A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing Router Bits

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You’ve finally got that new , and you’re eager to use it. High-tech as it is, though, it’s toothless without router . But which bits should you buy? If you haven’t used a router much, the options can be dizzying. Here’s what you need to know to make informed choices.

First, come in many profiles. That’s the term for the shape of the cutting edge. Here are some of the most common:

Straight Bits:

A workshop staple, these bits make cuts straight into a material to form a groove or dado (a groove across the wood grain) or to hollow out an area for a mortise or inlay. They come in a variety of diameters and lengths.

Rabbeting Bits:

Guided by a spinning pilot bearing at the tip, these bits are designed specifically to cut a rabbet (shoulder) in the edge of a workpiece often used to join pieces.  They can be purchased in a set that includes bearings of different diameters, allowing a single bit to produce rabbets of different sizes.

Flush-trim bits:

As the name suggests, these bits are used to trim the edge of one material flush with the edge of another– for example, trimming a veneered surface flush with a substrate or  using a pattern to create multiple identical pieces.  They usually are guided by a pilot bearing that’s the same diameter as the cutter. The bearing may be at the tip of the bit or at the base.

Chamfer Bits:

These bits cut a bevel of

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