A router is an excellent tool for any craftsman that and can really help you fine-tune a woodworking project. If you need to decorate an edge, make a joint flush, or even make a nice hole, a good router bit is a necessity. Most good rotary tools include a few adequate bits, but as you use your tool more often you’ll want to upgrade and expand your arsenal. Though many router bits will handle a variety of job types, your results really come down to the specifc router bit that you’re using. This is due to the fact that each router bit will give you different results, and since not every project can be done with the same set of bits. Edging bits are designed for trimming, bevel bits for angle cuts, and straight bits work well for basic channel cuts. Therefore, if you really want to get the job done right, you’ll need to make sure that you have all the bits you need readily available.
If this sounds a bit overwhelming, don’t panic, because you’re in the right place. We know how hard it can be to find the best router bits, which is why we’ll be showing you the 10 best router bits on the market. If you’re unsure about what types of bits that you need in a set, we’ll have some great pointers for you on that topic as well.
- Features to Consider in Good Router Bits
- The 10 Best Router Bits 2020
- 1. The Best Overall Router Bit Set: ABN Tungsten Carbide Router Bit Set
- 2. The Best Router Bit Set for Commercial Usage: Neiko 80 Piece Premium Set
- 3. The Best Budget Router Bit Set: SPTA 10 Piece Router Bit Set
- 4. The Best Router Bit Set for Beginners: Hiltex 15 Piece Router Bit Set
- 5. The Best Router Bits for Dremels: Dremel 692 6 Piece Set
- 6. Hiltex 24 Piece Router Bit Set
- 7. Stalwart 24 Piece Router Bit Set
- 8. MLCS 14 Piece Router Bit Set
- 9. LU&MN 15 Piece Router Bit Set
- 10. Kowood 24 Piece Router Bits Set
- Guide to Buying the Best Router Bits
- Final thoughts
Features to Consider in Good Router Bits
Before we jump right into the best router bits, it’s important to know what you’re looking at. Therefore, if you’re not familiar with the different types of router bits that you’ll find, take a look at each type. If you’ll be using a router to make precise cuts and holes for your project, you need to know what specific specs are required before you make your purchase.
Router bit types
Straight router bits
Straight router bits are among the most common router bits. This is due to the fact that these bits are used to make simple holes within wood or metal, and they can cut straight into a material in order to make a groove. These grooves are called dados, and are common in many types of projects. Straight router bits come in all different shapes and sizes, which makes them great for any router that you may have.
Rabbeting router bits
Rabbeting router bits are a bit different than straight bits, due to the fact that rabbeting router bits are designed to make cuts more commonly known as shoulders, which are used to create joints. These bits also come in a wide array of sizes, and in most sets you’ll usually find a rabbeting router bit.
Flush-trim router bits
If you need to make trim flush, this is obviously what a flush-trim router bit is for. This is a router bit that is designed to make sure all of the edges on a project are smooth. This works by removing excess material through a bit guided by a special bearing called a pilot bearing. Also, depending on the bit, these bearings can either be at the top or bottom to work on either side of the material. Many flush-trim router bits can be purchased in either configuration, so it’s probably wise to get both.
Chamfer router bits
Chamfer bits are designed for bevel cuts, which use a particular angle to make a more decorative edge. These bits can help create a wide array of creative projects. If you need to make a joint appear more smooth or stylized, a chamfer router bit can definitely come in handy.
Edge-forming router bits do exactly as the name suggests: they create precise edges. These bits can be square, rounded, or cut in a way that resembles a half circle. Edge-forming bits tend to be used to put the finishing touches and details on a project.
Other specialized router bits
The bits that we just went over are the most common standard router bits, but there are many others. You’ll find very specialized bits like cove bits, raised-panel bits, and many more. Some other specialty bits to keep an eye out for are finger-joint bits, dovetail bits, drawer lock bits, and even miter bits. There are a lot of bits beyond the basic ones out there to fit the needs of specialized projects. If you’re interested in learning even more about specialized bits, check out this informative guide.
Shanks and shank size
The shank of your router bit is the portion of the bit that connects to the actual router tool itself (or any other rotary drill). This is important to know, because having the wrong shank size can completely put your project on hold. The good news is that there are two common sizes: ¼ inch and ½ inch, though many others are available. On top of that, most routers or rotary drills are actually able to change between the two.
Also, if you want to utilize router bits with a dremel, you’ll always want to go with a smaller shank. Small shanks will keep vibration down and allow you to have more control over the bit. This is especially necessary for dremels because they have a very small rotary tip. It’s always safe to go with ¼ inch or ⅛ inch shanks if you’ll be using router bits for a dremel drill.
When considering the right shank size, take some time to consider how deep you’ll be needing to drill. If you need to drill pretty deep, a ½ inch shank will be much easier to work with. The extra size provides you with more control, more precision, and a very simple cutting experience. If you’re curious about what shank will fit your router, this guide goes into a bit more depth about shank size.
The 10 Best Router Bits 2020
Why we like it: The ABN Tungsten Carbide Router Bit Set is a high-quality 24-piece set that's designed for beginners and experts. These bits last a long time, and are not prone to releasing shrapnel when they wear down.
Shank size: ¼ inch
If you need a wide array of bits, the ABN Tungsten Carbide Router Bit Set is absolutely perfect. You’ll get 24 high-quality bits that work well for any project. Even if you have to make a decorative cut against the grain, the ABN Tungsten Carbide Router Bit Set won’t let you down. The ABN Tungsten Carbide Router Bit Set is also made from the best materials as well, featuring carbide tips to ensure longevity.
The ABN Tungsten Carbide Router Bit Set also comes with a great carrying case that is labeled to perfection. This makes it very easy to store the router bits, and even if you need to use them on the go, you’ll have no problem with transportation. The ABN Tungsten Carbide Router Bit Set is a very well rounded product that delivers high-quality bits.
The price is a bit on the high side, but you really do get what you pay for. This is due to the fact that you’ll receive 24 high-quality router bits for pennies on the dollar. If you were to buy a full set like this individually, it would cost you a fortune. Therefore, when it comes to value, the ABN Tungsten Carbide Router Bit Set delivers.
- The bits easily lock in place within the storage case to make sure that they don't move around if used for commercial usage
- Comes with all of the bits you need to complete any project, even bevel type cuts for jointed wood
- The blades on each router bit are designed to handle high RPM usage from any rotary tool they fit
- The case is a bit heavy
Why we like it: The Neiko 80 Piece Premium Set is one of the best premium router bit sets on the market. For a great value, you get 80 premium router bits that are guaranteed to fit any project.
Shank size: ½ inch
The Neiko 80 Piece Premium Set is a monster of a router bit set. With ½ inch universal shanks, you’ll be able to fit your router with up to 80 unique bits that are ready to assist you in any project. If you’re someone who will be using a router often, you’ll definitely want to consider this set. Think of it as a one time purchase that will complete even the most advanced router bit collections.
Each of these premium bits is carbide-tipped and built from top to bottom with the best materials. Also, for additional durability, each of these bits comes with a powder coating. This set also comes with an aluminum case that properly labels each bit, which is a great way to keep an eye on the 80 bits that come within the set. This is a router bit set designed for professionals, and if you need the quality and quantity that comes with such a set you really can’t go wrong. From bevel cuts to fine decoration, this set has all of the router bits needed for any project imaginable.
The price for the Neiko 80 Piece Premium Set is on the high side. It costs a bit more than most other router bit sets on the market, but this is due to the fact that you get so many well-built bits. It really is a complete set with durable materials, so it’s priced appropriately for what you get.
- Comes with a bearing to make sure that each bit cuts smoothly
- You get more than one size for each router bit in the case, which makes it very well rounded
- For the size of the router bit set, it's portable and lightweight
- The price is too high for most home projects
Why we like it: The SPTA 10 Piece Router Bit Set is by far the best budget buy you can find. You can get your hands on 10 premium router bits for just over a dollar per bit.
Shank size: ⅛ inch
The SPTA 10 Piece Router Bit Set is all about quality over quantity. Each router bit in this set has a steel core coated in titanium to make sure that it lasts you a very long time. This router bit set also comes with 5 additional standard drill bits, which makes it a very well-rounded set. Even if you need to do some deep drilling, this router bit set will meet your needs.
