Routers are fantastic tools to have, they let you drill, cut and make joints into the wood. You can make smooth edges, carve in nice designs – they’re a tool that you can get a lot of mileage out of and of course, the bit is what makes all of that wood cutting goodness happen.

Without the bit, you’re not going to be doing much of anything with your router. The large array of shapes and sizes they come in makes wood routers incredibly versatile tools to have. The shape - or profile - of the bit is largely what determines how the final product you’re creating will come out. Below is a list of just some of the bits that can be used for woodworking or household projects.

Straight Router Bits

These types of bits are pretty commonly found inside of workshops and are responsible for making straight cuts called dados (grooves that stretch across the wood grain) or are used to hollow out parts of the wood for mortises as well as inlays. This kind of bit comes in many different lengths and diameters.

Chamfer Router Bits

Chamfer bits let you cut bevels into the wood which can make it easy to connect multi-level construction projects together or can simply be used to make decorative cuts into wooden surfaces. Chamfer bits can be used to make wastebaskets, planters and multi-sided boxes.

Edge Forming Bits

This is the kind of bit that will be most likely used to cut decorative edges and there are many variations of edge forming bits out there that can be used to achieve specific results. Ogee bits, for example, cut an “S” shape while Cove bits are able to cut concave quarter-circles. There are also Round-Over bits that are used to make rounded edges that come in different diameters.

Flush-Trim Router Bits

Flush-trim router bits are pretty much what they say on the tin. When using these bits, they are typically guided by a pilot bearing that’s the same diameter as the bit cutter and are either located at the bit’s base or tip. A flush-trim router bit is what you’d use if you wanted to trim the edge of one material’s surface with another’s. You could, say, use this variation of bit if you wanted to trim a veneered surface flush with an underlying layer.

Rabbeting Router Bits

Guided by spinning pilot bearings at the tip, this sort of bit is made specifically to cut a rabbet (shoulder) into the edge of a piece of wood which may likely be used to join pieces together. Rabbeting bits can be bought in a set, with bearings of differing diameters, which allows you to produce rabbets of different sizes.

Specialized Bits

Specialized bits are another “what it says on the tin” situation. These kinds of bits were made with specific types of jobs in mind. Take for example stile-and-rail bits which are what you would use to shape frame pieces inside things like cabinet doors and raised-panel bits - or frame-and-panel pieces. Stile-and-rail bits are kind of on the large side and are only able to be safely used on table-mounted routers.

Other examples of specialized bits are:
  • Molding bits - used to combine multiple edge-forming pieces into a singular bit
  • Dovetail bits - used to make “dovetail joints” on constructions like drawers or boxes
  • Finger joint bits - used to make stronger glue end joints, it’s good for helping join particle board, solid wood stock, and composition board

There are many different varieties of router bits that can be used for woodworking or construction projects and hopefully, this list has helped you make a more informed choice on what kind of bits that you may want or need to work with. Do any of you out there have a favorite kind of bit to work with? Let us know what your preferences are - we like hearing from you guys!