Wood routers are the most versatile and multi-tasking tool that every woodworker should posses. This single tool is capable of performing thousands of jobs that are simply impossible by any other tools. Whether giving your imagination a decorative form or creating grooves or mortises or door panel, whatever your requirements is that can only be fulfilled by this powerful tool.
The central and most important part of a wood router is the router bit. Without the router bits, a wood router is nothing more than a spinning electronic motor. All the charisma of a router lies in these router bits. But, proper knowledge of this tool is necessary to get the most out of it.
What is a router bit?
The first thing that we should know is that what is a router bit. It is the detachable accessory of a router that is used to cut different designs on different platform like wood, plastic, etc. This part of the router fits into a steel sleeve, named collet, which holds the router bits tight while working.
Different parts of a router bit?
While we read wood router reviews, we get to know about the different parts and attributes of the wood routers. But, unfortunately, not about the parts of the router bits. Here, we will get to familiar with the different parts of the router bits. Though, they are available in different sizes and shapes, but they share the same parts generally.
- Shank: The smooth cylindrical part of the router bits is known as a shank. This is the part that fits into the collet while working.
- Body: The part of the router bit that holds the flutes is the body of the router bit. Though this part is not directly involved in cutting, but it provides the required support to the blades. Most of the manufacturers prefer to paint that part with bright colors.
- Flutes: A flute consists of a gullet and a cutting edge. Where the cutting edges are the part that actually cuts the material and the gullet is the channel that removes the wastage of the router with each turn. some router bits have one flutes, but others may have more.
- Router bit guide: Router bits consist of a guide that helps to accomplish the cutting correctly. On some bits, it’s just a sharp pin, but on others, it’s a bearing that turns independently It is used to control the cutting depth correctly.
Different types of router bits
Router bits are capable of performing several tasks and according to their performing tasks, different types of router bits are seen. Let’s have a look on them.
1. Non-pilot bits: These bits are well known by different names, such as, non-pilot or groove or surface-cutting bits. They are specially designed to cut across the surface of the working platform. When they will be used to cut the edges, you will be in need of a guide to control the cutting depth. Some of these are capable of plunge-cut, but not all. Examples:
- Straight bit.
- V-Groove bit.
- Bowl and tray bit.
- Round nose bit.
2. Pilot bits: Pilot or edge-forming bits are designed to shape the edge of a material. These bits are not capable of plunge-cut, as they have pilots on their way. Examples:
- Flush trim bit.
- Rebate bit.
- Cove bit.
3. Joint-making bits: They usually come in pair, to cut two mating sections, which are joined together later. These joint-making bits can be pilot or non-pilot both. Examples:
- Biscuit jointer bit.
- Dovetail bit.
Cleaning the router bit
Buying or working with the router bits is not enough, taking care of the bits is also equally important. If you are unable to clean the bits after each use, it will become less durable and even can be a threat to the router also. Let’s see the steps of cleaning the bits.
- Remove the guide before start cleaning. Then apply tool cleaner on the bit and rest for 10-15 minutes. It will help to disintegrate the dirt.
- After the dirt loosen up, use a brush or toothbrush to remove the dirt.
- Warm water will also be a great help in removing the traces, but make sure you dry the bit properly afterwards.
- Finally, put a coating of tool oil on the bit before storing.
- Don’t neglect the collet at all. Please, make sure you have cleaned the collet after each use to stop transferring dirt into the bit.
Certainly, having a router with a set of different router bits in the workshop, is just enough to replace hundreds of woodworking tools. Router bits are the moving force of the router itself. As we have seen, these bits can perform several tasks. Proper handling of these bits will make them last long and after cleaning the bits, never forget to store them safely. Router bits should be stored individually to avoid accidents while picking for further use. Don’t forget to put rust protectant on the bits to keep them free. Finally, store them in a dust free place.