As any good woodworker knows, the smallest details can make the largest difference when it comes to producing a high-quality, long-lasting final product. Tending to those minute details can be difficult, requiring specialized tools in order to return a product that looks and performs as expected. Routing falls squarely into this detail-oriented preparation, necessitating the acquisition of a wide variety of specialized router bits.
In many ways, router bits are the secret to modern rousing success. Where a carpenter used to take hours and even days to carve, clean, and sand a specialized joint, a modern woodworker can rout the very same joint in mere minutes and attain a comparable level of overall quality. Router bits make this woodworking miracle happen, thanks in large part to their ability to provide mechanical precision that human hands alone cannot attain.
It goes without saying, but every router bit is different. While some model varies by material construction and shank size, others vary more dramatically based upon the type of cut they can produce naturally. Round nose, dovetail, straight, flush trim, chamfer, roman ogee…the list goes on and on when it comes to detailing every different type of router bit.
3 Best Router Bits – Comparison
|Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide|
|Erie Tools 1/4″ Shank Router|
|Bosch RBS010 1/2-Inch and 1/4-Inch|
If you plan on crafting furniture, you’ll inevitably need to make use of a router. This means you’ll need to wade through the many, many different router bit types and sets to find the several options that fit your precise woodworking needs. To cut down on this unnecessary challenge, I’ve returned to my workshop and tested many of the most popular router bits available today.
This guide on the top 10 best router bits is the results of my hands-on research. By testing each router bits performance and comparing important details like material construction, I’ve been able to isolate these 10 router bits sets and crown them as the best of the best. No matter what kind of joint you need to hollow out, there is absolutely a router bit or bit set on this list that will help you finish the job with precision and speed.
Top 10 Best Router Bits for Effective Routing Work
After trying each of these router bits on my at-home tabletop and hand routers, I am confident that these 10 models are the best available on the market today. In order to summarize what I learned from my analysis, I’ve written up several detailed reviews that cover both key specification and special features found in each model. Whether you’re looking for compatibility or a specialized router bit head, this list of the top 10 best router bits will provide you with the clarity you need to buy with confidence
1. Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide | 15-Piece Set
In the kitchen and in the woodshop, variety is the spice of life. Your woodworking jobs almost certainly call for some degree of variety, especially if you are adventurous and like to try creating new types of furniture. In that case, you’ll need an assortment of different router bits, making the 15-piece Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide Router Bit set an ideal addition to your workbench.
Even for its great variety of router bit types, each individual bit in this set is manufactured with performance and longevity in mind. Each YG8 tungsten carbide blade has been mechanically sharpened, giving them a razor-sharp edge that will gladly slice through many types of hardwood.
Durability is also a key component of the Hiltex 10100 set, making a valuable appearance in nearly every inch of these router bits. While the tungsten carbide blades are not only sharp, they are also built to last by nature. This metal has unique heat-resistant properties, preventing them from warping under repeated friction heat encounters.
Even the main construction components and shank are made up of hardened alloy steel, allowing them to remain sturdy and agile through many woodworking projects. The shank on each included bit measures in at ¼-inch, making it broadly compatible with many modern routers.
The Hiltex 10100’s unique wood storage case stood out to me immediately, allowing me to quickly and efficiently cycle through bits without losing track of even a single one. For its fairly affordable price tag, I would definitely rank the Hiltex 10100 as one of the better router bit sets available for purchase now.
- YG8 tungsten carbide blades
- Hardened alloy steel shank with powder-coated finish
- Includes bits for cove box, V groove, roman ogee, mortising, and more
- Comes in a wooden box with label cards for easy organization and storage
- Not ideal for plunge routing
2. Erie Tools 1/4″ Shank Router Bit Set | 35 Piece Set
Sometimes, compatibility comes down to the model of router you use. Perhaps your workshop uses a leading brand router, which incorporates proprietary shank sizes that are hard to find, save only through a certified retailer. Such mainline channels can be unnecessarily expensive per bit, which is where the Erie Tools 1/4″ Shank Router Bit Set comes into play. With a massive quantity of widely-adaptable router bits, you’re sure to find a handful that performs optimally with your workshop router.
