Router Bits: Straight vs Rabbet vs Dado

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Forum topic by Broooklyn posted 03-05-2010 12:38 AM 6422 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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51 posts in 2468 days

03-05-2010 12:38 AM

I’m shopping for my first router bits and I’m looking for straight bits. It seems to me, with a fence and depth adjustments, I can also cut dadoes and rabbets with a straight router bit. So what’s the advantage to having bits specifically for rabbets and dadoes?

-- Matt - Brooklyn, NY

6 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4407 posts in 3381 days

#1 posted 03-05-2010 12:43 AM

Straight bits will work just fine when used with a straight edge attachment or table. You can buy 4 gazzilion different bits to do 8 gazzilion jobs if ya have 30 gazzilion dollars.
Are you using a table? Have you gotten a good book about router use?


View LeeG's profile


40 posts in 2442 days

#2 posted 03-05-2010 01:04 AM

The only real advantage of using a rabbeting bit vs a straight bit is repeatability. If you are doing all of your cuts at the same time, that doesn’t matter. I would make a rabbeting bit a low priority if I already had a table mounted router. If you have one, you can easily repeat a depth of cut if you need to add another board later.

-- Lee in Phoenix

View Broooklyn's profile


51 posts in 2468 days

#3 posted 03-05-2010 02:26 AM

I don’t have a table yet, so I’ll routing by hand. I don’t have a book on routers but I’ve watched a lot of videos and read a lot stuff online.

-- Matt - Brooklyn, NY

View skone's profile


145 posts in 2226 days

#4 posted 02-20-2011 09:33 PM

matt, what did you end up doing? i’m setting up my first router and looking for my first bits now. routing dados by hand with a straight edge. if i wanna fit 1” (3/4) stock into the dado groove – what measure should the bit be? i’ve seen some “reduced” size bits for 3/4 plywood and not sure if that’s what i need….

-- "Take extra care not to lose what you feel" (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood)

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2495 days

#5 posted 02-20-2011 09:55 PM

I sometimes use my router for dados and rabbets but my first choice is to use the table saw with a dado stack.

IMO – a dado stack leaves a cleaner cut and is more versatile.

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

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3194 days

#6 posted 02-20-2011 10:15 PM

If you are going to rout a lot of dados and rabbits for plywood you might want to buy a set of plywood router bits that is designed for todays undersized plywoods. I prefer using my dado heads like Rich but a lot of people prefer using a router and straight edge.

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

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