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Before you grab a piece of wood, track down your router and get to work, you need to make sure that you have the right set for the jobs. They are the metal pieces that fit inside the router and do the actual cutting. As they come in different sizes and shapes, finding the right one for the job can take more work than you ever expected.
The years of work that I have as a woodworking enthusiast helped me find these items suitable for all types of jobs. I used my experience to create a helpful guide that you can use to find the right set for your shop. You can look over types, how to choose the right kind and even which bits are best for woodworking projects.
One of the first things you need to think about before purchasing a set is what set you need for the job. I'll go over some of the more common types to help you choose.
As the name implies, this is a type comes with a straight edge. This helps you create a straight cut on a piece of wood. You can choose from different measurements based on your projects.
Designed for jobs that involve joining or connecting two pieces of wood, it is one that lets you create a notch in the board. You can use a larger tool to remove a longer or wider strip of wood too. They come in standard sizes like ½ inch.
Sometimes called a decorative tool, it has an almost triangular shape. It helps you remove a thinner strip of wood to create a sharp edge. Many hobbyists and professionals use these when making beveled edges.
These go by a few different names like flush-trim. The idea is that using one lets you create a completely smooth edge when using two different types of materials. They are necessary when adding veneer or laminate to a piece of wood.
You'll also find something called an edge-forming tool. Though most hobbyists will never need one of these, an edge-forming tool makes creating decorative pieces and edges a little easier.
Choosing the Right Types For the Job
Selecting the right bit depends on the job that you have in mind. Edge-forming tool lets you create decorative geometric shapes or scalloping along a trim.
Most home improvement jobs require nothing more than a straight tool, though you may want to look for those in different sizes to tackle more jobs. I also recommend having a rabbeting one when making things like cabinets. It helps you create the flat and smooth edges that you need when building cabinet doors, but they are also great for making trim pieces for your living room or bedroom.
You may want to take a look at some of the specialty tools too. Also called specialized items, they meant for specific types of jobs. Dovetail bits let you create wood pieces that are smooth and level for creating dovetail joints, while raised-panel ones help you create the raised panels that you want on interior doors and cabinet doors.
And the Ultimate Set is…
Once you have the best-rated router, it’s time to take a look at the bit sets that you can use with your new tool. My top choice is the Milescraft Long Beach Set, which is one of the highest rated kits around. Made from heavy-duty metal, each one features a carbide tip that can easily slice through any wood without leaving behind splinters or frayed edges.
Designed to work with standard collets of ¼ inch, it is compatible with most of the routers available today and most of the best routers I rated and reviewed. This set comes with three different size tools that are suitable for a range of different jobs. Though the manufacturer recommends using this set for sign making, you’ll find that the set works for cabinets, doors and other projects.
Woodworking Router Sets Review
Even if you have one of the top routers designed for woodworking, you may need more than just a flush trim because of the projects you want to do. While many use the same shapes, profiles and sizes for cutting wood, laminate, plastic, metal and other materials, some are better suited for woodworking projects. You can check out some of the tools that you might need for those projects.
A rounding-overt has a pilot in the center with a ball bearing inside to help you stay on track. Most use either a 3/8-inch or ¼-inch size. This type helps you create a smoother and more rounded surface on a straight edge and is great for using when making furniture.
An ogee, also called a Roman ogee, has a unique profile that features a sharp edge on one side and a rounded or curved shape along the sides. Most use this type when adding some detailing to trim or furniture.
You may also need a cove which lets you remove a section from a board that leaves behind a concave design. These come in a range of shapes, and most woodworking enthusiasts use on when making curved table legs and similar pieces of furniture.
Looking at profiles is an easy way to see what it looks like before you use it. This also gives you an idea of what the finished wood will look like after cutting it. Some of the more common profiles include:
Though a chamfer looks triangular in shape when first viewed, its profile is actually more of a polygon. It looks like a small square, but one edge has a 45-degree angle to the square.
A straight tool also goes by the name of a dado. Its profile features two longer sides and a base. At the top is an indent or cutout that drops down towards the center of the square.
When you first look at a rabbeting tool, you'll notice that it looks like an uppercase L. This type has a long edge on the left, a shorter edge on the right and both a longer and shorter edge on the top and bottom. Depending on how you use it, the edges may face the opposite direction.
As some woodworking enthusiasts are visual, they have a hard time figuring out what my descriptions mean. That’s why I included a helpful chart that shows you some of the profiles associated with each type.
Whether you need tongue and groove, MLCS or any other type, my guide can help you figure out exactly what kind to use for each job.
I highly recommend the Milescraft Long Beach Set for new hobbyists and those with more experience. Though this set comes with just three tools, each one is perfect for making signs and doing other simple jobs. Using the advice listed here can help you find kits that come with all that you need.