Router bit sets are an integral part of any woodworking toolset. They are used with a router to hollow out areas in wood and create detailed patterns or edges. The versatility of router bits allows for the creation of an array of finishes, making them indispensable for both professional woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts. Here are some router bit sets you must know:
1. Straight Router Bit Set: This is one of the most basic and versatile router bit sets. It is used for making straight cuts to hollow out an area in the workpiece. This set typically includes bits of different diameters to fit various needs. Straight router bits can be used for dadoes, rabbets, and creating mortise and tenon joints.
2. Edge Forming Router Bit Set: This set is designed to cut a decorative edge on a workpiece. This could include profiles such as round over, chamfer, and ogee. Edge forming bits are often used when making cabinets, doors, and shelves, or for adding detailed edges to furniture.
3. Joinery Router Bit Set: This set is specifically designed for creating different types of wood joints. It may include dovetail bits, drawer lock bits, finger joint bits, and slot cutter bits. These are ideal for complex woodworking projects where strong joints are needed, such as in furniture building.
4. Raised Panel Router Bit Set: This set, often used in combination with stile and rail bit sets, is designed for creating the raised panel look in wooden doors or large furniture pieces. It typically includes a variety of large-diameter bits for creating different profiles on the panel.
5. Stile and Rail Router Bit Set: This set is designed to cut rail and stile joints for frame pieces, typically for cabinet doors. The set usually includes two bits: one for the rail cut (across the grain) and one for the stile cut (along the grain).
6. Flush Trim Router Bit Set: This set is used for trimming the edge of one material flush with the edge of another. They're equipped with a bearing that rides along the edge of a workpiece, making them perfect for pattern or template work.
7. Molding Router Bit Set: This set is designed to cut a variety of decorative profiles, allowing you to create custom moldings for home décor or furniture.
When selecting a router bit set, it is important to take into consideration the quality of the bits. High-quality router bits will provide a cleaner cut and last longer. Carbide-tipped router bits tend to stay sharp longer than those made from high-speed steel, but they are also more expensive.
Also, consider the shank size of the router bit. Router bits come in two shank sizes: 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch. In general, 1/2-inch shank bits are preferred because they provide better stability and less vibration, leading to smoother cuts and less strain on the router. However, not all routers can accommodate 1/2-inch shank bits, so be sure to check your router's specifications.
In addition to the type and quality of the router bits, safety should always be a priority when using them. Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying wood chips and make sure to use the router in a well-ventilated area as it can produce a lot of dust.
In conclusion, router bit sets are a must-have for anyone interested in woodworking. Whether you're a professional carpenter or a DIY enthusiast, knowing how to choose and use the right router bit set can greatly enhance your woodworking projects.