straight lines with a router is not easy.
With this simple jig this is a thing of the past!
Just place your router in this jig, and you will make straight cuts easily.
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I hope this information on router bits was helpful, and that this blog and video inspires you.
Let me know in a comment below.
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I’m looking forward to seeing you soon in another blog or video.
Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration