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5 Essential Router Bits for Beginners

Router bits are expensive; so if you're just getting started in routing, don't buy bits you'll never use. These five bits will cover the basics.

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1/8-in. Round-Over Bit

Virtually every project you make will need the sharp corners rounded over. I keep a 1/8-in. or even a 1/16-in. round-over bit in one of my compact routers at all times. That way, it’s ready to go whenever I need it. Plus: Learn how to get perfect routed edges every time.

Buy this router bit on Amazon now.

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45-Degree Chamfer Bit

A chamfer bit breaks a sharp edge, like a round-over bit does. But a chamfer adds a crisp, clean detail to an edge. Adjusting the bit’s height determines the width of the chamfer. Check out this seriously cool collection of 34 handy hints for your woodworking projects.

Get a chamfer bit for your collection today.

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Flush-Trim Bit

A flush-trim router bit has a bearing at the top or bottom. This allows you to follow any pattern, including a straight edge for jointing lumber. Many different sizes are available to suit your needs. Plus: These are the router tool basics all woodworkers need to know.

Buy it now on Amazon.

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Straight/Bottom Cutting Bits

Straight/bottom cutting bits are similar to top-bearing flush-trim bits, but the cutters extend across the bottom of the bit. This allows cutting clean grooves and dadoes. Some are available with a top bearing, while others require a guide bushing installed in the router’s base. Learn foolproof ways to make dado and rabbet cuts here.

Order a straight/bottom cutting bit for your home shop now.

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Rabbet Bit Set

A rabbet bit allows you to cut rabbets of varying depths at the edge of a board. Along with dadoes, rabbets are an essential joint in cabinetry. A rabbet bit kit comes with several bearing sizes to adjust the size of the rabbet. Ready for a woodworking adventure? Here are 19 surprisingly easy woodworking projects for beginners.

Buy a rabbet bit set on Amazon now.

Brad Holden
Brad Holden, an associate editor at The Family Handyman, has been building cabinets and furniture for 30 years. In that time, he has absorbed so many slivers and ingested so much sawdust that he's practically made of wood.