Choosing the best router bits is not rocket science, but there are indeed several factors to consider before you make a purchase. If you are a beginner, you might need a lot of reference before buying router bits. The main things to consider before buying a router bit is the general shape, sizes and purpose of the bits.
There are multiple type of router bits and all of them are used for their respective purpose or depending on the nature of your woodworking project. Not all bits will give you the same result or cuts. There is also the factor of weight and sizes of the bits. A router is a versatile tool but it does not bring versatility by itself.
Best For Beginners
Best for CNC routing on wooden materials
Made from Carbide and works great on wooden materials. Best for routing.
Best For Sign Making
Best when used for sign making operations
Enhanced TiCo Super Density Carbide. chromium designed with durability.
composition materials, plywoods, hardwoods, and softwoods.
Can be easily Used on CNC and other automatic routers
10 Best Router Bits In 2021
1. Whiteside Router Bit Starter Set, 5-Piece: Best router bits for the money
CNC based routers use different kinds of router bits to perform functions like drilling, milling or sign making. These router bits are based on the type of project you are working on. Whiteside router bit set is a great option If you are looking for the best router bits for your moneyWhile making straight cuts in plywood get yourself a good quality spiral cutting end mill.
If you are just starting up with your project and need a budget set of bits that include great ball noses and end mills, consider purchasing the Whiteside Router Bit 705 CNC Starter Set. It is a set of 5 Whiteside router bits, that have 2 contouring bits and 3 end mills.
2. Magnate 2704 Surface Planing: Best CNC router bits for wood
If you are looking for a product to spoil board surfacing and square groove cutting; you can opt for Magnate 2704 Surface Planing (Bottom Cleaning) Router Bits.
These router bits have a 1-1/4” cutting diameter and are often used for cleaning out dadoes. Magnate Router Bits leaves a smooth, clean finished surface when working over wood.
Its cutting edges are radially relieved for a strong smooth cuts in addition to avoiding rubbing and burning. Magnate router bits also equipped with wide open gullets for easy disposal of wood chips.
3. Freud 1-3/4" (Dia.) Adjustable Tongue & Groove Bit Set: Best tongue and groove router bits
Tongue and groove router bits are the most traditional way of connecting two pieces of wood together. Doing it by hand leaves much room for error. Any discrepancy in the finishing may add to a defunct furniture or at least ruin a perfectly fine pieces of wood. Even when cutting with a router, grooves and tongues can be a hazardous task if not used the right router bits.
A good recommendation might be the Freud 1-3/4" (Dia.) Adjustable Tongue & Groove Bit Set with 1/2" Shanks (99-036). Freud Router Bits are known for their exceptional quality, unmatched precision and maximum bit life. These bits could be used on any kind of wood which include ply, hard, and soft. These bits are perfect for projects like Shaker style cabinet doors. Often router kits include two types of collets, either 1/4-inch and 1/2"-inch router bits shanks.
You can buy any shank type of router bits without much hesitation but to know which one is the best we have to look into the working of routers. In many applications, the choice of shank size makes an insignificant difference in performance, but 1/2-inch shanks are generally preferred for larger router bits, high tool speed, and overall bit stiffness.
Learn About the Best Tongue And Groove Bits
4. Freud 8 Piece Set: Best CNC router bits for sign making
Making signs on wood is a delicate job. You cannot use just any router bits to make a sign. Freud 8 Piece router bits are perfect if you are into sign making. When it comes to sign making, Usually a V groove, round nose or square end is used to make a sign, depending on the design. If you have some experience with routers then you might have already guessed that router work on a sign is effortless.
The real brainstorming is to choose the correct size of board and to draw a stencil on it. But you certainly have to choose the right bits for the job. Freud bit set has a ¼” shank and is much more durable; and the double sided 60-degree and 90-degree v groove rough bits which has only one downside that it doesn’t have a 1⁄4” shank.
If you are stuck with the stencil design process, you can certainly use a stencil designed for the router bits.
Interesting Read: Best CNC router for Sign Making
5. Freud 8 Pieces Bit for Incra: Best router bits for beginners
As a beginner you want to get your hands on router bits which are easy to handle and can get the job done. Freud bit sit for Incra jig is a set of 8 bits, each is made with best stuff and undoubtedly the best bits that beginners can get for their money.
They are specially made for ones who want to make picture frames. The rabbet bits will step-rabbet the back of your picture frame allowing ample space for glass, artwork and backing. The router bit cuts a 1/8" thick front rabbet for your glass or mirror, and an additional 3/8" back rabbet for the artwork and backing board. Two flute carbide cutters with ball bearing guides. Set includes a beautiful solid wood storage case. Two flute carbide cutters & 1/2" shanks.
