Reversable Rail and Stile bit set up issues.

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Forum topic by trevor7428 posted 03-01-2016 04:32 AM 675 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View trevor7428's profile


243 posts in 925 days

03-01-2016 04:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question router

So I purchased 2, reversible rail and stile router bits from Lowes, $40 each. I planned to always keep 1 as rail bit and the other as stile.

My issue is the set up. Of course no instruction came with bit, no user Manual on and no reviews for bit online.

The bit came set up as a rail bit with the bearing on top. (Sorry if I got rail and stile mixed up always forget which is which)

When I try to make the stile bit (or whichever has the bearing in the middle) the cutters are pointing the wrong way. (As seen in picture)

I’m really confused how this is supposed to work. How do I switch from bearing being on top (rail) to bearing in middle (stile) (basically how to switch from rail to stile)

...the cutters point in the wrong way because you have to flip the piece with the profile upside down. When doing this. The cutter now points in wrong direction

As far as I’m aware, you would never want to run the bit. If cutters are pointing wrong way. Wouldn’t that be like running board left to right on router table?

Thanks for the help

-- Thank You Trevor OBrion

5 replies so far

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1417 days

#1 posted 03-01-2016 04:46 AM

Do not flip the cutter, you flip the workpiece. The slot cutter is the reference cutter. On one pass the cutter should be at 5/8”, on the reverse 1/8” or even with the slot cut on the first pass. Invest $40 in a digital height gauge and resetting back will be a LOT easier.

Use your miter gauge for the rail end cuts. Line the end of the workpiece up with the guide bearing and use a backer board to prevent tearout. The long stile cuts should be made first and the rail end cuts last. If your setup leaves the thinnest of webs at the inside corners your setup is on the $$$


-- Madmark -

View runswithscissors's profile


2724 posts in 1990 days

#2 posted 03-01-2016 04:57 AM

Here’s a mnemonic: Rails—which way to fence rails go? horizontal, right? So there you are (I’m just passing on what somebody else told me).

Definitely don’t flip the cutters over (unless you have a shaper, in which case, you can use the reversing switch).

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View hotbyte's profile


991 posts in 2940 days

#3 posted 03-01-2016 12:06 PM

To remember which is which, I think of hand rails which are horizontal…similar to what runswithscissiors said.

View hotbyte's profile


991 posts in 2940 days

#4 posted 03-01-2016 12:50 PM

Grizzly has a manual for a similar looking bit…no idea if it would be pertinent to yours or not.

Grizzly reversible R&S Bit

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1280 posts in 1694 days

#5 posted 03-01-2016 01:27 PM

Trevor, the bit with the bearing in the middle is the rail cutter. You’ve got it backwards. Remove the nut and washer, put them aside, and remove the 3 pieces, turn them over and reinstall them onto the arbor. Put the washer and nut back in place and screw it back on until tight. The bearing leaves a tongue, so that has to be your rail cutter. The stile leaves a groove, so that has to be your stile cutter.

There should have been some brass washers in that mess.For that good fit you’re looking for, they must be put back in place….

Before I cut my rails to length I cut them 2 time rails to length, I cut them 2 x’s plus at least 1/4” wider than 2 rails. In other words, if my rails and stiles are 2 1/4”-2 1/2” wide, I cut my rail boards at 4 3/4= – 5 1/4”+. After the rail ends are detailed, I then go back to my saw and cut them to width, 2 1/4- 2 1/2”. I then finish my rail detail with the stile cutter… Piece of cake, and don’t need a backer board to slip and get tear out when it can be prevented…... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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