They will both do the job but the bit is the key, a shew angle/Shear Angle on the bit will work best.
Instead of chopping at the wood fibers at a 90º angle, the shear angle design allows for a smoother shear angle, slicing cut.
I use both techniques. Guides are nice for 2 reasons: I can use a spiral bit if needed, and, I'm less likely to damage the template. That being said, using pattern bits is fast and easy. You don't have to worry about offsets in making your templates, you just cut the exact shape you want.
Depending on how many items you are going to be making from your template, using a guide might be the way to go. If it is just one or two cuts, the pattern bit might be best.
Hi Trap, I'm sure that other members of this forum won't be surprised*when I tell you that template guides are the way to go,don't be put off by the thought of off-sets, there is nothing to it, I and of course Template Tom have covered this in previous posts. There are of course still uses for bearing cutters as I shall show in a few days when I post a photo-shoot of the making of a small simple coffee table
* The fact that I am an an ex-student of Template Tom
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