Router Bit Profiles – The List

The router is one of the most popular tools in woodworking and can also be used as a hand tool or combined with a router table. Wood routers come in two predominantly designs: Fixed and plunge, which are created according to the type of work they produce and most importantly they can’t operate without bits.

Selecting the right router bit is crucial, therefore, here is an attempt to list and describe the multiple types of router bit profiles you would be using throughout your woodworking adventure.

Router bit profiles

4 flute corner round router bits

4 flute cornor round bit

This tool does exactly what its name suggests which is round off edges—according to its radius—around any of its four corners built into the rounding bit. The 4 flute corner round router bits also comes with different radius but the more popular sizes used for most woodworking jobs are the ¼, ½ and 3/8 inch radius.

ball end router bits

Ball End Router bits

The ball end router bit is designed for cutting circular channels on pipes or cables due to its ball-shaped cutting edge. This router bit is generally applied with a single pass or stroke in other to reduce stress on the bit. It also comes in multiple radiuses with the ¼ , 3/8 and 5/16 inches bits are the most commonly used ones.

beading router bits

Beading Router Bits

A bead is a quarter-round shape bounded by fillets and this is exactly what this router bit does. The widths of both fillets are set by the pilot bearing size and the depth of cut after its use. This router bit is used for finishing flat surfaces or edges on stairs and other wooden surfaces. It also comes in different radiuses according to the size you choose.

bowl & tray router bits

Bowl and Tray Router Bits

As the name suggests, the bowl & tray router bits are used for routing flat dishes, wooding trays, bowls and other flat surfaces in order to create a shallow space or bowl on these surfaces. On application, this bit cuts flat, smooth bottom surfaces, vertical walls and a transition radius when applied.

Bullnose router bits

Bullnose Router Bits

This router bit is built to cut a fillet in between two flat surfaces and is used to design stair threads, window seals, and counter edges. On application, it provides a fillet and a 180-degree ‘round over’ on the surface it is applied on. It also comes with different radial sizes including the ¼, ½ and 1/8 option.

Chamfer router bits

Chamfer Router Bits

Chamfer router bits are designed to provide a chamfered finish on wooden edges when applied and they are generally used on table tops, counter edges and other flat edges. The chamfer router bit comes in different radiuses which leave their crisp imprints at accurate angles to make 4, 6, 8 etc. boxes when applied to an edge. The sizes include ¼, ½, and 1/8.

Classical cove & bead router bits

Classical Cove & Bead Router Bits

The classical clove and bead router bits are bits used to create a bead and a corresponding fillet at the base of the bead. It also comes in different configurations were the bead and cove are reversed unlike the one in the picture below. It also comes in different radiuses including the popular ¼ radius size.

Classical cove router bits

Classical Cove Router Bits

The classical cove bit is popular due to its use as a filleting tool in period mouldings. On application, it produces a cove flanked by step fillets and can be applied on table edges, stools and window seals. Basically, it comes in two radiuses: the 5/16 and 3/16 sizes.

Classical molding router bits

Classical Molding Router Bits

The classical moulding router bits are also popular moulding tools used in woodworking to create multiple beads on flat edges. This router bit is mostly used on bed stands.

Core box router bits

Core Box Router Bits

These router bits are used as moulding tools to cut half-round grooves for fluted mouldings, columns and millwork. Note that on cutting with the core box router bit, it produces a semi-circular indent on the surface it is applied on. The tool also comes in different radiuses such as the ½ and ¼ sets.

Corner beading router bits

Cornor Beading Router Bits

The corner beading bits produces three different profiles which are an edge bead—with or without a fillet—and a full corner bead and this is achieved by changing the extension when in use. This tool is usually used to provide antique decorations to flat edges when needed. It also comes in different radiuses.

Corner round router bits

Cornor Round Router Bits

This is a quite popular router bit in woodworking due to its use as a rounding tool for edges according to the selected radius. The corner round router bit also known as a quarter round can also be used to ease sharp edges on furniture and it comes in diverse diameter bearings such as the ½ , ¼ ,and 3/16.

Corner round router bits w/ 1/4 Dia ball bearing

Cornor Round Router Bits1

This is a traditional quarter rounding tool which works with its ¼ diameter ball bearing to round narrow edges. The tool is also shouldered to cut a fillet and is basically used on sharp edged furniture or windows.