Simply put, few (if any) popular router bits offer so many different router bit types in a single, price-conscious package. Round nose, straight, flush trim, cove, rabbeting, chamfer, roman ogee…and so many more router bits can be found in this set, in a variety of head sizes and widths. Even for its fantastic variety, Erie Tools managed to make each of these router bits from reliable tungsten carbide.
With regards to compatibility, Erie Tools planned ahead and tested each of their bits on several industry-leading electric routers. I retested these bits, just to be sure, and I found that routers from Hilti, Milwaukee, Makita, Dewalt, and Porter-Cable all accept these router bits without complaint.
Transporting and storing these router bits isn’t a hassle, either. The full 35-piece set comes in a durable aluminum case, making it easy to bring this set to and from the worksite. If I start doing more woodworking projects away from home, I’ll definitely make this Erie Tools set my go-to choice.
- Compatible with many leading hardware brands
- Tungsten carbide bits for 90° V Grooving, round nose, straight, flush trim, and chamfer
- Comes in durable aluminum carry case
- Some thin bits prone to cracking
3. Bosch RBS010 1/2-Inch and 1/4-Inch | 10 Piece Set
Bosch manual and power tools occasionally require a special level of compatibility in order to fully optimize their drilling and carving capabilities. Bosch wants to ensure that you can take full advantage of their quality routers, so they’ve produced the Bosch RBS010 10-piece set and made them widely available at local and national retailers.
To match Bosch’s commitment to quality manufacturing, these router bits provide a great standard of wear-resistance. The premium-quality micro grain carbide tips on each bit additionally stay sharp for longer than many competitors, allowing you to attain a reliably smooth finish without additional sanding.
While some router tips use different metal densities between their shank and tip, the Bosch RBS010 bits provide a unique degree of uniformity between these two components in order to minimize undue stress put on either section. In the long run, this results in fewer strain-based breaks in these bits and enhanced longevity overall.
To best fit with Bosch equipment, these bits also clock in with ½-inch shanks. Though this means that they aren’t compatible with every other router brand, you can be sure they’ll produce minimal excess vibration in Bosch routers. This increased stability means a lot for me because, at the end of the day, an even, accurate cut matters the most when it comes to routing.
- Optimized for Bosch routers
- Uniformity between shank and body resists stress and breakage
- 1/2 -inch shank decreases vibration for improved stability
- Wood block base for easy storage
- Rough mounting plate
4. SILIVN Tongue and Groove Set | 2 Piece Set
Tongue and groove cuts are likely to be one of the most common routing processes you undertake, given their broad applications both in and out of furniture production. As such, you may not need a massive router bit set to clogging up your shelf space. Instead, you just need the precise tools for the job and in this case, those tools are the SILIVN Tongue and Groove Set.
These router bits bring with them some unique construction elements that really stood out to me. First, every component of these router bits is made up of hardened steel, providing an ideal degree of durability when applied to hardwoods. In addition, this steel is protected by a unique Teflon coating that shields it from harmful heat. This can really make a difference if you intend to use these bits on a regular basis, in order to minimize the warping effects friction can have the router bit.
There’s only one part of these router bits that aren’t made from durable steel and that’s where it matters most. With C3 micro grain tungsten carbide blades, these SILIVN bits can really tear into hardwoods and plastics without complaint. In fact, when it comes to hardwoods, these bits can cut single sheets or slabs up to ¾-inch thick.
Also, the “anti-kickback” design of these bits really impressed me. I’m all about staying safe in the workshop, so any feature like this that minimizes risky side processes makes it a great option in my book.
