Back to Woodworking Basics: Smart Bit Storage
You invest a lot of money in your router bits. Even buying inexpensive ones, the money adds up quick. That's why I hope your bit storage does not look like this!
Keeping the bits loose in a drawer is a recipe for disaster. The fragile cutting edges can be chipped against each other, and extra pieces and parts can be lost. The bits kept in their original packaging will stay together and protected, but to find the bit you want at any given time means pawing through the entire drawer.
I like mounting my bits in small blocks to keep them separate and easily visible in a cabinet. Typically, I use simple blocks that I can cut in batches to safely store my bits. But with profile bits that may require accurate setups, I create sample blocks made from the parts I am working with.
These blocks not only store the bits safely, but provide an instantly available reference for setting up the bit. I always make extra stock to check and fine tune the setup for profile bits, so when the project is complete, I simply cut a small section of the set up stock and drill a hole to hole the shank of the bit.
Getting into this habit is especially useful for bits with multiple profiles that need to mate up, like the Reversible Stile and Rail Bit. The bit is stored with the set up, so I never need to search for either one. I even do this with the set up blocks that I buy with bits, like the Lock Miter Bit. And many bits come with accessory pieces. Spacers, bearings and the like can be kept with the bit by adding a small pin to hold them in place.
There are many good bit storage solutions on the market, and I even use some of them. But being able to see and grab the bit I want at a glance, and then being able to set it up using the block it is sitting in, just makes my woodworking less stressful.