If you love engraving wood then you are definitely going to love cutting letters on wood as part of a sign making project but before you start working on your project, it’s very important for you to choose the best router bit for cutting letters since it will decide how well your woodworking project will come out in the end.
Great For The Purpose Of Signmaking
1/2 Inch And 1/4 Inch
Can Engrave On Materials, Plywoods, Hardwoods, And Softwoods
1/2 Inch And 1/4 Inch
Great Product For Beginners
Table of Contents
5 Best Router Bits for Cutting Letters
Now that we know what to look for let us look at the brands that best fit the description. Below we have reviewed five router bits that we recommend for cutting letters.
1. Freud Router Bits
When it comes to quality, you will seldom do better than Freud. The European company has been in the business of making woodworking tools for over forty years. Stakeholders swear by its products, an indication that obviously Freud is doing something right. Firstly, all of Fraud’s router bits are carbide tipped.
- Freud 20 – 100 ¼ inch V Groove Router Bit
- Freud 20 – 102 3/8 inch V Groove Router Bit
- Freud 20 – 104 ½ inch V Groove Router Bit
- Freud 20 – 106 5/8 inch V Groove Router Bit
- Freud 20 – 107 3/8 inch V Groove Router Bit
- Freud 20 – 110 7/8 inch V Groove Router Bit
- Freud 20 – 112 1 inch V Groove Router Bit
- Freud 20 – 116 1 ½ inch V Groove Router Bit
- Freud 20 – 120 2 inch V Groove Router Bit
As you can see, Freud offers a plethora of V grooves varying in size and dimension. This characteristic allows for some variety in the lettering projects. However to make things easier, Freud also offers its bits in sets. You can get a router bit set from three to eight pieces with virtually everything that you may need to effectively do your lettering projects. No wonder why Freud manufactures some of the best cnc bits for small lettering.
- The first thing of note is the overwhelming variety of the bits offered. You will never go wrong with Freud, especially if you invest in one of the router bit sets.
- There is virtually something to facilitate every aspect of your router bit project whether you are carving manually or using a CNC router. In fact, most of the available bits lend themselves to both methods, fitting easily in each.
- The carbide tips offer strength and girth, or should we say strength regardless of girth. From the smallest to the largest you will find that everything available is up to the task and will stand up to any pressure exerted.
Carbide router bits are the most durable types of bits for heavy working. Check out the best carbide router bits to buy
- Well Freud’s lettering centric bits are top notch, but they are not perfect. This is not so much a grey area as a staple of quality, but Freud’s router bits are usually more expensive than any other offerings.
- The next issue comes in the form of accessibility. Freud assumes that you are an experienced woodworker and design its products with that assumption. These bits require a certain level of experience to fully unlock their full potentials.
Read the detailed review of Freud router bits
2. Eagle America Range Router Bits for Lettering
Eagle America is another established brand with a plethora of years in the business. Eagle has been around for over thirty years. Again, many people testify to the quality of these lettering router bits.
Taking a more straightforward approach, Eagle America’s best offering for lettering is this six piece set. It has the pieces necessary to tackle virtually any sign or other lettering project.
- ¼ inch Eagle America Ninety degree V groove bit
- ⅜ inch Eagle America Ninety degree V groove bit
- ½ inch Eagle America Sixty degree V groove bit
- ⅜ inch Eagle America Round nose bit
- ½ inch Eagle America Round Nose bit
- Eagle America 133 – 0402 veining (for sign making)
The sign making veining is a bit that is optimized for CNC routers. It specializes in the tracing of wood letters and other similar designs.
- Well the thing that jumps out first with Eagle America’s offering is that it is limited in variety. That is not necessarily a bad thing as it attempts to provide a wholesale approach to lettering – and it succeeds in doing this.
- Each piece of the set is optimized in some way, with sizes and angles that will solve most if not all lettering issues.
- Eagle America’s bits are sharp. It is as simple as that. The company ensures that its bits are sharp and smooth, boasting its use of six hundred grit sandpaper in the manufacturing process.
- Speaking of its advertised sharpness, Eagle America stands by its products. Yes, we are talking about a lifetime warranty offered by the company.
- The company in its design of the router bits really placed an emphasis on accessibility. Eagle America router bits for lettering lend themselves to professional use, but are also accessible to hobbyists.
- Well, we did mention the limited selection of router bits when comparing Eagle America to other companies in this niche. While they tried to cater to everything with the aforementioned wholesale approach, we can’t help but find ourselves wanting when we look at companies like Freud.
3. Rockler Range Router Bits for Lettering
When it comes to longevity, Rockler has been around since 1954, when it started as a mail order business. Now, it has advanced on the waves of technology with its easy to use website and helpful customer service. Rockler also lends itself to the lettering project market with its offerings.
Like Freud, Rockler also offers sets in an effort to facilitate the lettering needs of craftsmen. Our recommendation is the Rockler 3 Piece Sign Making Router Bit Set. the set contains:
- Rockler ½ inch carbide tipped Sixty Degree Router bit
- Rockler ⅜ dia High core Box Bit
- Rockler ½ inch dia Ninety Degree V Groove Bit
Check out the detailed review of rockler router bits at this link
- In terms of variety, Rockler offers the second largest pool catering to your lettering needs. As you can see, the company offers individual bits and also sets tailored to the purpose. It goes without saying that the pieces offered are highly effective.