Corner round router bits w/ 3/8 Dia ball bearing

Cornor Round Router Bits2

Here is another version of the previous router bit with a different diameter which is 3/8 in this case.

Cove router bits

Cove Router Bits

This cove bit is a well-used tool in woodworking due to its ability to detail diverse edges such as case works, doors, drawers, columns and posts. It also is one-half of the rule joint used on drop-leaf tables. This tool basically comes in different radiuses which include the ¼, ½, and 1/8 bearings.

Drawing line router bits

Drawing line Router Bits

The drawing line router bit is used as a cutting tool which produces an edge bead without a quirk. The farther it cuts also determines the final shape it produces which is basically a fillet above the initial bead. It also comes in different sizes such as the ¼,and ½ radius.

Edge beading router bits
Edge Beading Router Bits

The edge beading router is similar to that of the corner bead discussed above but it also spots a radial quirk rather than a hard-edged quirk. The bit which possesses 2 flutes is used for designing table and stool edges as well as other flat edges. It usually comes with a radius of 5/32.

Edge fluting router bits

Edge Fluting Router Bits

The edge fluting router bit is designed to produce a fingernail flute instead of a 180 degree radius flute when applied. It is generally applied in the making of small-scale cornice-type mouldings on flat surfaces. It is a tool used in finishing or hollowing flat surfaces as the need may be. The edge flute comes in different sizes including the ½ , ¼ , and ¾ radius size.

Hand grip plunge router bits

Hand Grip Plunge Router Bits

As the name suggests, the hand grip plunger is designed for forming and edging internal hand-holds and cut-outs in a single pass. The bit is basically used to design holds on flat surfaces which can be seen on flat surfaces.

Handrail router bits

Handrail Router Bits

The handrail router bit is used to shape flat surfaces in such a way that it creates a knob or rail that can serve as a handle for human use. The device is usually employed on shaping desks and cupboards to provide handrails for use. Like most bits, it comes with multiple radiuses which make it a versatile tool type.

Insert cove router bits

In Tech Insert Cove Router Bits

This is an ideal tool for routing out hard or soft wood for as the user sees fit. On application, the tool provides a radial cut with two straight edges on either side. The In-tech insert cove router bit with the ½ inch radial bit is quite popular in woodworking.

Leaf-Edge beading router bit sets

Leaf Edge Beading Router Bit Sets

This is a design tool used in routing out leaf-like shapes on flat surfaces in order to provide beautiful designs on furniture surfaces. The leaf-edge beading router bit does this by creating a horizontal slice and two beads at each side of the slice. They come in different sets which produce varying leaf designs and flat surfaces and edges.

Louver router bits

Louver Router Bits

The louver router bits are used to cut shapes resembling a series of closed window louvers. The tool is basically a design tool which can be used to decorate chair and stool legs as well as other flat furniture surfaces. The bit also comes in different radiuses depending on the user’s needs.

Matched bead router bits

Matched Bead Router Bits

The matched bead router bit is a dual purpose bit designed to produce both matching mouldings and joints. It is generally used as an alternative to other flute and bead configurations when creating beads and joints for canoes and hot tubs. It comes in diverse radiuses which include a ¼, and 3/16 bit size.

Multi-edge beading router bits

Multi Edge Beading Router Bits

The multi-edge beading router bit is used to design multiple beading details on a straight edge as well as on mouldings. When applied, it produces a 180 degree bead and small beads according to the radius of the tool. It comes in different radiuses including the ¼ and ½ bit.

Nova system insert router bits

Nova System Insert Router Bits

The Nova system insert router bit sets is an interchangeable tool selector which serves as a variable cutting tool and can be used to design knife holders and kitchen boards for domestic use. The system provides insertion space for knives which are then used to cut or carve on flat surfaces as well as edges.

Ogee router bits

Ogee Router Bit

The Ogee bit is designed to have a convex curve coming off the bearing. The Ogee curve begins with a concave inning at the top and curves down into a convex curve. When applied, this router bit provides two straight edges and a bead and convex curve in the middle. The Ogee router bit comes with ¼, 5/32, and 3/8 radius amongst others.

