How to Choose Router Bits

Common Types of Router Bits

The more you work with a router, the larger your assort­ment of router bits is bound to become. There is an almost endless variety of router bits out there. But if you're starting a collection, you may want to start by stocking up on these common bits:

  • Chamfer router bits - Chamfer bits cut angles and shapes in the edge of materials. This is a great bit for the handyman wishing to create decorative pieces or edging.
  • Edge-forming router bits - For those with an especially skilled hand, edge-forming bits help with intricate edging tasks.
  • Flush trim router -- This type of bit has a giveaway name. They are used to make the edge of one material flush with another, like trim.
  • Joinery bits - These bits can be found in just about any shape and size, making them perfect for joining two separate materials together.
  • Rabbeting router bits -- Rabbeting bits can be purchased in sets. They're most commonly used to notch the edge of your building supplies. They cut vertically and horizontally at the same time.
  • Raised panel bits are most often used on door panels. They go hand in hand with stile and rail bits.
  • Stile and rail bits - These bits are great for projects involving framework or panel doors.
  • Straight router bits -- These bits are a must have for anyone with a router. These common bits are used for straight down cuts or to form grooves or dados.

Having the bits listed above will allow you to accomplish almost any job, but you may want to check with a professional or expert before getting into a project. Your local supplier will be able to help you chose the best router for the job. And even if you have to go it alone, be sure the check out the packaging. There are usually pictures that will show you the shape it makes.


Read on to find out about differences in router bit shank diameters.