Home Router Bits

A router is an important part of any home woodworking shop. Routers can create finished edges, create slots for biscuit joints, and perform a great many other tasks a saw can't do. You'll need router bits to do anything with your router, but it's easy to find just the right one for the job whether you're looking for a certain shape or material like carbide.

Are bits interchangeable on different routers?

Router bits attach much like drill bits or saw blades. Each bit has a shank that inserts into the centre of a set of metal teeth, which can then be tightened with a hex key to clamp down on the shank. Therefore, the bits are not proprietary and can be used on any router.

What are some variations of router bits?

There are literally too many variations to list them all here, but here is a sample of what you can find:

  • Rounded: Rounded router bits resemble a bell in shape, with a domed top and flat flange on the bottom. These bits are used to give an elegant curved edge to wood projects, much like you see on the sides of tables and the edges of wall trim.
  • Tongue and groove: These are actually a set of two bits in one kit. It is used to create a joint between the sides or ends of two pieces of wood by creating a channel on one edge and a matching ridge on the other edge, allowing it to slide into the channel to lock the pieces together. One piece has a thin disc blade that creates the channel, and the other has two thin discs the width of the other piece's blade apart to create a matching ridge. They are available in different widths to accommodate different thicknesses of wood.
  • Biscuit slotter: A biscuit slotter is a round disc that cuts a slot into the edge of a piece of wood to allow a standard-sized biscuit to be inserted. A slot is made in two pieces of wood, and the biscuit is sandwiched between them to join the pieces.
  • Template: A template bit will carve a channel into a piece of wood in whatever pattern you may need. Sometimes a channel may be made close to the edge of a table or tray, or to allow a bearing to move along it.
  • Stepped: A stepped bit creates a series of cuts in a stepped pattern. This can be used for edging or to create channels for a ridge or other piece to slot into.
Do you have to purchase bits individually?

There are router bit sets available that have a variety of different bits to suit your various needs. You can find router bit sets with different sizes of one type of bit or large kits that have a variety of all the different types.