Reed edge router bits

Reed Edge Router Bits

The reed edge bit is known for its elegant designs and is a design tool used to create patterns on wooden edges such as beds, chairs and stools. On applying the tool, it produces a thumbnail flanked by two full beads which forms an elegant edge profile. The tool also comes in different sizes according to your needs.

Table edge router bits

Table Edge Router Bits

The table edge router bit is also a design cutter built for finishing table edges, bed posts and chairs with a splendid design pattern. The table edge router bit produces a wide profile with an arc based on the ellipse instead of a circle. Once used, the design can serve both as an aesthetic piece or a handrail for users.

Tripple beading & fluting router bits

Triple Beading & Fluting Router Bits

The triple beading bit as its name suggests is a cutting tool that provides three symmetric beads on the edge. It serves as cutting tool for designing miniature handrails on beds and tables. The tool comes in different sizes and is universally used as an aesthetic tool.

Variable beading router bits

Variable Beading Router Bit

The variable beading router bit is quite similar to the triple bead tool due to the fact that when used, it produces three beads but unlike the symmetric pattern produced by the latter, the variable beading tool produces three asymmetric beads on edges. It can be used to design bed post, tables, chairs and stools.

Variable double chamfer assembly

Variable Double Chamfer Assembly

When in need of double chamfers on two wooden edges, the variable double chamfer bit should be your go-to tool. The chamfer can be switched from a 30 degree angle to a 45 to provide some variety when applied on edges. It consists of multiple chamfer cutters in three wings to get the job done.

Veining single flute router bits

Veining Single Flute Router Bits

The veining single flute router bit cuts a semi-circle flanked by two straight edges when applied on a flat surface. The depth of the cut when applied can be quite deep thereby giving it its name as a veining bit. The tool comes with varying bearing lengths which can be chosen according to the user’s needs.

Here we come to the end of our description on some of the most popular router bit profiles used in woodworking. There are other router bit out there and if you fill we have missed one that is regularly used by you, do not hesitate to add it in the comment space below.

The Best Router Bits for Woodworkers

Router bits come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on what kind of woodworking you like to do, you may need 10 bits or 100 making it a complete router bit set. If you’re just getting started in woodworking and don’t know what bits to get, don’t worry; you’ll find all the information you need in this article. A few basic bits can do a lot, and you can always add to your collection when you take on a project that requires something you don’t already have.

Best router bits

BitsNumber of router bitsRatings
Stalwart Multi-purpose
Router Bit Set
24 bitsstar1star1star1star1star1
Neiko Premium Tungsten
Carbide Bits
80 bitsstar1star1star1star1
Yonico 17702 70 Bits70 bitsstar1star1star1star1
Router bit set24 bitsstar1star1star1star1star1
MLCS 8369 1/2-Inch shank
Carbide-tipped Bits
30 bitsstar1star1star1star1star1

Router Bits for Decorative Profiles

Ogee

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To make decorative edges in doors and drawer fronts, you need a router and the appropriate bit. There are plenty of fancy profile bits on the market, but only a few that most woodworkers would consider essential. The ogee is one of the most common profiles for doors and drawer fronts, and there are a few variations of it. You’ll see the ogee in all kinds of cabinet and furniture projects, and there probably isn’t a cabinet shop in the world that doesn’t have at least one of these bits. A good bit should be fitted with a bearing at the end of the shank so that you can use it for handheld operations and in your router table. For under $25, you should be able to find a set of the three most popular ogee bits: the roundover bead, the classical ogee and the double roman ogee.

Table Edge Profiles

Router-bit-setsTable edges can be plain and square or highly ornate. A Shaker table should have simple edges that are slightly eased, but to give your own designs a little more flare, consider investing in a set of table edge bits. A three-piece table edge router bit set should set you back about $45 and will provide a number of options for decorative edges in all kinds of tables. There are more expensive sets available from different manufacturers, but you don’t need to spend a small fortune for premium bits unless you plan to build tables by the dozen.

Bullnose Bits

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Frequently, one little detail can really make a project stand out. A bullnose edge on a shelf is a perfect example, and you’ll find a good set of 5 bullnose bits online for materials between ¼” and ¾” thick for about $40. A bullnose also makes a nice table or countertop edge, and it’s a good idea to have one large bit (maybe 1-1/4”) on hand for special projects.