- C3 micro grain tungsten carbide blades
- Cuts wood up to ¾-inch thick
- Optimized for tongue and groove assembly
- Heat-resistant Teflon coated blades to resist friction heat
- Generally, loose fit on some routers
5. Yakamoz 1/4 Inch Router Bit | 3 Piece Set
Just as you would with a tongue and groove cut, you need precisely the right router bit if you’re hoping of crafting a functionally productive flush trim on your hand-made piece of furniture. The veneer is a common component in need of this special treatment, so be sure to reach for this Yakamoz router bit when it’s time to get that veneer in line.
Like others in its class, each router bit in this 3-piece set is carbide-tipped to ensure durability over many woodworking sessions. To further enhance these tips, each one has been coated with a heat-resistant PTFE material that allows them to utterly deny friction the opportunity to degrade these crucial components. PTFE is commonly used on grill coatings, so can be more than confident that it’ll stand up to the condensed heat produced white the router is in motion.
Among other features, I was impressed that the ¼-inch shank on this model fit into so many of my available routers, as well as how fairly priced this set is. Taken together, these router bits could be just the right pick for you if you’re planning to complete flush trim work on a budget.
- Affordably priced for a 3-piece set
- 1/4 -inch shank compatible with many routers
- Heat-resistant PTFE coating on blades
- Blades are prone to breakage at high speeds
6. Micro Jig MB-050-0514 MATCHFIT Dovetail
For a long time, I was fully convinced that that dovetail grooves should only be cut by hand, with a dovetail saw. But a good friend recently opened my eyes to the glories of the Micro Jig MB-050-0514 MATCHFIT Dovetail Router Bit and frankly, I’m not looking back. Automating this crucial furniture construction process has made my workload so much more manageable.
Dovetail grooves require immense precision or else the locking mechanism on both ends will not hold together properly. Luckily, this MATCHFIT bit routs incredibly clean cuts that don’t require extra sanding after the fact. Dovetail bits in many sets create rough finishes, causing undue friction when you join each end together.
Each tooth (3 in total) on this router bit is set at a perfect angle to increase cutting visibility. The 8-degree down shear on these teeth evacuates chips and dust as you move along, which reduces friction and allows you to clearly see where you are cutting without interference.
As I’ve said before, I believe that woodshop safety is very important. That’s why I really appreciate this model’s 3/8 collet safety line. This allowed me to very visibly see how far this bit could safely drop before running into unsafe problems.
- Optimized for dovetail groove cuts
- 8º down sheer construction effectively evacuates chips and dust
- Router collet safety line for visually-easy checking
- Few-years manufacturer warranty
- Only comes with one clamp
7. Valiant Bottom Cleaning Router Bit
Bottom cleaning router bits are also an absolute must-have for woodworkers who thrive on versatility and creativity. Though not every project calls for this router bit, you’ll be glad to have the Valiant Bottom Cleaning Router Bit when the moment calls for it.
Built from YG6X original carbide alloy, this router bit is fairly resilient and can stand up to the punishing environment a router tends to create. In this case, this Valiant bit sluffs off excess dust and debris to minimize unwanted abrasion.
This router bit also addresses a major problem seen in many of its lower-quality competitors, that being splinters and burrs. These rough bits can ruin an otherwise well-cut surface, so this Valient bit has been calibrated to grind out these defects wherever they may occur.
In addition, I really appreciate this router bit’s versatility. While it can primarily be used to rout plywood, MDF and different wood composites, it can also be used to smooth out plastics and fiberglass. I even found that it can cut pretty effective dadoes, rabbits, and patterns, which is just a great bonus in my eyes. Either on a handheld or table-top router, I believe this bit works hard to provide you a smooth routed finish.
