Reply by richgreer

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Posted on Router bit question -- upcut vs. downcut

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4541 posts in 3098 days

#1 posted 12-21-2011 04:24 PM

Even though you will be using this bit in a table, it is easier to think about upcut versus downcut if you think of the bit in a hand held router.

The upcut brings the chips up and the downcut brings the chips down.

You should only use a downcut bit when you are running the bit all the way through the wood. The only purpose/advantage of a down cut bit is to minimize tearout on the top surface.

The upcut bit does a good job of clearing out the chips as you route. I always use an upcut bit when I am cutting mortises with a jig (Mortise Pal).

Of course, there are also, the more common straight cut bit, that is neither an upcut or downcut.

I’ve never seen a upcut or downcut bit as small 1/8”. The smallest I have is 3/8”. If you are dealing with an 1/8” diameter, you may be better served with a straight cut. I would expect an 1/8” upcut (or downcut) to be more likely to break than a straight bit of the same size.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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