Roundovers

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The roundover could be the most commonly used profile in woodworking. You’ll find it on face frames for cabinets and furniture, and you’ve surely seen it many times on the edges of legs and furniture components. A roundover gives a project a finished look and softens sharp edges. Many woodworkers have a roundover bit permanently set up in a palm router for convenience. Because you’ll probably find yourself using this bit often, you might want to do the same. Roundovers come in a variety of sizes, but a 1/8” bit is a must. Other sizes are also helpful, like ¼”, 3/8” and ½”. You can get six popular sizes in one set for about $40, and it’s safe to say you’ll use them all.

Chamfer Bits

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Next to the roundover, the chamfer might be the second most popular bit for simple edge details in cabinet and furniture projects. A chamfer is a simple angle, usually 45 degrees, cut into the edge of a piece. For a factory-made look, you can route a 1/16” to 1/8” chamfer in the edges of your furniture. A bigger chamfer (3/8”) looks nice in a face frame for an entertainment center or armoire. You’ll get a lot of use out of a basic collection of chamfer bits with angles between 11.25 degrees and 45 degrees.

Cove Bits

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A roundover bit produces a convex profile in the edge of a board, but a cove does the opposite. Coves, or concave profiles, are often routed into the edges of doors, drawer fronts and face frames. Just like roundover bits, cove bits come in a variety of sizes, starting around 1/8”. A good set of three or four bits up to ½” should take care of all your cove routing needs.

Router Bits for Joinery

Joinery is the heart of woodworking, and a router is the perfect tool for making all kinds of joints. From dovetails to lap joints, the router can do it all, if you have the right bits. A half dozen bits should be all you need to make just about any joint.

Straight Bit

A straight bit is about as simple as a router bit can be. It usually has two straight cutting edges and is excellent for all kinds of joinery work. In a portable router, you can use a straight bit and jig to produce rabbets, lap joints, tenons, mortises, dados, box joints and more. When set in the router table, the straight bit can even function as a jointer to straighten the edges of crooked boards. No bit is quite as versatile as this one, so it’s a must-have. You’ll want a few different sizes, from ¼” diameter up to at least ½”. For lap joints and work that requires the removal of large amounts of material, go even bigger (think ¾”). There are myriad jigs and accessories that will help you get more out of your straight bits.

Dovetail Bits

Router-bit-sets

What woodworker doesn’t love a good dovetail joint? It’s an attractive way to join parts for cabinets, furniture and drawers. Dovetails can be any width, but are often ½” in drawer parts and wider in cabinet components. The angle on a dovetail bit can vary, but 14 degrees is common. You can use a dovetail bit with a special jig to make dovetailing easy, and you can find several different jigs for this purpose. It’s good to have a few different diameters and angles, so look for a set that has a few bits and experiment to find the bit you’ll end up using most.

Glue Joint Bit

When you need to glue up solid wood to make panels for doors or tabletops, a glue joint bit will make the job much easier. It can be difficult to keep boards aligned during glue up, so woodworkers often use dowels or biscuits in their panels. That can sometimes be a problem, and the glue joint bit eliminates the need for fasteners of any kind. Glue joint bits work this way: You route the edge of one board with the top face down on the router table, and then route the edge of the mating board with the top face up. When you butt the edges of the two boards together, they fit into each other. Glue joint bits produce self-aligning joints, which make panel glue ups a breeze. For most projects, you’ll need a bit that works with stock up to ¾” or thicker.

Lock Miter Bits

To build small boxes, furniture legs or columns with solid wood, nothing compares to the lock miter bit. It produces interlocking parts with plenty of glue surface. This bit can be tricky to set up, and you’ll have to route half of your parts on edge, but once you get the hang of how a lock miter bit works, you’ll use it often. Several manufacturers make lock miter bits, but they all function the same way. A few companies sell setup block with their bits, which make a much easier job of getting things right the first time. Almost all lock miter bits will handle material up to ¾” thick, and you should get one with a ½” shank.