The SPTA 10 Piece Router Bit Set saves you a lot of money. When it comes to price, it’s very hard to beat this set. You’ll get all of the common router bits that you need, like straight bits and cove bits, which makes it a great starting set. The beauty of this set is that it’s actually very diverse, meaning that it’s more than just a woodworking set. For example, most of the router bits in this set are actually rated to handle plastics and other materials.
Although these products are durable and affordable, this kit isn’t quite as precise as some others. If you’re just learning how to use a router or if you don’t need extreme accuracy it’s a great choice, but those looking for finer control should look elsewhere.
This is one of the most affordable router bit sets on the market. There are single router bits that sell for more than this set, which really shows you just how much value you’re actually getting here. If you need to get your hands on 10 router bits for a steal, you should definitely consider this set.
- Comes with standard drill bits as well, which makes this set great for any project
- These router bits can also be used with a dremel tool
- These bits work on both PVC and acrylic materials
- No carrying case is included
- Not suitable for certain high-percision jobs
Why we like it: The Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide Router Bits Set comes with everything you need for any job. You get high-quality carbide material, and enough variety to fit any woodworking project you may be working on.
Shank size: ¼ inch
The Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide Router Bits Set is a very performance-oriented router bit set. If you’re someone who needs precise cuts, this is definitely a set you should consider for the material quality alone. Each router bit is made with tungsten carbide, which ensures that the performance of your bits remains great for a very long time. Even if you use them frequently, you’ll be able to maintain the edges of your router bits. Some users do report that these bits might snap fairly early with extended use, though.
The Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide Router Bits Set comes with 15 specialized bits that will make any woodworking job an absolute breeze. There are bits for edging, veining, and even grooving. Even if you need to make a cut on a bevel, the Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide Router Bits Set has you covered. Also, you get a nice looking wooden carrying case to make sure that all of your router bits end up staying together. This is definitely a great way to build a collection of router bits, and this is exactly why it’s the best beginner router bit set on the market.
The Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide Router Bits Set is one of the best value router bit kits on the market. Even when you compare the price of this set to individual router bits, you’ll find that the Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide Router Bits Set comes out on top. Not only do you get 15 router bits, but you get each bit for well under the price of just a few purchased individually. Therefore, if you’re looking to get started, the Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide Router Bits Set is a great place to get started.
- The carrying case comes with pictures that show you which bit goes where, which makes it excellent for beginners
- Each bit comes with a bearing roller to make sure that every project is done as smoothly as possible
- Each bit comes powder coated for an extra layer of protection
- Less durable than some more expensive sets
Why we like it: The Dremel 692 6 Piece Set is the perfect router bit set for anyone using a dremel drill. With a very small shank size, these router bits will fit most rotary drills.
Shank size: ⅛ inch
The Dremel 692 6 Piece Set is definitely the best router bit set for anyone that is looking to use router bits with a dremel drill. This is due to the fact that the shank size is very small, and will fit most dremels quite well. The set itself comes with 6 high-quality bits made from very strong steel, which makes it easy to drill through some of the toughest materials.
The Dremel 692 6 Piece Set comes with the 6 essential bits that you need. Whether you’re cutting, molding, or triming, there is a bit for you. You’ll find great bits for cutting edges, drilling down, and decorating. The bits may be smaller than others on the market, but these router bits are definitely all about precision.
For the precise quality on offer here, the price is definitely fair. It might seem a little bit expensive for only 6 router bits, but when you consider what they offer the price is by no means outrageous.
- The carbide-tipped router bits that are compatible with dremel drills
- While they may be comparable with dremel drills, they will still work in many standard router tools
- These router bits are excellent at making percision cuts
- You only get 6 router bits
Why we like it: The Hiltex 24 Piece Router Bit Set gives you all of the router bits you need for great value, and will even work for commercial users. Each bit is high-quality steel-tipped carbide, making this set extremely durable as well.