Some router bits can be properly operational only in a table-mounted router with a versatile speed feature. So, for example, if you want to make a cabinet with frame-and-panel construction, you’ll need to get or build a router table before you can safely use the stile-and-rail bits and panel-raising bits needed for such a project.
6. Yonico 18322 3 bit picture frame: Best router bits for making picture frames
When it comes to picture frame making, there is always need of precision as you have to make sure everything from angle to the measurements are all correct. The best ever investment that you can make is buying a router bit kit specially for picture frames. The Yonico 18322 3 bit picture frame has 3 bits that can be used to cut through every step.
Users get to choose from the two profiles provided and then use the stepped bit to rabbit the back. The same rabbet bit will step batter the back of your frame which allows same space for glass, artwork and backing.
The Yonico 18322 router bit can trim a ⅛” thickness of the front rabbet if the structure is a glass or a mirror and also an additional ⅜” back rabbet for your artwork and backing board. The entire Yonico router bits kit has two flute carbide cutters that also come with ball bearing guides. Included in the set is a beautiful solid wood storage case and two flute carbide cutters.
7. Freud 99-762 Shaker: Best CNC router bits for cabinet making
When it comes to working on projects like cabinet making, flexibility is an important aspect so that the woodworker or end user can adjust the thickness of the panel over which they are working. The Freud 99-762 shaker style rail and stile router bits are perfect for cabinet making. You can also adjust the groove width such that it will suit all the different panels.
What’s even more interesting is that you get Freud’s trademark TiCo Hi-density carbide which will maximize bit's life and material finish. The standard tenon length is 7/16” and thus it can be adjusted for tenons for any length. This router bit kits has adjustable shims which will help you adjust panel groove down to 7/32” or 5.5mm and goes upto ⅜” or 9.5mm thick which is best for ply panels.
The freud 99-762 router bit set weighs around 1.4500 Kgs and comes with a patented extended tenon capability where the top portion of cutter including bearing and spindle can easily be removed to produce the front of the long tenon profile.
8. Freud Cabinet Door Bit Set: Best CNC router bits for cabinet doors
The Freud 2” glass panel cabinet door bit set is an extra strong rail and stile joint that has a unique lock in the stile and rail joint and also has an extra gluing surface. This gluing feature is something that’s very unique to this product. The freud router bits are ideal for glass doors with strong joints and also those which have a removable plastic bead.
All these applications provide top quality strong, tight fitting glass panel doors joints that help in ease and accuracy of the cabinet doors. As we know the number of glass building infrastructure are on the rise and these router bits is perfect for such tight fitting glass panel.
The freud 2” glass panel door router bits set comes with a 1⁄2” shank and the cutters come stacked. The size of the groove is 15/64” so make sure you are aware about this before getting the doors fitted. This product is highly rated on Amazon.
9. Freud 5 Pieces Carbide Bits: Best carbide router bits
Freud 5 piece down spiral bit set is among the best carbide router bits. It’s a great choice for users who shall use grooves and dadoes alongside delicate stuffs. This is a made in italy product that can be used to create chip-free top surface mortises and dadoes. The whole tool kit comes in Freud’s unique shadow box case which you can hand on the wall or simply mount on a bench for safety.
The best part about Freud’s 5 pieces down spiral machine is that you can trim out all the composition of wood like ply, hard and soft. Since this is a router bit kit, you can use this on CNC and other automatic routers along with tablemounted portable routers.
The entire framework has been designed out of solid carbide steel. The maximum depth that Freud 5 pieces down spiral can make is ¾ inche and the ½ inch bit has a maximum depth cut of 1-¼ inches. From the users who have already used this router bit, everyone complimented over its design and smooth curves.
10. Freud 1/2 Shank Rail And Stile Bits: Best rail and stile router bits
Freud 1-11/16” Premier adjustable rail & stile bit with 1⁄2” shank is a router bit that has an adjustable groove width which suits different panel thickness for a rattle free plywood panel or solid wood raised panels. You are free to choose from a variety of substance thickness that ranges from ⅝ to 1-¼”.
Woodworkers are free to add an optional cutter to the router bit that will be helpful to create glass panel or screen doors and also there is an option to create a double sided profiles in thicker stock material. A necessary need is when creating a glass door is to be able to create rattle fee flat panel doors so that you can create any length long construction and more.
Freud Premier adjustable rail and stile router bit is one of the best rail and stile router bits because of many features like unique cutter geometry that eliminates tearout. As a professional you would always like to have a good finish to your article or product you are working on and with Freud’s TiCo Hi-density carbide, you can give a better finish to your product.
