Router Bits

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Here are some key terms you'll want to know in selecting the right router bit for your project.

Profile: The shape of the bit's edge and the contour of the resulting cut. Common profiles include:

  • Straight bits make straight cuts such as dadoes and grooves.
  • Rabbeting bits cut a notch along the edge of a workpiece.
  • Flush-trim bits trim the edge of one workpiece to match the edge of another.
  • Chamfer bits cut a bevel on the edge of a workpiece. Round-over bits soften the edge of a workpiece. They come in different radiuses.
  • Beading bits cut a rounded decorative edge.
  • Molding bits combine edge-forming profiles into one bit.
  • Specialty bits – such as dovetail, stile-and-rail, and panel-raising bits – are used to do specific tasks.

Shank: The part of the bit that is secured in the router. The two most common shank sizes are 1/4" and 1/2".

Pilot bearing: On some router bits, the free-rotating metal wheel above or below the cutter that runs along the workpiece edge, acting as a guide.

HSS: High-speed steel.

Carbide: Material often used to make cutting tips on router bits. It's harder than steel and holds an edge longer.

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