Shank size: ¼ inch
The Hiltex 24 Piece Router Bit Set is by far the best value buy on the market right now. Whether you have commercial needs or hobbyist needs, the Hiltex 24 Piece Router Bit Set has all of the bits you need for most projects. Even if you need to make advanced bevel cuts or decorative finishes, this set has the right router bits for the job.
The Hiltex 24 Piece Router Bit Set keeps everything very tidy with a luxurious carrying case that’s labeled to perfection. Each bit has its own home within the case, which makes it very easy to find the router bits you need quickly. The carrying case is also made out of sturdy wood, and looks quite nice in most workshops. Some of the bits that you get within this set include bevel bits, chamfer bits, straight bits in two sizes, and even a radius round-over bit. When it comes to specialty bits, this set really has it all.
The price for this router set is very inexpensive. When compared to other router bit sets on the market, you get really great savings when you go with the Hiltex 24 Piece Router Bit Set. Also, each bit is carbide tipped and utilizes a bearing for accuracy, which means that you don’t sacrifice quality with the price. This router bit set is an absolute bargain.
- Gives you all of the bits you need for a beginner or experienced user, all for a fraction of the price of its main competitors
- The small shank size allows these bits to be compatible with a dremel or most other rotary drills
- You'll get a few of the bits in different sizes, which means that you'll be able to really fine-tune your project
- A full wood carrying case can be a bit heavy, which makes portability a slight issue
Why we like it: The Stalwart 24 Piece Router Bit Set comes with enough bits for both beginners and advanced users. For the price, this is definitely one of the most comprehensive router bit sets you can find.
Shank size: ¼ inch
The Stalwart 24 Piece Router Bit Set includes a lot of great bits for an excellent price. You get a total of 15 carbide-tipped router bits, and these bits work well for almost any project you can think of. No matter your skill level, the Stalwart 24 Piece Router Bit Set can make a welcomed addition to your tool set.
Everything is kept together by a very nice wooden carrying case, which can carry all 15 bits and additional pieces. This way, even if you’re on the go, you’ll be able to find the bits and pieces you need with no issues. Some of the bits you’ll find within this case include a trimming bit, dovetail bit, straight bits in multiple sizes, round nose bit, cove bits, combination bits, bevel bits and many more. This makes this router bit set great for both carpenters and hobbyists.
The Stalwart 24 Piece Router Bit Set comes to you at a great price. While it may be a bit on the higher side, the additional 9 pieces that you receive aside from just the router bits is definitely a bonus. The value is definitely there, and it’s definitely a router bit set that’s worth every penny.
- Comes with an Allen wrench to make changing out the different bearings very simple
- Comes with specialty bits designed to do high-level routing work
- Includes some rare bits that most sets will skip
- It is a bit expensive for the number of bits included
Why we like it: The MLCS 15 Piece Router Bit Set comes in a very nice compact case. Instead of a giant wooden case, you can store all of your bits in a smaller case, and you still get the perks of having a great router bit set.
Shank size: ½ inch
The MLCS 15 Piece Set is a great beginner set. You get all of the router bits you need for cutting, veneering, edging, and even trimming. Also, if you want to make bevel or decorative cuts, the MLCS 15 Piece Set has you covered there as well. The real beauty of this router bit set is that you get all of this within a very compact and classy wooden case.
Each router bit within this set is made with carbide, which makes them very durable. Well-machined by a reliable manufacturer, the accuracy of these bits is seriously unmatched. This high-quality kit is one of the best router bit sets on the market for anyone looking for precision, from beginners to experienced craftsmen.
The price for this router bit set is average. While it may be a bit more expensive than some lower-end router bit sets, you get what you pay for. These bits pay some serious dividends when it comes to precise cuts and portability.
- The carrying case is small, labeled, and very portable
- This is a great set for anyone looking to get a high-quality, durable router bit kit
- The cuts made by these bits are incredibly accurate
- The bits that you get aren't suitable for heavy usage, because their durability tends to dwindle
Why we like it: The LU&MN 15 Piece Router Bit Set is one of the best router bit sets for the money. You get 15 high-quality router bits for less than two dollars a bit.