Rabbeting Miter Bit

Lock miter joints are strong in solid stock, but they don’t work as well in plywood or MDF. The little fingers on the joint tend to break in these materials, so a rabbet miter joint is a better choice. A rabbet miter joint is probably just what you think it is, a miter joint with a rabbet. Unlike the lock miter, you’ll need two bits to produce this joint, and they’re usually sold together. You install the smaller bit in your router table and route half of your stock. Then, you install the larger bit and route the second half. The result is a self-aligning joint with a lot of glue surface. Look for a rabbeting miter joint bit set that includes a setup block; the setup can be fussy.

Bits for Door Making

Door Making Sets

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Do you want to make your own doors for cabinets and furniture? It’s easy to with a router and a few bits. You can buy a complete set that includes bits for the coping cut, profile and raised panel. To make doors on the router, you route the ends of the rails with one bit, and then route the profile on the inside edge of the rails and stiles with another bit. To route the panel, you use a third bit. Door making router bit sets are available with a variety of profiles, including all kinds of ogees. An inexpensive three-piece set starts around $55, but there are so many options and you can easily spend upwards of $200 for premium bits.

Router bit manufacturers now offer “stacked” rail and stile bits that can make cope and profile cuts, so you only need one bit instead of two. There are inexpensive stacked bits for about $25 online, but high-quality bits can be over $100. When you get one of these bits, remember that you’ll still need the panel-raising bit.

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Handy Bits for Other Work

Rabbeting Bit

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A rabbet is essentially a small step in the edge of a board, and it’s a detail that most woodworkers need to create from time to time. You can buy rabbeting bits in different diameters, or purchase one bit with a number of bearings that will allow you to make rabbets in several sizes with the same cutter. A decent rabbeting bit will make rabbets up to ½” wide.

Flush Trimming Bit

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After the straight bit, the flush trimming bit has to be the most useful bit you’ll ever own. It allows you to trim a piece of wood flush with another, and is great for template routing. You can route exact copies of a template with a flush trimming bit.

Cabinetmakers use these bits to trim the overhang on face frames flush with cabinet end panels. You should have these bits with ¼” and ½” shanks with matching cutter diameters for maximum flexibility.

V Groove Bit

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You can make your own signs with attractive lettering using a v groove bit, which has a cutter that comes to a sharp point at the tip. V groove bits are available with different cutter angles, and it’s helpful to have 45, 60 and 90 degree bits.

Core Box Bit

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For 3D carving with a handheld router or a CNC machine, get yourself a core box bit. It’s a simple straight bit with a round end that can cut contours in the face of a board. A core box bit shouldn’t be used for plunge cuts; it’s meant to be ramped into the material.

Best Starter Router Bit Sets

A good starter set will have a combination of bits for decorative profiles, joinery, rabbeting and flush trimming. Here are a few good options for the beginning woodworker.

Yonico 17702 70 Bit Professional Router Bit Set

Router-Bit-Sets-Yonico

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This set includes several sizes of roundover, chamfer, ogee, bullnose, cove, straight, dovetail v groove and flush-trimming bits. You should be able to handle any profile and joint making task with this set, other than door making. Yonico bits are made with high-grade carbide and designed to provide professional results within the hobbyist’s budget.

MLCS 8369 ½” Shank, 30 Piece Router Bit Set

Router-Bit-Sets-MLCS

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You’ll get several straight, dovetail, chamfer, core box, ogee, rabbet, cove and roundover bits with this set. All bits in this set come with ½” shanks.

Yonico 12335 Raised Panel Cabinet Door Router Bit Set with Ogee Profile

Router-Bit-Sets-Yonico

Make your own frame-and-panel doors with this 3-piece set that include a panel-raising bit. It’s the perfect complement to one of the general purpose sets above, and will allow you to make almost any furniture or cabinet project you can dream up.

Freud 97-150 3 Piece Door Router Bit Set

Router-Bit-Sets-Freud

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Freud bits are known to be top quality, and this is an excellent set of door making bits you can use to make doors from 5/8” to 1-1/4” thick. The included panel-raising bit produces a beveled panel, and the door profile is a simple bead.

Yonico 15336 Jointing Router Bit Set, 3 Piece

Router-Bit-Sets-Yonico

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You can make lock miters, drawer front joints and glue joints with this set. That’s all the joinery you need for projects like small boxes, furniture legs, drawers and tabletops. If you own this set, plus a door making and a general purpose set like the first two in this list, there’s nothing you can’t do.