Power Tool Buying Guide for Router Bits

A router is a must have in any shop and choosing the right bits is the most important item when creating any finished product with a router.  Router bits come in hundreds of different styles and are used to create decorative effects and help joint wood together.  Router bits are classified as either edge bits or non-edge bits.  Edge bits have a small wheel on the bottom that guides the bit on the material your are working on.  Non-edge bits require a fence or router table.  Below are some router bits that are commonly used.

Router Bit Materials

High Speed Steel – Good for soft woods and are very inexpensive.  Don’t use on hardwood as you will dull the bit and end up causing more strain on your router.

Carbide Tipped – More expensive than the High-Speed Steel, but better for hardwoods and will stay sharper longer.  I would suggest these bits.  Again, you pay a little more, but in the long run, it is worth it.

Solid Carbide – Very durable and very expensive.  These are designed for a specific application such as mortising, laminate or pattern cutting.

Type of Common Router Bits

A straight blade cuts dado and grooves.




Cuts “V” grooves and patterns



Edge Forming
Usually, have rollers on the end of the bits and give the edge of a piece of wood a nice finish.




Cutting Rabbets in flat wood. Used to fit another piece of wood inside tight.




Cuts slots for “T” molding or receiving splines




Flush Trim

Trims laminate on countertops



Cuts tails and pins for joints. Creates a very strong hold for two corners of wood and is used in drawer.



Door Pull
Makes pull grooves for handles. Used for cabinet door openings




Panel Raising
Forms the panel edge in raised panels




Stile Cutter
Cutting the inside groove and beading on rails and stiles in frames and panels.




Molding Cutter
Creates your own custom molding. Lots to choose from.




Cabinet Door Set
Great for making cabinet doors. Makes a hard job easy and looks professional