Shank size: ¼ inch
The LU&MN 15 Piece Set is beginner-friendly, sturdy, and fairly priced. Not only do you get 15 router bits, but each router bit serves its own purpose. For example, this router bit set comes with a ½ inch flush-trim bit to make sure that you can smooth out any project you’re working on, among many other specialized pieces. This is an excellent choice for anyone who is a hobbyist or DIY enthusiast.
Each of the 15 router bits are carbide-tipped, and are designed to make sure that these router bits last longer than just a few cuts. This router bit set also comes with a wooden carrying case that has labels and pictures for each router bit. So, even if you’re unorganized, this router bit set will make it a breeze to find your next bit.
The price is one of the best prices on the market for what you get. You also don’t need to make any quality sacrifices, because these 15 router bits are about as durable as they come. If you’re getting ready to do some serious routing, this router bit set is a great way to get started.
- Very inexpensive compared to other 15-piece router bit sets on the market
- Half of the router bits within this set are specialty bits
- The bearing piece allows you make your cuts even smoother
- Very well-constructed for the price
- The wooden carrying case is a bit on the bulky side, and it doesn't come with anything to keep the router bits in place. If you're on the move, they may become loose within the case
Why we like it: The Kowood 24 Piece Router Bits Set comes with enough bits to fill up your arsenal at a great price. Even if you need to make specialty cuts, The Kowood Router Bits Set has every router bit you may need.
Shank size: ¼ inch
The Kowood 24 Piece Router Bits Set is a very sturdy 24-piece router bit set. These bits are equipped with a ¼ inch shank size, which balances size and precision well. The shank is also vibration dampening, which means that you can focus more on cutting than your hand wearing out. With this added stability, the Kowood Router Bits Set makes cutting very easy for both beginners and experienced users. The Kowood Router Bits Set will help you learn to control your router bits and will fit the bill for most household applications.
As for the bits, you’ll get a wide array of specialty bits. If you need to make bevel cuts, or any other decorative cuts, the Kowood Router Bits Set has everything you need. This is a great set for beginners, because it will make sure you have a collection of all of the most frequently-used bits. The Kowood 24 Piece Router Bits Set also comes with a sturdy wooden case, which allows you to store your router bits for the next use. Even if you’re not sure about what you’re looking at, the Kowood Router Bits Set case uses images to help you know what bit you need.
The price is definitely average. While there may be less expensive options out there, they don’t provide you with the amount of router bits that you find within The Kowood Router Bits Set.
- Each edging bit features bearings to make sure that they're properly guided
- Extremely beginner-friendly thanks to the vibration reduction
- These router bits are strong enough to work on heavy-duty applications
- This is a beginner's set, which means that commercial users may not find the bits they need here
Guide to Buying the Best Router Bits
Now that we’ve gone over the 10 best router bits, it’s time to take a look at why routers and router bits are important. We’ll be breaking down some key uses and concepts around router bits, and we’ll also have a Q&A for you as well. If you’re more of a visual learner, we also have some links to some great tutorials. If you’re new to routing, make sure you learn the basics before you get to work.
How to choose the right router bits
Router bits work by spinning in a circular motion at a high RPM to deliver a precise cut. Each bit works in a different way, but the main goal of using a router bit is to make sure that you can shape materials appropriately for your project. This applies to trimming edges, making projects flush, and even by making joints run smooth between two pieces of wood. Let’s take a look at some common applications for router bits. Different bits will make different cuts, so it’s important to know what each does before you use it.
For angled cuts
Choosing the right bit for the job really depends on what you’re looking to do. If you need to create a smooth edge on a project, you’ll definitely want to consider a roundover bit, while decorative angles are best dealt with by a beading bit. These bits make this type of job simple, and if done right, will provide you with clean-cut edges. If you’re looking to make a 45° angle, you might want to consider using a chamfer bit to start. Here is an example of what these angles cuts will look like:
For joints or channels
If you need to cut straight into a piece of wood, or possibly smooth out something like a joint, you’ll want to start with a straight bit or rabbeting bit. A straight bit will be your best bet for making a channel cut, which will resemble something similar to a square. For joints, a rabbeting bit will do an excellent job smoothing the edges.