- Rockler ensures that its products are sharpened with a 600 – 800 grit diamond wheel. This of course adds to the smoothness and overall quality of the bits.
- The only grouse that we can see is the simple aspect of packaging. Rockler does not fully explain its products on the packaging. This might seem like nitpicking to the seasoned woodworker, but it presents a challenge to the novice who may not have an eye for such things. Therefore accessibility suffers.
4. Amana Tool Bits for Lettering
As an American company, Amana has certainly made its name in the woodworking business and is the company of choice for many craftsmen. Founded in the 1070’s, Amana took the crafting market by storm with its quality offerings.
This set has all the tools necessary to do most crafting jobs. It lends itself to a wholesale approach. The pieces are as follows:
- Amana Tool 45701 Carbide Tipped V Groove 90 Degree Bit
- Amana Tool 45703 Carbide Tipped V Groove 60 Degree Bit
- Amana Tool 45711 Carbide Tipped V Groove 30 Degree Bit
- The three different angles of the bits available (30 Degrees, 60 Degrees and 90 Degrees) really expand the variety of things that a craftsman can do in his or her lettering projects. Each angle has its purpose.
- Router bits are made from high grade European carbide with silver induction brazing for carbide strength. Truly they claim the title of carbide specialist.
- Amana router bits demonstrate an uncanny amount of balance during use. This is another testimony to the overall quality of these products.
- The issue with Amana products lies not with its quality (we have already established that the company has quality products) but the lack of popularity when compared to more established brands. Maybe Amana needs to market more, thrusting its quality into the minds of potential consumers.
5. Whiteside Router Bits for Lettering
As a company, Whiteside has experience in the wood crafting industry spanning over thirty years. When it comes to quality router bits, Whiteside’s name is usually thrown into the mix along with Freud and other top tier companies. This is not by coincidence or in any means to inject a filler. Whiteside is a staple of quality and its praises are well deserved. Whiteside has been a go to wood carving router bits brand. They also make really great sign making router bits. For the Whiteside lettering options, we recommend:
This set comes with the standard carbide tipped disposition complete with ½ inch shank. The carbide is top notch in terms of quality ensuring that the router bit retains its sharpness and durability as it is used in project after project.
- 2008 ⅜ Round Bit
- 1901 Rabbeting Bit
- 1901 ⅜ Cove Bit
- 2305 45 Degree Chamfer Bit
- ½ inch straight double Flute Bit
- 2405 Flush Trim (with 1 inch cutting length)
- 1058 ¼ inch straight Bit
Read the detailed review of whiteside router bits here
- Here we see Whiteside lending itself to variety in terms of its offerings. The bits available in this set can be purposed to virtually all lettering projects.
- Most of the bits available here have bearings, meaning they can be used with templates. This of course lends itself to ease of use.
- If we can identify one grouse with Whiteside it would be the wholesale approach to craftsmanship. Like many other companies, it assumes that it can fulfill all crafting needs with minimal tools. In many cases it does, but there are just a few types of projects that may be out of its reach.
Read the detailed review of Whiteside router bits
Methods to Make Lettering
Lettering is an important aspect of woodworking, especially as it relates to signage. There are two main methods to make lettering.
1. Manual Lettering
While this method might seem somewhat archaic with the advancements in technology, it is actually recommended still – for small letters at least. This on the premise that it will get the woodworker to appreciate the characteristic of precision. Manual lettering lends itself to a human delicacy that will bolster the experience and sensitivity.
2. CNC Routing
Speaking of technological advancements, CNC routing speeds up the process of lettering. The CNC (Computer Numeric Control) method lends itself to speed, and automation. It is the hands free equivalent to carving by hand, and the next step after it. CNC routing borrows heavily from mechanical engineering – and is in fact molded by it.
What to Look for in Router Bits for Lettering ?
Because of the individuality and delicacy of lettering, there are certain unique characteristics that you need to look at when buying a router bit for lettering.
1. Carbide Tips
Almost all woodworking projects require carbide tipped router bits. Lettering is no different. Carbide tipped router bits lend themselves to durability and longevity. Naturally, these characteristics will allow you to save money over time as your investment in a router bit of this nature gives you the opportunity to regrind.
2. Anti-Kickback Technology
We did identify the fact that lettering requires some level of precision. Having stable router bits that do not fight you is of paramount importance. They have higher girth and therefore will not bite too deep into the material when making grooves. Also the body mass by its nature will be heat resistant.
3. V Grooves and Round Noses
A V groove router bit is a letter maker’s best friend and sometimes even all the person needs depending on his or her level of craftsmanship. V groove bits allow for many of the shapes of letters for the signs as they can produce square corners in letters. These also facilitate many fonts and letter sizes. Add a carving router bit and a round nose to the mix and you will have a full arsenal to take on any lettering project.
4. Type of router
The type of router you choose will also impact the way your router bits engrave or cut the wood as some routers have more vibrations than others and so depending on the nature and intensity of the project, it’s important for you to choose the appropriate router for cutting letters.
We’ve recommended you the 5 best router bits for cutting letters and all the recommendations are on the basis of reviewing them all over so many years of working on projects in our own Garage. From what it seems, most of the router bits can be used for engraving as well and so you are free to use them for multiple woodworking engraving projects.
We would also like to mention that we would have loved to mention rockler sign making bits in this list but since we don’t have much experience with them, we thought we would leave it up to our readers to tell us. Go ahead and download some cool router letter templates and enjoy carving letters and numbers!