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Routers offer so much versatility and a key factor for this is the wide selection of cutters available. But with so many to choose from where do you start? Here’s a selection of nine ¼" cutters and one set that are a great option to expand your woodworking.
Noted for their high tensile strength and alluring aesthetics, dovetail joints are also one of the earliest forms of joinery. Examples were discovered on furniture found within the tombs of the kings of ancient Egypt. So if it’s good enough for a king, it’s good to be able to make these joints and routing makes it considerably easier than cutting by hand.
If you need to hang anything on the wall then the keyhole cutter is a simple and secure way to attach objects flush to a wall. The larger sideways head makes a plunge cut and the blade below the head allows you to make a sideways cut to form the keyhole slot. Remember before making the cut, find the centre of the piece you’re about to hang. This will ensure it’s well balanced, so that the object hangs straight after the cut has been made.
The roundover cutter is used in many furniture applications to soften and smooth the look of a sharp edge. Use it for smoothing table tops, chair arms, decorative mouldings or skirting boards. These bits are supplied with two bearings to switch between ovolo and roundover use.
When routing the end of a plank the end grain is prone to splintering so a tip to prevent this is to rout the end first which will compact the fibres and then continue along the length of the board.
Nothing makes a house a home more than your own personalised touches. Imagine walking up to your home each day to see your own bespoke house sign. These cutters are great for making your own signs and if you need some tips follow our guide on How To Make a House Sign. You could customise your sign further by using a panel mould cutter for added decoration.
Straight flute cutters are some of the most common cutters and arguably the ones that will get the most use. They’re so popular due to the simple design that can be used for a variety of tasks in the workshop. Producing grooves with a flat base, template work, joint making or any material that has been roughly cut to size, a straight cutter will neatly trim the edge. Single flutes are best used for jobs in softer material where a smaller size is needed such as routing inlays. Opt for a twin flute for harder material and for creating rabbets and dadoes.
If you’re ready to embrace routing, router bit sets are an easy way to get a collection of bits at a great price. This set of 12 bits contains a selection of the bits mention here plus a few more so that as your skills and expertise grow there are new cutters to try.