Must have router bits for beginners

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Forum topic by Echofive posted 07-11-2009 06:33 PM 8202 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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98 posts in 2671 days

07-11-2009 06:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question router bits

I’ve tried searching the forum for a set of recommended “must have router bits” but didn’t really find the answers I was looking for. I was hoping that some experienced router guys would offer some suggestions for building a beginners arsenal of bits, and perhaps some brand names you have had good/bad luck with quality.

I know I want round overs, chamfers, dovetails, flush trims, and perhaps something to cut box joints.

Links to other threads are just as good as a fresh answer, and I appreciate any and all feedback.


-- Chip, Virginia

9 replies so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2103 posts in 3147 days

#1 posted 07-11-2009 06:50 PM

i say a good 4 pack of roundovers (and decent brand that uses carbide) is helpful. Also a small 4-5 pack of variety bits. Then get a set of rebetting bits (probably pays to buy quality here since replacing a set isn’t cheap and these will be used lots. finally, a good flush cutting bit. I’d try to stick with 1/2 inch shanks when possible. Everything else can probably be added as needed. hope this helps. hopefully i didn’t forget anything (assuming cabinet bits will come later).

PS – some find undersized plywood bits helpful too.

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2795 days

#2 posted 07-11-2009 08:32 PM

My most frequest users are roundovers, coves, chamfer, straights, rabbet, thumbnail edge, ogee, flush trim/pattern bit, and panel raisers. Get 1/2” shank whenever possible, and avoid the cheapest no name bits…carbide flies!

My first set was a 15 pc set from MLCS for $40 shipped…a good first set that lasted 3 or 4 years with occasional use. If I were to do it over, I’d lean toward the 7 pc basic set of the most commonly used profiles from Whiteside (~ $80 shipped from Holbren with “SMC10” discount code), then would add a few individual profiles as needed. Smaller sets make sense to me, but I don’t recommend the very large sets of cheaper bits…they’re still a lot money out of pocket in the end, and have several near duplicate profiles.

You can get decent quality import bits for lesser used and special profiles…names like MLCS, Holbren, Grizzly, Woodcraft, Woodline are good values. Highend bits for frequently used profiles and the most critical (visible) cuts last longer and cut better…Whiteside, Eagle America, Infinity, Freud, Amana, CMT are all excellent. MLCS’s “Katana” line, and Eagle America’s “Price Cutter” line are happy mediums.

Thumbnail edge:

Classical ogee:

Panel raising set:

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3004 days

#3 posted 07-11-2009 08:53 PM

Knotscot can you email me and tell me how you do the highlited words which open up to adverts and the like I have always wondered how this was done?Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Echofive's profile


98 posts in 2671 days

#4 posted 07-11-2009 09:25 PM

of all the forums I’ve ever been involved in (trucks, cars, computers, carpentry, carving, golf, sports, etc) that’s the best answer I’ve ever seen. Thanks Knotscot!!

Hokiemojo, The undersized plywood bits was a good idea I hadn’t thought of. Thanks!! (Can’t wait for Enter Sandman to play and Beamer to bring the boys out to do battle!!)

-- Chip, Virginia

View a1Jim's profile


115172 posts in 2996 days

#5 posted 07-11-2009 09:50 PM

Hey Chip
There are set of router bits on e bay that have a good variety, the sets Scott recommends are higher quality but to get a feel for what types of router bits you like these sets on e bay are very inexpensive and hold up amazing well for there cost as an example the have set with 80 pieces for around $80 including shipping . I normally suggest you buy the best tools you can afford but as an introduction to router bits these work well I have a number of students that have purchased them an they love them.

-- Custom furniture

View Echofive's profile


98 posts in 2671 days

#6 posted 07-11-2009 10:16 PM

Thanks Jim… that’s not a bad idea.

-- Chip, Virginia

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2795 days

#7 posted 07-11-2009 10:37 PM

You’re welcome Chip…kind of you to say.

Scotsman, I sent you a PM, but thought I’d post that note here in case others are interested:

”Hi Scotsman! (Nice desk BTW!)

Links are pretty simple on this site. Open a 2nd internet window and go the site you want to link. Highlight the address at the top of the page and hit “Ctrl” and the letter “C” at the same time to copy the highlighted URL address to your computer’s clipboard. Now go back to LJ’s site….when posting you’ll see a couple of icons at the top of the dialogue box, one of which looks like a chain link. Type and highlight the word you want to use as the link, then click on the chain link icon…that’ll open another dialogue box within the same window. click inside the new box and hit “Ctrl” and the letter “V” at the same time to paste the URL address into the the window, then hit “OK”. The word should now be highlighted with a link that’ll take you to the website address you copied.


-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Echofive's profile


98 posts in 2671 days

#8 posted 07-12-2009 06:03 AM

I’ve been really upset about money lately. I’ve been financially helping my goddaughter’s mom who is going through cancer treatments, and the pockets aren’t very deep lately. I bought a Mass Lotto $5 scratcher ticket tonight, and hiding under a $$ symbol were the numbers $200. I see a BOSCH 1617EVSPK in my immediate future :D

Karma baby… Karma

-- Chip, Virginia

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 3103 days

#9 posted 07-12-2009 06:39 AM

one more bit that was not mentioned but I find that I probably use the most (well, maybe after roundover) is template following (flushtrim with bearing between the cutter and the router). these are never cheap for some reason but are very very useful

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

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