Finally, we have trim work. If you want to make your wood appear smooth, or even add some decoration to it, you’ll want to utilize a bit like a flush-trim bit. These are not the only router bits that you can use for a job like this, and there are other edge-forming bits that you can use as well. If you want to take a look at some tips and tricks to learn on molding, take a look at this video.
Understanding Coating Options
We spoke a lot about titanium, carbide, and even powdered coating within our list. This is due to the fact that coating is key when it comes to considering the best router bits on the market. Think about it this way: the better the coating, the longer the bit will last and the more precise its cuts will be. So, when you need to consider a router bit, take some time to look at what each bit is actually coated with. For the most part, titanium and carbide coatings increase durability, while powder-coated bits tend to work a little bit more smoothly.
Understanding router bit blades
Router bits often advertise that they’re made with high-quality carbide, so understanding what this material does is very important. To begin, we need to take a look at both types of carbide used in router bits. While they may be very similar, they do actually have some key differences that set themselves apart from one another.
C2 carbide is not a bad carbide by any means, but you need to be careful with this coating if you’ll be using your router bits for a long time. This is due to the fact that C2 carbide does not hold up as well against high heat usage. If you’ll be drilling into wood for more than a few minutes at a time, these bits will end up wearing down very quickly. If you’re looking into router bits that are rated with C2 carbide, make sure that you don’t use them too heavily.
C3 carbide is the carbide you want for your most commonly used router bits. This carbide holds up well to heat, and allows you to get prolonged usage out of them. So, if you want a router bit to end up lasting you a long time, go with C3. This is the best grade of carbide for commercial usage, and works well on both metal and wood.
Other Types of Carbide
Though these are the most common types of carbide used in router bits, there are actually several other grades. Each one is suitable for different projects, and while knowledge of the most common types should be sufficient for most, you can find more information about these lesser-known types by checking out this chart.
Something you also need to consider when looking at router bits are bearings. Bearings may sound simple, but they can actually make or break a project. A bearing on a router bit the part that acts as a stop for your bit. If used properly, a bearing will make sure that you stop drilling at the perfect measurement. For this reason, it’s important not only to pick a kit that contains router bits made with good materials, but high-quality bearings, too.
What types of router bits should I look for in a set?
When buying a router bit set, you’ll want to make sure that you have a straight bit, chamfer bit, cove bit, flush-trim bit, and a rabbeting bit at the minimum. These are the 5 basic router bits that you need for most projects. With these 5 router bits, you can edge, make round cuts, and even make bevel cuts. Beyond that, you’ll need to think about what types of projects you’ll be undertaking, and make sure that your kit includes those more specialized bits, too.
How many router bits do I need?
The answer to this question depends on the type of project that you’re working on. If you’re working on something a bit more basic, a 10- or 15-piece set will work just fine. If you’re going to need to make a lot of precise angles and bevels, then it’s definitely a good idea to consider getting a bigger set.
You should also consider whether or not you’ll be using these bits for work or home use. If you need router bits for your job, then we would definitely recommend getting one of the larger router bit sets. This will make it easier to get the exact cuts that you will need. If you’ll only be using router bits for a few DIY projects, it might be a good idea to utilize one of the smaller sets.
Are router bits one size fits all?
The shank size of router bits is always something to take into consideration. This is due to the fact that most shanks will fit into most rotary based tools, but there are exceptions. For example, a router bit with a larger shank may not fit in a smaller rotary tool. On the other hand, a ¼ inch shank size might work well with a dremel over a different rotary drill or router. Match your tool’s compatibility with the shank size in each kit and you won’t have any fit problems.
If you want to get a job done right, you need the best router bits. Not only will the right router bits make your life easier, but they’ll make sure that your project comes out the way you want it to. While you may be tempted to go with a less expensive option, the better the router bit set you have, the better the outcome of any project you’re working on will be. Cheap router bits won’t last as long, either, so buying the right product in the first place will save money in the long run.
We know that we went over a lot, but this is due to the fact that no two router bits are the same. Owning more bits will open up more possibilites, so we always recommend going with a router bit set instead of buying single bits. We hope that this guide helps you build a collection of router bits that will allow you to easily gear up for your next project, whatever it might be.