Joinery Router Bits Buying Guide
Specialized joinery bits include dovetail router bits, drawer lock router bits, finger joint bits, and lock miter bits. Each of these bits is used to produce a specialized type of precision joint. A dovetail bit is often used in combination with a dovetail jig to quickly and accurately produce dovetail joints for drawer boxes and other box-making projects.
- Make as many passes as you need to get the final profile, always routing counterclockwise when using a handheld router for cutting. Once you've got a smooth profile for a template, make a final pass routing clockwise. This smooths out minor blemishes and helps give you a mirror-smooth finish. The bit will still want to push the stock along at a fast pace, but you can control the speed because you're removing such a small amount of wood.
- On difficult pieces of wood, those that splinter or chip at the edge, stop routing normally when you've got about 1/16 inch of wood to remove. Make the final pass working clockwise.
- Use sharp bits. To see if your bit is sharp, look at the edge in the light. If you see a white line instead of two surfaces coming to a point for the edge, get the bits sharpened.
- If you're working on a router table, make sure that both the router and the mounting plate are tightly fastened before cutting a piece.
- If you're buying a router, buy one with lots of horsepower, preferably with a speed control. The greater the horsepower, the less noise a router makes. The most efficient routers feature a high-speed steel blade.