Read: Best Rail & Stile Router Bits
How to Choose the Right router bit for your need?
1. The shank size of the Router Bits
The overall value of the router bits is affected by the shank size of it. You have to remember that a ½” shank is much more versatile, efficient and above all reliable while than a 1⁄4” router bit because they are harder, which makes them more enduring to the fiction and reduces the probability of breaking down significantly.
2. The material of the Router Bits
The material of the Router Bits plays a very significant part while choosing the best tool for you. There are basically 3 substances by which most Router Bits are created. They are The Carbide Tipped, The High-Speed Steel , and the Solid Carbide . Amongst these 3, the most efficient one is the carbide one.
Because of the cheapness of High-Speed steel, people tend to feel the urge of using them. Though the high-speed steel routers are well suited to work with most light plastics and softwoods, there are not very enduring in the comparison of the carbide and they tend to dull faster than the carbide ones.
The Carbide Tipped Router Bits are generally costlier in comparison to the high-speed steels but on the other hand they are much more enduring and remain sharp longer than the other ones. These bits also are better suited to work with woods which are hard and also other rigid materials. Therefore though they seem a little bit costly in initially, they are worth the money and gives better service in the long run.
3. The high-speed steel material
These bits are very pocket-friendly compared to the carbide ones. They are very easy to use also. The high-speed materials are very well suited to work with the woods which are soft but in case of the hard, they become dull faster and in the end, the maintenance will end up costing you more than the price you paid initially to buy it.
So for hardwood works, going with the carbide ones is a better idea.The Solid Carbide Bits are costliest in the list of the materials by which the tools are generally created. You must remember that for simple or common woodworking, these tools are not very efficient. These tools are generally used in very complex and specific works where the other tools are not suited or may not work at all.
It is seen that solid carbide bits is generally used for complex woodworking like laminate trimming, mortising and cutting in a specific pattern in a specific way.
4. Using Sharp Bits
A sharp Bit is much safer when it comes to cutting a material in a better way. It also uses much less power to cut a block of wood efficiently than a dull router.
5. The right kind of grind
The router bit’s grind is hugely responsible for its performance. So choosing one carefully is highly recommended.
6. Keeping a good balance
Reduction in the vibration is not only important to the safety of the work but also to the quality and efficiency of the bit. Therefore making sure that there is a good spin on the bit which you are going to use is very important for the sake of your work and as well as to keep the right kind of balance. In any case of the router bits, their working depends hugely on the right kind of balance one way or the other, making it one of the most important factors.
Router Bit types:
Profile bits are created for making custom moldings in cabinets, types of furniture and other kinds of trimming work for accessories in your home. There are many profile bits that one can find including beads, coves, chamfers, and ogees. While choosing a bit, you must remember that the bit profile is exactly the opposite of the wood profile.
1. Slotting and Straights
It is often asked if the straight and slotting bits are tasked with the same thing. Technically it’s a yes but the process of both of them is different. The Slotting bits are generally used to cut parallel towards the router base while the straight router bits always trim in a perpendicular pattern. For instance, in case you are trying to cut a groove from a door rail in order to gain a curved panel, a slotting bit will be needed with a guided bearing.
In this particular case, a straight bit will not trim to it and a slotting bit will be needed. On the other hand a slotting bit will not be able to trim dadoes in order to create shelves in say a bookcase so a straight bit will be needed in that case to make it work. The straight and slotting bits are one of the most important tools for a professional craftsman to own.
2. Joinery Bits
Joinery bits are one of the finest router bits that you can find. These are used in order to curve fine joinery which you can do with your router and perfect bit. You can get these for box joints, finger joints, etc.
3. Matched bits
These are paired bits which are used to cut mating joints like stile and rail or tongue and groove profiles in order to create cabinet doors. You can check more popular sets of matched bits online. One of the best features about these great router bits is that they can adjust with the undersized ply of contemporary times by adjusting according to them.
4. Pattern bits and Flush Trim
These are the most efficient router bits when it comes to the question of production. As far as production is concerned, it increases that more than all the other kinds of router bits. Initially, it may look like a straight bit but a flush-trim has guided bearing at the end of the tool. The pattern bit consists of a shank with bearings in it. Both of the router bits usually features a pattern in order to make an appropriate duplicate.
Choosing the best router bits is very necessary when it comes to working on your projects as it enables or rather gives you more power to work seamlessly on your product.
Router bits are like super accessories that can be used for multiple purposes. In the recommendations above, we have discussed all the best router bits available in each category.