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How to choose good router bit set

When selecting router bit sets router bit set, there are several factors to consider to ensure you get a comprehensive and useful collection of bits.

Roundover Router Bit Set, 5 Pieces, 1/4 Inch Shank

First, look at the size of the set. Router bit sets can range from just a few bits up to 60+ pieces. For the home woodworking shop, a set in the 25-45 bit range is likely ideal to start. Any less and you may lack some needed profiles and functions. Any more and you may get obscure specialty bits you rarely use. A mid-sized set gives you all the common profiles and diameters without unnecessary extras.

Next, make sure the set has bits covering these basic categories:

  • Edge forming bits - These include roundover, chamfer, ogee, roman ogee, cove. They shape and finish edges of boards. At least 2-3 profiles and several diameter sizes for each are useful.
  • Joinery bits - Look for slot cutter, dovetail, straight, and rabbeting bits to cut joints. Dovetail and straight bits should come in common widths like 1/4", 1/2", 3/4".
  • Decorative edge bits - Bits like bead, flare, chamfer, miniature profiles. These add detail to projects.
  • Grooving bits - For cutting channels and grooves. Should include sizes like 1/4” and 1/2”.
  • Panel raising bits - Classical profiles like greek ogee, roman ogee, roundover. Used on raised panels like for cabinet doors.
  • Vehicle and tool paths - Bits like v-carve, roundnose, corebox. Allow following curved and intricate toolpaths.
  • The best sets feature both 1/4" and 1/2" shank bits. 1/4" shank is good for smaller trim routers and tight spaces. 1/2" is preferred for stability and larger applications. Avoid sets with mostly 1/4" shanks.

    Carbide tipped bits will offer the longest life and sharpest cuts. Solid carbide is optimal but pricier. High speed steel bits can work but may require more frequent sharpening. Make sure the set indicates the cutter material.

    Look for contemporary router bit designs as well. Spiral upcut and downcut, shear angle, and compression bits will provide smoother, cleaner results on modern projects. Avoid sets with mostly outdated bit styles.

    For precision joinery work, pay attention to the bearings on bits like dovetail, rabbet and flush trim. High quality ball or roller bearings ensure accurate guiding along edges. Avoid low-end sleeve type bearings.

    When comparing brands, Freud, Whiteside, CMT, and Amana offer excellent quality and value for the money. Sets in the $150-$300 range can deliver professional results for any home shop. Going with the cheapest set often leads to disappointment.

    Finally, choose a set that comes in a protective case. Plastic indexed cases allow organizing bits by profile while protecting them from damage. Some even have room to add more bits as your collection grows. A good case ensures you can easily find the right profile when needed.

    Following these guidelines when selecting your router bit set will help equip your shop with a versatile variety of useful profiles and functions to handle any woodworking job. The right set of router bits set of router bits can save you significant time and expand your capabilities by cutting precise edges, joints, and decorative details with ease.