- Can be used on handheld and tabletop routers
- YG6X original carbide alloy shank for added durability
- Useful on plywood, plastics, and fiberglass
- Can also be used for dadoes, rabbits, and patterns
- Unusual 1.655-inch shank length
8. Yakamoz 1/4 Inch Shank Rabbet with 6 Bearings Set
Though the whole premise of owning an assortment of router bits is to enhance your standard router’s versatility, I really must say that the Yakamoz 1/4 Inch Shank Rabbet Router Bit set is versatile in and of itself. With 6 unique bearing sets, this rabbet router bit can be set to grind down to several different heights.
These six different bearings adjust to – 1/8, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16 and ½-inch, respectively. I found that no matter which bearing I opted for, I was able to turn out a desirably smooth surface that rivaled even some of my most reliable router bits.
These bits and bearings also incorporate a high-performing Perma-Shield coating across their full cutting surface. This material resists heat and prevents it from seeping into and warping the router bit proper. Though I primarily tested this bit on my hand-held router, I believe this feature would come in handy if I chose to put this bit to regular use on my table-top router.
- Perma-Shield blade coating resists heat abrasion
- Interchangeable bearings for cutting rabbets at different depths
- Rabbet cut depths between 1/8-inch and ½-inch
- Can be used on handheld and table-mounted routers
- Large bearings are prone to damage
9. Yakamoz 1/4-Inch | 2 Piece Set
While this Yakamoz 1/4-Inch Shank Matched Tongue and Groove Router Bit Set come with high praise from some of my associates, I need to predicate its several key functionates with an important note. This router bit is optimized for softwoods only and may be damaged by high-density materials. While this is a mark against its overall durability, I can definitely attest to its effectiveness when used on the appropriate material.
With ¼-inch shank, you’ll find that this Yakamoz bit is comfortably compatible with most standard-tier routers. That’s great, given how well its 6.35mm “T”-shaped teeth are able to slice through most softwoods with ease. The hardened steel body on these bits is also a worthwhile asset, giving it at least a standard degree of durability in this regard.
I was disappointed to find that this router bit couldn’t be used in electric-powered routers. Even so, it may be a worthwhile addition to your manual router kit.
- Optimized for manual routers
- 6.35mm individual tooth width with “T” shape
- ¼ inch shank made of hardened steel
- Cannot be used on high-density materials such as hardwoods
- Cannot be used in electric drills and routers
10. Stalwart Router Bit Set |4 Piece Kit
Having a broad selection of router bits is always a woodshop asset, allowing you to experiment and creatively implement new finishes without needed to make a hardware store run. This Stalwart Router Bit Set is a great choice for that exact reason, as it provides a whole host of routing options across its multi-bit set.
With 24 pieces in all, you can find every kind of regularly used router bit – from straight and radius round to roman ogee and rabbit – in this kit. This makes it a great kit to take along to a worksite where you’ll be edging, trimming, grooving, and veining all in the same day.
I really appreciate that this kit also comes with a made-to-fit Allen wrench for easy insertion and removal of these router bits. Most kits leave you to dig through your toolbox for a sensibly sized option, but this Stalwart kit makes it easy and convenient to switch bits on the fly. Though it isn’t my first choice when it comes to router bit kits, I can definitely say that its price makes it a worthwhile pick.
- Includes bits for roman ogee, rabbeting, flush trim, V-groove, and more
- Includes Allen wrench for removing bits from the router
- Affordably priced for a sizable set
- Made in China
At the end of the day, I couldn’t be happier with most of these top-quality router bits. Each set provides the kind of purpose-built construction and versatility I really look for when using my router. As such, I simply cannot pick just one of these bits or sets to serve as the best overall router bits.
Every routing need is different, so be sure to select a bit that will remain durable throughout your workload and the type that can provide you the kind of cut you need most. Price also plays an important role, so be sure to look for an extra value in a router bit set that can save you money down the road.
Even after learning about these top-performing router bits, you may still have residual questions about what each bit type is used for. That’s perfectly okay, as beginners and professionals alike can learn a lot by reviewing each bit types of unique capabilities.